Theatre News

Hackney Empire fundraiser launched to help the venue survive the pandemic

The London venue has put a call out for support

Hackney Empire
Hackney Empire
© Matt Humphries

A fundraiser has been launched to help Hackney Empire during the pandemic.

The initiative, which aims to raise £50,000, is spearheaded by actor Clive Rowe, who has starred in over a dozen of Hackney Empire's pantomimes.

Rowe said "Hackney Empire is an incredibly special place for me. It brings people and communities together like no other venue I've experienced and its atmosphere is legendary. Generations of children have had their first experience of live entertainment at its panto and its work with young people has transformed thousands of lives.

"Theatres have been hit incredibly hard by lockdown, but a world without them is unimaginable. Places like Hackney Empire must survive, and you can help to make sure they do. Please support this campaign if you can and ensure that Hackney Empire can open its doors again for panto, for music, for comedy and for everyone."

The 1300-seater venue relies heavily on box office and earned income for over 85 per cent of its funding, most of which has been completely cut off while the lockdown continues.

Artistic director Yamin Choudury said: "Hackney Empire will have its 120th birthday in 2021. It should have been a year-long celebration but our focus now is simply to ensure Hackney Empire survives to reach this milestone and that we are still able to play our part in delivering what our audiences and communities will need on the other-side of this.

"This crowdfunder will help ensure that we can re-open and we hope that anyone who has come and experienced the unique atmosphere and welcome of Hackney Empire will want to get behind it."

You can find out more about the fundraising drive here.