The legendary Hackney Empire, in East London – has received £585,064 to ‘help support a new model of responsive programming and address increased costs driven by the pandemic’. Originally a Musical Hall built in 1901 the venue has seen most of the greats of early film comedy appear on its hallowed stage. In more recent times many of the most celebrated comedians we see on our screens have walked its boards and several light entertainment shows have been made and broadcast from the venue.
In all more than 1,300 arts and cultural organisations are benefitting from a share of £257 million as part of a vital financial boost from the tax-payers £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Others Theatre Royal Stratford East, London – £495,625 will help the theatre to continue to adapt their work including digital offerings and live work that supports local young people, schools and community groups.
Stratford East is a launch pad for many diverse theatremakers, directors, writers and performers including Meera Syal, Barbara Windsor, Don Warrington, Sheila Hancock, Indhu Rubasingham, Tanika Gupta, Roy Williams and Cynthia Erivo.
Backyard Comedy Club, Tower Hamlets, London – £200,000 makes it possible for grassroots showcases, touring bands and comedy nights attracting some of the best comics on the circuit to be restarted at the largest purpose-built comedy club in London.
Backyard Comedy Club is one of the most acclaimed comedy venues in the country, hosting performances by a diverse range of famous comedians, including Jo Brand, Russell Howard, Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe, Alan Carr, and providing a stage for the next generation of comedians to showcase their talents.
Other organisations to benefit from the funding include: Laughter House, Liverpool; Caddies Comedy Club, Southend; Up The Creek, Greenwich; Soho Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre, London; Glee Clubs in Birminghan, Cardiff, Glasgow and Nottingham.