Shoreditch Town Hall Announces 2020 Cultural Programme

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Today Shoreditch Town Hall announces their 2020 cultural programme which opens with the London premiere of This Time by award-winning circus company Ockham's Razor, presented as part of London International Mime Festival. In February, Tim Cowbury returns with his bold response to the migration crisis, The Claim, following its run in Edinburgh as part of the British Council Showcase; the piece is directed by Mark Maughan.

Brighton Fringe Award winner (2017) and Total Theatre Award nominee (2019) Harry Clayton-Wright will present Sex Education in March as part of And What? Queer. Arts. Festival., and The Wardrobe Ensemble will return to the Town Hall with the London premiere of The Last of the Pelican Daughters, a Wardrobe Ensemble, Complicité and Royal & Derngate co-production in association with Bristol Old Vic.

In April, Daniel Bye & Boff Whalley's These Hills Are Ours, commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall and produced by ARC Stockton, will play in the Large Committee Room, and the London premiere of Scottee: Class, an unflinching commentary on social structures, will play for three weeks in the Council Chamber.

June will see the Town Hall's fifth collaboration with LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre), this time on the UK premiere of Brooklyn-based Tina Satter / Half Straddle's Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription. In September, the Town Hall will co-produce the world premiere of Charlotte Josephine's FLIES, with Boundless Theatre.

Throughout 2020, the Town Hall will present an eclectic mix of one-off events in the Assembly Hall, harnessing the space's original purpose for variety and music hall entertainment. Jo Fong will present Ways of Being Together in February, commissioned by Chinese Arts Now, and in May Clod Ensemble & Nu Civilisation Orchestra will present The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady. Choreographer, artist and innovator Ivan Blackstock and CRXSS PLATFXRM will present THE CULTURE in July. September will see the Town Hall partner with Dalston-based Rio Cinema to present 40th anniversary screenings of cult classics Fame and The Shining. Friday Night Dance Parties will take place with Dance Umbrella during October, and in November the Town Hall will present an all-night screening of the US Presidential Election, as well as UNFLOPPED Live - the podcast that resurrects forgotten pop classics.

2020 will see the return of the annual building-wide Great Shoreditch Easter Egg Hunt; the Town Hall's festival by and for young people, Shoreditch Live; and the continuation of much-loved Tea Dance and Baby Loves Disco Mini Roadshow activity. The Town Hall will also enter into their second year of a partnership with Mountview on the MA in Site-Specific Theatre Practice led by Geraldine Pilgrim - the first course of its kind in the UK.

Looking ahead, Kneehigh will return to the Town Hall at the end of 2020, and in 2021 Shoreditch Town Hall and The Old Vic will work together on an exciting new partnership for the fifth year of The Old Vic 12. For the first time, following The Old Vic 12's year-long attachment for artists to create and develop three brand new plays, the work will be presented in a three-week repertory season in the Council Chamber in March 2021, in a Shoreditch Town Hall and Old Vic co-production.

Today Shoreditch Town Hall also announces that in 2020 they will embark on a three-phase capital and building development project over two years. It will focus on opening up the building, improving perception, and removing physical and psychological barriers to better engage with visitors, and strengthen the organisation's civic responsibility for communities in Shoreditch and beyond. Phase I of the programme, which involves works on the external façade and is generously supported by Backstage Trust, will begin next year.

James Pidgeon, Director & Chief Executive of Shoreditch Town Hall, today said: "We are thrilled to be announcing our 2020 cultural programme and wider plans and ambitions for the next year. The programme is purposefully eclectic and works with a number of partners to provide a platform for artistic voices from across the world. All of the work presented has something important and relevant to say; we very much look forward to welcoming audiences to the building to be part of the conversation, harnessing the Town Hall's history as a civic centre for discussion, dialogue and debate."

Shoreditch Town Hall is a registered charity and receives no regular or revenue funding; the Town Hall's cultural programme is generously supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and the Garrick Charitable Trust, and the capital programme is generously supported by Backstage Trust.

Ockham's Razor presents

This Time

Part of London International Mime Festival

Wednesday 8 - Sunday 19 January 2020

Press night: Thursday 9 January

Suspended high above or swinging perilously close to ground, Ockham's Razor's superb artists amaze with new takes on trapeze and cradle routines in this highly unusual visual theatre drama.

Performed with unique aerial equipment specially created for the piece, This Time explores time and transformation and the ups and downs of family relationships, and shows how we are strong in different ways at different times of life.

With a cast ranging in age from 13 to 60, This Time is this award-winning circus-theatre company's thrilling new show.

Ockham's Razor won the 2017 Total Theatre and Jackson's Lane Award for Circus for their production, Tipping Point.

Theatre Re presents

The Language of the Actor

Part of London International Mime Festival

Monday 13 - Friday 17 January 2020

Through this five-day workshop designed for professional and semi-professional performers, participants will be immersed in Theatre Re's vital approach to Etienne Decroux's Corporeal Mime.

From body articulation to counterweights, from dynamo rhythm to mobile statuary, participants will discover how to play their body like a violin, how to create movement in stillness and how to allow inner impulses flow into expression.

Guillaume Pigé is an actor, director, mime and magician. He formed Theatre Re in 2009 and has directed each of the company's productions to date. He is an Associate Teacher at R.A.D.A, Head of Movement at Fourth Monkey, and is regularly invited to give workshops in the UK and internationally.


By Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Part of Chinese Arts Now

Wednesday 12 & Thursday 13 February 2020

The ultimate Culture Clash - classical music meets Chinese percussion, grime and electronica, each step taken with poise and finesse as ballet meets popping, waacking and ambient footwork.

In a 3-part performance bringing together music, dance and word, TRIPTYCH is a movement exploring otherness and hidden identities, celebrating the power behind the female body and voice. Featuring the Grime Violinist + MC Lady Lykez, with dance from female powerhouse House of Absolute, TRIPTYCH remoulds the concert and theatre experience as an immersive multidisciplinary installation, set in The Ditch of Shoreditch Town Hall.

Jasmin Kent Rodgman is an artist whose work traverses the worlds of classical music, electronics, world music and sound design. A bold voice of her generation, her work pushes the boundaries of the musical experience, often built around themes of gender and race, exploring 'otherness' and featuring exciting artistic collaborations spanning poetry, dance and film.

Further developing a commission from Wilderness Festival 2019, TRIPTYCH is part of CAN Festival 2020, and is commissioned by Chinese Arts Now and presented in partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall.

Ways of Being Together

By Jo Fong

Part of Chinese Arts Now

Saturday 22 February 2020

Ways of Being Together is a celebration of possibility. A testament to the belief that amazing things can be created with people we barely know. That communities can emerge, remake themselves and be enriched.

Part of the Chinese Arts Now Festival 2020, Ways of Being Together draws together over forty performers from across London for a one-off spontaneous, dynamic mass movement of bodies and lives. Expect a view of the world in its multiplicity, its opposites and all its beautiful complexity.

Commissioned by Chinese Arts Now and presented in partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall. Supported by Live Art UK: Diverse Actions and Surf the Wave.

The Claim

By Tim Cowbury

Directed by Mark Maughan

Tuesday 18 February - Saturday 7 March 2020

Press night: Thursday 20 February

A comically absurd and quietly shattering journey to the heart of our tolerant and fair society.

Serge stands before us. He has a performance to give. But why is he here? What is he claiming has happened to him? And what has Willy Wonka got to do with it?

A bold, imaginative response to the stories of those seeking refuge in the UK, The Claim asks what happens when your life is at stake and all you have to save it are your words.

Sex Education

By Harry Clayton-Wright

Part of And What? Queer. Arts. Festival.

Tuesday 17 - Friday 27 March 2020

Press night: Thursday 19 March

One parent refuses to talk about sex. The other buys their child gay porn DVDs. Sex Education blends a no holds barred interview with Harry's mum, startling performance, moving storytelling and some good old-fashioned gay porn that his dad bought him when he was 14. This is a show for anyone who's wondered why they want what they want.

Shoreditch Town Hall presents

The Great Shoreditch Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday 11 April 2020

Shoreditch Town Hall throws open its doors for building-wide family fun with The Great Shoreditch Easter Egg Hunt!

Hop along during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and join in the hunt for hidden eggs, nestled in nooks and crannies throughout our beautiful Victorian building.

There'll also be a basket-load of surprises, activities and performances for everyone to enjoy.

The Wardrobe Ensemble presents

The Last of the Pelican Daughters

A Wardrobe Ensemble, Complicité and Royal & Derngate co-production in association with Bristol Old Vic and Pleasance

Monday 23 - Friday 27 March 2020

Press night: Tuesday 24 March

In folklore, pelican mothers feed their young on their own blood. In 2019, four sisters are trying to divide their mother's house between them.

Joy wants a baby, Storm wants to be seen, Sage just wants to remember and Maya doesn't want anyone to find out her secret. There's a boot load of cheap prosecco, a whole ham from Waitrose and Dodo the yoga instructor boyfriend has made baba ganoush. Mum's presence still seeps through the ceiling and the floors. The Pelican Daughters are home for the last time.

After the success of Education, Education, Education on the West End, The Wardrobe Ensemble grapple with family, inheritance and justice in this comedy about a family trying to come to terms with their mother's death.

These Hills Are Ours

By Daniel Bye & Boff Whalley

Produced by ARC Stockton

Tuesday 31 March - Friday 3 April

Press night: Thursday 2 April

Do you ever want to run away from it all?

Dan and Boff did exactly that: they ran a series of routes from the centre of the city in which they found themselves, to the top of the peak overlooking that city. But what are we really running from?

In story and in song, These Hills Are Ours is the story of what they found out on those journeys. It's about escaping it all by running to wild places. Escaping the city, escaping your past, escaping the restrictions upbringing or class or politics. It's a celebration of wild places and our freedom to roam them.

Commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall, Leeds Playhouse, Lancaster Arts, Beaford Arts and the Eden Project.

Scottee and Friends Ltd presents

Scottee: Class

Tuesday 21 April - Thursday 7 May 2020

Press night: Wednesday 22 April

Scottee grew up around mould, mice and clothes off the market. After a chance meeting with some posh kids, his Mum teaching him to talk proper and him successfully persuading his parents to take him off free school meals Scottee knew he didn't want to be common.

In his final solo show Scottee uncovers what it is to be embarrassed about where you're from, how you can pretend to be posher than you are and explores why we all get a thrill playing god with green tokens from Waitrose.

This is a show for the middle classes.

Class isn't a show for those processing issues around domestic violence, food addiction and the effects of growing up in poverty.

Clod Ensemble & Nu Civilisation Orchestra presents

The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady

Thursday 14 - Saturday 16 May 2020

Charles Mingus' The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady is often cited as 'one of the albums to listen to before you die'. In an electrifying collaboration between Clod Ensemble and Nu Civilisation Orchestra, you are invited to experience this jazz classic the way it was intended - as a piece to dance to.

Join a world-class company of dancers and musicians on the dancefloor for a wildly sensual, rhythmically explosive celebration of one of the greatest records of all time. Late bar until midnight. Wallflowers welcome.

A late set of live music will feature new works by composers Paul Clark and Peter Edwards.

The première - the culmination of a series of music and dance workshops bringing together local elders and young people - will be exclusively for 300 invited residents of Shoreditch and Hoxton. Tickets for other performances will be available to the general public.

Supported by Hackney Council's Shoreditch and Hoxton Arts Fund, created from a levy on developers to support arts and culture programmes that bring different communities together.

Tina Satter / Half Straddle

Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription

Presented by LIFT & Shoreditch Town Hall

Tuesday 2 June - Saturday 13 June 2020

Press night: Wednesday 3 June

June 3, 2017. A 25-year-old US Air Force linguist called Reality Winner is surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, and then charged with leaking evidence proving Russian interference in the US elections. She's in jail now.

Conceived as a play and directed by leading NYC director Tina Satter, the verbatim transcript reveals a gripping match between the knife-sharp Reality and the FBI agents who arrive unannounced to interrogate her. As Reality's autonomy shrinks before her eyes, a simmering real-life thriller emerges, offering vital considerations of access, language, power, patriotism, and honour at this particularly loaded American moment currently echoing across the Atlantic.



Friday 3 July 2020

See the future of Street Culture with choreographer, artist and innovator Ivan Blackstock and CRXSS PLATFXRM, bringing you the underground artists that you need to know about. THE CULTURE presents an array of artists representing new perspectives from performance, film and dance to music, fashion and digital art with a Street Culture edge.

Following a week of artistic development and experimentation at Shoreditch Town Hall, CRXSS PLATFXRM's selected artists will share their process alongside never-before-seen performances. Expect raw and emerging underground styles and sounds and finish the evening with a club vibe brought by CRXSS PLATFXRM resident DJs.

Actually Rather Good presents

ARGComFest 2020

Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 July 2020

London's greatest comedy festival returns for its ninth year, bringing the spirit of the Fringe to Shoreditch!

ARGComFest is a weekend comedy festival of Fringe previews and work-in-progress shows with an attentively curated programme of sixty acts, featuring big name TV favourites and up-and-coming newcomers. In 2016, ARGComFest became the first major comedy festival to have a gender balanced programme and it continues to champion diversity and representation within comedy.

Regular acts include many previous Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees and winners, such as Netflix superstar James Acaster, cult favourite Josie Long, and The Mash Report host Nish Kumar.

For the most up-to-date programme including artists and show information, visit

Shoreditch Town Hall presents

Edinburgh Previews 2020

Tuesday 7 - Sat 25 July 2020

Catch the most exciting new theatre productions a month before they open at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Shoreditch Town Hall will be presenting 30 Edinburgh Previews across The Ditch throughout July 2020, some of which will be performed by Town Hall supported artists and companies, and others which will be by artists recruited through open call.

Details on the open call process and final line-up to be announced.

Boundless Theatre & Shoreditch Town Hall presents


By Charlotte Josephine

Tuesday 22 September - Saturday 10 October 2020

Press night: Thursday 24 September

I see you seeing me.

What are you looking at? Why's no one talking about this? When's it our turn?

Girls are done with stories about boys, done with stories by boys, done with all their looking.

Girls want to take up space, take centre stage, take the patriarchy and smash it. Girls just want to have fun, right?

You're looking at me, I can see you looking at me. And I can see you've got no idea what it feels like to be seen

Flies is about girls being looked at by boys. It's about hitting puberty and being smacked by the male gaze. The power and the shame, the pleasure and the fear that flies around your body when you're constantly being looked at.

Flies started as a takedown of Lord of the Flies, it ends on a stage filled with young women.


Charlotte Josephine is an award-winning actor and writer, their work includes Bitch Boxer, BLUSH and Pops.

Flies is a Boundless Theatre commission.


If you're a boy reading this don't be scared. 'Flies' is for you too. We want you to be there. We want you to see us, not watch us. We want to party together.

Shoreditch Town Hall & Rio Cinema presents

Fame & The Shining

40th Anniversary Screenings

Wednesday 30 September - Saturday 3 October 2020

As these two cult classics celebrate their 40th anniversaries in 2020, Shoreditch Town Hall has for the first time partnered with Rio Cinema to present screenings across our magnificent building. Fame and The Shining will play in repertoire for just three screenings each and will also feature bespoke artist commissions and catering offers, making these not-to-be-missed anniversary experiences.

Friday Night Dance Parties

Part of Dance Umbrella

Fridays: 9, 16 & 23 October 2020

It's party time.

Dance Umbrella and Shoreditch Town Hall invite you to three special get-down-on-it October nights, each in a different style, curated by a different guest artist.

Bring your dancing shoes and expect to sweat.

Upstart Theatre presents

DARE Festival 2020

Thursday 22 - Saturday 24 October 2020

DARE Festival is a three-day extravaganza of inventive, unexpected, challenging and ground-breaking new work. 2020 marks its fifth year in Shoreditch Town Hall's Ditch and will be bigger and better than ever with twelve brand new commissions of artists from across the country.

Curated by critically-acclaimed arts innovators Upstart Theatre, DARE invites submissions from artists working in a wide range of disciplines and brings together performance, installations and panel discussions. It is an opportunity to see new work in its earliest stages and gives artists vital audience feedback which can inform the next stage of a work's development.

Shoreditch Town Hall presents

Screening of the US Presidential Election

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Join us in the Assembly Hall alongside a line-up of guest artists, commentators and thinkers, as we broadcast the results of the 2020 US Presidential Election live.

Can Trump pull off a second shock victory? Or will the Democrats' challenger defeat a sitting president for the first time since 1992?

One thing's for sure - it's going to be another wild and unpredictable late night.

Shoreditch Town Hall & UNFLOPPED presents


The podcast that resurrects forgotten pop classics

Friday 20 November 2020

Got a song you love that totally should have been a smash hit but criminally wasn't? Well, that's what UNFLOPPED is all about. In this hit podcast, pop know-it-alls Sean and Stuart pitch for the redemption of flop singles they believe deserve a second chance, then bona-fide musical genius Judge Joe breaks down the tracks and ultimately chooses one to be officially UNFLOPPED. See the UK's leading LGBT+ music podcast live on stage for the first time, along with some special guests, with a show that will make you think, make you laugh, and probably introduce you to your new favourite song.

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