About Us


Hackney Shed is a performing arts group for young people. We believe that every member of the group has something special to offer to the development of the art, and the development of the group. Hackney Shed works hard to provide an exciting, vibrant, creative and accepting place for children and young people to come together, share ideas and produce exciting theatre.

Established in 2001 with the support Chickenshed Theatre, we are now an independent charity. We are proud of our heritage and we are excited about the future as we continue to grow.

Workshops for 7-19 year olds

We run theatre workshops that include drama, singing, music and movement workshops every week, at B6 Sixth Form College, Clapton, Hackney.

There are three groups

Children's Theatre
(7-11 years old)

Youth Theatre
(11-16 years old)

HS Plus
(16–19 year old)

Each group works at its own pace and everyone is encouraged to develop their own ideas within the framework developed by practitioners.

Every year we work towards either combined or separate performances, placing equal emphasis on process and product and employing our inclusive workshop techniques throughout.

Mentoring and training

Another key area of Hackney Shed's focus is our mentoring and training. This offers youth theatre members the opportunity to take more responsibility in supporting the children's theatre with the ultimate aim to become practitioners themselves. They lead planned activities within the workshop, and are encouraged to develop their own workshop ideas.

We also have many skilled volunteer practitioners who attend each week and we offer termly training for their development in our inclusive processes.

Accessible and inclusive

Hackney Shed offers an accessible and inclusive place where children and young people can become valuable members of the company, exploring their creativity and working inclusively with their peers.

Our children and young people attend both special and mainstream education in the borough. Everything that we do is accessible on many levels to ensure that everyone is able to take part.

As part of the Discover Young Hackney festival in 2009, Hackney Shed won 'Most Accessible project' award for our Play in a Day project.

Pay What you can

We have a suggested £20 per term donation but offer alternative payment plans when necessary. We never turn anyone away due to financial difficulty.


Hackney Shed is generously supported by:

Henry Smith Foundation
BSix College Visit website
Hackney Council
BBC Children in Need
Hackney Community Chest
The Goldsmiths Company
M&G Investments
The Girdlers Company
The Unity Theatre Trust
Discover Young Hackney 2016
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Patron: Asif Kapadia Find out more

A Hackney Shed for you



Aged 7 – 11? Then CT is for you! 
We play all sorts of theatre games, sing crazy songs and make our own shows. 

- WHEN -

Every Tuesday evening during term time from 6.00pm - 7.15pm

Summer Term dates.
12th April to 5th July (half term break 31st May) PLEASE NOTE, WE ARE NOT TAKING NEW MEMBERS FOR THE DURATION OF THE SUMMER TERM AS WE WILL BE REHEARSING OUR END OF TERM PRODUCTION, please contact Sarah for details and to be put on the waiting list for a place in September


The Theatre in BSix College,
Kenninghall Road, London E5 8BP
See Map


Please get in touch with Sarah if you would like to find out more and to arrange a taster session.
Email or call 07950 838 238



YT is for 11-16 year olds 
We get a little bit more serious than CT, devising our own scenes, songs and productions. But of course we don’t forget to play a few games too… 

- WHEN -

Every Tuesday evening during term time from 7.30pm - 8.45pm

Summer Term dates.
12th April to 5th July (half term break 31st May) PLEASE NOTE, WE ARE NOT TAKING NEW MEMBERS FOR THE DURATION OF THE SUMMER TERM AS WE WILL BE REHEARSING OUR END OF TERM PRODUCTION, please contact Sarah for details and to be put on the waiting list for a place in September


The Theatre in BSix College, 
Kenninghall Road, London E5 8BP 
See Map


Thinking of joining us? Contact Sarah to arrange a taster session or to find out more.
Email or call 07950 838 238



HS+ is for 16-19 year olds 
Hackney Shed Plus is a new branch of the celebrated Hackney Shed. Hackney Shed Plus is for you if you want to act, direct, write or produce theatre

Whether you have buckets of experience or just want to give theatre a go you are welcome to join. You will be working with experienced professional directors, actors, choreographers and musicians to gain skills and knowledge in all aspects of theatre. 


Regular Tuesday sessions from 4.40pm-5.50pm in term time, as well as our popular masterclasses. 
Note, we do not run weekly sessions in the summer term but please email barry@hackneyshed.org.uk for information about masterclasses and to put your name down for sessions starting in September. 


The Theatre in BSix College,
Kenninghall Road, London E5 8BP 
See Map


Get in touch with Barry Email or call 07950 838 238


April 26, 2016

Half Term Holiday Circus skills workshops!

Come and join Hackney Shed for some half term fun! We are running 2 FREE masterclass workshops teaching circus skills…

tara run crop
March 16, 2016

Support Tara as she ‘Run’s Hackney’ for us!

On 8th May 2016 Hackney will be hosting another half marathon, and we are excited to announce that one of…

Asif credit portrait by Leslie Hassler
December 15, 2015

Award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia becomes a patron for Hackney Shed

We are pleased and excited to announce that film maker Asif Kapadia, who grew up in Hackney, has shown his…

December 1, 2015

Discover Young Hackney 2016 Film Making Workshops

Hackney Ramblings Following on from our highly successful film making workshop last year Hackney Shed are pleased to once again…

October 6, 2015

Vote Hackney Shed and Help us Raise the Funds We Need to Put on a Great Show!

Voting is now open for the ‘One Family’ Community Awards until 3rd November. Hackney Shed Needs Your Vote! We have…

September 20, 2015

Hackney Shed on Film! Watch now!

We now have our own You Tube channel where we will post clips and film footage so that you can…

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June 19, 2015

New! Summer 2015 Stage Combat Masterclass!

It’s time to Kick Start Your Summer and get fighting fit as Hackney Shed have arranged another exciting masterclass! Following…

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May 1, 2015

Improve Your Improv Masterclass

Tuesday 26th May 12pm-3pm 14-19 year old’s Email barry@hackneyshed.org.uk Hackney Shed have arranged another exciting masterclass for the summer half…

January 20, 2015

Drama and film making workshop for 14-19 year olds in Feb half term holiday

Hackney Shed are once again proud to be part of the Discover Young Hackney Festival in 2015! This year we…

June 24, 2014

A Shakesfair Circus comes to town! Summer Show tickets available!

This year Hackney Sheds Children’s Theatre and Youth Theatre have put together a double bill of two of Shakespeare’s most…

Meet the Team


Vicki Hambley

Artistic and Strategic Director

Vicki studied Drama at The University of Guelph in Canada.

She has worked as a professional theatre director, workshop leader, drama teacher, production manager and stage manager in Canada, Japan, Italy and the UK.

She has worked as a freelancer in London since 2007 with a number of companies such as: Cardboard Citizens, Sydenham Arts Festival, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Venture, Glyndebourne and Face Front Inclusive Theatre among others.


Tara Boland

Lead Artistic Workshop Leader

Tara is a performer and theatre maker with an interest in writing and design. She studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths University and has just completed her first year at the London International School of Performing Arts where she is training full time in Lecoq method physical theatre.

She has performed at a wide variety of venues from Battersea Arts Centre to the o2 Arena and works with various companies to create devised theatre pieces and character comedy.

As a facilitator Tara has worked all over Europe running theatre workshops with various groups of young people and in London often works with Sound
Currents, HAYA and Advocreate.


Sarah Schofield

Project Manager

Sarah has been involved as a volunteer with Hackney Shed since 2003 and since April 2007 has held the position of Hackney Shed Administrator and Fundraiser.

Sarah qualified as a primary school teacher specialising in Drama and English at University of Reading and then went on to teach in London for five years before re-directing her career back towards theatre and the arts.

Having undertaken various voluntary roles for arts organisations, including Hackney Shed, she has gained extensive experience in theatre and the arts. Sarah is also Education Officer at The Little Angel Theatre in Islington – a theatre dedicated to puppetry.

“Hackney Shed has become a big part of my life over the years and I feel extremely proud to be part of an organisation that offers such high quality theatre workshop and performing experiences to all children and young people in the local community – No barriers!”

Anna Clover

Anna Clover

Assistant Practitioner

Anna joined Hackney Shed as a volunteer in January 2011 before becoming a workshop assistant. Anna also co-wrote and co-directed Hackney Shed’s 2013 show ‘Where The Weird Things Are’.

Anna studied Film and Theatre at University of Reading before completing an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama. Over the last 5 years Anna has worked in schools across London supporting young people with additional needs whilst writing, devising and performing in a variety of projects. As a facilitator Anna also works for Arts Depot and is a trained massage therapist.


Barry Fitzgerald

Hackney Shed + Co-ordinator

Barry is an actor with an interest in devising and collaborative work, and has performed in venues such as the Arcola, the Pleasance and Shoreditch Town Hall as well as tours of Ireland and the UK. He studied Contemporary Arts (Drama with Dance) at Manchester Met. University before completing an MA in Acting at Art Ed London. He also has lots of experience in event organisation, including work at the BFI, helping organise their film festivals.

As a facilitator, Barry has worked in schools and theatres across London, and also teaches on the Youth Theatre at the Central School of Speech and Drama.


Marion Hoddy

Assistant Practitioner

After growing up with a love for theatre Marian studied (wait for it) Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf studies at the University of Reading. This started a passion for inclusive and integrated theatre

Since graduating, Marian has co-founded and co-directs Handprint theatre; a deaf and hearing theatre company which focuses on creating theatre that is accessible to both deaf and hearing integrated audiences. Not segregating but allowing all to see performances which communicate across language, disability or culture. Handprint devises many accessible, visual theatre performances and theatre in education workshops using signtheatre, puppetry, physical theatre, clowning and a combination of anything they can get our hands on!

Marian has completed basic core training in Playback theatre and has a Level 2 in British Sign Language (BSL).

“Hackney Shed is a great place to work, with such a  talented, skilled team and a fantastic group of young people. Everybody who comes is included  straight away and given the chance to create theatre. Seeing the pride and enjoyment of what is achieved by the young performers is always a highlight!”

Meet the Directors

aq_block_1-Andrew Aldrich

Andrew Aldrich

Andrew Aldrich is a founder member and Musical Director of Hackney Shed since 2001 and Company Treasurer since 2006.

Andrew is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He has worked in a private accountancy practice and is currently a Financial Accountant for University of the Arts London.

With his brother Christopher, he co-writes writes much of the music for Hackney Shed’s musical productions (previous scores have included Thumbelina, The Silver Sword, Twisted Tales and On We Go amongst others), and enjoys rehearsing and tailoring the music with the performers.

Andrew has also been Musical Director to numerous amateur shows and pantomimes and is a pianist and backing vocalist in a function band.

“I strongly believe in Hackney Shed’s inclusive philosophy – that everyone should be to able take part and enjoy performing arts, education and extra-curricular activities in general, whatever their background and abilities.”

aq_block_2-Chris Aldrich

Chris Aldrich

Christopher Aldrich is a founder member and Musical Director of Hackney Shed since 2001 and Company Secretary since 2006.

Christopher obtained a mathematics and statistics honours degree from The London School of Economics in 2000 and is now a Chartered Accountant working in the city for BMS Group LTD. He has spent three and a half years in accountancy practice and has worked in the Insurance industry for the last 5 years.

During this time he has co-written all the original scores for the musicals Hackney Shed has performed including Thumbelina, The Grinch, Twisted Tales and On We Go amongst others.

Outside of Hackney Shed Christopher has musical directed several pantomimes (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Dick Whittington), and musicals (The Railway Children, Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Camelot, Calamity Jane). He is also involved in a function band that performs around Essex when time allows!

“Apart from the obvious fun of writing, teaching and performing music at Hackney Shed, I find it incredibly enjoyable and satisfying to watch members grow in confidence, grow as individuals and in some cases go on to further studies and theatrical arts careers.”

aq_block_3-Matthew Patten

Matthew Patten

Matthew has been Chair of Hackney Shed’s organisational committee since 2006 and prior to that was a volunteer practitioner since 2003.

Matthew has spent more than 10 years in various fundraising roles within the charitable sector both within arts and healthcare organisations. Appointments include Fundraising Campaign Director at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Fundraising Manager at Royal National Institute of Blind People and currently Senior Philanthropy Manager at Diabetes UK.

Matthew has spent recent years in various fundraising roles within the charitable sector and latterly headed up the Major Donor Fundraising Programme at the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

He gained an honours degree in Performing Arts from the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since volunteered for several arts organisations including The King’s Head Theatre in Islington.

“Having been involved for a number of years it has been a huge privilege to see young people come to Hackney Shed and to learn, grow and develop whilst having fun in an environment where everybody is equal! This convinces me that what we do is special and a vital part of our community.”

aq_block_5-Jenny Maddox

Jenny Maddox

Jenny joined Hackney Shed as a Volunteer Practitioner in January 2006 and has been a member of the organisational committee since 2008.

Jenny studied Film and Drama at University of Reading before completing her Masters at Central School of Speech and Drama in Advanced Theatre Practice.

After working as an actor for four years, she moved in to arts education, working with companies such as English Touring Theatre and Teacher Artist Partnership Programme.

She currently works as Education Manager at Unicorn Theatre, a theatre for children and young people based at London Bridge, and also freelances as Education Project Manager for Mimbre, an all-female acrobatics trio, managing their outreach projects for young people based at various housing estates in Hackney.

“I am most proud of Hackney Shed’s inclusive approach to all participants, and as a member of the committee I am committed to supporting the group’s continued progress.”

aq_block_6-Rebekah Westgate

Rebekah Westgate

Rebekah originally trained from the age of 14 at Elmhurst Ballet School, from 16 at the Central School of Ballet in London and then completed her degree at London Contemporary Dance School.

She then went on to work as a professional dancer for 7 years in this country and abroad. After this she re-trained as a teacher at the Royal Academy of dance. It was in this capacity that she arrived at BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College in 2005.

She went on to become the Head of Creative Arts which is when she developed the partnership with Hackney Shed. Subsequent years have seen her role at BSix progress to that of Assistant Principal; but her love of the arts meant that she was keen to remain part of Hackney Shed’s journey and so she has been a trustee of the organisation since 2010.

“BSix College recognise the attributes and skills that can be developed in young people through additional activities such as drama and performing. We are very proud to have Hackney Shed as one of our partners and feel that it is part of any college’s identity to be seen as part of a community in this way. It is wonderful to see such a range of children and young people accessing and benefitting from the College’s facilities.”

Contact Us

where to find us

Support Us


We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to gain experience in working with children and young people in an inclusive environment and to share their talents with us! We are particularly keen to find people with skills in movement and dance, music, devised drama and directing, set or costume design or technical and stage management experience.

We are a registered charity and work hard to keep our doors open via constant fundraising. If you would like to support us by making a donation or setting up a regular monthly payment then please contact sarah@hackneyshed.org.uk for our bank details or follow the paypal links on the website to make a secure online one off donation or regular payment.

If you would like any further information about how you can support us or an application to come and join us as a volunteer then please contact Sarah

Please Note; It is the policy of Hackney Shed that all practitioners who work with our children and young people have a DBS check (which we can facilitate if you do not already have one.)

Thank you to our current funders and supporters:

Henry Smith Foundation
BSix College Visit website
Hackney Council
BBC Children in Need
Hackney Community Chest
The Goldsmiths Company
M&G Investments
The Girdlers Company
The Unity Theatre Trust
Discover Young Hackney 2016
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

Patron: Asif Kapadia Find out more


What people say about Hackney Shed

"My daughter has gained a lot of confidence, not only in her drama skills but in her general demeanour as a result of attending Hackney Shed."
"Hackney Shed was chosen because of its great reputation in the area and after attending a few sessions my daughter and I were totally enamoured by the dedication, commitment and high standards of the teaching by the staff, they truly are an amazing bunch."
"Hackney Shed offers outstanding value for money, excelling inclusivity and highly professional , motivated and supportive staff. It is the only show in town!"
"It is the highlight of my son’s week. It has increased his confidence and he feels really bonded with the Hackney Shed staff and other students."
"We have been Hackney residents for nearly 20 years and have been very proud to find such an excellent opportunity for all children right on our doorstep."
"As a parent with a child with special needs I value the inclusivity over and above everything. This is from the point of view both of how good it is for him to feel included and valued but also from the point of view of my other two children who are able to see him and others with special needs being on an equal footing."
"Hackney Shed enriches my child's life on so many levels. She is not only learning theatre skills, but so much more. She is learning about community and co-operation, and is gaining in confidence and self-worth."
"The best thing is that we have a proper theatre, with lights and costumes and musicians and everything, so when we do a show it feels like a real show, not just kids.”
“It was good that we made up our own song – Better than just singing something boring that someone else made up!”

Hackney Shed Limited, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England, no 7121230
Hackney Shed is a registered charity, no: 1139394

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