Bridgerton star Claudia Jessie is due to take to the stage in Hornchurch in a play written in response to the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

Known for her role as Eloise Bridgerton in the hit Netflix show, Claudia will be appearing in a special script-in-hand performance of the play, Maryland, at Queen’s Theatre on Sunday (May 1).

First staged at the Royal Court in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs in October 2021, Maryland’s playwright Lucy Kirkwood described the play as “simply a howl, a way of expressing what I feel about a culture of violence against women".

"But I am sharing it because I wonder if it might express a little of what other people feel about it too.”

Following an initial sell-out run at the Royal Court, Maryland has since been performed up and down the country.

The original script has also been offered for free to any theatre company or drama organisation planning on holding their own script-in-hand reading.

Producer Sally Oliver said she wanted the chorus at this Sunday’s performance to be reflective of local women from a range of ages, and so approached her old haunt at Havering Sixth Form College to see if any of the performance students would like to be involved.

She said: “They were all fantastic but we only had room for two more in the company. We are excited and grateful to have Tia and Olivia on board.”

Nadia Bhatti, marketing officer at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch, said: “We are delighted to welcome Claudia Jessie to Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

“It is lovely that Claudia, who is best-known for playing the character of Eloise Bridgerton, is bringing attention to Maryland.

“This new piece of writing covers hugely important subject matters that need to be aired. I’m sure that the lucky students of New City College, Ardleigh Green, are very excited to be involved.”

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Rape Crisis UK, with audience members also encouraged to make a donation when they book tickets.

The performance will begin at 7:30pm.

To book, either visit the theatre’s website or call 01708 443333.