The Shoreditch Tales


Take a trip through local history as seen through the eyes of the present. 

The Shoreditch Tales was a pop up theatre performance delving into Shoreditch’s past. It offered ride on a canal boat, a cheering on of boxers and a display of popular music hall entertainment.

In an exciting collaboration between Theatre Centre, Hoxton Hall and The Building Exploratory, students from The Bridge Academy brought to local history to life in their own way – with plenty of humour and a hint of melodrama.

Alongside the performances, audience members were able to  check out the historic market stall – how many of these old wares did they recognise? How many eel pies could they knock down? And what stories could they tell us?

The Shoreditch Tales: It Happened Here was a collaboration linking cultural and educational partners from across Shoreditch to create a project that encouraged young people to explore their local heritage, create a piece of theatre for The Shoreditch Festival and become more engaged in their community.

Theatre Centre’s partners were The Bridge Academy, Hoxton Hall, The Building Exploratory, The Shoreditch Trust and LCH.Clearnet. The project was funded by LCH.Clearnet, Heritage Lottery, Discover Hackney and was situated as part of Shoreditch Festival and Create 2010.

We wanted to develop partnership working in the Shoreditch area and to engage young people in their local community and excite them as learners, by:

  • developing young people’s creative, communication and team working skills through engagement with a collaborative devising process
  • providing opportunities for young people to work with professional artists to develop their writing and understanding of performance
  • giving young people ownership of their learning and access to local places of interest;
  • linking local cultural, education and business partners in a unique collaboration;
  • linking The Bridge Academy to a local primary school through the performance and raising the schools profile by engaging within the community.

Over 12 weeks artists from Theatre Centre, Hoxton Hall and The Building Exploratory worked with Year 7-9 students from The Bridge Academy building to a performance at The Shoreditch Festival 2010. Sessions were supported by volunteers from LCH.Clearnet.

Students were involved in researching and gathering stories from the local area including meeting with local expert Carolyn Clark, visits to local interest points including Laburnham Boat Club and Hoxton Hall, developing a new script based on Shoreditch’s heritage with local writer Linda Wilkinson, designing the set and costume for the performance, creating a stall for the festival including an eel pie shy and map to gather visitors stories of the area, performing four-five minute pieces of pop up theatre around the festival site.

Project Downloads

Join our Mailing List

If you would like to receive our regular newsletter, with information about Theatre Centre productions, tours, projects and opportunities, please fill in the form on the right.

We are committed to keeping your data safe and we will only ever email you information that you have agreed to receive and will never share your email with anyone else.