Described by the Guardian as ‘the most beautiful theatre in London’, Hackney Empire is a Grade II* listed theatre on Mare Street, in the London Borough of Hackney. Originally designed by Frank Matcham, it was built in 1901 as a music hall, and expanded in 2001, now able to seat almost 1,300 audience members.
Charlie Chaplin, W. C. Fields, Stanley Holloway, Stan Laurel, Marie Lloyd and Julie Andrews all performed at Hackney Empire when it was a music hall, and in the 1980s it was a home for alternative comedy hosting the likes of Jo Brand, John Cleese, Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Dawn French, Lily Savage, Lenny Henry, Harry Hill, Paul Merton, Jennifer Saunders and many more.
Nowadays you can visit Hackney Empire for everything from theatre to opera, comedy to music, and of course their iconic yearly Pantomime. Hackney Empire collaborate and partner with regional and international companies and artists including the Royal Shakespeare Company, English Touring Opera, Scottish Opera, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and many more.
Alongside the main-stage programme, Hackney Empire provides free creative opportunities for local young people through its Creative Futures programme, working with 4,000 young people annually, aged 14 – 25.
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