You are invited to the most enchanting pantomime of them all!
Join Cinderella on a magical adventure from rags to riches as her Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince.
There’s no more scrubbing for Cinders, she’s off to the ball and you’re coming too!
The whole family can cheer, boo, hiss and laugh at the wicked Ugly Sisters, silly Buttons, handsome Prince Charming, the evil Baroness and dashing Dandini.
Featuring popular songs by a range of artists from Adele to Elvis, spectacular sets and costumes, side-splitting slapstick and audience participation, this traditional pantomime will delight all ages!
Young Persons Groups 15+
Havering School groups of 15+: £10 per ticket + free teacher | leader ticket with every 15 child tickets.
Young Persons Groups (schools/registered organisations) of 15+: £11 per ticket + free teacher | leader ticket with every 15 child tickets.
★★★★★ ‘I actually think this was one of the best Pantos I have seen and really think it’s better than some of the ones with big headliner names featured in them. It had all the usual sparkle, laughter, and music you expect and want from a traditional Panto’ – Nicky at Netmums
★★★★★ ‘Rich feast of glitter and girl power’ – Romford Recorder
★★★★★ ‘A new standard has been set this year…absorbing and enjoyable from start to finish‘ – London Theatre 1
10am | 1pm | 2pm | 5pm | 6pm | 7pm
£12.50 – £29.00
140 minutes including interval
20 minute interval
Relaxed Performance Mon 2 Jan | 6pm
Dementia Friendly Performance Tue 10 Jan | 2pm
Sign Language Interpreted Performance Wed 11 Jan | 7pm
Audio Described Performance Thu 12 Jan | 1pm
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‘A West End standard production’
Musical Theatre Review
Aided by an engaging and convincing cast, director Douglas Rintoul finds the perfect mood and oodles of musical vitality to provide a humorous and endearingly entertaining show.
Written and directed by Stephan Elliott, the 1994 film 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' managed to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
That's hardly surprising since the film follows two drag queens who certainly have a penchant for lavish, if not decidedly oddball frocks.
And that gives ample permission for this musical stage version to go to town on the costumes - including some natty dresses largely made from what look like kitchen gloves.
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott adapted the film into a stage musical which first aired in its native Australia back in 2006 and found its way to London's West End in 2009, where it enjoyed a more than 2 year run.
Now it's at the Queen's Theatre in a production directed by its artistic director, Douglas Rintoul, who keeps the energy pulsing from the songs with a talented team of actor-musicians, three fine leading actors, and a community chorus to fill-in the crowd scenes.
Priscilla is the jukebox variety of musical where the songs and music are not custom-written for the show, but are drawn from popular songs that fit the storyline, or fall into a particular genre.
In this case, we find a treasure-trove of hugely well-known numbers, largely from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
There's musical variety aplenty including slow numbers, big buzzy ensemble songs and even a touch of country music if that takes your fancy - if not, there are plenty of other favourites in the song list, including the likes of Diane Warwick's 'I Say a Little Prayer'; Tina Turner's 'What's Love Got to Do with It'; Village People's 'Go West'; and Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive'.
There's good singing right across the company, with some powerful solos to savour as well, and the songs tumble from the production in rapid succession so there's hardly much space for the story, but sufficient to hold the show together successfully.
The basic plot sees Tom Giles' Tick organising a tour through the Australian desert accompanied by his drag queen friend Adam (Daniel Bailey) and the transgender Bernadette (Mark Inscoe) who has a brutally sharp tongue, but a sympathetic streak to match.
Their ultimate destination is Alice Springs where Tick's wife awaits with their small son.
The film was instrumental in bringing LGBT+ issues and lifestyle into the mainstream, and its success in helping to change attitudes throughout society means that the (packed) audience here were all familiar with the culture that the show depicts.
That includes the occasional risqué joke here and there - one of which took a little time to finally dawn on the audience, but found favour when the penny ultimately dropped.
Though Priscilla, Queen of the Desert still embodies an important warning of the continuing threat of ugly homophobia, overall it's a spirited, feelgood kind of show that can't avoid concluding with a near lethal dose of sentimentality.
That doesn't matter a jot, though, because this is not a show that warrants or deserves too much picky, critical scrutiny - the simple truth is that it is an enjoyable romp with a big heart, backed-up with hugely hummable songs to match.
And Douglas Rintoul, aided and abetted by an engaging and convincing cast, certainly finds the perfect mood and oodles of musical vitality to provide a humorous and endearingly entertaining show.
A wonderfully warm-hearted production makes the regional premiere of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert</ea show to see at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
“We dress up in women’s clothes and parade around mouthing the words to other people’s songs”
It’s easy to dismiss the jukebox musical as a lazy iteration of the form. And whilst there are shows that worthy of such a slight, there are others which deserve far better. Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott’s adaptation of Priscilla Queen of the Desert is one of those, a musical which has worked hard to integrate its music into its storytelling in interesting and different ways, allied with a book that is moving and funny and just a little fabulous. Directed by Douglas Rintoul for Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, this production marks the show’s regional professional premiere.
One of Rintoul’s innovations is to make this an actor-musician production, a decision that pays off handsomely here. There’s a wonderful sense of democracy about this ensemble, who subsume the singing parts of the Divas here, as everyone gets a moment (or three) to shine under the Australian sun. To name but a few, a burst of stunning vocals from Molly-Grace Cutler aka Keyboard 2/Jules, the raucous slide of Natasha Lewis’ trombone, the sure-fingered delicacy of Josh Tye’s acoustic guitar (at its best as the interval comes to a close).
And they provide an ideal backdrop, along with the use of a community chorus to bolster the various crowd scenes, to this ultimately rather simple and touching road movie of a plot. A gay man preparing to come to terms with being a father, a young performer reaching for the Kylie-soundtracked heavens, a transgender woman daring to dream of love. And respectively, Tom Giles’ Mitzi, Daniel Bailey’s Felicia and Mark Inscoe’s Bernadette (the show’s MVP) balance the emotional heart of their stories with a winning gregariousness.
Visually, there’s a bit of an issue as Joanna Scotcher’s design finds itself caught between trying to capture all the fabulousness of drag and dealing with the fact they don’t have a West End-sized budget. Some innovative solutions work, as in the stripped-back simplicity of the bus; others, as in some of the wigs and costumes, would have RuPaul saying ‘sashay away’ before they’d even opened their mouths. But such is the warmth of the performances, and the strength of the musicality here, that this production can’t help but slowly but surely win you over.
There Ought to be Clowns
There seem to be as many variations of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The Musicalas there have been productions over the years. I don’t just mean the decisions that need to be made about blocking, choreography, musical arrangements, and so on and so forth – the order of the musical numbers in this new regional production differs from the West End production that opened at the Palace Theatre in 2009, and therefore the order in which the narrative unfolds is different. As ever, it would be too much of a giveaway to start listing all the differences in terms of plot – and it would be an exercise in superfluity in any event: the end result is the same, a feel-good finish sending the audience out on a positive and uplifting note.
Immediately noticeable is the use of actors as musicians; only the drummer, Greg Pringle, remains off-stage throughout. A catwalk-style extension to the stage juts out several rows into the audience (as it did, for instance, in the West End production of Sunny Afternoon), and like many shows, it took a while to get going but once it hit its stride, there was no stopping the show from incrementally getting more entertaining and absorbing as it went along.
This upward trajectory extends across various aspects of the production, from singing vocals to costumes. By the time Tick (Tom Giles), who also goes by Mitzi (don’t ask), belts out ‘MacArthur Park’, the show had been almost crying out for a big, all-out showstopper, and the audience’s patience is sufficiently rewarded. Tick and his fellow drag queens, Bernadette (Mark Inscoe, the production’s stand-out performer) and Felicia (Daniel Bailey) reserve their most spectacular outfits for their final outing – there’s no anti-climax here. The show builds to a crescendo. Although conventional, the trio’s journey, both physically on a bus bought by Felicia from Sydney to Alice Springs (a journey of over 1,700 miles), and proverbially as they encounter various forms of abuse, is not.
The big ensemble numbers are well supplemented by a ‘community chorus’, comprised of (in the order listed in the programme) Alice Bacon, Annemarie Billings, Colin Daly, Sophie Gilkes-Tarsey, Martin Hart, Ellie Harvey, Ellie Hutley, Vernon Keeble-Watson, Kerry Lawson, Mandy Lyes, Chrissie Mallett, Terence Mustoo, Hayley Sanderson, David Savage, Thomas Stansfield, Harleigh Stenning, Marie Watson, Adam Wheeler, Aiesha Wilson – the supernumeraries make, for instance, a bar look busy and bustling indeed.
Benji (Frankie Day on press night: the role is shared with Alfie Gostling and Joshua Neal) drew audible ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the audience: the prepubescent son of Tick and his wife Marion (Clara Darcy) shows a level-headed temperament beyond his tender years. Peppered throughout the show are some good punchlines, though some are closer to the mark than ever in these days of ever-increasing acceptance and welcome of all people of all orientations, eccentricities and personal tastes. One of the more quotable pithy lines comes from Miss Understanding (Lemuel Knights). After greeting latecomers, the emcee adds, “Can I get you anything? Like, a watch?”.
In places, the sound was not quite balanced, though the production does well to get (spoiler alert) a full-size single-decker bus on stage, with enough space for it to move around. Miracle Chance’s Cynthia comes close to stealing the show – those familiar with the motion picture on which this musical is based may or may not be pleased to learn the ping-pong cabaret routine is toned down just a tad. The storyline may not be much to write home about, but undoubtedly there is much to be enjoyed in the songs sung to a high standard, and the good-natured atmosphere this fun and flirtatious production provides.
London Theatre 1
Etisyai was last seen playing the role of Gary Coleman in the UK tour of Avenue Q and is delighted to be making her panto debut at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch.
Other theatre: Credits includes Choices (Kids Company/Criterion Theatre), Hairspray (Aberyswyth Arts Centre), the Award-winning SOLD (Edinburgh Festival).
Film and television: Includes the BAFTA Award-nominated short film Good Night (Muriel D'Ansembourg), The Collector (Andrew Rainnie).
Radio: Includes: Brighton Rock (Synchronicity).
Theatre: Credits include Peter Pan In Scarlet (New Vic Theatre and Oxford Playhouse); Corbyn The Musical – The Motorcycle Diaries (Waterloo East Theatre); The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion (National Theatre Wales); The Life of Galileo, Promises and Lies and The BFG (Birmingham Rep); The Threepenny Opera (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nottingham Playhouse/Birmingham Rep/New Wolsey/Graeae); Our House – The Madness Musical (UK tour); Dick Whittington & His Cat (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors, Rope and Dear Brutus (Pitlochry Festival Theatre); The Firework Maker's Daughter (Bloomsbury Theatre, London); The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre); The Jungle Book (UK tour); The Vagina Monologues (Royal Festival Hall); Britain's Got Bhangra (Theatre Royal Stratford East, West Yorkshire Playhouse, UK tour); Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (UK tour); South Pacific (UK tour); Mark Ravenhill's Dick Whittington (Barbican); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); Charmin' (Greenwich Theatre, Soho Theatre and National Theatre Studio); HMS Pinafore (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park); 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Baiju Bawra (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse); Emancipation Day (Soho Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East); Paul – A Strange Kind Of Hero (Brighton Fringe); Britten’s Opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Hand Productions); Aladdin (Courtyard Theatre, Hereford). Television and film: EastEnders (BBC), Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Dir. Tim Burton, Warner Bros), Deadline (Dir. Christian Wise, Brighton Film). Recording: LisGoa (Ghude Records), The Rocky Horror Show (Hammersmith Palais). Training: PGDip – Performance (LSMT), BA (Hons) Music (Anglia University, Cambridge). Natasha has also toured the world extensively as a soprano soloist and trombonist and is delighted to be joining the Cinderella gang this Christmas!
West End: Rusty Charlie, Guys and Dolls (Savoy Theatre, transfer to Phoenix Theatre); Charles Zidler, Paris Thunder (workshop, Charing Cross Theatre).
Other theatre: Includes Rory, Sex and the Suburbs (Ken Alexander, UK tour); Louis Harvey in The Ladykillers and Daffydd in A Chorus of Disapproval (both Richard Baron), Stanley in Hello Dolly! And Henry in Present Laughter (both John Durnin), Landlord in Two (Ken Alexander), all Pitlochry Festival Theatre; Steve, Liar Liar (Blanche McIntyre, Unicorn); The Boss/Carlson, Of Mice and Men (Douglas Rintoul) and Stanley Winterburn, The Great Big Radio Show (Angela Hardcastle), both Watermill Newbury; The Man, And the Rain Falls Down (David Harradine, tour/Young Vic, Fevered Sleep); Benny Southstreet, Guys and Dolls (Mitch Sebastian, Kilworth House); Terry The Twister, All the Fun of the Fair (Nikolai Foster, Churchill Bromley/national tour); Will Scarlett in Robin Hood, Simple Simon in Jack and the Beanstalk, Potty Pierre in Beauty and the Beast (Chris Jordan, Eastbourne Theatres); Frank, Sunshine on Leith (James Brining, original cast - Dundee Rep - TMA Award for Best New Musical); Frank, Have a Nice Life (Connor Mitchell, Union); Plebeian/Cassius’ Soldier, Julius Caesar (Deborah Warner, Barbican); Dick Wilkins, Scrooge (Bob Thompson, national tour); Bruce Forsythe/Husband 4/Taxman, Spend Spend Spend (Jeremy Sams, national tour); Buggins, Half a Sixpence (Jude Kelly, West Yorkshire Playhouse); Scarecrow, The Wizard of Oz (Dundee Rep); Orlick/Bentley, Great Expectations (Fiona Laird, national tour).
Film and television: Carl was very proud to be in the film of London Road and has also starred in a couple of other films called The Drop and Full Firearms. He has also worked extensively in the UK and abroad for commercials that include campaigns for Nissan, Royal Mail, Duracell, Lloyds Pharmacy, Co-op, McCain Oven Chips, Heinz Salad Cream and a Sony PlayStation game called BUZZ.
Training: Guildford School of Acting.
Theatre: Credits include End of the Rainbow (UK tour produced by Paul Taylor-Mill and The Mercury Theatre, Colchester); A Little Night Music, Home & Beauty and The Lady in the Van (Pitlochry Festival Theatre); Free As Air (Finborough Theatre, London); Iolanthe (The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company at The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival and on UK tour); The Dark Hour (by Charlie Piper with Ensemble 360 for Music in the Round, The Sheffield Crucible); Housewife 49 (The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere); Oliver Twist (TNT Theatre, European tour); Promise (adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters at The Rosemary Branch Theatre, London); The Hired Man (New Perspectives Theatre Company on UK tour and in New York at The Brits Off-Broadway Festival); The Magic Flute (The Bikeshed Theatre, Exeter); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (The New Wolsey in Ipswich); The Winter King (Derby Playhouse); Flahooley (as part of The Lost Musicals project at Sadler’s Wells) and Housewives’ Choice (Forest Forge and Oxfordshire Theatre Company). He has appeared in pantomime at The Mercury Theatre Colchester, The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage and at The Princes Hall in Aldershot.
Other work: Simon has sung with The Carl Rosa Opera Company, Opera Holland Park, The Thursford Christmas Spectacular, Opera Danube, The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and on BBC Songs of Praise.
Training: The Royal Academy of Music, supported by the Ruby and Will George Trust.
At the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Mr Hopkins, Made in Dagenham.
Other theatre: Recent credits include Othello (Stafford Gatehouse), White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Calamity Jane (Watermill and UK tour), The Perfect City (UK tour), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pericles, The Lonesome West, Three Sisters, The Winter’s Tale (BOVTS), Coram Boy (Pleasance Islington), Personals (Bridewell).
Film: Astoria (Young Vic/ Guardian Shorts, 2016), Host Familie (2013), Brief Intermission (2013).
Training: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and read German and Spanish at Bristol University.
Georgina is delighted to be returning to the Queen’s Theatre as a baddie for Panto this Christmas.
At the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Ann Droid, Return to the Forbidden Planet; Julia, Lend Me a Tenor; Georgie, Godspell; Myrtle Wilson, The Great Gatsby; Ruth, Two and Two Make Sex; Antonia, Can`t Pay? Won`t Pay! ; Peep-Bo, Hot Mikado; Belinda, Noises Off; Maria, Twelfth Night; Courtesan, The Comedy of Errors; Jack Trott, Jack and The Beanstalk; Steph, Perfect Pitch; Villager/Rat, Dick Whittington and his Kool Kool Cat; Jammes, The Phantom of the Opera (Ken Hill version); Angela, Abigail`s Party; Laura, From a Jack to a King.
Other theatre: Gertrude, Roll Over Beethoven, Pal Joey (Coventry Belgrade); Macbyrd, The Comedy of Babi Babbett, Harlequin Goes to the Moon, Who saw Margory Daw?, Gentle Harry’s Farm, Ik’r’Us Inc (Rude Mechanical Theatre Company);The Hot Mikado (Watermill and national tour); Rum Ba Ba and Mustafa Maltezer, Ali Ba Ba and the Forty Thieves (Theatre Royal Margate); Salad Days (Greenwich); Dick Whittington, Aladdin, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sugar (Theatre Clwyd); Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, The Good Companions, A Mad World My Masters, Pal Joey (New Wolsey); Dick Whittington and his Scally Cat, Rockin Robin and the Babes from Halewood (Liverpool Everyman); Don Giovanni, Country, Good Golly Miss Molly, Sleeping Beauty (New Victoria, Stoke); Dinner with Sol (White Bear); Heart and Soul (Chester Gateway); In the Midnight Hour (York Theatre Royal); Godspell (Buxton Opera House); Young Apollo (Thorndike, Leatherhead). Georgina has toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe and the Far East. Tours include The Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Company, Chicago, Some Like it Hot, Great Balls of
Fire, The Great Gatsby, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Leader of the Pack.
Television: Includes Katie in Cat’s Eyes (BBC2).
Training: Webber Douglas Academy.
At the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Eddie O’Grady, Made in Dagenham.
West End: Alternate Deco, u/s Outspan and Derek, The Commitments (Palace).
Other theatre: Recent credits include Fairy and u/s Bottom and Theseus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC); March Hare/Caterpillar, Alice in Wonderland and Tommy Bostock, Mickey Salberg (Watermill); Tom Fuller, Miss Nightingale (UK tour); Barry Townsend, Soulman (Stephen Joseph); Robin Hood, Robin Hood (New Wolsey); First cover Freddie/ Ensemble, Chess (UK tour and Toronto); Walk-in cover Freddie, Chess (Aberystwyth Arts Centre); The Pirate King, Pirates of Penzance (Rose Theatre, Kingston); Laertes, Hamlet Travestie (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds); Aladdin, Aladdin (New Wolsey); Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (Oxford Shakespeare Company); Ali Baba, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Margate Theatre Royal); Jack, Jack and the Beanstalk (Gatehouse, Stafford); Little Show of Musicals (Motherwell Civic); Dick, Dick Whittington (Hereford Courtyard Theatre); I Love you, you’re perfect, now sing! (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Malcolm, Macbeth and Romeo, Romeo and Juliet (no.1 national tour with Shakespeare 4 Kidz); Simon, Sleeping Beauty (Theatr Clywd).
Film: Credits include The Bout, Sweet Children, A Really Big Adventure, Perspective and Call Me a Cabbie (ITV).
Training: Rose Bruford.
Theatre: Credits include Peter Pan in Scarlet (Oxford Playhouse/New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Robin Hood & Marian, The Borrowers and Dracula (New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Sunset Five (Edinburgh Festival, Pleasance Theatre & Greenwich, DugOut Theatre Co); Juno and the Paycock (Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Playhouse) and The Revenger’s Tragedy (Gentleman Jack Theatre). Final shows whilst training were: London Road, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Training: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Joshua is a composer and director based in Huddersfield where he is artistic director of Tiny Window Theatre Company. Recent composition and musical director credits include: Moby Dick (Theatre Mill), The Beggars of York (York Theatre Royal), Live Bolero (Dance4/Nottingham Playhouse), Home Sweet Home (Freedom Studios and national tour), Othello (The Met, Bury), Lysistrata (Lakeside Arts Centre) and The Austerlitz Scroll (Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial Centre).
As a youth theatre practitioner, Josh has coached companies of young people through some 22 musicals, including composer/musical director credits on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Into the Woods, Kiss Me, Kate, The Snow Queen and Oliver!. Joshua has written two published musicals, Make Do and Mend and Face It: the musical and an opera, The Man and Men.
At the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Sarah played in the band for last year’s pantomime Aladdin. She is delighted to be back in Hornchurch for Cinderella.
Other theatre: She made her professional debut in 2 Tone musical Three-Minute Heroes at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Work includes DugOut Theatre's The Sunset Five at Edinburgh and at London’s Pleasance Theatre.
Music: Sarah also plays rhythm guitar for Coventry-based Ska band Ruder Than U and drums for all-female, 1950s rock and roll band The Daisy Chains.
Training: Sarah graduated from Rose Bruford's Actor Musicianship course in September 2014.
Al Twist hails from Hornchurch and has been a professional bassist for over 20 years. He has performed with many artists and countless bands - from cabaret acts on cruise ships to film recording sessions. As a bass player, Twist is here to make the music feel good! He is delighted to be back home at the Queen’s Theatre.
At the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch: Aladdin, Roll Over Beethoven, Hot Stuff.
Other theatre: Credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Brentwood Theatre); Who Saw Marjory Daw?, Harlequin Goes to the Moon and Macbyrd (The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company); Our House The Musical (New Wolsey, UK tour); Seussical The Musical (Chelsea Theatre London); Roll Over Beethoven (Belgrade Theatre Coventry).
|Written by||Andrew Pollard|
|Musical Director||Joshua Goodman|
|Lighting Designer||Sherry Coenen|