East London’s Hackney Empire has announced its next steps toward reopening, as well as Leona Lewis becoming an official patron of the venue.
Events at the venue in 2021 include Alter Ego, a renowned talent showcase for young people and its Artist Development Programme, which takes 40 young people across London to stage a production of Romeo and Juliet, co-directed by Yamin Choudury and Kane Husbands, and written by Sumah Ebelé, an emerging actor and writer from east London.
From September, the venue will open its doors to a non-socially distanced audience, to present comedy, theatre, podcasts, family entertainment and opera.
Hackney Empire will also host the 2021 Beam Showcase, which brings together presentations of new musicals in development, with masterclasses, networking opportunities and panel discussions.
The venue also celebrates its 120th anniversary in November, with further details to be announced.
They will also host their world-famous pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.
Leona Lewis becomes a patron after a long-standing relationship with the venue. With a focus on the Creative Futures Programme, she will offer mentorship and support to young people supported by the venue. Since December 2020, Lewis has been working closely with a group of young artists and musicians aged 15-25 years old from across east and north London.
Kicking off with an intimate Q&A session for the group on Zoom, she shared her own experience and advice, from growing up in Hackney, to winning The X Factor and recording her next release in LA, her song-writing inspiration and how she deals with nerves.
By becoming a patron, she will join Olivier Award-winning actor Clive Rowe, whose name is synonymous with Hackney Empire having starred in over 14 of its acclaimed pantomimes. He also returns to Hackney Empire’s pantomime this year.
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