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Spotlight to shine on Hackney’s young talent

TALENT: Performers at The Alter Ego contest

THE NINE finalists in Hackney’s biggest talent competition, The Alter Ego contest, are set to go head to head in a final showcase at Hackney Empire on Friday (Feb 1).

The acts, who were chosen from 50 performers in X Factor style auditions earlier this month, are competing to win the chance to kick start their career with free mentoring from industry professionals.

The winner will also be awarded a year’s free membership to the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film School.

Last year’s winner 17-year-old dancer, Tolu Okamnlawon, 17, said: “Getting up on stage is really nerve-wracking but the feeling afterwards is so good, I definitely advise young people to go for it."

The showcase is a part of the Discover Young Hackney festival , which promotes participation and training in the arts for young people through a range of taster sessions and workshops run by creative professionals in music, dance, radio, art, literature, photography, design, singing, film and theatre.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture said: “Last year’s festival was an amazing success. There’s an incredible amount of talent and energy amongst young people in the borough.”

“Discover Young Hackney is designed to harness that talent and give young people the practical tools and information they need to get on the right career path, through a very exciting programme of events,” he added.

The Alter Ego contest will be hosted by Kat B (MTV Base) and will have performances from British rappers Krept and Konan and Hackney born actress and MC Paigey Cakey.

Tickets for Alter Ego finals cost £2 each (advanced) or £4 (on the door). To book advanced tickets call the Hackney box office on 020 8985 2424, or visit

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