The Offies (Off West End Theatre Awards) today announced three nominations for two Blueprint Festival productions at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, The Empty Chair and In This Smoking Chaos. Assessors have nominated Robert Pickavance for Best Performance in an IDEA Production, for his role in the The Empty Chair, produced and commissioned by the Theatre for its first ever Blueprint Festival of new ideas. The production is also nominated for Best Design in an IDEA Production - Set. Set in a secret location inside the theatre and shrouded in secrecy to preserve an element of surprise for future life, The Empty Chair is an intimate dramatic experience with huge themes for an audience of two, performed by Pickavance with live musical accompaniment by Melanie Pappenheim. The two performers co-devised the work with director Joe Lichtenstein. Thirty-minute performances of The Empty Chair took place at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch for six performances a day, 12-17 September. Also nominated in the Best Design in an IDEA Production - Set & Lighting are Laura Ann Price and Stephen Pemble for In This Smoking Chaos. The design-led production is dominated by a revolving five-metre tall cube on the main stage of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Projections and bold lighting illuminate the cube, which reveals different facades and interiors of the constantly shifting scenery as it turns. A soundtrack of high-octane contemporary music sets the emotional tone of the raw drama for two performers that is part theatre, part dance, part cinema. In This Smoking Chaos continues as part of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Blueprint Festival until 24 September. The Offies finalists will be announced in January 2023. Winners will be revealed at the award ceremony after that, date to be announced. The annual awards known as The Offies launched in 2010 to celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London, outside the West End. For more information about The Offies and for the full list of finalists visit offies.london The Blueprint Festival opened on 12 September and runs until 24 September. The programme includes 12 mostly new works of non-traditional forms of theatre performed in and around the recently Grade II-listed building. From the basement to the roof and the carpark, as well as the auditorium and foyer. There are immersive and devised pieces, staged play readings, a dramatic design-led production on a revolving cube set of 31 scenes in 31 minutes, Shakespeare on film and digital and musical innovation. For more information about the Blueprint Festival click here.