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Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch celebrates ‘transformational’ year with prestigious award nomination

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2019

The cast of Public Acts' As You Like It production at Queen's Theatre. The Hornchurch theatre has now been nominated for a Stage award. Picture: Camilla Greenwell

The cast of Public Acts' As You Like It production at Queen's Theatre. The Hornchurch theatre has now been nominated for a Stage award. Picture: Camilla Greenwell

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Hornchurch’s Queen’s Theatre has been shortlisted as the London Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2020.

Queen's Theatre. Picture: Gary SummersQueen's Theatre. Picture: Gary Summers

A spokeswoman for the theatre said this year had been "transformational" with its £1million facelift to refresh the front and back-of-house spaces and new accessible rehearsal, learning and research and development facilities.

The theatre in Billet Lane was announced as a nominee for London Theatre of the Year by The Stage on Thursday, December 12.

Under the leadership of artistic director Douglas Rintoul and executive director Mathew Russell, the organisation's on-stage programme and off-stage community and outreach work have worked together to deliver the theatre's achievements.

In 2019, Queen's Theatre produced 14 shows, with an estimated 37 per cent of audience members attending for the first time - in a borough that has the fourth lowest arts engagement in London.

Douglas said: "This is a brilliant moment for the theatre.

"To be shortlisted for this prestigious award is a real testament to the extraordinary achievements of the theatre's staff, artists, participants, partners and volunteers.

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"It's thrilling to be recognised at this level for the quality of our work and our commitment to our community and local artists.

"It will spur us on."

Its landmark project, Essex on Stage, championed positive notions of Essex.

Beginning with an acclaimed production of David Eldridge's In Basildon in March 2019, it included talent development and new artistic work, with the commission of Sadie Hasler's Stiletto Beach and the regional premiere of Romford-born playwright Luke Norris' So Here We Are in September.

Essex on Stage has been made possible by the generous support of The Clothworkers' Foundation.

Elsewhere, the theatre partnered with the National Theatre on the second iteration of the NT's large-scale Public Acts programme - with an impressive participatory production of As You Like It.

Its co-producing partners have included the New Wolsey in Ipswich, Derby Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre, Oldham Coliseum and Central School of Speech and Drama.

The winner of each category in The Stage Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony on January 31, 2020 at the Royal Opera House.

Visit thestage.co.uk/awards/#2020shortlist to see a full list of the nominations.

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