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Hackney Empire, London

#SaveHackneyEmpire campaign raises £40k in the first week

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 2 July 2020, Last Updated 3 July 2020

Last Thursday, we shared that Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe had launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Hackney Empire survive the impact of Covid-19. Within one week, the campaign has raised over £40,000.

Hosted by the Mayor of London Pay It Forward and backed by comedian Alan Davies, actors Sam West, Richard Wilson amongst many more, the campaign has attracted support from over 800 individuals and aims to raise at least £100,000 towards ongoing running costs to safeguard Hackney Empire’s future.

Donations have ranged from £5 – £5,000 and for gifts of £500 and above donors can dedicate a seat in the venue’s Grade II*listed auditorium.

Over 85% of Hackney Empire’s funding comes from box office and though the pandemic has created huge financial challenges for them, they’ve continued their incredible work with young people by taking its activity online and providing support and engagement for hundreds of young people made more isolated by the lockdown.

Earlier this week members of the Hackney Empire team came together in a special socially distanced photograph to support the venue’s crowdfunding campaign #SaveHackneyEmpire.

Hackney Empire Fundraiser. Photo by: David Monteith-Hodge

The striking image, taken by David Monteith-Hodge, features Artistic Director Yamin Choudury, staff members and young people who have taken part in Hackney Empire’s award-winning Creative Futures programmes on the stage in front of an empty auditorium. All participants were wearing facemasks and maintained social distance at all times.

Artistic Director Yamin Choudury said: “We have been overwhelmed with the phenomenal success to date, of our #SaveHackneyEmpire crowdfunding campaign. It’s given us the chance to reach people from across the Capital, the country and in some cases from across the world, who love this incredible organisation and venue, and who want to help us keep it open.

“The pay it forward scheme has enabled us to harness the huge amounts of goodwill that there is for Hackney Empire and turn that into the funding, that will help to see us through these uncertain times. It’s giving us the best chance of reopening our doors for music, for comedy, for theatre, for young people and of course for Panto in the years to come.”

If you’d like to donate or learn more about the #SaveHackneyEmpire crowdfunding campaign, please click here.


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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.