Half Moon Theatre flourishes with fresh funding

Half Moon Theatre. Pic: Half Moon Theatre

Half Moon Theatre. Pic: Half Moon Theatre

Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse has been given £46,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for its project, Stages of Half Moon.

Led by around 100 young people aged 11 to 25, the project will involve filming and interviewing of local residents and theatre professionals. Their collected memories will result in a touring exhibition and the theatre’s digital archive will be open to the public. Young people will also have the chance to put on some of the well-known plays put on at the theatre.

Half Moon was founded in 1972 in Aldgate and later moved to a former Methodist chapel in Stepney which after refurbishment became a modern state-of-the-art theatre.

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London Stuart Hobley said: “Half Moon is well known in the East End since the 1970s and now, thanks to National Lottery players, we can support this project that means a new generation will be able to discover for themselves the innovation that characterised the theatre during its heyday.

“Digging into local archives, the young people will gain skills as they create a record of that period and have the chance to sharpen their own acting abilities.”

Committed to encouraging young people to achieve their creative ambitions, Babylon actor Calvin Demba is just one of the talented actors to benefit from Half Moon. Actors Steven Berkoff, Simon Callow, Josie Lawrence and Frances de la Tour, have also contributed to the success of the theatre.

Director of Half Moon Chris Elwell said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of so many of the theatre’s fantastic alumni, which will allow us to explore the important history of Half Moon Theatre and share it with a new generation. We are really looking forward to working with a range of local young people, organisations and individuals in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that the local community are involved with the life of the project and our theatre.”

Anyone wanting to get involved with the Stages of Half Moon project should email history@halfmoon.org.uk.

Follow Amanda Rooney on Twitter: @AAlexander1712

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