Editor’s comment: Remembering the amazing work Bob Carlton did for Havering’s local theatre

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 January 2018

Queen's theatre's artistic director Bob Carlton is leaving after 17 years

Queen's theatre's artistic director Bob Carlton is leaving after 17 years


Editor’s comment: The Recorder has been delivering some sad news this week, in the wake of Bob Carlton’s death.

Mr Carlton was Artistic Director at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch for more than 15 years, and is widely credited with laying the foundations for it to become the cultural institute it is today.

Growing up in Havering, I was privileged to see a number of shows Bob helped bring to life – although I must admit I did not realise at the time who was responsible for bringing the creative vision to life.

And the quality of entertainment on offer in Havering is something that I am sure Bob would have been proud of in the years after he left Queen’s in 2014.

In this week’s entertainment section of our paper, you will find interviews with a soap star and a theatre director who is helping bring to life a hyper local story remembering one of the borough’s wartime heroes.

But it wasn’t just locally that Bob’s work found fame.

His most famous work is the jukebox musical Return to the Forbidden Planet, described by many as “Shakespeare’s forgotten rock and roll masterpiece” as it is a contemporary retelling of The Bard’s The Tempest.

Productions of the show have since toured internationally.

That, if you ask me, is one hell of a legacy when paired with the revival of local theatre that Havering has been lucky enough to enjoy in recent years on the back of Bob’s hard work.

On a more personal note, and in keeping with ideas of legacy and remembrance, I was unlucky enough to lose my mother on New Year’s Day.

A Havering resident of more than 25 years, as well as a former Coopers’ Coborn schoolgirl, she was one hell of a woman, and I hope readers do not find it crass of me to give her special mention in the paper she would pick up every Friday – purely to check I was still using correct grammar and punctuation.

Rest in peace, Mum.

Latest Romford Stories

45 minutes ago

Romford grasstrack racer Phil Ranson has bagged his second championship title in the space of a year.


Polo Field side lost by 84 runs at Buckhurst Hill last weekend


Two beloved historical societies in Havering that have been around for more than 50 years folded due to declining membership.

Yesterday, 19:00

Toby Howe Ground side beat Hadleigh by two-wickets last weekend

Yesterday, 18:30

A round-up of the latest matches involving Hornchurch Athletic teams

Yesterday, 18:00

A round-up of the latest matches involving Navestock CC teams, with some St Andrews CC news as well

Yesterday, 17:00

After producing consistent displays for much of the campaign, the new boys have struggled in August

Yesterday, 17:00

Curiosity Killed the Cat are just one of the highlights of the 40th Anniversary Havering Show this August Bank Holiday weekend.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now