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Queen’s Theatre musical Never Never to mark 30th anniversary of QYouth

Never Never has taken inspiration from the Mods and Rockers beach battles at Southend

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is producing a new musical to mark the 30th anniversary of its youth theatre in July. 

QYouth has helped to nurture and showcase the talent of young people in Havering for nearly 30 years. 

The theatre commissioned James Watson and Andrew Linham to write Never Never, a retelling of J. M. Barrie’s novel Peter Pan and Wendy with a 1960’s twist. 

It will feature a mash up of 60’s rock ‘n’ roll, soul and pop as a new generation battles for the beaches of Neverland. 

“Never Never is a glorious celebration of youth culture and young people – a truly special way to mark the 30th anniversary of our youth theatre programme,” said James Watson, head of learning and participation. 

“We’ve had a brilliant time developing this work with members of all ages over the last few years, and to finally be sharing it with audiences on the main stage this summer is really special.

“This bold new musical takes a familiar story of never wanting to grow up and reimagines a Neverland at the heart of the vibrant music world of the 1960’s, complete with radio pirates and our take on the Mods and Rockers beach battles at Southend.”

The musical is set to be Queen’s Theatre’s biggest youth theatre production ever, featuring 180 young people who are between six and 18-years-old.

It follows the success of other large-scale collaborations with QYouth including Seussical the musical in 2015 and The Wind in the Willows in 2017.

Composer and musical director, Andrew Linham, added: “It’s a big, brassy show exploring the music of the 50’s and 60’s with massive ensemble numbers showcasing the whole of the youth theatre.

“This is a toe tapping, heartfelt musical about finding yourself, telling a story that we all feel – after all, who actually wants to grow up?”

Never Never is going to be performed at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from Thursday, 28 to Saturday, 30 July 2022.

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