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Iconic exhibition brings Kray legend to life in the heart of the East End.

What defines the East End’s unique character and spirit, and why have its streets and residents long captured the public imagination? With the East End now a place where creativity, commerce and enterprise mix as the wealth of the city spreads eastwards, LEGEND OF THE EAST END offers a snapshot of a bygone era and invites everyone to explore the East End old and new.

Celebrating the release of LEGEND, in cinemas on 9 September , Brian Helgeland’s film starring Tom Hardy as both Reggie and Ronnie Kray and charting the story of the rise and fall of the Kray twins as they achieved notoriety in London in the 1960s, LEGEND OF THE EAST END is an immersive and content rich exhibition featuring the photography of Don McCullin, Brian Duffy, Steven Berkoff, and Jocelyn Bain Hogg, bringing the Kray legend to life in the heart of their manor for the  first time.

Created by STUDIOCANAL and curated by respected photography expert and exhibition producer Zelda Cheatle, LEGEND OF THE EAST END brings together highly personal pieces that have captured in their own unique style the spirit of the East End from the 60s until present day with additional images supplied by Getty and the Museum of London.

The diverse collection of candid photographs brings to life the surrounding streets, paved with legend, where everyone has a story of The Firm and the Krays’ impact on the East End. Rarely seen images from Brian Duffy and Don McCullin capture a city awakening from the rubble of World War 2 with a real sense of life, where firm and family came first, while haunting recollections from Jocelyn Bain Hogg, exhibited in Europe for the first time, depict the life of The Firm and Reggie Kray’s funeral.

Artefacts on display include early family photos and suits worn by Ronnie Kray. Depicting the softer side of Kray life, visitors will be able to enjoy a cup of tea in a replica of Violet Kray’s living room featuring family photos and 60s wallpaper, whilst experiencing a captivating audio visual installation of interviews with local people who knew or have knowledge of the Krays bringing the legends to life.

Curator Zelda Cheatle says: “It has been fascinating to discover more about the East End, in particular the Krays, who have a special place in the hearts of East Enders.

“The exhibition looks at the East End of the 60s and 70s, brought to life by the people who lived there, the photographers who captured everyday life, the undercurrents that continue to exist and importantly it reflects the poetry of the streets. Whether you are a visitor to the East End or a long time resident, there will be something to discover about this neighbourhood and maybe a new way of evaluating it.”

The exhibition also shines a light on the evolution of the East End which for many in the 60s seemed impervious and overlooked, even defiant to changes. The Kray’s East End around Bethnal Green Road and Shoreditch is now transformed into one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of London, but the Legend lives on.

Visitors will also be able to pick up a specially created map that celebrates THE LEGEND OF THE EAST END and will help everyone explore the old and new.


Date: 28 August - 11 September
Location: 133-135 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG
Opening times: Monday-Friday: 11.00 – 20.00, Saturday: 10.00 – 19.00, Sunday: 09.00 – 18.00
Admission: free



Legend of the East End
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