Limehouse Half Moon neck-and-neck to find UK’s ‘most welcoming’ theatre

PUBLISHED: 13:09 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:09 18 September 2015

Half Moon in Limehouse

Half Moon in Limehouse

Half Moon PR

Award organisers are asking the public to vote for “the most welcoming” on their My Theatre Matters, website, until next Friday, September 25.

Friendly little Half Moon children's threatre reopens after 2014 refurbishment when MP Rushanara Ali cuts ribbonFriendly little Half Moon children's threatre reopens after 2014 refurbishment when MP Rushanara Ali cuts ribbon

“This is a chance to remind east London’s audiences how important their local theatre is to their community,” Half Moon’s director Chris Elwell said.

“We’re a very relaxed theatre—people bring their own food and have a picnic in the foyer. We have an area for buggies, baby changing facilities and our lifts mean the theatre is accessible for all.

“With our compact capacity, I reckon we could be in with a shout!”

More than 250 arts venues are taking part in the vote, with 66 in London alone.

Half Moon is one of the smallest theatres taking part with just 80 seats, while the Edinburgh Playhouse is the largest, with a 3,000 capacity.

Every vote is counted equally for My Theatre Matters! Most Welcoming Theatre, then a top-up is added based on votes received, divided by number of seats at the venue—then multiplied by 200.

Regional winners are announced before an overall national winner is revealed at the Guildhall on October 18.

The Half Moon has been entertaining East End audiences at Limehouse for 25 years with plays for youngsters, as well as touring productions and a creative learning programme including seven youth theatres.

It began in 1970 as the Ailee Street theatre workshop housed in a disused synagogue next to Whitechapel’s Half Moon Passage—the name was suggested by the local press at the time.

It moved to Stepney Green in the 1980s and became a children’s and youth educational when it finally arrived at Limehouse in 1990.

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