The China Masques
by John Davies and Ben Jonson, with additional text from Ross Ericson
Seeking collaborators & sponsors
A Red Dragonfly production,
in collaboration with University of Sussex.
Development Ongoing &
Seeking sponsors & collaborators*
1602. 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 of his housewarming party, and with the arrival of a special visitor from the East, he has hopes of at last opening up a route to China.
Will Cecil 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 Chinese porcelain and even the Charles Henry Harrod of his day.
A mostly true tale of political intrigue, social change and one Englishman'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.
*Red Dragonfly is currently looking for collaborators and sponsors to be involved in this large project, that will involve professional performers, schools and community groups to be held at UK heritage sites. If you are interest to find out more or be involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A sneak peek of The China Masques
Over the pandemic, Red Dragonfly produced a short documentary, under social-distanced and lockdown regulations, on our development of 'The China Masques', featuring interviews with Professor Matthew Dimmock and writer Ross Ericson, and scenes from the Chinese-themed plays written by Davis and Jonson in the 17th Century.
The trailer of this documentary is available here: