Hackney Empire

  • Theatre
  • Off-West End
9 Love It
© Nick Ballon
Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Marie Lloyd all trod Hackney's boards during its time as a music hall. It's since been used as a television studio and, rather quaintly, as a bingo hall, before opening as a theatre proper in 1986. Today, it's a much-loved East End institution whose pantos have become the stuff of legend. High art does feature (the English Touring Opera presented Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' in 2009) as does issue-heavy theatre, often with an emphasis on class and multiculturalism. But the focus tends to be on fun: comedy, children's theatre and music all featuring large on its programme. Tours of the Grade II-listed auditorium take place during Open House London weekend in September.
Venue name: Hackney Empire
Address: 291 Mare St
E8 1EJ
Transport: Rail: Hackney Central Overground

Pick a date

  • Children's Saturday November 21 2015 - Sunday January 3 2016
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Crafts doer

Five friends and I went to see THE NHS IN STITCHES show there recently. We were very dissapointed in the seating in the gallery, as it was just a bench with no back support and no space to stretch arthritic legs. The show and the decor was great, but as five out of six of us are dissabled we felt the seating was totally unfit for the dissabled and that the theatre should have warned people about this. My partner had a very swollen back after sitting on that bench for several hours.

Stu Liddle

A glorious Victorian gem of a theatre. You won't see a better example of a Matcham designed theatre. This should be cherished more than those in the West End. It's a shame about it's listings. There isn't enough main stream or community theatre being done here. The cut backs by the local council and by the arts council have hit it hard. However, it does give us one of the best traditional pantos each year. Please look after it. We can't lose such a great building.