Following 2018’s highly successful first year; the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Take Part Festival is back, showcasing fantastic work performed and presented by young local talent from Sunday 14 April to Friday 19 April. This includes the Theatre’s own youth theatre and dance groups as well as brilliant school and community groups. This year’s Take Part Festival is kindly sponsored by L&Q Barking Riverside, a brand new town in East London.

Last year’s Take Part Festival comprised of three participation events over five nights and was hosted by 21 youth companies (including 7 of the Theatre’s own groups) that presented 29 performances, featuring 349 young people. The festival attracted an audience of 1,035 people!

Kick-starting this year’s six day festival is the Queen’s Theatre’s annual dance showcase First Feat on Sunday 14 April at 7pm. Hosted by dance artist Tyrone Isaac-Stuart, the evening celebrates the creative and diversity of young dancers in East London and Essex. Tickets are £7.50.   

From Monday 15 April to Wednesday 17 April at 7pm, the Queen’s Theatre will host six youth companies presenting brand new work as part of NT Connections Festival 2019. The NT Connections festival is a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Each year, the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the most exciting emerging playwrights with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.  On Monday 15 April audiences will be able to enjoy two dramatic performances from Anglo European School, who will be performing The Sad Club by Luke Barnes and music by Adam Pleeth, and Class by Ben Bailey Smith & Lajaune Lincoln, presented by Nu.Dynamic Theatre Company.  The festival continues with unique performances from Ormiston Rivers Academy with Ageless by Benjamin Kuffuor, and Rob Drummond’s Flesh, performed by Rainham Mark Grammar School on Tuesday 16 April. Concluding the NT Connections Festival is another dynamic take of The Sad Club presented by Store Room Youth Theatre, and the Queen’s Theatre’s Youth Company perform the thought-provoking Chaos by Laura Lomas. Tickets for all six performances are £6.

Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April from 7pm sees two jam-packed evenings of vibrant, original youth theatre exploring the themes of home, journeys and belonging, with X-Roads, the QYouth One Act Play Festival. Over 160 young performers aged between 6 and 18 will be presenting a collection of scripted and devised performances, collated and directed by the Theatre’s team of tutors. Tickets are £10.

James Watson, Head of Learning & Participation, at the Queen’s Theatre says, ‘Growing on last year’s success, the Take Part Festival is a celebration of young local talent, featuring performers aged 6-18. We are immensely proud of the young people we work with and of the visiting groups who are bringing work to share with us. This platform allows young people the opportunity to share their authentic voice, to make bold decisions, and explore their curiosity for the world they experience. I am excited to witness this year’s thrilling offering of dance and drama.’

For more information about Take Part Festival and tickets call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk

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