Plays based on Jack the Ripper, a true-story on Havering residents’ tattoos and life in a football changing room are part of a theatre’s “ambitious” summer/autumn season.

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has announced the theatre line-up, which includes two commissioned pieces from “leading female playwrights” and a “digital and immersive” piece about climate change. 

Plays will be set in Victorian Whitechapel, the working-class community of Southend, and a football locker room among other places.

The season will include seven world premieres and will culminate with a pantomime production of Dick Whittington from late November until the close of 2023.

What to expect


Inked is a “bold” piece based on the true stories of Havering residents’ tattoos and their artist.

It can be seen from June 28 to July 11.

New Beginning

New Beginning will open the season from August 30 to September 2, with “pioneering” uses of digital technology to explore the devastating impact of climate change. It will be made with 100 young people and is directed and designed by award-winning artist David Shearing.

On the Beach

On the Beach is an “interactive sensory experience” for dementia sufferers and their carers, which will run for a week at Queen’s Theatre (July 3-7) before touring community and care settings.

The Invincibles

The Invincibles by Amanda Whittington can be seen from September 7 to 20.

It will embody the spirit of this summer’s Women’s World Cup, as Hornchurch teenager Maya cheers on the Lionesses while uncovering footballing secrets about Sterling Ladies team aka the ‘Dagenham Invincibles’, the greatest women’s team of World War One.

The Red Lion

The football theme continues as Patrick Marber’s The Red Lion (September 26 to 30) explores themes of trust and generational tension in a locker room drama involving a talented young player, kit man and the ambitious manager of a semi-pro team.


Fiesta (October 5 to 8), written and directed by Joe Lichtenstein, will celebrate the end of the iconic Ford Fiesta. 

Killing Jack

Set in Victorian Whitechapel, Killing Jack (October 26 - November 11) by Sadie Hasler is a historical “darkly thrilling imaginary plunge”, which reflects on why women still aren’t safe to walk in the dark at night.

Dick Whittington

Finally, the festive season will see a pantomime production of Dick Whittington by Andrew Pollard (November 23 - December 31), directed by Vik Sivalingam. It will hope to replicate the success of last year’s Sleeping Beauty which won the Off West End Best Pantomime award 2023.

Executive Director of the theatre Mathew Russell said: “It’s great to be making theatre about important and timely issues in innovative ways with an array of brilliant artists. 

“We’re keen to put extraordinary local stories at the heart of our work and to make and tell those stories with local people.

“And, of course, to help ensure that exciting work is seen by as many different audiences as possible, often in the least served places.”