Pop-up theatre planned for Hackney paddling pool

Appropri8 theatre company transform urban areas into performance spaces Pic: Sarah Akigbogun

Hackney locals are being urged to donate to help transform a disused paddling pool in Millfields Park into a pop-up cinema and theatre space for a day of locally themed performances.

The crowdfunding project, spearheaded by the Hackney-based Appropri8 theatre group, needs a further £8000 to prepare for the day of events centred around the history of Hackney and its immigrants, on June 10.

Following the installation, audience members will be given the opportunity to take a piece of the theatre home in the form of a pallet, part of the recyclable staging.

The group, which says its aim is to “bring art to unused and empty spaces” through theatre and performance, was created by local architect and actor Sarah Akigbogun.

The aim for June 10 is to have a day full of storytelling, workshops and theatre performances, followed by film screenings in the evening.

Akigbogun said: “Using recycled, reclaimed materials has become key for us. This is a theatre made of recycled materials, which can itself be recycled”.

The plans for the new Cine-Theatre. Pic: Sarah Akigbogun

Akigbogun, who first trained as an architect before completing an MA at the Drama Centre, Central St Martins says it was during this time that she decided to consider ways of combining her two passions of theatre and architecture.

“I was inspired by the work of theatre companies such as Shunt who performed in urban spaces, transforming them.

I thought their work was very architectural and a wonderful way to get communities involved in theatre.”

Her latest project hopes to continue on previous successes, with a key focus to bring together people of the Hackney community.

Akigbogun explains: “This particular project actually evolved out of several ideas.

“We had the desire to create a cinema-theatre pop up somewhere in Hackney for the London Festival of Architecture (LFA). We thought it would be interesting for people to see a theatre evolve and the building itself is theatrical.”

As a build up to this event, Akigbogun has begun collecting Hackney Stories, documenting the lives of local people in the borough, which are posted on the group’s website.

The set of Appropri8’s previous project, House. Pic: Sarah Akigbogun

The project by Appropri8 theatre will provide a platform for local filmmakers and requires just over £8,000 to fund the sourcing of materials, recruiting of teams and running of the installation.

Akigbogun said she hoped this project would create new opportunities for the group, perhaps bringing the chance to work in various sites across London.

“In future years, we hope to have community workshops to create the theatre performances, particularly with young people in the borough,” she added.

To donate to the current cine-theatre project or find out ways to get involved check out their Spacehive page.

The group are also taking submissions from local Hackney filmmakers and writers on the subject of Hackney and migration. For more information, get in touch here.

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