“I always wanted to work in a slum area of a city and I wanted to work with under privileged people and help to create a setting where they could enjoy life a little more.”

May Scott: Imperial War Museums Sound Archive

The development of Hoxton Hall’s current community arts programme owes a sincere debt to the energy, compassion and creative thinking of May Scott, who joined Hoxton Hall during WWII and became warden in 1957. In the decades following the war, the hall was both a community resource with various classes and activities but gradually the music hall at the centre of the building started to reassert its influence. The 1960’s saw the beginning of Shakespearian productions created and staged at Hoxton Hall and many individuals and groups found room here to experiment and grow. Today our varied programme of professional shows, alongside our youth arts work and heritage events are testament to the rich and varied past of Hoxton Hall.

Our collections from the 1970s onwards are particularly rich, often incorporating production materials, photographs and ephemera relating to individual shows. As well as documentation of the performances that have taken place here, we have administrative reports and project documentation which can help us understand the way in which the theatre came to be used for community theatre programming again, and the impact of the community theatre movement on the local area.

Hoxton Hall has a fully catalogued archive collection based at Hackney Archives in Dalston Library. This archive is accessible to the public during opening hours, with trained staff on hand to help. For how to get there and opening times please see here.

We also have a fully digitised archive available to view by appointment via Hoxton Hall

Discover more about Hoxton Hall’s unique history by downloading the Hoxton Hall Experience app and visiting us. This sensory journey will guide you around the building and immerse you in Hoxton Hall’s past through a combination of digital and live installation.

Hoxton Hall Experience>>

Arts based Heritage events and workshops take place throughout the year. Whether it’s taking part in arts and crafts family activities or dancing your socks off at a good old fashioned tea dance our heritage activities offer something for everyone and are designed to excite and engage the local community in the rich and varied history of the hall and its locality. Check out DO and SEE

Hoxton Hall: A short history of Hoxton Hall and its locality

Cload, P. (2008) Hoxton Hall 1983 to 2008 – A Personal History – The launch of Hoxton Hall as a Community Arts Centre

Available for purchase at Hoxton Hall reception