The company’s 2017 Carnival Collective put on a show. Photograph: Hackney Shed

A children’s theatre company based in Clapton is launching a new branch aimed at youngsters aged 16-25 – and kicking it off with a free filmmaking workshop during May’s half-term holiday.

Hackney Shed, which currently caters for under-16s only, says youngsters often leave its care with “nowhere to go” to take part in drama.

But the new Hackney Shed Collective hopes to address the issue by focusing on people aged between 16 and 25, and particularly those with additional needs.

The group’s first project is a two-day filmmaking class at the Huddleston Centre on 30-31 May, during which participants will work with Shed staff to create a short feature.

The first day will involve devising scenes and making costumes and props, with guidance from a professional filmmaker, and day two is for filming.

The youngsters will have an opportunity to perform in front of the camera and to contribute to ideas behind the scenes too.

May’s filmmaking workshop will see youngsters get involved on both sides of the lens. Photograph: Hackney Shed

The Collective is also hosting a summer workshop from 25-27 July at Chats Palace in Homerton, which will look at comedy performance in circus, culminating in a special show for family and friends.

Hackney Shed’s artistic director Vicki Hambley said: “We are setting up the Collective to try to offer more to young adults with learning difficulties and access needs.

“At Hackney Shed, we have experienced young people leaving our provision at the age of 16 and often they don’t have anywhere to go where they can partake in drama with their peers.

“We’ve set the age range to 16-25 because these are such transitional years and young people say it’s important to them to have activities with others in their age group.”

Last year, the company teamed up with Access All Areas – a theatre in Dalston making “disruptive performances by learning disabled and autistic artists” – for a special Carnival Collective for the Discover Young Hackney Festival 2017.

But the Shed is now putting together a funding proposal in the hope of rolling out the Collective long term.

If it is successful in securing the cash, the theatre will extend the Collective to more holiday projects, with a target of eventually running a session every week.

Hackney Shed Collective’s filmmaking workshop takes place from 11am to 4pm on 30-31 May at the Huddleston Centre (accessible venue), 30 Powell Road, E5 8DJ.

To sign up, or for more information, please contact Barry Fitzgerald at or visit

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team