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Exhibition celebrates 60 years of the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 20:00 24 April 2013

This image is one of the theatre's earliest pantomimes. The image will be in the exhibition.

This image is one of the theatre's earliest pantomimes. The image will be in the exhibition.

Archant

The “rich and fascinating history” of the Queen’s Theatre is set to come alive in a touring exhibition.

The Queen's Players were part of the earlier life of the theatre. Find out more about them in the exhibition The Queen's Players were part of the earlier life of the theatre. Find out more about them in the exhibition

Called Now And Then, the exhibition celebrates 60 years of the theatre and is at the Havering Museum in High Street, Romford from now until the May 4.

The interactive exhibition will also go on a tour to a range of venues across the borough until October this year.

Irida Ntalla, exhibition co ordinator said: “The exhibition has something for everyone.

“It is very interactive, if you don’t like reading then there are lots of pictures because it is very visual.”

The exhibition takes visitors on a journey back to the start of the Queen’s Theatre in Station Lane during the early 1950’s.

The theatre first opened in 1953 in Station Lane in a building which had fallen into disuse having once been a cinema and storage facility.

It was funded by Hornchurch Urban District Council and was the first professional theatre building in the country to be managed by a district council.

The theatre soon outgrew its building and a new purpose built theatre was built in Billet Lane which officially opened on April 2 1975 by Sir Peter Hall, the director of the national theatre.

The exhibition also looks at the theatre’s repertory companies, the pantomimes and its numerous productions.

Irida said: “I think the theatre is unique because it is like a jewel in Hornchurch.

“The theatre also does a lot of work in educating young audiences and introducing them into the world of drama.”

The exhibition was put together by a team of volunteer researchers of all ages, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Havering Museum.

The volunteers helped to research into the early history of the theatre and its surrounding area by using local libraries and the theatre’s archive as well as interviewing people who worked with the theatre at the time.

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