Dame Helen Mirren has urged local people to support a community-based Tower Hamlets theatre group which is appealing for funds to complete a £280,000 revamp of its current premises.
The Oscar-winning actress owns a property in Wapping, close to the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, which is based in Whitehorse Road, Limehouse.
Half Moon have already received 80 per cent of the funding needed for their redevelopment campaign and are now appealing to local people to help secure the final 20 per cent by the renovation deadline of May.
After being contacted by the organisation, Dame Mirren issued an appeal on their website, asking the public to “please join in supporting the campaign to refurbish their theatre” to ensure “they can continue their wonderful work.”
Felix Mussell, development and communications manager for Half Moon said that the £280,000 will be used to develop the inside of the property and to make the building more accessible for disabled visitors.
Mussell said: “As a charity, we cater for any young person up to the age of 18, particularly those living in deprived areas of Tower Hamlets or those who may have felt excluded from the arts world before.
“We have received 80 per cent of the funding, which means that we are close to achieving phase one of our redevelopment project.
“Our main focus is to revamp the foyer and make it much more welcoming for the public, along with replacing the lift with one that is more suitable for disabled users.”
The theatre group specialises in both professional performances and amateur participation for children and their families, using a programme that also supports members with any form of learning or physical disability.
Once the interior has been redeveloped, the charity is hoping to restore part of the Victorian building’s architecture to its former glory.
Half Moon are now hoping to find the remaining money from outstanding Trust applications and from individual public donations. To make a donation, please visit www.halfmoon.org.uk
By Heather Saul