Eva-Jane Willis set for Moll Flanders romp at Mercury Theatre Colchester

Eva-Jane Willis (Grange Hill, Maigret) is to play the eponymous Moll Flanders in the Mercury Theatre Colchester premiere of Nick Perry’s bawdy adaptation.

Moll Flanders, Perry’s unfaithful adaptation, which opens later this month, features a cast of terrific actor-musicians in a mashup of 18th century bawdiness and 21st century humour.

Despite the runaway success of his novel Robinson Crusoe, the author Daniel Defoe is up to his ears in debt and desperate to write another blockbuster.

When he falls into bed with the notorious courtesan Elizabeth Atkins, who was raised in Colchester, the stories she tells him about her action-packed life give him a great idea.

He’ll turn them into a novel called Moll Flanders and it’ll fly off the shelves.

But he hadn’t bargained on becoming entangled in Elizabeth’s tumultuous intrigues and adventures himself, or falling in love with her…

Director Ryan McBryde said: “I’m delighted to be directing Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders for the Mercury this autumn.

“Nick Perry’s wonderfully irreverent adaptation has captured the heart of the original book but has also given it a mischievously modern makeover in the spirit of Blackadder.

In rehearsal

“Our heroine Moll has to employ all of her drive, resourcefulness, resilience, ambition, wit and insightfulness to survive in a man’s world.

“It’s a ribald, riotous romp through 18th century England and Virginia and I can’t wait to get started!”

Nick Perry said: “I’m thrilled that we’re premiering Moll Flanders in Moll’s hometown, Colchester. Moll’s coming home!”

Alongside Eva-Jane Willis is Bill Champion as Daniel Defoe.

They are joined by Mark Peachey, Annie Wensak, Alan Vicary, Victoria Hamnett, Dan Bottomley and Hanna Khogali.

Moll Flanders, a Made in Colchester production, presented by arrangement with The Touring Consortium Theatre Company, plays at the Mercury Theatre from September 28 – October 13.

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