Creative Estuary brand architectural pattern 11

Princess Essex

Date: Saturday 26th February – Friday 11th March

Location: Various

Cost: Venue Dependant

Southend-on-Sea, Essex. 1908. Tired of her life, Joanna decides to take matters into her own hands and enter herself into one of the country’s most prestigious beauty pageants, disguised as a Senegalese Princess.

Based on the little-known, true story of Princess Dinubolu, Princess Essex is the funny and dynamic tale of the first black woman to ever enter a beauty pageant in the UK.

Princess Essex is written and performed by Anne Odeke (RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch).

After the show, Anne will be answering any questions you may have.


Princess Essex has been made possible thanks to the support of Creative Estuary Co-commissions.

Writer / Performer – Anne Odeke
Director – Robin Belfield
Assistant Director – Michelle Payne
Lighting Designer – Ben Garcia
Sound Designer – Hattie North,
Technical Stage Manager – Jade Ayres
Design – Gemma Compton
Dramaturg – Mia Jerome

The piece has been created with public funding from Arts Council England. The show is in partnership with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, The Mercury Theatre Colchester and the South Essex African Caribbean Association (SEACA).

Age Guidance 12+

Warning: The play uses authentic language of the time, which some people may find offensive.


Location Details:

Mercury Theatre, Colchester CO1 1PT

Date and time: Saturday 19 February at 7.30pm

Tickets: £8


The Balmoral Community Centre, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 7AU

Date and time: Saturday 26 February at 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 (+65p QNext fee)


Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, RM11 1QT

Date and time: Sunday 27 February at 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 (+65p QNext fee)


Tyrells Hall Working Men’s Club, Grays, RM17 6EY

Date and time: Tuesday 1 March at 7.30pm

Tickets: Free (ticket still required)


Aveley Community Hub, RM15 4BY

Date and time: Thursday 3 March at 7.30pm

Tickets: Free (ticket still required)


The Place, Pitsea Leisure Centre, Basildon, SS13 3DU

Date and time: Saturday 5 March at 7.30pm

Tickets: Free (ticket still required)


Wat Tyler Centre, Pitsea, SS16 4UH

Date and time: Sunday 6 March at 2pm

Tickets: Free (ticket still required)


West Tilbury Village Hall, RM18 8UD

Date and time: Friday 11 March at 7.30pm

Tickets: Free (ticket still required)