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£50,000 of damage as vandals smash windows of Hoxton's disabled-led theatre company Graeae

PUBLISHED: 16:38 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:22 01 October 2019

The damage caused to the windows of Graeae Theatre Company. Picture: Graeae Theatre Company

The damage caused to the windows of Graeae Theatre Company. Picture: Graeae Theatre Company

Archant

Heartless vandals caused £50,000 worth of damage by smashing the windows of a top disabled-led theatre company in Kingsland Road.

Graeae Theatre Company in Kingsland Road. Picture: Graeae Theatre CompanyGraeae Theatre Company in Kingsland Road. Picture: Graeae Theatre Company

Graeae Theatre Company, a charity that has been in Hoxton for more than 10 years, was attacked after 9pm on Thursday night.

Staff discovered the damage the following day and police are now investigating, though sadly there is no CCTV.

Three huge windows facing onto the street were shattered but the attackers were unable to gain access due to their resilience.

Operations director Kevin Walsh told the Gazette there was a single point of impact on each window, and it was obviously not an accident.

The damage caused to the windows of Graeae Theatre Company. Picture: Graeae Theatre CompanyThe damage caused to the windows of Graeae Theatre Company. Picture: Graeae Theatre Company

"We can't work out who would deliberately cause this damage," he said. "We're safe and thankfully we can still work here until the repairs are carried out, but the cost does affect a small charity like ours that is already battling to remain here in the midst of rising overheads."

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After posting online about the incident, the theatre world came out in support of Graeae, which creates accessible theatre and provides a platform for deaf and disabled artists.

"It has been humbling to see that so many people have shown us solidarity and support and some have even offered to make a donation to help cover the cost," said Kevin.

"We weren't expecting such love and respect from our peers and neighbours and it has really blown us away.

"Graeae has been a part of the Hackney community for the last 10 years. Bradbury Studios is our home and we have around 6,000 visitors come through our doors every year.

"It is one of the only fully accessible rehearsal spaces in London and is a beacon to other arts organisations who travel from across the UK and overseas to take inspiration for their own venues."

Kevin said the windows were "the most expensive thing in the building" as they had to soundproof the rehearsal space. The cost of the damage is covered by the insurance, but as Kevin said it will still impact the company.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to Graeae can do so at justgiving.com/graeae.

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