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“Great theatre but shame about the cafe”
Review of Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire
Ranked #342 of 1,827 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hackney Empire is a special building in a special place - a unique variety theatre for the 21st century. Embracing both local and global communities of artists and audiences, it is determined to nurture and present work that is at once extraordinary, inclusive, inspirational and transformative. Musical theatre and opera, family shows, music and comedy together with local events and an extensive and inclusive programme of workshops and courses, form the heart of the Hackney Empire's work.
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Having driven 90 miles to see a show at The Empire, we thought that a bite in the theatre cafe would be a good idea. At 6.30 in the evening all that was on offer were a couple of stale rolls, poor quality cake and crisps. Poor show, particularly when The Picture House across the road offers a full menu in bright and friendly surroundings.

That said, the theatre is a gem though I would like to see the tradition of the stalls bar remaining open during the show re-established. The theatre was, I believe, the first to do this and make a great link back to the music hall tradition.

Sad to say, the theatre staff were not very friendly - could do better.

1  Thank Skippy50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sleeping beauty"
in 6 reviews
"music hall"
in 6 reviews
"wonderful theatre"
in 5 reviews
"concert orchestra"
in 3 reviews
"dress circle"
in 7 reviews
"upper circle"
in 6 reviews
"christmas pantomime"
in 2 reviews
"simple minds"
in 2 reviews
"lenny henry"
in 2 reviews
"west end prices"
in 2 reviews
"royal academy"
in 2 reviews
"london theatres"
in 2 reviews
"box office"
in 4 reviews
"comfortable seats"
in 2 reviews
"door staff"
in 2 reviews
"audience participation"
in 2 reviews
"great cast"
in 2 reviews
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112 - 116 of 132 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2013

Beautiful decorated, comfortable chairs, from dress circle cannot see orchestra. Stalls are levelled with the stage.
Excellent acoustic.

1  Thank olga011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Hadn't been before but was looking forward to visiting such an iconic building. The interior has been returned to it's former glory, it's lovely and seats were deceptively comfortable. Staff were welcoming and our show was very enjoyable. But £9 for a small coke, fruit juice and packet of jelly babies? I go to theatres in central London once or twice a month and wasn't expecting to pay £3.70 for a J2O. Small bottles of lager were £5.40. With a Wetherspoons opposite it seems a bit silly to be charging such prices. And a lot of people obviously in the know we're bringing in their own refreshments. Charge a fair price and people will buy more than one, pre-show and interval. Most people weren't buying the one. Also cash only, so quite unusual. The young lady serving was embarrassed and apologetic as people commented on the prices. Would happily go back if a show comes up that takes my fancy but I'm afraid I won't be using their bar.

Thank rosebug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2013 via mobile

Hackney Empire is a wonderful old theatre. I've seen many shows there over the years and have never been disappointed. The most recent being Carnaby Street. The theatre is on good bus and train routes so easily accessible. They don't have a car park but have an arrangement with Tesco just across the road. If you do park in there make sure you go to the desk and let them know you are at the theatre or you will get a ticket. The prices are cheap compared to the West End and just as good. I am also a regular West End theatre go'er so can be critical of smaller theatres but definately not in the case of the Empire. The pantomimes at Christmas are brilliant no matter what the story. They are a great night out for the whole family. There are a couple of bars which do get busy. If you want to eat before you go in there is a weatherspoons pub/ restaurant across the road which is cheap but quite nice and there are a few nice shops along the road in Mare Street if you fancy a wander about before your show starts.

2  Thank no1eastender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 April 2013

A good nostalgic night out. Corny story line, but no less corny than Viva Forever! The cast were brilliant especially the very talented Verity and the wind instruments who were playing and dancing all the way through. For me something was missing probably all too predictable, but the cast put their all into the production. Good luck on tour!

Thank alsy30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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