Shoreditch: JOnny Woo

Pioneer of Shoreditch cool: Jonny Woo. Photograph: Mill Co. Project

Jonny Woo proposes that “in 1995, in a pub called the Bricklayers Arms, in Shoreditch, the world began”. In this lecture style performance, Jonny relieves moments from the scene which, he argues, kicked off the next 20 years of regeneration in East London. Using the text from interviews with his friends from the time, local residents and subsequent newcomers, he documents the moments when Shoreditch went from forgotten inner London backwater to the centre of all things cool and discusses the effects – good and bad – which followed in its wake. Lively, unexpected and thoroughly entertaining, the lecture is a life-affirming look at urban change and our notion of community.

Jonny Woo’s East London Lecture will be an explosive verbatim theatre show all about how Shoreditch “happened” in the 1990s. Why did it happen? How did it happen? And was it for better or for worse?

Directed by the award-winning Douglas Rintoul the East London Lecture is written by and stars Jonny Woo who was a key-figure in the “unconscious explosion” of East London, which he thinks stems from The Bricklayers Arms in 1995.


We are hosting a photo competition. The best entries will be shown on the Mill Co. Project website and at the Rose Lipman Building. The winning entry will win tickets to Jonny Woo’s East London Lecture on either Saturday 29, Friday 5 or Saturday 6 November as well as a special Jonny Woo Surprise. We want YOUR photos that capture “Old East London”. Not the super hyper meta fashionista glitz of nu-Shoreditch, but images of the place behind the face. What did East London used to look like – and what clues and hues of that near-forgotten place still remain?

Post your photo, with a title, onto the East London Lecture event page HERE with the hashtag #ELL. Or tweet us your photo and its title to @JonnyWooUK with the hashtag #ELL.

You can enter up to three times. Closing date: 1 December.

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