Mile End Road

Half Moon Theatre, Mile End Road. Photo by Conrad Blakemore.

Half Moon Theatre: 213 Mile End Road

In 1979, Half Moon Theatre moved into the former Welsh Methodist Chapel on the Mile End Road and began to plan its transformation into a new theatre and community centre. Rob Walker’s first production, staged in the scaffolding of the un-renovated building, had Frances de la Tour as a female Hamlet. In 1980 Pal Joey, starring Sian Philips and Denis Lawson, was a big hit and transferred to the West End. An arson attack in 1981, during a run of Ezra by Bernard Kops, destroyed some valuable archives, but the building itself was not badly damaged. This was followed by the world premiere of Edward Bond’s The Worlds. In 1982 came Yakety Yak!, a musical with the band Darts and all four McGann brothers: Joe, Mark, Paul and Stephen.


Building images

Interviews: core artists

Half Moon - The First Ten Years

Interviews: building, local area and context

News articles, New Half Moon

Architects Journal, 14 August 1985

Plans and drawings


Half Moon Theatre folded brochure

Interviews: artistic and community ethos

News articles

Young people's theatre

A History of the Half Moon Young People's Theatre, 1975-1987

Half Moon - Fundraising Brochure for Mile End Road


Half Moon Rising - Phase 1


New Half Moon International Appeal

Trade Union fundraising assistance

Half Moon - a Cultural Centre for the Labour Movement

News articles, arts cuts

News articles, building to be sold

Dan Jones painting of Half Moon Young People's Theatre


The New Half Moon - a People's Palace

A memory from Hilary Elder (then Metcalfe)

Hilary Metcalfe (now Hilary Elder), photographed on 12 April 2023 with Half Moon’s director Chris Elwell.