Shoreditch Town Hall has announced 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.
n 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.”