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Estate-based Youth Theatres

We have been providing FREE high quality open access youth theatres on estates in Hackney since 1998. The programme has engaged thousands of participants who do not traditionally have access to arts opportunities.

Our Model

This established model aims to help participants develop improved interpersonal skills, artistic abilities, and emotional health & wellbeing, which has been endorsed by the Centre for Youth Impact as having a significant impact on young people. The projects are delivered within a community context and help to build community cohesion.

We are currently running seven regular youth theatres across the borough of Hackney, providing weekly after-school sessions and holiday projects. We offer accreditation for participants, which include AQAs, and regularly submit young people for achievement awards. Several of our projects also provide people with hot food or refreshments.

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Current Project

Spring Term = Social Action! This year our young people will be exploring the theme of “Dreams, Hopes & Journeys”. We’ll be delivering Social Action Packs to participants so they can work on their projects at home.

Following NYA guidance we are currently running a mixture of online and live sessions. We have made decisions for each group based on participant needs and vulnerability. All live sessions will be operating by invitation only, with limited numbers and strict health & safety measures in place. For those unable to attend, the sessions will also be available to join online. Please see below for details of each group.

Contact Participation Manager Charmain on 07525892953 or email Youth Drama Coordinator Hannah on for more information on individual Youth Theatres and the additional COVID measures we have in place.


Regular Session Details


Nightingale Youth Theatre

  • MONDAY 3:45 – 5:15pm
  • Ages 8-11

Huddleston Youth Theatre

  • MONDAY 6 – 8pm
  • Ages 12-25 (for young people with disabilities)
  • Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton Rd, Hackney,
  • E9 5QB

Kingsmead Youth Theatre

  • TUESDAY 3:45 - 5:15pm
  • Ages 5-9
  • Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton Road, Hackney,
  • E9 5QB

Wally Foster Youth Theatre

  • WEDNESDAY 5:30 - 6:45pm
  • Ages 12-18 (25 for young people with disabilities)
  • Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton Road, Hackney,
  • E9 5QB

NEW Pembury Youth Theatre

  • THURSDAY 3:45 – 5:15pm
  • Ages 8-12
  • Pembury Community Centre, Dalston Lane, Hackney, E8 1FA

Forest Road Youngers Youth Theatre

  • FRIDAY 4:15 – 5:30pm
  • Ages 5-12
  • Forest Rd Youth Hub, 29 Forest Road, E8 3BY

Forest Road Olders Youth Theatre

  • FRIDAY 6 – 8pm
  • Ages 12-25 years (inclusive of young people with disabilities)

Stepping Up Transitions Programme

We run weekly online sessions for young people moving from Primary to Secondary school, aiming to ease the transition for young people who find this period in their lives overwhelming, confusing, and anxiety-inducing.

Thanks to funding from the Youth Endowment Fund, Stepping Up will run for a full year to provide continued support for participants across their first year of secondary school. The project provides opportunities for participants to gain accreditation and, at key milestones, the group will share their work with parents, carers, and if possible, form tutors via online platforms.

For more information on the project or if you are from a local school and would like to refer students, please contact Charmain or Olivia.