Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch announces its Summer and Autumn 2023 season

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is today announcing its next ambitious programme of produced work:

• Seven world premieres

• A new direction in digital, environmental and co-created work

• Two timely commissions from leading female playwrights

• A different partnership approach with Havering Changing creating and telling locally resonant stories with people at their heart

• A fresh commitment to community touring

The Autumn 2023 season opens with the world premiere of New Beginning, a Variable Matter and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch production, in association with Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, directed and designed by award-winning artist David Shearing. This pioneering new work will experiment with innovative uses of digital technology, be made with 100 young people and explore the devastating impacts of climate change.

Two timely commissions from leading female playwrights will premiere this Autumn. The Invincibles by Amanda Whittington will celebrate both the Lionesses’ epic adventure, as the play is rehearsed in real time while the World Cup takes place this summer; and the pioneering story of Sterling Ladies, or the Dagenham Invincibles, who played their heart out a century ago. Killing Jack by Sadie Hasler is a darkly thrilling imaginary plunge into Victorian Whitechapel that gives women the spotlight, whilst reflecting on why it still isn’t safe for women to walk alone at night. The Invincibles is directed by James Grieve and Killing Jack by Caroline Leslie.

In a new partnership with Havering Changing, the Creative People and Places programme developing culture in the least represented and most underserved parts of the borough, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will support the world premiere of Fiesta, written and directed by Joe Lichtenstein, made in partnership with the people of Orchard Village, the former housing estate for Ford Factory workers. Fiesta will mark the end of the Ford Fiesta, an icon of the British Motoring Industry. Earlier in the summer, Inked, is a bold new piece of theatre based on the true stories of Havering residents with tattoos or artists who have created them. Inked has been developed by director Lucy Pitman-Wallace and writer Paul Dodgson.

Inked will tour the community, and alongside this Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Havering Changing will partner with Spare Tyre to support the company’s world premiere production of On the Beach, a new interactive sensory experience for people living with dementia and their carers, which will tour community and care settings in Havering, following a week long residence at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. And, first seen in development as part of the Theatre’s Blueprint 2022 festival, A Different Class, by Kenny Emson, an exploration of mental health, masculinity and working class culture, is set against a Southend backdrop. Directed by Bethany Pitts, this world premiere staging will tour into community settings too.

In a season where football meets theatre, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch welcomes the New Wolsey Theatre’s production of gripping locker room drama The Red Lion, by Patrick Marber, directed by Douglas Rintoul.

And, hot on the heels of last year’s record breaking Sleeping Beauty, winner of the Off West End 2023 Best Pantomime award, the Theatre’s pantomime this Christmas, Dick Whittington by Andrew Pollard, original music and lyrics by Tom Self, will be directed by Vik Sivalingam and designed by Kate Lias.

Mathew Russell, Executive Director of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, says: ‘We’re thrilled to be announcing such an ambitious programme of premieres and productions. It’s great to be making theatre about important and timely issues in innovative ways with an array of brilliant artists. We’re keen to put extraordinary local stories at the heart of our work and to make and tell those stories with local people. And, of course, to help ensure that exciting work is seen by as many different audiences as possible, often in the least served places.’ 

Priority Booking for Queen’s Angels open Thu 17 – Sat 20 May. On sale: Jump the Q Season Ticket which includes The Invincibles, Red Lion and Killing Jack. Also, on sale: New Beginning (not included in Jump the Q). General sale for the aforementioned open from 11am Sat 20 May.

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