Half Moon Theatre

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interior stage, photo: P. Sayer
Half Moon Theatre on Mile End Road in East London
a little world of theatres
plan of exterior and interior
long section from Mile End Road to cemetary
construction, photo: F. Beigel
construction, photo: J. OBrien Sept 1984
Mile End Road with the Half Moon Theatre on the right, photo: P. Cook Apr 1985
large industrial door to theatre, photo: P. Cook, Apr 1985
main hall with steel curtain wall, photo: P. Cook Apr 1985
East End Festival, photo: M. Goldwater
promenade performance, photo: P. Christou Apr 1986
Young Peoples Theatre, photo: P. Cook
interior of Young Peoples Theatre, photo: P. Cook, Apr 1985
room in entrance gate tower, photo: P. Christou

Half Moon Theatre, London, 1979-85

The architectural concept for the design of the theatre is an archetypal scenic street. The design is based on the most direct forms of theatre of the past, such as the Italian Commedia del Arte, and the Elizabethan theatres with galleried courtyards, such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It gives rise to theatrical activity by encouraging both actors and audience to see and be seen.

The theatre is a spatial progression starting from the pavement of the Mile End Road in the East End of London, through the gateway into an open air scenic space, through the steel curtain wall to the covered scenic street. Large doors lead into a small garden with a pavilion, the Young Peoples' Theatre. This assortment of theatrical spaces constitutes an a small world of theatres.

When the Greater London Council was abolished by the government led by Mrs. Thatcher in the mid 1980's the Theatre company no longer recieved public funding and were forced to sell the building. The Half Moon Theatre has since been converted into a pub.

Selected Publications

Richard Sennett 1998 Raoul Wallenberg Lecture
University of Michigan, ISBN 1-891197-01-0
Theatres Theaters
Breton, Gaelle, , Editions du Moniteur, Paris,1989,bilingual French / English edition, ISBN 2-281-19036-6.
Places of Performance, The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture
Carlson, Marvin, , Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1989, p.33-35.
Arquitectura europea contemporanea
Bru, Eduard and Mateo, Josep Lluis, , (Contemporary European Architecture), Editorial Gustavo Gili, S. A. Barcelona, 1987.
Designing for the Performing Arts
Forsyth, Michael, Auditoria : , Batsford, London, 1987, p. 150-155, ISBN 0-7134-4855-5.
Korean Architects
special issue on Florian Beigel, 5.96, issue no. 141, p.162-169.
AMC Revue D'Architecture
(France), '20 Jeunes Architects en Europe', by Charlotte Ellis, 12.88, 1.89, p.44 - 47
The Architectural Review
'Beyond The Black Box', by Peter Blundell Jones, 7.86, p.46-51
(Germany), 'Abschied von der Black Box', by Peter Blundell Jones, 13.6.86, p. 822 - 830.


Deutsche Bauzeitung
(Germany), 'Stassentheater', by Dan Cruikshank, 2.86, p.14 - 17
Quaderns d'Arquitectura i Urbanisme
(Spain), 'Half Moon Theatre, London', vol. 167-168, 10-12.85, 1-3.86, pp.42-49
Building Design
'Scene Stealer', by Brian Hatton, 4.10.85, p.25 - 27/
Architects' Journal
'Street Theatre', (AJ building feature), by Walter Segal, 14.8.85, p.14 - 33.


The Guardian
'Old Miracles of the space age auditorium', by Tom Sutcliffe, 3.5.85, p.13.
'Theatre in the Square', by Maurice Cooper, 4.85, p.20-21
The Sunday Times
'Half Moon Squared', by Deyan Sudjic, 27.1.85, p.42.
AMC Revue D'Architecture
(France), 'Half Moon Theatre, Londres', by Charlotte Ellis, 07.84, p.49 - 51.
Architects' Journal
'People's Palace', by Peter Blundell Jones, 1.02.84, p.16-19.