Sunday, 27 September 2009

Libertines reunion venue Hackney Empire to close

London's Hackney Empire is to close for several months to reassess its financial situation, bosses have announced.

The east London venue, which was the scene of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat's reunion gig in 2007, will close its doors in January for at least six months, while owners try to take stock of its financial situation.

The decision to close the theatre comes after artistic director and chief executive Simon Thomsett left the Hackney Empire by "mutual consent" last month, reports The Stage. Thomsett's replacement, interim chief executive Clarie Middleton, said that she does not want the closure to be permanent.

"The idea is that we stop, take a breath and take stock of the way the organisation operates. We just need a little time to do that," she explained.

Hackney Empire opened in 1901 as a music hall, and saw performances from Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields and Stan Laurel.

Doherty has played the venue several times, though his most famous date there came on April 12, 2007 when he reunited onstage with Carl Barat for the first time since The Libertines' split in 2004.

Madness and Billy Bragg have also performed at the venue.

n.m.e.com
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