Tales from the Thames

‘Tales from the Thames’ was a series of thirteen, free to attend, performances that took place at community venues in South Essex during June and July 2021. Further details on this co-commission are below.
A summary impact report is now available to view online.

View summary report

Creative Estuary Co-commissions is supporting a wide range of cultural projects with new commissions for Estuary-based producers and artists, from activity for emerging cultural activists to large scale commissions. Tales from the Thames is one such commission.


About the project

‘Tales from the Thames’ is a series of ten, free to attend, performances taking place at community venues in South Essex, including a village hall in Tilbury, the Wat Tyler Centre in Pitsea, and a pub in Canvey Island.

Tales from the Thames tells the story of five people living along the banks of the River Thames whose future is about to be changed forever. It is about living next to the river and is made for and by the people who live and work alongside it.

The project included an open call for directors, designers, choreographers, musical directors, composers, and stage managers living in South Essex

Photo by Mark Sepple 2021

The people behind the festival

Rebecca Brewer

Co-Director and Co-Writer Rebecca is an actress, writer, and theatre maker originally from Derbyshire now based in South Essex. She has worked at the National Theatre, Royal Court, RSC, Almeida, and numerous times in the West End. Rebecca is an Associate Artist of the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

Vickie Donoghue

Co-Writer, Vickie Donoghue is a playwright and writer for TV and radio. Her debut full ­length play, Mudlarks, was produced by The Bush Theatre in October 2012 and was longlisted for the Evening Standard Theatre Awards as Most Promising New Playwright 2012. Vickie is currently under commission to Paines Plough Theatre Company and is their current playwright Fellow 20/21.

Matthew Boulter

Musical Director and Co-Writer, M G Boulter is a songwriter and musician from Southend-on-Sea, Essex. He has released several albums and EPs, including his latest work, Clifftown, which explores themes of growing up in seaside suburbia.

M G has also collaborated with numerous UK and US acts.

Cast & Crew


Tim Freeman
David Hemsted
Mia Jerome
Tom Mangan
Lisa Wright


Matthew Boulter, Co-Writer & Musical Director
Rebecca Brewer, Co-Writer & Co-Director
Vickie Donoghue, Co-Writer
Douglas Rintoul, Co-Director
Rachel Dingle, Designer
Josh Mead, Lighting Designer
Michael Bennett, Sound Designer
Nikki Watson, Choreographer
Mathew Russell, Executive Producer
Harry Fitzpatrick, Assistant Director


Christine Piper, Head of Production
Lauren Harvey-Dempster, Company Stage Manager
Dylan Tate, Technical Stage Manager
Ed Guest, Lighting Operator
Michael Bennett, Sound Operator
Nicola Thomas, Costume Supervisor
Sophie Clayton, Puppet Maker
Helen Joyce, Front of House Manager


Tales from the Thames is being performed at various venues around the region from 26 June – 10 July 2021.

The online premiere will take place on Monday 12 July 2021 at 7.30pm and will then be available for one week on the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch YouTube channel and via its website.

To find out more visit Queen’s Theatre’s website.

Alongside the co-commission Tales from the Thames, local stories from communities who live along the South Essex Thames Estuary were captured. These can be listened to here.