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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."

" 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.

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