An award-winning Essex writer has heaped praise upon Queen’s Theatre’s Blueprint Festival for affording artists the opportunity to create “work for an eastern-region audience”.

Kenny Emson, whose CV includes work on the BAFTA-nominated BBC murder-mystery The Last Hours of Laura K, commented on the festival ahead of his own show A Different Class, scheduled to be performed on September 20 and 21.

Exploring mental health and masculinity, A Different Class is based around a young man, Tag, and his friends as they head for a night out, drawing on Kenny’s own experiences growing up in Thurrock.

On the wider influence of Blueprint Festival, which runs until September 24, Kenny said the primary draw of the schedule is the sheer range of the entertainment on offer.

“Initially, it offers more things. You’ve got a lot of different things going on there, very different plays, different bits of work, so it means that there’s more on offer to the audience.”

Romford Recorder: Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch has been hosting the Blueprint Festival since September 12Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch has been hosting the Blueprint Festival since September 12 (Image: Historic England)

Its schedule includes listings arranged “in a more interesting way than it’s usually done”, Kenny said, such as a West Indian three-course-meal and an intimate, one-to-one show.

“I think it’s a really cool thing Queen’s are doing, and it just means all of these different artists are making work for an eastern-region audience,” he added.

Kenny is also hosting a writing workshop today (September 21), reflecting that the theatre wants to educate as well as entertain, which will help demystify the illusion that the arts are for “people who wear suits”, he said.

“I feel really passionately about giving space to working class voices. If they’re interested in writing, give them a go. Everyone should have an opportunity to try these things out,” Kenny said.

His main reflection, however, is thanks for the opportunity to put on a show that means so much to him at a theatre he has such fondness for.

“It’s a great thing that they’re creating this space for people to put work in front of an audience, and they should be really chuffed at what they’re doing," he said. "I think it’s really cool.”