Longfield Hall: Creativity and community

25 October 2019

Written by: Lambeth Council

Arts, culture and events - Focus on Brixton - Voluntary and community sector

Longfield Hall is a community hub where the community has been involved in creativity and culture for years – but is still moving into the future.

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Longfield Hall: Creativity and community

Longfield Hall community hub will be home to a plaque to celebrate the Dark and Light Theatre, the UK’s first multicutural theatre company, founded there in 1969.  AT the same time, they’re also launching a programme of new events reflecting the vision ‘where creativity and community meet’.

Including young and old

Charity Development Manager Catherine Hamilton explains: “Grade 2 listed Longfield Hall has been a community centre since being built in 1889, and a locally-focused charity since the “Friends of Longfield Hall” took ownership of what the Hall is for. A ‘Longfield Listens’ consultation in 2015 proved people wanted more events for (and by) younger and older people in the community.”

Community celebrations

‘The Last Noel’ theatre poster Winter 2019

Today, the hall hosts an over-55s choir (including people with dementia and their carers), dance classes, yoga and much more. Laura Harling joined as artistic director last year to start a programme of community celebrations mixing professional and local performers. “September’s event was themed around Alzheimer’s with artistes aged from 12 to 94 performing rap to comedy to aerial circus.  Everything was locally sourced – including catering from Brixton Market and Myatt’s Fields.”


“We love to see how performance builds people’s confidence. We have a young dancer who started with 5 people in a class. Now he’s 18, he’s started the Elevation dance company and we can pay him to give lessons.  Rather than being one more independent theatre in Lambeth, our approach includes inviting regional touring productions of new plays from outside Lambeth – like String Theatre, who do innovative puppet plays like ‘The Crow’s Tale’ and Attic Theatre with ‘the Last Noel’ at Christmas.”

Open space

“Next steps are to make the building itself more accessible to the community. We’ve been fundraising for

crows tale theatre poster winter 2019

crows tale theatre poster winter 2019

a new entrance and toilets and ways to make it clear that people can use it as a workspace, come in and create. Longer-terms plans including renovating the stage and lighting with the idea of becoming a home for circus skills and performance – bringing Circus back to Lambeth where it was invented!”

For more information

  • For details of classes, events, and booking the hall for community use see Longfield Hall information pages
  • The Dark and Light celebration includes director Don Kinch, who made the documentary ‘from the margins to the mainstream’ and an intergenerational theatre piece bringing older people’s memories and younger people’s ‘back to the future’ theatre workshops together. For more information see Lambeth’s events pages