Theatre Royal Stratford East in particular, has played an important in the life and work of Ken Hill. It all started in 1971 when he was invited to join the Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal by Joan Littlewood who ran the company at that time. His first play for the group was called Up Your End, the production of which was directed by Littlewood. Hill also appeared as an actor in plays such as Costa Packet, The Hostage and The Protector. Many of Hill's own plays were produced there, under his direction, such as The Curse of the Werewolf (1994), The Invisible Man (1991), Mrs Tucker's Pageant (1981), The Mummy's Tomb (1980), Sinbad The Sailor (1981), The Wicked World Of Bel Ami (1989), Zorro - the Musical (1995) and of course The Phantom of the Opera (1984), among many others.
For more information on Ken Hill, the Ken Hill Memorial Trust and the Ken Hill Bar at Stratford East, please click here.
"The Theatre Royal opened in 1884, and since then it has undergone many changes. In 1992 the beautiful Victorian-era auditorium was restored; it seats up to 460 people on three levels (Stalls, Dress Circle, and Upper Circle) with all seats having a good view of the stage. The refurbishment project has enabled the theatre to re-open in the Autumn of 2001 with both technical facilities and public areas fit for the 21st Century. The current refurbishment work, funded through the National Lottery resulted in: a) much improved access throughout the building (including Lifts to all areas), b) new Public Spaces (a larger open-plan Box Office, Foyer), c) a larger Eating & Drinking area with fully equipped kitchen, d) improved Stage Systems and vastly expanded and improved backstage facilities (rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, workshops and offices), e) expanded Scenery Workshop and Costume Making Facilities, and f) new Heating and Ventilation systems, and a new roof."
Today, the theatre’s programme is predominantly made up of shows created or produced by the Theatre Royal carrying on the outstanding work of Philip Hedley CBE (Artistic Director 1979-2004). The theatre is specifically involved in encouraging new writing and musical theatre which reflects its local community, for whom it exists to serve. Theatre Royal Stratford East has consistantly maintained excellent audience attendance levels over the years, recording an 83% average in 2006, with some of the best value ticket prices in London.
"I want the Theatre Royal to be at the forefront of change. We are developing exciting new shows which express the new voices in our community and bring in new audiences, who will keep ours the liveliest theatre in London."
- Kerry Michael, Artistic Director
For more information on the Theatre Royal Stratford East, please visit: www.stratfordeast.com