Hoxton Hall to reopen as home of new variety after £2m revamp
East London venue Hoxton Hall is to relaunch later this year as a home for contemporary variety performance.
The Victorian music hall has also announced a partnership with immersive film event producers Secret Cinema as part of its season, which is led by new artistic director and chief executive Karena Johnson.
Following a £2 million restoration project, which has seen the grade II-listed building closed since 2013, the venue will reopen with an increased capacity of 300 – more than double its previous size.
The programme of work for Johnson’s first season in charge of Hoxton Hall includes a partnership with Secret Cinema on a series of events inspired by its Tell No One experiences, which have previously included immersive screenings of Back to the Future and The Empire Strikes Back.
A new performance piece exploring the area’s connection with substance abuse will also feature as part of the new season. Created by Outside Edge, a company made up of performers who have been affected by addiction, Rockston Stories will open the season, running from September 29 to October 17.
Johnson said: “My role is to build a new vision for the best kept secret in Hackney – creating a home for contemporary variety performance, celebrating its music hall roots while developing a 21st-century space for entertainment with a real connection to the ever-changing communities of Hoxton.”
She added that the newly refurbished venue would “develop an interchangeable link between artists, audiences and participants” and said its work would span theatre, music, comedy, spoken word, cabaret and circus.
The programme also includes live comedy and entertainment from performers including magician Paul Daniels and comedian Alex Horne, and the venue’s first pantomime, Snow White, which will run from December 14 to 24 and will close the season.
Carole Souter, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, which funded the restoration, said: “Music halls have played an important role in our social history. Hoxton Hall, an enduring symbol of the East End’s community spirit, is no exception. With nearly £2 million of HLF money invested, now is the perfect time to thank National Lottery players for helping make this refurbishment a reality.”
The reopening of Hoxton Hall in September comes alongside the first season of work in four years at nearby Wilton’s Music Hall, which opens its doors in the autumn following a £4 million refurbishment.
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