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Queen's Theatre partners with prestigious drama school to bring modern day black comedy DNA to Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 15:39 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 24 January 2019

L-R: Colette McNulty, Linn Johansson, Sam Rhodes, Mark Foy and Mae Munro in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark Sepple

L-R: Colette McNulty, Linn Johansson, Sam Rhodes, Mark Foy and Mae Munro in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark Sepple

Mark Sepple

More than 30 schools and colleges across the country will be heading to the Hornchurch theatre for a collaborative performance of a modern day comedy.

L-R: Brett Curtis, Mae Munro and Mark Foy in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark SeppleL-R: Brett Curtis, Mae Munro and Mark Foy in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark Sepple

Dennis Kelly’s modern day black comedy DNA, coming to the Queen’s Theatre is a set text on the GCSE English literature and drama curriculum.

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Queen’s Theatre’s production has attracted audiences from schools as far as Dorset, West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

DNA is directed by the Queen’s Theatre’s artistic director, Douglas Rintoul, with designer Natalie Jackson, who is a graduate from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and lightning designer Stephen Pemble and sound designer Jack Baxter.

Douglas Rintoul said: “I’ve directed at Central in a freelance capacity, that’s where the contact has come from.

L-R: Sidsel Rostrup, Marko Kovak, Mark Foy, William Pyke, Mae Munro, Brett Curtis and Douglas Rintoul in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark SeppleL-R: Sidsel Rostrup, Marko Kovak, Mark Foy, William Pyke, Mae Munro, Brett Curtis and Douglas Rintoul in Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark Sepple

“I love working with students because they are so used to working together after three years together in college that they have a real bond – almost a language of their own.

“And that means that you can often go much further with them than is possible with a group of professionals convened for just three or four weeks rehearsal time who don’t initially know each other.”

DNA was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007 and is tailored specifically for young audiences.

It tells the explosive story about a group of teenagers who do something really bad, panic and then try to cover it up.

L-R: Hughie Stanley, Marko Kovak, Linn Johansson, Mae Munro and Mark Foy at rehearsals for Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark SeppleL-R: Hughie Stanley, Marko Kovak, Linn Johansson, Mae Munro and Mark Foy at rehearsals for Queen's Theatre's production of DNA. Photo: Mark Sepple

The cast includes Joseph Aylward, Brett Curtis, Mark Foy, Linn Johansson, Marko Kovak, Colette McNulty, Mae Munuo, William Pyke, Sidsel Rostrup, Sam Rhodes and Hughie Stanley.

Douglas is also very keen to get local teenagers into the theatre to see young actors who are still in training.

“In this area – the outer boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and out into Essex – there is quite a sense that drama school is out of reach,” he said.

“I think DNA will help to demonstrate that it isn’t – and there’s a lot of diversity in this C&D group which will reinforce the message.”

DNA will be playing at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane from February 7 to 14.

Visit queens-thatre.co.uk.

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