Sam Curtis Lindsay on Incredible New Venue Hackney Showroom
We caught up with Sam Curtis Lindsay to talk about hot new arts & events venue Hackney Showroom. Here’s what the little devil had to tell us…
Tell us about Hackney Showroom? What’s it all about?
Hackney Showroom is an industrial warehouse space and theatre, set in a 4,000 sq ft former print works at Hackney Downs Studios. Our aim is to enrich the cultural lives of residents of Hackney and beyond and seek out partnerships with the very best artists and companies and present brave new work for the stage. We also have a studio theatre that can be hired out for rehearsals and we even get used for weddings!
Tell us about ‘the journey’ – how did you end up creating Hackney Showroom?
I trained as an actor and spent a lot of time working with young people in lots of different settings and I also made my own shows. I took on a Saturday job running Netil Market, where I first met Nina Lyndon (co-director) who was trading at the time. Before I knew it I was Head of Operations for Eat Work Art with a lot of responsibility, 90 staff, 4 buildings and full-time construction team. I would weave theatre into the company wherever I could and managed to programme some great work from the likes of Paines Plough and LIFT in empty spaces. The job gave me the commercial nous I wanted and access to space that I needed to build a theatre. Nina approached me with her charity New Future Collective to create shows for the space and we decided it would be great to join forces and make the theatre a big reality, it all just clicked.
What makes your events different?
We are affordable but don’t compromise on production values. You can expect to have your mind blown for under £15.
What events at Hackney Showroom would you recommend?
If you want to get in there right from the beginning and be involved in shaping its future then I’d say come along to the launch. The first show in the space is Politrix by our resident theatre company The Big House, and it is set to be awesome.
Who inspires you?
Aung San Suu Kyi for resilience and always wearing a flower in her hair. My friend Murray whose approach is never ordinary, and for seeing potential in everyone.
What are your favourite places to go in London?
What are your favourite free or cheap things to do in London?
I love walking through the city when its the weekend. It’s like a set where all the actors have gone home and suddenly the space is without purpose.
You can get on an overground and go to Richmond Park and be a metre away from Deer – you get on the ginger line and it costs £1.50 from Hackney. Bargain.
What’s on your To Do List for this year?
I’m a bit caught up with our launch and also our kids party Disco Loco which is the day after… once these are out of the way then I’m going to continue seeing as much new theatre as I can – saying that, this week I’m seeing The Mikvah Project at The Yard, going to a scratch writing night in Peckham and Adopt a Playwright showcase at The Haymarket.
For the rest of the year my highlights will hopefully be Glastonbury and the Edinburgh festival plus our free family arts festival “Disco Loco in the Park” which is in Springfield Park on 26th July.
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.