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.

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