Brave New World and Henry VI at Questors

Visit Questors Youth Theatre this coming fortnight


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Pictures courtesy of Peter Gould

The Questors Theatre


The Questors Theatre, 12 Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5BQ on 020 8567 5184 or via Box Office on 020 8567 5184 (Mon-Fri 11.00am-1.00pm, Tues-Fri 6.45-8.30pm)
24-hour online booking:

Brave New World 25-28 March

Henry VI 28 Mar - 4 Apr

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For those of you who have never visited Questors, it happens to be Europe’s largest community theatre. Established about 80 years ago, with the idea of promoting theatre, it has had a long time connection with the Constantin Stanislavski method of acting. The QYT provides about 50 acting classes for young children in school years 2 to 12, an Acting for All for adults, an introductory group for 18 year olds and a 2 year, professional recognized, acting course for aspiring actors. Many of whom become regulars on the stage at Questors and some move on to be professional actors.

Brave New World is this year’s production for the QYT. Questors has a reputation for giving their child actors a serious drama production to get their teeth into as opposed to the normal school musical production. Brave New world is no exception to the norm here. Directed by Wanda Dusyznska and designed by Alex Marker who has also designed ‘A Plaque Over England’ at the Duchess theatre, the ensemble cast have to cope with a futuristic world, the politics of Social Darwinism and Eugenics and the savages of an Indian reservation.

Life could be so idyllic in this world. Those with brains are well rewarded, good homes, plenty of money, sexual liberation and when things are difficult, a wonder drug, Soma, to take away those blues. But look deeper, for the workers who are producing the wealth are clones, deliberately manufactured to be at the bidding of their masters. Apartheid exists to segregate the good, just and worthy away from the filth and toil of poverty. Then into this world come the savages, those from outside to corrupt and destroy this perfect world.

The book is a classic of all time, a huge hit when it was first published and has been very influential since. Much that it prophesized has come about, for instance cloning, sexual liberation, widespread use of contraceptives, drugs to relieve all our aliments. Yet to my mind it is the apartheid, the protection of the elite from the poor and underprovided in our world, which is the most striking element of the book. What a challenge for these young actors to take on.

The challenge for the 2nd year acting group is Henry VI. Many of you will be glad to know they are doing part three, mostly but not all, with a few bits from Richard III to complete the story. Directed by Mark Fitzgerald, the artistic director of Questors and being performed in the Studio.


England is in uproar. Civil war between the two houses of York and Lancaster has rendered the country apart. Lawlessness is rife and particularly between the lawmakers and then there is the King, a King who does not want to be king, a king who ends up being King twice.

Part of the genius of Shakespeare is how he develops each of his characters subtly different from each and every other character he introduces. He uses his historical plays to develop the nature of kingship: Macbeth a man driven by his wife, Lear driven to madness, Richard III conniving and devious. Then there is Henry VI, week, reluctant forced to be king by Warwick, defending not so much himself but his country and the kingship. What a challenge for King and actor alike.

Brave New World is on from 25th March – 28th March in the Playhouse

Henry VI is on from 28th March – 4th April in the Studio


Preview by Evan Rule



April 3, 2009