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In the wake of a number of closures of high profile London live venues, it is refreshing to see that Ashburn Estates have launched a large scale live entertainment project to rival those of Indigo2 or the Brixton Academy. With the closure last year of some of the capitals best known venues – Hammersmith Palais, now destined to become a block of offices, and Mean Fiddler’s Astoria, whose sale to Derwent Valley went through last year – the number of classic live venues in London are dwindling.

However, the integration of a cracking live sound and lighting install at Stepney’s Troxy will do much to help reverse this trend, with Events and Operations manager Atif Malik, along with Directors Mohit and Deepak Sharma, using their many contacts and years of experience (Atif was formerly a successful booker for Hammersmith Palais) to bring in a new wave of big name artists and large events to the venue. High above the stage,

A former cinema opened in the 1930s, Troxy has been a war time air raid shelter and dance hall, and latterly operated as a Mecca Bingo before Ashburn Estates bought the venue in 2005. Since then a sweeping refurbishment has restored the original pastel colours, marble-floored reception foyer, hallmark art deco lamps, wall-panelling and seating arrangement and architecture, with permission from the council to re-instate the Grade II listed venue to its former glory. Now fully restored – save for the thorny issue of the council-protected fascia – the total capacity of the venue stands at 2,600, with a stalls area of around 800 (or 200 seated for corporate events), while the upstairs balcony includes a front row of table seating for 200 VIPs, and a further 600 seats behind.

Halo’s lighting installation has given the venue a full compliment of Robe fixtures capable of a fantastic lightshow for both live and corporate events.

The two main trusses above the stage both include two bars of six Par 64s, two Martin Professional strobes, eight Robe 575 AT spots and eight Robe 575 AT washes as well as eight multi profile spots to project gobos onto the stalls. The rear truss has an extra four cell blinders, and the whole system is channelled through an Avo Pearl desk and a 48 channel dimmer, while a Martin Jem ZR33 smoke machine, a Le Maitre Neutron hazer and two Strand follow spots complete the installation.

With a fully kitted out stage and auditorium, a talented and committed management team and a stunning period auditorium, Troxy well deserves the hype that has surrounded its first few months of operation. Book early and beat the rush.

Leo Batchelor, Night Magazine October 2007