Queen’s Theatre Announces Spring Season 2020

  • Macbeth, co-production of a Shakespeare classic with Derby Theatre, followed by a national tour
  • World premiere of Maggie May by award winning theatre, TV and radio writer Frances Poet, co-produced with Leeds Playhouse
  • World premiere of a brand new musical by Douglas Rintoul, Love Letters, celebrating the very best of Essex, followed by a national tour

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has today announced its Spring 2020 season, which will include a revival of Shakespeare’s bloodiest thriller, Macbeth. The revival continues the Theatre’s tradition of quality, classic drama and will be directed by Douglas Rintoul, following his acclaimed productions of Much Ado About Nothing and UK tour of The Crucible. Most recently, Douglas has directed this Summer’s highlight musical adaptation of As You Like It; a European premiere in partnership with the National Theatre. This co-production with Derby Theatre follows successful collaborations on Abigail’s Party, Abi and One Man, Two Guvnors. The show will then go on a national tour, with the Theatre making its first visit to Perth Theatre, and returning to long-term partner New Wolsey Theatre. The production is in response to the feedback from a ‘Learning Lounge’, where local teachers made suggestions about which plays on the secondary school curriculum they would like to see performed. After the huge success of Spring 2019’s production of DNA by Dennis Kelly, which was attended by 39 schools coming from as far as Leeds, Macbeth has already secured thousands of bookings from 23 schools.

The Theatre teams up with Leeds Playhouse for the very first time to produce the world premiere of Maggie May. This heart-warming drama by award-winning theatre, TV and radio writer Frances Poet is a warm, humorous and uplifting story, infused with familiar music, all about enduring love.

 Finally, a brand new musical written and directed by Douglas Rintoul, Love Letters, tells the story of an unposted love letter meant to be sent between a passionate young couple‎ dating, only to be delivered many years later. With a raft of brilliant songs from Essex’s very best‎, with hits ranging from the 60s to today, this funny and popular working class love story promises to be an uplifting night out for everyone proudly calling Essex their home. The production marks the next step in the Theatre’s Essex On Stage programme, going on to tour to Towngate Theatre in Basildon and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.

Essex on Stage is an ambitious new two year programme led by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, championing positive notions of Essex, celebrating theatre made by working class people and raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex and Outer East London. It has been made possible by the generous support of The Clothworkers’ Foundation. Previous productions in the first year of the programme include the regional premiere of David Eldridge’s In Basildon, the world premiere of Sadie Hasler’s Stiletto Beach, commissioned by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, and the homecoming revival of Luke Norris’ So Here We Are. The programme has also included Outer Limits Southend in October 2019 – a weekend festival of scratch theatre and creative networking in venues across Southend – and Essex On Stage play-readings – a day of play-readings from local up and coming writers – in March 2019.

In August 2019 Arts Council England announced an investment of £1 million for the borough of Havering as part of the Creative People and Places programme. Havering Changing is a partnership of 8 local organisations that will seek radical new ideas to engage local communities in arts and culture, support local decision makers and share learnings, through the working themes of ‘On Your Doorstep’, ‘In the Know’ and ‘Communities Celebrating’. The project is being led by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch working with Clarion Futures (the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group), Havering Colleges, Havering Interfaith Forum, Havering Volunteer Centre, Havering Youth Services and myplace, Rainham Association for Village Events (R.A.V.E.), and The Mercury Shopping Centre. It will target communities in Harold Hill, Romford, Rainham, and Orchard Village.

The season launch was delivered from the Theatre’s brand new QLearning Space, opening today, 24 October. This new space was created as part of the QNew project; a renovation of the Theatre’s iconic building for artists, participants and audiences alike. The QLearning Space is a new and energising dedicated space for the Theatre’s expanding range of learning and participatory work with young people and the local community, situated in the heart of the theatre and easily accessible to everyone. Further QNew developments include a new LED lighting system in the auditorium and foyer, which will help towards a 70% reduction in energy, and renovation of the old education room into the QArtist Space. This space will be dedicated to developing new theatre, and will be available to artists throughout the year for research and development, readings and sharings. This is an important step in increasing the support the Theatre can offer to emerging theatre companies and local talent and the ambitions recognised in the Outer Limits programme.

The QNew project has been made possible by contributions from Arts Council England, London Borough of Havering, Veolia Maintenance Trust, Ian McKellen On Stage, The Theatre Trust, Equity Charitable Trust, Tesco Bags of Help, McDonalds Romford, Fowler, Smith & Jones, Rotary Club of Brentwood á Becket and money raised from the QNew Transformation Fee.

For more information about the Theatre visit queens-theatre.co.uk