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You don’t have to head into the West End to catch an acclaimed production as East London has a variety of venues from large to small, showing contemporary productions, award-winning shows and comical acts.

Hackney Empire has had the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Marie Lloyd step through its doors but in more recent days it has become a much-loved East-End institution housing big names in comedy, children’s theatre and every Christmas pantomime. You can also come along to this beautiful building to view community theatre or music acts.

Arcola Theatre is based in the heart of Dalston and was here before the hipsters came along. It commissions and premieres exciting, original works alongside rare gems of world drama and bold new productions of classics. With affordable tickets and a community feel about the place you can expect jazz festivals and Turkish productions as well as serious re-interpretations of dramas and performing arts.

Stratford Circus brings accessible, world-class performances and creative learning to the communities in Newham and East London. Many students and graduates perform at Stratford Circus or enjoy the creative classes, performances and welcoming space.

Theatre Royal Stratford East represents the culturally and socially diverse community from the local area in the work they create by bringing to life stories that are current, political and representative of London. Their active learning programme means young people can get involved and learn theatre making skills alongside peers.