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.
© Nick Ballon
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 25 2012
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.
What's on at Hackney Empire
Solo shows, Big-name talent, Stand-up
- Critics' choice
'QI' and 'Jonathan Creek' star Alan Davies is back on the road following his hugely successful 'Life is Pain' tour in 2012. That tour was his first foray into stand-up for 12 years, but it didn't show – he was on terrifically funny form. Now he's back...
Solo shows, Big-name talent, Musical comedy, Stand-up
Award-winning whimsical Irishman David O'Doherty heads to the Hackney Empire with his new show 'David O'Doherty Has Checked Everything. He'll do some standing-up, sitting down, and songs from a small plastic 1980s keyboard. He'll charm you silly.
Kids' theatre, Kids' theatre, Off-West End
Hackney Empire's yearly festive offering is pretty much the panto equivalent of royalty. That's mainly been down to hilariously naughty scripts, Susie McKenna's direction and a great dame - in recent years the inimitable Clive Rowe was hailed as one of...
Things to do
An enchanted forest, magical beanstalk and oompah performances aren't what you'd expect to stumble across on Mare Street this winter, but this immersive bar in the Hackney Empire promises all three. The folk and fairy tale-themed pop-up will be serving...