Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch have announced today that they will be streaming their new epic play that tells the story of five lives colliding on a single day along the banks of the river Thames, free to view.
Tales from the Thames is currently touring to sold out venues across South Essex where theatre is rarely, if ever, staged. From a village hall in West Tilbury to a historic pub on Canvey Island, a Heritage Barn in the Wat Tyler Country Park to a Leisure Centre in Pitsea, Tales from the Thames is charting its way along the Estuary, visiting ten diverse, intimate community locations over 13 performances.
The online premiere will take place on Monday 12 July 2021 at 7.30pm and will then be available for one week on the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch YouTube channel and via their website.
Tales from the Thames is the first of a new series of exciting Creative Estuary Co-commissions – the initiative which aims to showcase 60 miles of the North Kent and South Essex region as one of the UK’s most dynamic and creative areas in the whole of the UK – working on this occasion with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch (QTH).
Written by QTH Associate Artist Rebecca Brewer and playwright Vickie Donoghue, both from Thurrock, with Southend-based songwriter M G Boulter, Tales from the Thames begins as the sun rises over the river, and everything’s coming to life. The soundtrack of the Estuary is heard, from the dawn chorus of birds to engines starting, front doors closing and metal containers being loading onto waiting ships; across South Essex journeys are about to be made.
But today is different…
After Rebecca, Vickie and M G had written the script and music, the job of creating the show was undertaken by Rebecca as co-director, working alongside QTH’s Artistic Director, Douglas Rintoul. The set and costumes were designed by Southend’s Rachel Dingle with choreography by Nikki Watson, from Gray’s CoDa Dance Company. Southend – on – Sea based Harry Fitzpatrick is Assistant Director, while Michael Bennett, Romford, created the sound design and Josh Mead, Upminster, designed the lighting for the show. M G Boulter is Musical Director.
The cast includes Colchester’s Tim Freeman (A View from the Bridge, Protocol Productions), Southend-on-Sea’s Mia Jerome (Lost Lending Library, Punchdrunk), Chafford Hundred’s Tom Mangan is the co-artistic director of multi-award winning theatre company Rendered Retina and Southend-on-Sea’s Lisa Wright (Sunny Afternoon, UK Tour).
Featuring live music and songs by M G Boulter – whose new album Clifftown, has contributions from musicians in bands such as Bellowhead and Spiritualized – this newly commissioned piece is deeply inspired by the Essex Thames Estuary and is made for and by the people who live and work alongside it.
When audiences were asked their opinions about the show, responses included “Enlightened and entertained”, “Funny, engaging and awesome”, “Different, amusing and relevant”, “Lively, interesting and funny”.
Tracey Luck, Chief Officer and Co-founder of St Stephen’s Community Trust said “Monday was great! Everyone we spoke to really enjoyed the show – lots of positive feedback about how the show lifted spirits after such a stressful year. Well done to you all.”
Emma Wilcox, Creative Estuary Project Director says: “I was lucky enough to see the performance in Pitsea and I’m delighted that now even more people will now be able to experience the show.”
For more information about the production, visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/show/tales-from-the-thames