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Simon Jessop makes his directorial debut at Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 April 2014

Simon Jessop makes his directorial debut. Picture: Nobby Clark

Simon Jessop makes his directorial debut. Picture: Nobby Clark

©Nobby Clark nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk

The Great Gatsby will be coming to Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, next week and it marks the directorial debut of the theatre's associate artist Simon Jessop.

Picture: Nobby ClarkPicture: Nobby Clark

Audience members have come to know Simon for his many years of performing in a long list of different productions at the theatre, most recently as Ray Say in The rise and fall of little voice and the panto dame in Dick Whittington.

The multi talented actor will now direct Peter Joucla’s version of the iconic love story, which will run from April 11 to May 3.

Speaking about the transition from actor to director, Simon explained: “There has been a kind of slow process of development over that area.

“It’s been great”.

Simon co-directed the play Deathtrap and was assistant director of Treasure Island and A Passionate Woman.

The play will be a mixed media production, featuring an exciting mix of film footage and musical instruments played live on stage by the cut to the chase company, the Queen’s professional resident company of actors and musicians of which Simon is a long standing member.

Simon explained that the production does not just focus solely on the 1920s era, it incorporates a modern edge.

“We have brought it and made it a bit funkier and a bit more current. It’s got that vibrancy,” he said.

However, Simon went on to say that at the heart of it all is the “timeless” element of the love story.

“The centre of it is this amazing, touching love story about the man who lost the woman that really was the one, and they can’t be together.

“The love story is the key and that’s what the whole show is about really.”

Simon was positive about his step into the director role and praised the hard work of everyone involved in the production.

“It’s going really well. We have got a great company, a fantastic group of stage managers and technicians and the cast have thrown themselves whole heartedly in”.

“I couldn’t be happier. I stress that is because the company have been brave enough to take this on board and make it work, without that there would be nothing.”

Taking the title role of the mysterious Gatsby is Sam Kordbacheh. Audiences may also recognise Two and Two Make Sex stars Ellie Rose Boswell playing Daisy, Callum Hughes as her cousin Nick and Sean Needham as the menacing Tom Buchanan. Georgina Field will play Tom’s mistress Myrtle.

“The cast is really excited for it,” said Simon.

For more information about the performance or to book tickets visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk

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