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New artistic director for Queen's Theatre Hornchurch looking forward to the challenge

PUBLISHED: 09:56 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:56 25 June 2015

Queen's new artistic director Douglas Rintoul

Queen's new artistic director Douglas Rintoul

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Queen's Theatre's new artistic director has said is "thrilled" to have the opportunity to build on its rich history.

After a three month search Douglas Rintoul, 41, an Essex-born Stratford-based director, has stepped into the well worn boots of Bob Carlton, who held the position at the Hornchurch theatre in Billet Lane for more than 17 years.

“I am thrilled to be invited to take up the position of artistic director of the Queen’s Theatre, especially at this point in the theatre’s life,” said Douglas.

“The potential to build on the venue’s rich history and Bob Carlton’s legacy is exciting.

“I don’t see it as filling someone else’s shoes as the challenge is the history of the building.”

Douglas will officially take up his appointment in the autumn as his latest directorial credit, The Deep Blue Sea, is running at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Berkshire, although he is beginning to oversee activities at Queen’s.

“I am incredibly lucky to be a very busy person and have projects lined up until 2017, although I’ve had to put some to the side for now,” he said.

Cuts to arts funding has been a significant challenge for the theatre in the past year but Douglas isn’t daunted by that.

“The wonderful thing is that not all the funding has been withdrawn by the council which happened to many theatres who are still surviving.”

He was chosen after an intensive selection process between five short-listed candidates.

Chairman of the board of trustees, Dennis Roycroft, said: “Douglas impressed us at all stages with a detailed and exciting map of the next phase of the Queen’s Theatre’s journey and an authentic sense of the importance of theatre and the arts as a vital part of human life.”

The interim chief executive of the theatre, Thom Stanbury, added: “This is such an exciting appointment for the Queen’s Theatre at this time in its development. I’m very much looking forward to working with Douglas as we forge links with audiences old and new.”

Douglas added: “I look forward to expanding the Queen’s reach, forging new relationships with arts organisations throughout the UK and nurturing new theatre makers and audiences in east London, Essex and beyond.”

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