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Homemade thought-provoking show kicks off Queen’s Theatre Outer Limits festival

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 August 2016

Romford playwright Dan Murphy will open a festival in Havering with a performance of his play Skinny Legs. Picture:Arnaud Stephenson

Romford playwright Dan Murphy will open a festival in Havering with a performance of his play Skinny Legs. Picture:Arnaud Stephenson

Archant

The thought-provoking work of a young playwright will open a festival of fresh and innovative plays in Havering.

The six-month festival Outer Limits will feature a series of original plays and performances starting next week and running until February at Queen’s Theatre, Billet lane, Hornchurch.

Playwright Dan Murphy, 30, who was born and bred in Gidea Park, will open the festival with a free performance of his play Skinny Legs.

This is the story of 11-year-old Michael, who likes dance routines and watches Top Model on TV and one day decides to wear a skirt to school.

Set in Romford, the heartfelt and hilarious drama also explores more serious themes around masculinity, sexuality and gender in a family with traditional ideas about male pride.

The cast of Made in Dagenham will take to the stage for the play’s premiere.

“People will go along with the characters but the aim is also to make them think,” said Dan.

“The dad, the older and the younger brother, they are all going through their own crisis – thinking about their own masculinity and what it means to be a man. This is a topic that is discussed more and more and I am excited to see what people think,” he added.

Dan, who did his first work experience at Queen’s Theatre aged 14, attended Step by Step stage school at the Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch.

His documentary play Carry on Jaywick will also be performed during the festival on October 26.

Believed to be one of Britain’s most deprived area, Jaywick, Essex, was once a seaside gem.

Dan went to the town to record interviews with its residents and he showcases its characters in a unique performance and a “completely different way of doing theatre”.

Outer Limits festival will feature a variety of plays, from heart-warming to hard-hitting shows, family entertainment to theatre aimed at audiences affected by dementia.

Skinny Legs will be performed at Queen’s Theatre on Saturday September 3 at 2pm for free.

To see the festival’s full programme, visit queens-theatre.co.uk and call 01708 443333 to book tickets.

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