The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has announced its autumn programme for its 65th anniversary year....

Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh

Beverly and husband Laurence are entertaining their newly wed neighbours. Joining them is twitchy divorcee Sue, banished from the party of her teenage daughter. Over a stack of cheesy-pineapple sticks, small talk and splashes of alcohol, the appalling host’s soiree soon descends into chaos. As the sniping begins, this delicious comedy cracks open social climbing suburbia to savagely funny effect.

Set in seventies Romford, with Donna Summer top of the hit parade and adults behaving disgracefully, join us for a great night out at the drinks party from hell! Made famous by the BBC Play for Today starring Alison Steadman, this fresh but faithful look at an iconic classic is directed by Douglas Rintoul (Made in Dagenham, The Crucible, Rope).

August 30 to September 22.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Abi by Atiha Sen Gupta

This is told from the viewpoint of 15-year-old Abisheera who surveys what’s left from the previous generation’s night before, in response to Mike Leigh’s seminal play, Abigail’s Party.

This fresh new piece of writing, commissioned by Derby Theatre and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch as part of the RETOLD series, is by one of Britain’s most exciting new writers. RETOLD, is a series of new one-woman plays from some of the most sensational female voices in contemporary theatre today. RETOLD’s aim is to crack open classic tales and see the story afresh from the perspective of a female character.

September 4 to 22.

Dishoom! by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti

Summer 1978, disco is all the rage, the National Front are on the streets and 15 year old Simon should have everything to live for. But Bibi won’t stop nagging and his Dad hides in the pub, just because Simon is disabled.

When his cousin Baljit comes to stay, she introduces him to the Bollywood classic, Sholay. Inspired by the film’s dynamic duo, Jai and Veeru, Simon and Baljit find their inner superheroes and set out to change their world forever.

From the company behind Laila – The Musical, The Deranged Marriage and Britain’s Got Bhangra. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti has written for stage, screen and radio. Her work includes the feature film.

Everywhere and Nowhere, EastEnders (nine episodes) and writing regularly for Radio 4’s The Archers.

September 25 to 29.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Once by Enda Walsh (music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová)

Winner of eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical, Once tells the unforgettable story of a Dublin street musician and a funny Czech woman, drawn together by their shared love of music. As they assemble a band from her wild family and his quirky mates, the music flows and they fall slowly in love.

From the producers of Made in Dagenham, an ensemble of actor-musicians play their instruments live on stage, in a smash hit romantic show that steals your heart, based on the Academy award-winning film. Once is about what happens when you take chances and go for your dreams.

Based on the Motion Picture written and directed by John Carney.

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

October 3 to 20.

LOVE written by Alexander Zeldin

In the run up to Christmas, three families are placed into cramped temporary accommodation. A middle-aged man and his elderly mum, a young family with a baby on the way, a newly arrived woman from Sudan. Strangers. Forced together. No space is personal.

An intimate story of family love for our times, this ‘gripping, amusing’ (The Times) new play takes a unique approach to theatre and was hailed by the Evening Standard as ‘the National Theatre’s play of the year’ in 2017.

October 25 to 27.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Haunting Julia by Alan Ayckbourn

Julia was a musical prodigy – nicknamed ‘Little Miss Mozart’ in the tabloids. She was composing symphonies aged eight. By nineteen the world was at her feet... until her dead body was found mysteriously in a dingy attic.

Twelve years on and her father Joe has never come to terms with this. Was it really suicide? Or was someone else with Julia the night she died? Joe wants answers and tonight he will get them…

This hauntingly tense study of grief and the supernatural is punctuated with trademark wit from Alan Ayckbourn, one of the world’s most popular and prolific playwrights.

November 1 to 17.

For further information about these productions, Jump the Q and to book tickets, call on 01708 443333 or visit