Drama down the Ditch: two Edinburgh hits coming to the town hall saved as an arts centre

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
More than a wedding venue: Shoreditch Town Hall at the east end of Old Street

FROM THE OUTSIDE, SHOREDITCH town hall looks the kind of grey and dull, you-better-be-impressed building typical of the Victorian age.

That was certainly the intention before the borough of Shoreditch was absorbed into Hackney.

Inside, however, the town hall has the kind of layout and decoration that makes such grand edifices worth adapting.

That has happened to this Grade II-lister. Several years ago it was catering to weddings; now it’s building a rep as an arts centre, presenting wide-ranging, including opera; exhibitions; conventions; expositions; plays and comedy. It also houses the Clove Club, a Michelin-starred restaurant (even my editor can’t afford to dine there).

A promising show coming up is Education, Education, Education, which the venue is co-producing.

© Graeme Braidwood
We were told “Things can only get better: a view from the classroom in the Blair era

A sellout in Edinburgh, Education… is about class/es in the time of one of the most-likely-to-succeed yet ultimately failed governments the UK has had — yes, Tony Blair’s. The play follows a clever but disruptive student through a day that turns out to have far-reaching consequences. Things can only get better… or worse.

Shoreditch Town Hall is “supporting” (says a press release) The Nature Of Forgetting, which was also performed in Edinburgh. This mimed play “talks (sic: the press release says so) about what is left when memory is gone”, focussing on a guy dressing for a party for his 55th birthday… “memories spark him into life, unravelling as a tale of friendship, love and guilt”.

It is not soundless: musicians accompany the piece.

Ram©DA0617: Royal Academy of Music Die Dreigroschenoper/The Threepenny Opera RAM @ Shoreditch town hall 160617 © david,altheer@gmail,com
’Ullo, ’ullo, ’ullo, what’s goin’ on ere, then? Threepenny Opera in Shoreditch in 2017

Hamish Scott 290218

Pictures © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction, apart from Graeme Braidwood cast pic. Bigger format versions usually available

Backstory: Go East, young hipster

* Education, Education, Education, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT, Tuesday 17 April 2018-Saturday 21 April 2018, 7.30pm, £15-£18: booking; The Nature Of Forgetting, same venue, Tuesday 24 April 2018-Saturday 28 April 2018, £15-£18: booking 

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

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