Hackney Showroom Launch Interview with Sam Curtis Lindsay

The new East London theatre space, the Hackney Showroom, launches on March 21st.

Theatre has always played a massive role in the DNA of Hackney Downs Studios. So, ahead of the launch party and the new The Hackney Showroom on March 21st, we sat down with Co-Director Sam Curtis Lindsey to discover what is in store for this emerging new East London Theatre space that rest right inside our humble building. 

What inspired you and Nina Lyndon to create the Hackney Showroom?

SCL: We love theatre that is story led and there still isn't enough space in the existing theatres for all those great storytelling artists to have their work shown - so it was sort of built by demand! People are hungry for top quality theatre that doesn't cost the earth or mean you have to schlep into town, hopefully we provide a solution to that. Plus - when I worked for Eat Work Art I would be inundated with requests from theatre makers desperate for a bit of space to create a show and try stuff out, and these people are some of the most innovative, brave and exciting minds around, the big boys just hadn't cottoned on to that yet so we needed to create a home for those defiant souls.

What can we expect in 2015 from The Hackney Showroom?

SCL: Dreams, hopes, struggles, challenges, injustices, joys, fears, youth, age, laughter, life, Hackney... all under our crinkly metal warehouse roof. ​We are working with some of The UK's most exciting theatre makers to bring the best to you.

How will The Hackney Showroom differ from other theatre spaces in London?

SCL: ​We are a former print warehouse and as such you can't really get away from that vibe, the space demands that you be honest and ​work a little bit to free your imagination. We are not driven by any funding agenda so we can do whatever we like and I want people to be feel like they own the space, it is yours - come take it, use it, play in it you little rascals.

How do you feel the state of theatre in East London is currently?

SCL: ​It is very healthy and it is about to get a whole lot more exciting. ​

POLITRIX is the debut show opening on March 25th, what was the decision process behind leading with this show?

​SCL: We have been behind The Big House from the beginning, we've hosted three of their shows so far and they are top banana. They take real stories and weave them into magic that gets under your skin, you are not allowed to sit in the dark drinking your pinot grigio. 

This show has some powerful stuff to get off its chest and we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't provide a platform for some well needed debate that goes a bit deeper than Russell Brand and that scary bloke, Nigel-fucking-Farage. We should all be out on the streets making a fuss, I hope this play encourages you to put your rain mac on and vote for what you care about.

If you could have directed or acted in any show, which one would it be?

SCL: ​I used to be an actor and I always wanted to play Franknfurter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show because you get to be well naughty and wear suspenders. ​There's lots that I would like to direct but I won't get to do that until we are a bit more settled. There's a vision in my head but its probably too expensive. Maybe I need to marry a sugar daddy?

Maybe you should Sam! Finally, what are the aspirations for The Hackney Showroom in the next say 5 years?

​SCL: To blow your mind, affordably.

You can book your tickets to the Launch Party, Disco Loco and POLITRIX at The Hackney Showroom here.

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