A Passionate Englishman
Performed in 1997at the Hen and Chickens in Islington, A Passionate Englishman portrays the life of William Penn. Though famous as a Quaker and as the founder of Pennsylvania, Penn converted to the Quaker faith only in his 20s, and was in America for a mere four years. Penn's foundation of a place of asylum for the persecuted Quakers of 17th-century England has only too obvious contemporary parallels. Kate Glover surfaces the often-ignored fact that Penn and the diarist Samuel Pepys were acquainted, and were both incarcerated for a time in the Tower of London, accused of Jacobitism. It is this period of Penn's life that provides the setting for the play, which takes the form of a dialogue between Penn and Pepys. It explores Penn's life in a series of flashbacks, by turns dramatic, comic and affecting; in parallel, it charts how the relationship between Pepys and Penn develops.
The play was well received, both as drama and for the professionalism of its production:
"...a miniature West End spectacular in Islington."
"...constant attention to detail...head and shoulders above so many other fringe productions."
"...as a historian, Ms Glover discovered plenty of surprising facts about her subject."
The play was successfully performed later at Chigwell School (Penn's old school), produced by a member of the 6th form.