The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has launched a new ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ initiative for two specially commissioned plays by two of the UK’s most exciting emerging playwrights.

A talented cast from the renowned East 15 Acting School’s BA Acting course are set to stage a season of world premieres featuring two fantastic productions inspired by historical events. These brand new plays explore the current issues of sexuality, gender politics, migration and cultural identity and will be performed for the first time on the Queen’s Theatre’s stage.

The theatre is offering theatregoers an amazing opportunity to see two brand new pieces of work at no cost, but is asking for a donation to be made at the end of the performance which reflects what they thought of the piece.

Celebrated Camden writer Ché Walker’s (Royal Court and National Theatre) newly commissioned play, Anne Bonny and Mary Read takes its cue from the lives of the notorious 18th-century pirates and cross-dressing lesbian lovers. The cast of Anne Bonny and Mary Read will bring an epic historical canvas to life with burning modern questions.

Playwright Samantha Ellis (Arcola, Birmingham Rep, Hamstead Theatre) tells the extraordinary tale of Dom Marco Raphael, who was supposedly the only Jew in England at the time of Henry VIII, picking his way through a murky world of court intrigue, racism and prejudice. With scintillating wit and piercing compassion The Only Jew in England brings to life a world of music, glamour, flirtation and gripping political tension.

East 15 Acting School has produced actors, directors, theatre practitioners and technicians for the international stage, TV, film and radio including Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice, Gavin & Stacey) who has endorsed the drama school. She said,

‘As a graduate of East 15, I am delighted to say that it is one of the most innovative drama schools in the country. I attribute the training and opportunities I experienced here hugely to my success as an actress. With two of the country’s most exciting playwrights heralding these brand new productions, I encourage you to see these sensational pieces of quality theatre. It’s a chance for you to see the stars of tomorrow; I have no doubt they will go on to have a bright and long-lasting future.’

Other graduates of East 15 include Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot the Musical) and Ann Mitchell (Eastenders).

Anne Bonny and Mary Read runs at the Queen’s Theatre from 17 – 20 May and The Only Jew in England runs from 18 – 20 May. To reserve a seat call the Box Office on 01708 443333, visit in person at the theatre or online at:

http://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/show/play-1/

http://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/show/play-2/

(online reservations include a non-refundable £1 administration charge).

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