Alie Street

Half Moon Theatre: 27 Alie Street

Half Moon Theatre was formed in 1972 in a disused synagogue in Alie Street, Aldgate. It took its name from Half Moon Passage at the side of the building, an alleyway which is still there today, though the original building has been demolished. Two of the founders, Michael Irving and Maurice Colbourne, already lived in the synagogue and decided to convert the space into a fringe theatre when joined by Artistic Director, Guy Sprung. They were soon joined by many other theatre people and artists, including Jeff Hooper, Steve Gooch and Mary Sheen, and were offered help from members of the local community.

The company’s opening production in January 1972 was Bertolt Brecht’s In the Jungle of the Cities. In May 1972 the company had a major artistic success with Will Wat, If Not, What Will? by Steve Gooch, which received many positive reviews in the national press. Half Moon also actively sought to highlight opportunities for local actors and writers, including Billy Colvill and Johnnie Quarrell, to explore important topical issues and supported groups such as the Basement Writers. Other notable productions included Fall In and Follow Me by Dave Marson and Billy Colvill, a play about the children’s strike of 1911, and Female Transport by Steve Gooch.


Building photos

Interviews: core artists

Half Moon Theatre A People's Palace

Interviews: building, local area and context

News articles

Memories: How Half Moon got its name

Interviews: artistic and community ethos

Young people's theatre

Half Moon Memories – by Murray Edmond

Bid for Wilton's Music Hall Articles

Wilton’s for the East End: The Untold Story

Half Moon Photography Workshop - founded in 1972, based in Half Moon Foyer (became Cameraworks)

Wendy Ewald - photos of children who lived on Alie Street


Letterheads and miscellaneous

Alie Street today