Spooky but moving story of Haunting Julia to be performed at Queen’s Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:07 30 October 2018

Clive Llewellyn, Sam Cox and Matthew Spencer in Haunting Julia. Picture: Mark Sepple

Clive Llewellyn, Sam Cox and Matthew Spencer in Haunting Julia. Picture: Mark Sepple

Mark Sepple

Not looking forward to saying goodbye to Halloween?

Matthew Spencer, Sam Cox and Clive Llewellyn in Haunting Julia. Picture: Mark SeppleMatthew Spencer, Sam Cox and Clive Llewellyn in Haunting Julia. Picture: Mark Sepple

Well you’re just in luck as a production of Haunting Julia has made its way to Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, to keep the spooky spirit alive and give you a story about grief, ribboned with some spooky and frightful moments that are bound to make you jump.

Actor Matthew Spencer, who stars in the play as Andy, said: “It [Queen’s Theatre] is a wonderful theatre to work at and has been named as the most welcoming theatre for the third year.

“It really is a lovely place to come back to so couldn’t wait to do another show here.”

Haunting Julia, a 90s play written by Alan Ayckbourn, tells the story of Julia Lukin, a 19-year-old musical prodigy – nicknamed ‘Little Miss Mozart’ - who started composing symphonies at eight.

But everything stopped as her body was found mysteriously in a dingy attic.

Twelve years on and her father Joe - actor Sam Cox - has never come to terms with her death but is hoping to get more answers from psychic Ken Chase, played by Clive Llewellyn, and Julia’s boyfriend, now in his 30s, played by Matthew.

The entire play takes place in the Julia Lukin Music Centre, an uneasy mixture between a public music facility and a shrine from Joe to his daughter.

The room was Julia’s as a student but now with a walkway installed for public viewing.

Olivier and Tony Award winning playwright Mr Ayckbourn has written more than 80 plays which have been produced in London’s West End and New York, as well as around the world.

His inspiration for Haunting Julia came from the thrilling stage adaptation of The Woman in Black, written by Susan Hill, adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt. The original production of Haunting Julia was performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and had its first performance on 12 April 1994, with a London premiere on 27 May 2011.

Matthew said: “I love a ghost story and I think the love of those creepy, spooky stories as well as the gripping story itself made me eager to get involved.

“Saying that though, the story has got a lot of heart is really moving.

“I did Woman in Black last year and since that was the show that inspired him [Alan Ayckbourn] to write Haunting Julia, it felt like I was meant to do it.”

The production sees Matthew, a 34-year-old father-of-two, return to the Hornchurch stage following his performance of The Invisible Man at the theatre last year.

His other credits include 1984, War Horse, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet.

He finished his training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama back in 2005.

Matthew said: “Not only is it a ghost story with moments that will make you jump, it’s a touching play about grief and how people deal with losing someone close to them.

“Andy [Matthew’s character] isn’t one of life’s winners let’s just say so to play him is a lot of fun.

“It’s a fantastic play from Alan Ayckbourn and I’m really looking forward to coming back to Queen’s Theatre to tell the story.”

Haunting Julia will run at the Queen’s Theatre from Thursday, November 1, to Saturday, November 17.

A sign language interpreted performance of Haunting Julia will take place on Wednesday, November 14, at 7.30pm and audio description is available via a headset at all performances from Nov 5.

For more information about the show, call 01708 443333 or visit

Latest Romford News Stories

Two drivers have been taken to hospital after a crash at a junction of the A12 in Romford saw emergency services close the road today (Monday, November 12).


A Harold Hill artist has created pieces of art from recycled Coke cans to raise money for the Royal British Legion in Collier Row.


A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Turning 80 is a time that many people choose to slow down and relax - but not Sir Ian McKellen.

NHS staff at hospitals across east London are almost twice as likely to be victims of abuse as the national average, according to the results of an England-wide healthcare survey.

Yesterday, 15:16

Several hundred people gathered at Rainham War Memorial this morning, Sunday, November 11, to pay their tributes to the men and women who have given their lives to keep this country safe.

Yesterday, 14:59

The people of Romford came together for an emotional ceremony on the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Yesterday, 14:37

Hundreds flocked to Hornchurch this morning to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and pay their respects to the fallen.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“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.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area


A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now