Community theatre 'offers collective healing' from lockdown with three-week festival

Tower Theatre Company is launching a mini festival across three Hackney venues. 

The Tower Theatre Company is launching a mini festival across three Hackney venues. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company

A Hackney community theatre, which moved from Islington two years ago, is hosting a mini festival of the arts celebrating the human spirit through lockdown. 

The festival, called Love [and Survival] in a time of Covid will run for three weeks from June 25 to July 18. It follows the reopening of the theatre on June 2, after being closed due to the pandemic. 

One of the theatre's three artistic co-directors Angharad Ormond said: "Collectively we have endured bereavement, loss, isolation, social disruption and financial hardship. The answer to collective trauma is collective healing. Love [and survival] is our offering."

An actress on stage at The Tower Theatre Company

The theatre has just opened after being closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company

The independent theatre company has a near 90 year history, making it one of the oldest non-professional theatre companies in the country. 

Originally based in Islington, it moved to its current home in Stoke Newington two years ago, converting a redbrick building on Northwold Road into a vibrant community theatre. 


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The company also boasts many notable members over its long history including British-American actor Alfred Molina, stage veteran Dame Siân Phillips, Tony award-winning actor Sir Michael John Gambon and BBC broadcaster Richard Baker.

Today, 700 members and friends of the theatre volunteer together to produce about 18 shows a year.

Opening night at The Tower Theatre Company 

The festival will showcase the diverse stories and experiences of local people and resident artists during lockdown. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company

Tower Theatre Company has also partnered with Dalston's Arcola theatre as part of its Today I'm Wiser Festival and the Old Church on Clissold Park for open air performances.

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It's three-week Love [and Survival] festival has drawn on local people's different experiences of Covid lockdowns as well as from the theatre's regular artists, who responded to its open call asking: "How did you get through this last difficult year?"

"It is an opportunity for our members and the local community to share their experiences, build connections, reclaim our identities, and celebrate the narratives and conversations of our lives in the wake of this year of lockdowns." said Ruth Sullivan, Tower Theatre's artistic co-director.

On stage at The TowerTheatre in Hackney.

Seven hundred members and friends of the theatre work together to produce about 18 shows a year. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company

Artistic co-director Simona Hughes added: "Our hope is to reach out to and include as much of the local community as possible - both as contributors and as audience - through our open call out and our pay-what-you-can ticket policy".

Book your tickets at www.towertheatre.org.uk

On stage at The Tower Theatre.

The theatre was originally based in Islington but moved to Hackney two years ago. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company

It is one of the oldest community theatres in the Britain. 

It is one of the oldest community theatres in the Britain. - Credit: The Tower Theatre Company




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