The world’s last surviving grand music hall has the builders in to save it from ruin – but that doesn’t stop Wilton’s Music Hall carrying on with the business of entertainment.
The Chrysalis Club is a cultural programme of events that will carry on as repairs and maintenance work continues on the East London venue until September next year.
Highlights for May to July include album launches from Kelis, Brooke Sharkey and Laura Moody and a new production called Songs And Stories.
The builders arrive in May following successful fundraising to secure the fabric of the building which was completed in June last year.
Phase two of the work will breathe new life into the building.
It will take over a year for the work to be completed in order to prevent the risk of destroying the delicate charm of the Grade II listed venue which first opened its doors to the public in 1828.
The conservation policy “do no more than is absolutely necessary” remains at the core of the plans.
Managing and artistic director of Wilton’s Musical Hall, Frances Mayhew said: “I’m hugely grateful and excited to be undertaking the final phase in securing Wilton’s future.
“During this time The Chrysalis Club’s current programme will build the foundation blocks for not only a great organisation but a great cultural programme for the public, which will emerge with full flying colours, late next summer”.
The thriving arts venue, off Cable Street, will not close at any point. The Chrysalis Club will inhabit the nooks and crannies of Wilton’s Music Hall with anything from mortar mixing to binaural sound compositions, dance platforms to opera cabaret.
Open to everyone (especially those with their own hard hats) this will be Wilton’s at its warmest.
Wilton’s Music Hall will offer a limited number of free tickets for specific events to those who would like to be the first to test some of their pilot schemes.
Due to complete in the Autumn of 2015, the project will open up a further 40% of the building, currently derelict, bringing these unseen and unused spaces back to life and making them accessible for the first time, including creating a new learning and participation studio.
Beyond that, securing the building also secures the future of Wilton’s as an arts and heritage venue.
It will enable more strategic long-term artistic programming, create more venue hiring potential and offer the opportunity to plan and incorporate a wide range of community and learning activities.
On Saturday/Sunday, from 10 – 6pm, Wilton’s will open its doors for an open house weekend and furniture sale.
Selling off old props, unwanted furniture and odds and ends, this is the perfect chance to have a snoop around, pick up a bargain and take home a piece of Wilton’s to keep forever.
Admission is free and the bar will be open from 10am on both days.
For more information go to www.wiltons.org.uk
MAY – JULY 2014 LISTINGS
THE CHRYSALIS CLUB
Rae Morris Gig, May 1, 7.30pm
Cinema Club, most Tuesdays: The 400 Blows, By Francois Truffaut (1959), May 6; La Strada, By Federico Fellini (1954), May 13. Bande à Part, By Jean-Luc Godard (1964), May 20; Breathless, By Jean-Luc Godard (1960), May 27
LondonGigGuide Live, a weekly radio show and gig recommendation service, May 7. Line Up: We Used To Make Things; Patch and the Giant.
Melange Collective. May 9 & June 20
The Night Shift, May 14
Quest Ensemble, May 15
Ping Pong, May 16, June 6, July 4, August 1 & August 29.
Prices: £5 to play, free to watch
Music in Manufacture, May 21, performers: introduction by Hazel Cameron – artistic manager; Dmytro Morykit – Pianist and Composer
Brooke Sharkey (EP Launch), May 28.
May 30 and June 28: Songs and Stories, Seven Decades of The Electric Guitar, written and directed by Michael John Ross.