Cut2 – the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s resident young company – is performing in the biggest youth festival in the UK and Ireland with the gothic melodrama, The Monstrum.
NT Connections 2017 is the National Theatre’s annual youth theatre project that champions new writing and offers young people aged 13-19 the chance to stage plays written by some of the country’s most exciting playwrights. Each year it handpicks just 10 original plays to perform at the festival, and this year the Queen’s Theatre’s Cut2 company will be performing The Monstrum on 5 & 6 March before transferring to the Theatre Royal Stratford East on 1 April.
Set in a cold village on the edge of nowhere, a disease has broken out, infecting the young and transforming them into monstrous creatures. The villagers fearfully watch their children for symptoms of the disease, whilst the Mayor has adopted tough measures for dealing with those who are infected. When Bolek, the local scholar, makes a breakthrough in finding a cure, few are prepared for the gruesome nature of the treatment. But with his own daughter showing signs of infection, there is no choice than to stop this terrible disease dead in its tracks.
Cut2 is a focused training programme run by the Queen’s Theatre’s Learning and Participation Department, which nurtures the artistic potential of 14-18- year-olds committed to theatre. The company has earned itself a strong reputation in youth theatre and also performs alongside the Queen’s Theatre cast in various professional productions.
Learning & Participation Producer James Watson said, ‘It’s our fourth year as a participant. It’s a valuable key project of our celebrated youth theatre programme and an exciting opportunity for young people to experience professional theatre practice.’
Featuring a cast of 16 young performers, The Monstrum will also see 10 young people be actively involved in all technical aspects of the production of the show including costume design, stage management, sound and lighting.
The Monstrum is directed by local director Amy Insole who has worked with the theatre’s young company since 2013 and has directed professional productions at the Queen’s Theatre, as well as fringe theatres including Etcetera Theatre, Roundhouse Studio and Tristan Bates Theatre. Music is by Andrew Linham who performs regular jazz sessions at the theatre and has been actively involved in the young company’s previous productions.
The Monstrum will be performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane on Sunday 5 March at 8pm and Monday 6 March at 6pm and 8pm. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, online at queens-theatre.co.uk or in person from the theatre.