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Hornchurch Heads Out Nationwide

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The autumn season at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch begins on 28 August with a new musical comedy by Carter Brown based on his classic detective stories set in small-town America in the 1960s. The Stripper has Lieutenant Al Wheeler investigating a case about which Deadpan Dolores, the lady of the show's title, knows more than she's saying. Brown, who wrote the extremely successful Rocky Horror Show, also plays Mr Arkwright.

Lyrics are by Richard O'Brien and the score is by Richard Hartley. Emma-Jane Appleyard plays Dolores and Jonathan Wrather is Al Wheeler. The Queen's artistic director Bob Carlton directs with musical direction by Barry Robins and choreography by Liz Marsh; the designer is Rodney Ford. After the run at Hornchurch, which ends on 19 September, the show goes on a national tour.

Resident company cut-to-the-chase... take over on 2 October with a new production of Amanda Whittington's comedy Ladies' Day. This tells the story of four fish-packers – Pearl, Jan, Shirley and Linda – who go to Royal Ascot as a treat organised by Pearl who is facing early retirement, and find after some preliminary flutters that they might (or might not) have hit the jackpot. It runs until 17 October.

A classic thriller by Emlyn WilliamsA Murder Has Been Arranged – most appropriately opens on 30 October, just in time for Hallowe'en. It's set on the stage of a disused Victorian theatre in London's West End, where a party (with a difference) is in swing, to celebrate a 40th birthday. The fly in this particular greasepaint is that Sir Charles has to survive the day if he is to inherit a tidy fortune of £2,000,000. Is it the living or the dead who are most to be feared?

December wouldn't be December without a home-grown pantomime. This year cut-to-the-chase... offer between 3 December and 16 January.


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