|The Questors Theatre|
12 Mattock Lane, London W5 5BQ
|Type||Non-professional community theatre|
The Questors Theatre is a theatre venue located in the London Borough of Ealing, West London. It is home of The Questors, a non-professional theatre company and is a member of The Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain
The Questors theatre club was founded in 1929 and – pursuing an adventurous artistic policy led by the late Alfred Emmet – has grown into a vibrant non-professional theatre company which in the 2006-07 season staged 15 productions (drawing all actors and backstage teams from its membership), and 5 student and youth theatre productions. In August 2007 the company had 1,716 members (of whom 333 were actors and around 300 worked backstage and front-of-house, with the remainder supporting the theatre as audience members), as well as a youth theatre with nearly 500 members. The Questors also run a part-time student acting course based on the acting techniques of Constantin Stanislavski.
The Questors Theatre building was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1964, replacing the previous theatre building which had been converted from an old church; and the new theatre's adaptable configuration was one of the first in a new wave of thrust stage theatres in Britain. The site also contains a studio theatre (the Constantin Stanislavsky Room, built as a rehearsal room in 1960 and converted into a studio theatre in 1968), three rehearsal rooms (the Bernard Shaw Room built in 1958; the Michael Redgrave Room, opened in 1968, converted from part of the original Mattock Lodge; and the Alfred Emmet Room built in 1998), a scenery workshop, and a members’ bar (The Grapevine, opened in 1959, converted from part of Mattock Lodge).
The original building on the site, Mattock Lodge, is a house dating from the early 1850s, owned from around 1895 by a 'Father O'Halloran' who built a small church on the land behind the house, and on his death willed all the property to Miss Ann Webb as life tenant, who then lived in the house with her sister. In 1933 The Questors theatre club, who were looking for a permanent venue, were invited to share the old church premises by the Ealing Boy Scouts who were already holding their meetings there. In 1938 the Boy Scouts pulled out of the venue, and The Questors took over as the sole lessees of the old church building. After the death of Miss Webb in 1951, The Questors raised £8,500 to buy the freehold of the complete site, on 25 April 1952.
In 1972 The Questors hosted the World Coarse Acting Championship, and then took The Coarse Acting Show to the 1977 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and The Coarse Acting Show 2 to the 1979 Festival Fringe. The Coarse Acting Show 2 subsequently transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, where it was visited by HRH The Prince of Wales. In 1984 The Questors presented the Third Great Coarse Acting Show at The Questors Theatre (which was again visited by HRH The Prince of Wales), and in 1988 took Coarse Acting Strikes Back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Among those who accepted an invitation between 1930 and 1944 to serve as The Questors' Presidents were Robert Atkins, Ion Swinley, Ben Webster, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies and Margaret Webster. Subsequent presidents have been: