Read Not Dead was launched in 1995 and brings actors, audiences and scholars together to explore and celebrate the plays performed in London and on its stages before 1642. The ground-rules are simple. Actors are given a script on a Sunday morning and work with a director to get the play up on its feet - with entrances and exits, token costume and music if needed. They present it, script in hand, to an audience at 16:00. These are not intended to be polished productions. However, there is a shared spirit of adventure and excitement for actors and audiences who sense that they might be uncovering a hidden gem. Published anonymously in 1653 before later attribution to Ford, The Queen, or The Excellency of Her Sex, follows Alphonso, the leader of a failed rebellion against the Queen of Aragon, as he is condemned and sentenced to death. The Queen herself intercedes and learns that his hostility stems from a deep-rooted misogyny, and that he cannot bear the thought of being ruled by a woman. But the Queen, having fallen in love with the rebel at first sight, pardons and marries him. As she and her court struggle to persuade the new King from his bitter resentment of the fairer sex, Alphonso himself must contend with his evolving feelings for his wife before the two can be reconciled in blissful matrimony.Author John Ford.