Claire & Roland with their Theatre Company Cast took over the Hackney Empire in 1985 converting it from a Mecca Bingo Hall. into s NEW VARIETY THEATRE, The theatre was in one of poorest Boroughs in Europe they drew wide audiences Producing and providing Comedy Opera, British Theatre, Turkish Theatre, Jamaican Farce, Music (Classical and Popular) Childrens Show, TV shows , and Pantomime. Before they took semi-retirement from the Empire in 2005, They saw the refurbishment of the Theatre after launching a Fundraising Appeal fronted by Griff Rhys Jones which raisied £21m . They now run Rural Comedy in two venues in Buckinghamshire. at the POACHERS POCKET Chilton and THE VILLAGE HALL,Ludgershall. They also produce the NEW ACT OF THE YEAR, which auditions over 100 acts yearly 14 of which are chosen to appear at the BLOOMSBURY THEATRE, scheduled for 20th January 2016.