Empty Hoxton shop becomes “exclusive Hackney hipster getaway” for Shakespeare project

An empty shop in Hoxton has become an “exclusive getaway” for Hackney hipsters and Shakespeare lovers, in an experiment to tell one play over a long period of time.

Theatre company, Retz, has been given the space in Hoxton Street as part of the council’s Empty Spaces initiative, and will tell the tale of The Tempest in “less intimidating bite sized chunks” over the course of six months.

The plan is to spend the first three weeks each month performing, and the last one redecorating the space for the next performance, which is currently a “giant super computer” the lovers Ferdinand and Miranda are stuck inside.

“I always wanted to tell an established story over a long period of time and allow people to have an extended relationship rather than a one night stand as most performances are,” said director Felix Mortimer.

“Hopefully eventually it accumulates and ends up in something much larger at the end.”


You may also want to watch:


The project ends the week before the Olympics with street festival in Hoxton, where the two main characters will get hitched.

“There are three ways to access the experiment, you can pop in the day and chat to a cast member and get Shakespeare like that, come in the evening and see a properly formed theatre experience, or come after the show for a trendy experience,” said Felix.

Most Read

“We want to inspire all the people of Hackney.

“Late in the night we want the hipster contingent to discover us, in fact they have already, it’s an exclusive getaway,” added Felix, who defines Hackney hipsters as “people with asymmetric haircuts who hang around in Dalston.”

“We’re pretty happy people like the idea of performance spilling over into real life and are encouraging people to stay on the set afterwards and enjoy themselves.”

To buy tickets for performances in the shop at 297 Hoxton Street or for more info, visit: www.obravenewworld.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter