Novanda Productions

Bonny & Read

by Claire Novello © 2019

Play & Lyrics by Claire Novello
Music composed by Frederick Appleby

Directed by Kenneth Michaels


Bonny Read logo

Based on the trials of Captain Rackham and his pirate crew in Jamaica in 1720, history meets myth in this story of the remarkable, cross-dressing women pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and their fateful encounter with the infamous Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack. 

Bonny & Read depicts the circumstances that led these two women to disguise themselves as men, go out to sea, and join the notoriously male-dominated world of piracy.  This epic voyage of twists and turns is a story of exceptional female bravery, adventure, and survival against all odds.

Bonny & Read is a new musical play by Claire Novello, with music composed by Frederick Appleby, and directed by award-winning director Kenneth Michaels.

Brighton Festival logo

Brighton Festival Fringe

Venue: Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
Dyke Road Park
Dyke Road

Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022, 7pm


  • It works well, has a clever set designed by Victoria Maytom and Director Kenneth Michaels keeps the action moving briskly along.

William Russell, ReviewsGate

     This is an entertaining show with strong direction, acting, and gorgeous set…

     Sian Rowland, London Pub Theatres, 28 Nov, 2021

    • Frederick Appleby’s compositions are lively with the arrangements a delightful embellishment to the keyboard and wonderfully rendered by a flautist and clarinetist.
    • Director Kenneth Michaels commands a roisteringly good ship.
    • Hopefully, this rollickingly fun show will continue to be seen and, even if Bonny and Read’s stories remain something of a mystery, they will not remain in obscurity.

    Sandra Georgetti, 2021 British Theatre Guide, 4 Dec 2021


    by Paddy Gormley

    our cast

    Justine Marie Mead

    Justine Marie Mead

    Mary Read

    Eliza Shea

    Eliza Shea

    Anne Bonny

    Duncan Drury

    Duncan Drury

    Captain Rackham, alias Calico Jack

    Mark Nicolson

    Mark Nicolson


    Our CREW

    Kenneth Michaels


    Kenneth has enjoyed a long career encompassing acting, directing and teaching. He has worked in repertory theatre throughout the UK and has directed numerous productions on the London fringe, nationally in the commercial sector (Pinter to panto, workshops to Wilde) and for new writing initiatives. He has taught improvisation techniques and theatre history at several London drama schools and is a voiceover recording artist for government agencies. Kenneth works regularly in Europe: Germany, Belgium and Slovenia, and recently appeared in Funny Turns in the West End. His 2019 production of Othello in Germany received a touring classical theatre award.

    Edmund Sutton

    Lighting Design

    Victoria Maytom

    Set/Costume Designer

    Orsolya Nagy

    Social Media & Marketing

    Hester Blindell

    Stage Manager

    Terry Perkins

    Sound Designer

    Paul Vine


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