Hornchurch theatre to make legendary director’s dream reality

Comedy double act Harold and Leroy will be leading a Hornchurch history tour at the event. Picture:

Comedy double act Harold and Leroy will be leading a Hornchurch history tour at the event. Picture: Queen's Theatre - Credit: Archant

The dream of a legendary theatre director to bring art and science to the masses is to be realised on Saturday.

The Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, is to take part in the nationwide Fun Palace project – an idea conceived by the late iconic director Joan Littlewood.

The project, which is being rolled out in honour of Joan’s 100th birthday, will see free song, dance and poetry workshops for people of all ages.

Joan’s idea was to create “universities of the street” and “laboratories of fun”, where people could come and learn about art and science.

The director, who worked on productions including The Alchemist and Richard II at the Theatre Royal in Stratford, was not able to see the vision of her Fun Palace realised, but the Hornchurch theatre will see it come to fruition.

Queen’s education and outreach manager Patrick O’Sullivan, of Romford, said: “Fun Palaces is a programme that brings our communities together across the country to deliver, teach and explore with each other.

“We hope as many people of all ages come and grab this golden opportunity to enjoy a whole day of fun for free.”

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The October 4 event kicks off with the fun filled Hornchurch Hidden History Tour led by comedy double act Harold and Leroy.

Patrick, 33, added: “It’s all about community members sharing their skills – it’s made for the people by the people and I really like that idea.”

Other Fun Palace workshops will include a computer games-making class, the Havering Selfie Wall project and the Havering Speaks Challenge - where people can speak on camera about why they love the borough.

“I think the good thing about it is that it’s not a theatre-led project, I think what’s exciting is that the people that are coming into the building are offering their expertise in areas that wouldn’t usually be shared at the theatre.”

Go to queens-theatre.co.uk for more information.

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