NEWS: Landmark 50th for London’s Roundhouse

Half a century since first opening, London’s Roundhouse arts centre, Camden, has announced plans for a major anniversary year. The building, one of the most iconic performance spaces in the world and a state-of-the-art creative centre for young people, will mark three major anniversaries in 2016. In recognition, the venue has announced its intention to add to the physical footprint of the building with a brand new campus as a centre of creative excellence for young people.

Beginning the landmark year with Akram Khan’s critically acclaimed world premiere productionUntil the Lions, a new intimate music series,In the Round, and the announcement of the return of UK’s foremost festival of international contemporary circus, Circusfest in April, the venue will celebrate in multiple ways throughout 2016.

The Grade II listed building was built in 1846, falling into disuse until reopening as a performing arts venue spearheaded by playwright Arnold Wesker. It was cutting-edge arts and seminal live music venue for the next 16 years before it fell into disrepair in 1983. In September 1996, The Norman Trust, led by Sir Torquil Norman, bought the building and set up the Roundhouse Trust.

The 50th anniversary will be celebrated with a major event, still to be announced, that will honour its historic role in the UK’s live music and performing arts scene.

Chief Executive and Artistic Director Marcus Davey said: “2016 is a landmark year for the Roundhouse, a year where we have many reasons to celebrate, and what a start to the year it has been. Nearly 50 years ago the Roundhouse opened as a bold, brave new arts venue and we’ve started our anniversary year doing what we do best, programming incredible performances involving young people and emerging artists. And we have so much more to come over the next year. We’re really excited about our future, and the next 50 years of creativity, through offering young people life-changing opportunities.”

As part of the Roundhouse anniversary year the institution has asked the public to get in touch with their memories, from those made at the first infamous gigs in the 1960s, to the present day, seeking stories from the gig-goers to the performers and from the staff to the young people who have taken part in creative projects. This will be a central part of a project marking the anniversary year.

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