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The China Masques - a Rehearsed Reading

Developed by Red Dragonfly Productions and The University of Sussex, this is a rehearsed reading of a new piece by Ross Ericson that puts into a dramatic context re-discovered work by John Davies and Ben Jonson.


With Queen Elizabeth getting older, and with no successor, Sir Robert Cecil is risking treason by secretly negotiating with the King of the Scots to take over the throne, but at this festive time, and with the arrival of a special visitor, he has hopes of at last opening up a route to China. Will he succeed in his desires, or will circumstance and the new King thwart his hopes? We shine a new light on Queen Elizabeth's chief minister and reveal him to be a sinophile, an avid collector of porcelain and even the Charles Henry Harrod of his day.


A mostly true tale of political intrigue, social change and one man's obsession with China and, as our story unfolds against the backdrop of the elaborate and luxurious celebrations of the Elizabethan and Jacobean Courts, we witness a collection of works by Davies and Jonson that have not been performed in public for over 400 years.



‘Beautifully realised, captivating piece of theatre. Don’t miss it.’

★★★★★ LondonTheatre1 on DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan


'Beautifully captures the majesty and beauty of the Han Dynasty era... A wonderful experience to explore the culture and traditions of ancient China through their own mythology, in a manner that will appeal to everyone.'

★★★★ British Theatre Guide on The Autumn of Han


'Red Dragonfly Productions has exceeded expectations'

★★★★ LiveTheatreUK on Taking Flight Festival 2017


'Full of ambition, politics and cultural tension'

★★★★ Adelaide Theatre Guide on The Empress and Me



Presented by: Red Dragonfly Productions

Twitter: @RDprod_theatre


The China Masques

Free Ticketed

Theatre/Rehearsed Reading


Brighton Fringe 2020

Tue 19 May @ 7:30pm


1 hour 15 min, no interval


Brighton Fringe 2020

FREE - Ticketed, please book a place online.


Age 12+

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