Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is thrilled to be celebrating 30 years of nurturing and showcasing young talent through its dynamic youth theatre, QYouth this July.

To mark this brilliant achievement, the Theatre has specially commissioned James Watson and Andrew Linham to write a brand-new musical, Never Never, which will be performed on the Theatre’s main stage between 28 – 30 July 2022.

Set to be Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s biggest youth theatre production to date, the show will feature 180 young people aged 6 – 18, representing every ward of the borough. This world premiere continues the Theatre’s legacy of large scale youth and community productions, including most notably the Public Acts community partnerships with the National Theatre.

Never Never gives a 1960’s twist on a well-loved tale. This brand-new journey to Neverland promises all the fun of the fair, where life is one big game of adventure, and you never never want to grow up. But time is ticking for our radio pirates as an all-new generation battle for the beaches of Neverland in this summer’s awfully big musical adventure.

Powered by the summer of 1964, this groovy new musical, inspired by J.M. Barrie’s novel Peter Pan and Wendy, celebrates a heart-warming story of fun, friendship, and youth culture through a 60’s mash up of rock ‘n’ roll, soul and pop.

James Watson, Head of Learning and Participation, says “Never Never is a glorious celebration of youth culture and young people – a truly special way to mark the 30th anniversary of our youth theatre programme. We’ve had a brilliant time developing this work with members of all ages over the last few years, and to finally be sharing it with audiences on the main stage this summer is really special. This bold new musical takes a familiar story of never wanting to grow up and reimagines a Neverland at the heart of the vibrant music world of the 1960’s, complete with radio pirates and our take on the Mods and Rockers beach battles at Southend. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of creativity, self-expression and escapism for young people as they navigate the rapidly changing world around them and projects like this create life affirming experiences to be proud of.” 

Andrew Linham, Composer/Musical Director, says “We’re so excited to finally bring Never Never to the stage this July. It’s a big, brassy show exploring the music of the 50’s and 60’s with massive ensemble numbers showcasing the whole of the youth theatre (and what a talented bunch they are!). This is a toe tapping, heartfelt musical about finding yourself, telling a story that we all feel – after all, who actually wants to grow up?”

With choreography and movement direction by Sundeep Saini and supported by a team of local creatives including: Francesca Bailey, Shanise Garner, Tom Mangan, Amy Mellows and Jules Tipton.

This commission follows the success of previous high-quality large-scale collaborations with QYouth including Seussical the musical (2015), and previous commission, The Wind in the Willows – a musical adventure (2017).

Performances of Never Never are at 7pm on 28, 29 and 30 July, with an additional 2pm show on 30 July. Tickets for adults are £ 14.50, with tickets for under 18s just £9.50. They can be purchased here.

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