It’s a spring season of firsts from the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, with original dramas, a co-production and the directorial debut from newly appointed Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul.
The season commences with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, followed by two premieres: The Silver Gym, a comedy by Olivier Award-winning actress and writer Nichola McAuliffe, and The Romford Rose, a country musical by Chris Bond with music by Jo Collins.
Set at the end of the Second World War, Much Ado About Nothing is performed from 4th – 26th March 2016. This production marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and is the first play to be directed by Mr Rintoul since taking office in October. He has worked with scores of companies on a rich variety of productions across the UK and Europe, and is also an award-winning playwright. Mr Rintoul presents his debut season at the Queen’s next autumn.
Nichola McAuliffe’s instinct for character comes alive in The Silver Gym, playing from 15th April – 7th May 2016. Ms McAuliffe – who ITV viewers will recognise from Coronation Street and Surgical Spirit – also stars in this raucous comedy as ex-Army captain Stella Silver. Stella’s starting afresh in life and buys herself a gym – well, a building, with running water. Sometimes. But her regulars, mostly in the autumn of their years, don’t know their bench presses from bus passes, dumbbells from digestives – they just want a cuppa and a laugh! Can she whip it all into shape?
Filled with original tunes, The Romford Rose runs from 27th May – 18th June 2016, and is crafted with the Queen’s Hornchurch and Romford community in mind. Playwright Chris Bond draws from a long association with the Queen’s, where his hits include It’s a Fine Life! and Sweeney Todd. In this big-hearted country musical, it’s Rose’s 18th birthday and party time in Romford. Looks like that soldier boy Jack is tryin’ to tame this Romford Rose. But her Daddy don’t like it, Mama’s hittin’ the hooch… only Miss Dolly Parton understands. Will Rose ever make her own music and do what she wants?
Marking a new era of audience and artistic development through creative partnerships, the Queen’s Theatre is also excited to be working with selected theatre companies on several projects. Teaming up with the renowned Rifco, the Queen’s is co-producing the new musical Laila, a retelling of a great eastern love story, from 17 – 21 May 2016. The Queen’s is also delighted to be a partner venue of the National Theatre Connections Festival, celebrating talented, passionate young theatre-makers.