Half Moon Theatre

A group of children looking upHalf Moon is a young people's theatre in East London. It focuses on engaging people who are often excluded from arts activity, such as people from BME communities, deaf and disabled people, or people excluded due to socio-economic circumstance.

The charity is based in a Victorian building, which was converted into a drama workshop in the 1990s. Since then it has expanded considerably, and evolved into a fully functioning theatre, which needed to be significantly updated in order to make the space more accessible and welcoming. The charity purchased the building in 2008 (they had previously rented the space) and an ambitious redevelopment plan was developed.

The Foundation awarded a grant of £30,000 towards phase one of the project which cost £330,000. This included:
Two boys smiling on a stage
  • Improvements to the thermal performance of the building


  • Adding insulation under the ground floor


  • Overhauling the sash windows


  • Upgrading all radiators


  • New low energy light fittings


  • Water saving toilet fittings


  • Installation of bicycle lockers and new shower facilities to encourage staff and visitors to travel by bike.

The next phase of the project involves renovation of the exterior of the building and a grant has been awarded from the Arts Council for this – based in part on matched funding raised for phase one, including the Foundation’s grant. Over the course of several months builders will work to repair and refurbish parts of the roof, guttering and external walls. All the exterior decorations will be restored to their former glory.   In addition, the grounds of the theatre will be altered. A new gate which will increase security is to be added along with a new lift. This lift will improve access to the theatre space for disabled audience members and visiting theatre companies who have sets and equipment to install.

Photos: Half Moon Theatre