The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is delighted to be able to reopen its doors to the public on Thursday 3 September. The Theatre invites audiences to pop in to pick up its brand new Welcome Back leaflet, have a chat with the Box Office team about upcoming productions in our Autumn season, and enjoy a cup of tea and a cake in the re-opened Café!
While the building has been closed to the public for the last five and a half months, extensive work has continued behind closed doors to complete the Theatre’s QNew Transformation, an exciting programme of building improvements which will allow the Theatre to make high quality theatre in developed spaces, work with more young people and community groups, offer an increasingly comfortable experience to audiences, be more open and accessible to D/deaf and disabled people, and keep the Theatre alive as a safe and environmentally friendly community hub, well into the future.
The works include:
- A larger fully accessible stage in the foyer with ramp access either side. Over the stage hangs a pink neon sign with the new name for the space, The Other Stage.
- A complete revamp of the existing box office, including a lowered counter, has made the space more accessible for both customers and staff.
- Extensive changes to the Green Room, including wider door frames and lowered counters and appliances, to improve accessibility.
- The conversion of existing backstage toilets to make them gender neutral and more accessible.
- New furniture and seating areas throughout the foyer area.
- Installation of air conditioning in the foyer to maintain a comfortable temperature all year round.
- A Community Library commissioned and built by the Young Changemakers in the foyer, stocked with playtexts and scripts available to the public.
- A brand new Sennheiser radio frequency hearing system, replacing the previous infra-red version, for D/deaf or hearing impaired, and blind or visually impaired, patrons.
- New modular radio mics to complement our existing system.
- Improvement works to the roof, utilising foam technology to increase thermal performance, replacing broken skylights to protect the building from the weather and provide fresh air to backstage areas, and re-slating part of the auditorium walls to help protect against the elements.
- The replacement of old outdoor lighting with new LED lighting, providing increased light levels, new working light in the dock area and improving energy efficiency.
- The installation of new windows in all dressing rooms and offices – increasing the energy efficiency of the building, and the refurbishment of the foyer window frames – treating the aluminium to protect it from degrading, and coating the exterior in black to match the aesthetic of the building and provide enhanced protection against the elements.
The Theatre is immensely proud of the continued work undertaken during the building’s closure, and is thrilled to welcome its audiences back to a newly modernised space. The QNew project has been made possible by generous contributions from Arts Council England, London Borough of Havering, Veolia Maintenance Trust, City Bridge Trust, Ian McKellen On Stage, The Theatre Trust, Equity Charitable Trust, Tesco Bags of Help, McDonalds Romford, Fowler, Smith & Jones Charities, Rotary Club of Brentwood á Becket.
The QNew Transformation Fee has played an extraordinary part in giving the Theatre a refreshing facelift for artists, participants and audiences alike. The Theatre would like to thank each and every audience member who has donated since September 2018, which has raised over £100,000 for the QNew Transformation.
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will be further launching its Autumn 2020 Season on Tuesday 1 September.