Theatre: Compleat Female Stage Beauty

It is 1661 and our hero Kynaston is a famous London actor known for portraying women. Kynaston, also called Ned or Mr. K, his interpretations of Shakespeare's most tragic ladies: Ophelia, Cleopatra, and Desdemona. Oh, and he's the "mistress" of the Duke of Buckingham. One night, an unknown actress named Margaret Hughes plays Desdemona at an illegal theater, which changes everything. Instead of stopping the show and arresting Margaret, King Charles II decides to change the law and allow women to act.

Now that gender-bending isn't required to fill female roles, Kynaston is irrelevant and begins his downward spiral. Even his fame begins to fade as formerly dismissed talents, like Kynaston's (former) dresser Maria, step into the limelight. Eventually, fate and his desire for revenge give Kynaston a chance to take the stage again.