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Stoke Newington School celebrates £700,000 theatre refurb with sell-out Oliver show

PUBLISHED: 14:51 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:51 21 January 2020

The cast of Oliver! in Stoke Newington School's first production in its new theatre. Picture: Nathan Holmes

The cast of Oliver! in Stoke Newington School's first production in its new theatre. Picture: Nathan Holmes

Nathan Holmes

Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form celebrated its new state-of-the-art theatre renovation with a sold out performance of the musical Oliver.

Francis Bradbury playing Fagin in Stoke Newington School's production of Oliver. Picture: Nathan HolmesFrancis Bradbury playing Fagin in Stoke Newington School's production of Oliver. Picture: Nathan Holmes

The theatre was officially reopened by the family of Damian Lunn, a former drama teacher at the school in Clissold Road, who died in 2009, and after whom it is named.

The £700,000 refurbishment funded by Hackney Council includes industry-standard lighting and audio-visual systems, modernised ventilation systems, acoustics improvements, mirrors in the drama studio and a full redecoration - making it one of the best of its kind in Hackney.

Students will get hands-on experience with the lighting desk, learn how to record and manipulate sounds, and to use professional digital audio software.

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A pre-show ceremony was attended by deputy mayor of Hackney Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Hackney's director of education and the school's former head teacher, Annie Gammon and the Speaker of Hackney Cllr Kam Adams.

Headteacher of the school, Zehra Jaffer, said: "We are truly delighted to be able to offer this wonderful new facility to our students and the local community.

"Creativity and the arts are integral parts of our curriculum and all of our students will benefit from having access to a theatre with state-of-the-art equipment.

"We are hugely grateful that we are able to honour Damian Lunn with such an excellent space that will support his legacy of a high quality inclusive arts programme for all.

Drama teacher and director of the Oliver production, Kimberley Chatterley, added: "This is an exciting time at Stoke Newington School. The facilities are fantastic and provide enriching opportunities for our diverse cohort of students. We are excited about making future links with the creative industries and the community."

The show sold out for its four-day run, raising over £6,000 for the drama department.

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