QEH Theatre is an integral part of Bristol’s famous Bluecoat School, Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital, and the home of the drama department. Distinguished by its ‘blue coats’, the school has existed since 1590 to provide for the education and welfare of boys. It was established after a Bristol merchant, John Carr, left provision for it in his will. The School's charter was granted by Queen Elizabeth I and was specifically charged with ‘the education of poor children and orphans’. This special responsibility is still maintained by the School’s emphasis on pastoral care and by the use of its endowment income to provide a large number of day and boarding assisted places for those whose parents are of limited means. The current building dates from 1847.