Side Effects: Forum steals the show as Christian Street Community Hub hosts first performance


Side Effects: Forum steals the show

Christian Street Community Hub, hosted its first performance this weekend as Purple Moon Drama, a Shadwell based community organisation, raised its curtains to local residents with a successful launch event which included the show, Side Effects: Forum, on Saturday 28 October.

Last month Mayor John Biggs opened the Christian Street Community Hub, a purpose built centre introduced by Tower Hamlets Council to provide the local community with flexible spaces to host events and activities.

The drama school, whose mission is to make a difference to the community, provides arts and theatre based programmes for young people in the local community as well as those from disadvantaged or NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) backgrounds and children from local schools.

The programmes range from performing arts training to film production, enabling local young people to pursue their passion while also developing their confidence and helping them to realise their potential. The programmes have been well received by the community and have become a valuable resource for young people.

Purple Moon Drama is now looking to expand its services by introducing new sessions for younger children through its Silver Stars Children’s Theatre project which will be piloted at the Christian Street Community Hub in the New Year.

Having delivered shows at the Barbican Centre and Rich Mix in the past, the organisation will provide the youths of Tower Hamlets with the potential to perform at world class venues.

However, the road to success has not always been smooth, the organisation had struggled to find affordable spaces to host its programmes due to lack of availability within the borough and poor conditions of the few available spaces.

Cheryl Ndione, Director of Purple Moon Drama came to know of the Christian Street Community Hub as a resident of the local neighbourhood. When she attended the opening ceremony she spoke to the Community Hubs team to discuss booking a regular space for the drama school.

The Community Hubs programme was introduced after a review of Council owned community buildings was commissioned by Tower Hamlets Council when John Biggs took over as Mayor.

It found that the community buildings were underutilised, inadequately maintained and had an inconsistent charging policy which caused significant cost inequality amongst users.

The Christian Street Community Hub is the first of several proposed community hubs that are planned to open across the borough over the next two years. It was opened on Christian Street in Whitechapel, by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets in September earlier this year.

Tower Hamlets has a unique cultural offer built on a rich mix of entrepreneurship, creativity and talent, making it the best of London in one borough and the reason why the Council is bidding to become the London Borough of Culture, an award offered by the Mayor of London.

If successful the borough will receive £1.1m to spend on culture, generating thousands of opportunities for residents and businesses including a year’s worth of cultural events, new jobs and investment.

The bid can be backed at and spaces at the Christian Street Community Hub can be booked by calling 020 7364 6308 or emailing

DramaPerformance02Mayor John Biggs said:

“I was delighted to open the Christian Street Community Hub. The voluntary and community sector is an important part of the fabric of life in Tower Hamlets and plays a unique and crucial role in the delivery of services to residents of the borough.”

“Under my mayoralty these crucial facilities will be allocated fairly to the whole community to facilitate community activity, neighbourliness and social action.”

Cheryl Ndione, Director of Purple Moon Drama, said “The Christian Street Community Hub is an invaluable community asset. I was impressed by the quality of the spaces, affordability and location due to its public transport connections. The hub will provide Purple Moon Drama with the resources to engage and empower local young people, and help the borough achieve its goals of a more vibrant and cohesive community with a thriving social enterprise sector.”

Posted on Monday 30th October 2017