Queen’s Theatre unveils exciting programme of theatre treats for Spring 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 28 December 2018

Approaching Empty

Approaching Empty


A regional premiere by an acclaimed Romford playwright and the landmark revival of an epic British musical are two of the many exciting performances Queen’s Theatre has in store for Hornchurch in 2019.

In BasildonIn Basildon

The Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane has announced its spring programme of produced work which will feature a new two year programmer of work with Essex on Stage and a partnership with the National Theatre on the next Public Acts production, As You Like It.

The season opens with the sequin-studded Kiss Me Quickstep by Amanda Whittington, playing from February 11 to March 9.

Co-produced with New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, this warm hearted ballroom drama will also tour to Theatr Clwyd - the first time the Hornchurch theatre has worked with this major theatre.

Another partnership that the theatre will be taking part in is with Hull Truck Theatre and Oldham Coliseum Theatre to produce a landmark revival of the award-winning musical The Hired Man by Melvyn Bragg and Howard Goodall.

Kiss Me QuickstepKiss Me Quickstep

This heroic tale of love, betrayal and loyalty will run at the Hornchurch venue from April 27 - May 18, in Hull from May 23 - June 15 and in Oldham from June 20 - July 6.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about this revival: three brilliant regional theatre, a wonderful creative team and a chance for a new generation of theatre-goers to see this piece that Melvyn Bragg and I first put in front of an audience 45 years ago,” said award-winning composer, Howard Goodall.

From March 14 to 30, the Queen’s Theatre is producing the regional premiere of the sharply funny comedy In Basildon by Romford playwright, David Eldridge.

The theatre is looking forward to bringing this explosively knotty drama home to its roots after its premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012.

DNA by Dennis Kelly will be performed at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch in Spring 2019.DNA by Dennis Kelly will be performed at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch in Spring 2019.

David Eldridge said: “I am delighted that the first revival of In Basildon is being mounted in Essex at my local theatre and this spring is a fascinating and momentous time for Douglas Rintoul to revive my family comedy drama, as we Brexit.

“It will be nearly nine years on from Len’s passing and when Barry, Maureen, Ken and Doreen and the rest of the family were beginning to argue over cuts and immigration from Europe, West Ham United and the small matter of Len’s will as they gather in Basildon.”

Douglas Rintoul, artistic director at the Hornchurch theatre will be directing this drama.

David added: “The Queen’s Theatre occupies a special place in my heart.

The Hired ManThe Hired Man

“It is where I did my experience aged 18, and it’s where I was the late Bob Carlton’s Literary Associate for six years, running the theatre’s writers’ groups and advising on new work for the program. I can’t wait to be back with a play of my own.”

In Basildon’s premiere will kick off Essex on stage, an ambitious new two year programme led by Queen’s Theatre.

Essex on Stage champions positive notions of Essex and aims to celebrate theatre made by working class people by raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex and outer-east London.

It includes commissioning new plays, establishing a network of venues, touring drama about Essex and organising local events to develop talent.

Approaching EmptyApproaching Empty

Alongside the premiere of In Basildon, the programme will showcase work from three Essex playwrights - Sadie Hasler, Kelly Jones and Dan Murphy - which audiences can hear in one day on Saturday, March 23.

Following the success of Pericles at the National Theatre this summer, Queen’s Theatre’s Douglas Rintoul will direct next year’s Public Acts production, As You Like It.

This musical adaption was first seen at the Delacorte Theater in New York in 2017.

Performances will take place in Hornchurch from August 24 to 27.

Kiss Me QuickstepKiss Me Quickstep

The Hornchurch theatre has also unveiled a selection of key visiting productions this year, such as Approaching Empty, a razor-sharp new drama produced by Tamasha and the extraordinary new hip-hop family musical, In The Willows.

For tickets and more information visit

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