Queen’s Theatre’s family Christmas show set to transform Rainham Hall

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 November 2017

Twas the night before christmas

Twas the night before christmas


A Christmas treat for all the family to enjoy is set to transform one of the borough’s best beloved heritage sites this December.

The Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, has teamed up with the Rainham Hall Trust to bring youngsters a real Christmas cracker with an immersive performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the historic Rainham Broadway venue.

Parents and children will join in on the countdown to the magical day of the year as they help a Christmas-crazed seven-year-old boy turn his bedroom into the most Christmassy in the whole wide world.

Local actor, Samuel Ward-Smith, will be putting on a heart-warming performance of the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore.

Youngsters will see Samuel, a former Queen’s Theatre member and apprentice, perform the story about a young boy who meets Father Christmas for the first time and longs to see him again.

Children from as young as three and as old as seven can listen out for elf bells while the boy looks for a new toy in his patchwork quilt advent calendar in The Queen’s Theatre’s take on the poem, written and directed by artistic director Douglas Rintoul.

A Theatre spokeswoman said: “This unique experience will get everyone, young and old, peering a little further into the sky this Christmas Eve.

“Parents wanting to make the festive season even more magical for their little ones this year will not want to miss ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The production is inspired by nostalgia for the festive celebrations held during the 1940s, and coincides with Rainham Hall’s Remembering the Day Nursery exhibition, which marks the time when the hall was a state-run wartime nursery for local children from 1943 to 1954.

Rainham Hall, run by the National Trust, is a Grade II listed building built in 1729.

The show takes place from December 6 to December 23, with shows at 11.30am and 1.30pm, with an extra helping at 3.30pm on weekends in the building’s historic hayloft.

Tickets are £7.50 for weekday shows and £10 on weekends and can be booked on 01708 443333 or online at

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