We celebrated the official launch of Stages of Half Moon with a three day Festival of events, from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July 2016, including performances from our four oldest Youth Theatre groups (Eclipse, Equinox, Lunar and Solar), who spent two terms devising their own shows inspired by some of the iconic productions from across the 44-year history of the company.
There was also an exhibition of posters and photographs and other original artefacts in our foyer space, Gallery @ Half Moon, until 1 September 2016. This then toured to three further London venues before returning to be a permanent exhibition in the Half Moon Theatre.
A short video about the Stages of Half Moon Festival, featuring extracts from our four Youth Theatre productions, interviews with some of the young people and images of our exhibition.
From its inception in 1972 Half Moon Theatre played a key role in the development of the theatre sector, as well as in the involvement in the arts of the broader East End community. Although the parent company closed in 1990, the young people’s section continued and still thrives as an independent charity today as the UK’s leading professional small-scale young people’s venue and touring company.
An award from the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme in 2015 enabled us to work with young people to research the history of the company. We collated and digitised as much information as possible to create the dedicated website you are currently reading (www.stagesofhalfmoon.org.uk) and a small touring exhibition.
Entitled Stages of Half Moon, this project was a great opportunity for young people to discover the heritage of such an important body of work. The filmed interviews, with over 100 people who have been involved with the company in various capacities over the years – artistic, backstage, administrative, as an audience member, or youth participant – were particularly fascinating.