Hackney s brave new world - press night Friday 17 February at 7pm

An exciting new world is set to breath life into an empty shop in Hackney this month in an emerging environment created to tell stories through performances, film, installations and the web.

O Brave New World resides at 297 Hoxton Street and is the brainchild of RETZ, a company who tells stories to its audiences using a number of challenging techniques and mediums in order to immerse them in the narrative and encourage questioning and a deeper exploration of the story.

The space will act as a bar, library, gallery and theatre, with its first run of performances set to centre around Shakespeare s The Tempest in celebration of the famous story s 400th anniversary. Over its six-month programme the production will focus on six distinctive perspectives and parts of the story, each told in a changing and immersive environment.

The venture is one of a series of projects supported by Hackney Council s Art in Empty Spaces initiative, designed to transform empty properties or spaces into something useful and meaningful for Hackney’s residents and visitors.

Felix Mortimer, director of RETZ, said: "The shop-fronted nature of the property means we ve had lots of passers by intrigued by the transformation of the property. From the very start we ve encouraged this kind of curiosity and interaction through day-to-day encounters as we want people to feel part of the project and part of the stories we tell. We believe our integrated approach has created a really exciting world to explore a narrative, which takes those who join us on proper journey. Our door is open to one and all and we look forward to seeing how our story unfolds."

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: "The Art in Empty Spaces initiative over the last few years has demonstrated how creativity is at the very heart Hackney, it has produced many exciting and engaging projects throughout the borough and is a great example of how Hackney s world class artists and designers are able to use spaces on our high streets to help breath life into our local economy, attracting visitors from far and wide and all the while ensuring that particpation with a wider local community sits at the centre of the project."

In addition to the performances a programme of exclusive events are planned over the next six months including live music sessions, bar games and The Wrack Open Doors, for those who want to pop along to chat with the actors and other people involved with the project.

To buy tickets for performances or for more info, visit: For more information about Art in Empty Spaces, please visit:

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Format of press event

7pm performance with 15 slots reserved for press
8pm The Wrack open informally, with cast and us available for interviews, live music, and a special performance form the Bordurian Women s choir.

8pm would be the ideal time for photos, but should you want to take shots in the space without many people there, the Wrack will also be open during the day from 11:00am till 5:30pm and the team would be pleased to have anyone pop by.