London's Roundhouse To Reopen

News   London's Roundhouse To Reopen London's Roundhouse is to reopen in June as a state-of-the-art center for the performing arts.

Located in North London's Chalk Farm, the circular Victorian building was originally designed to house steam engines. The venue became one of the capital's most distinctive theatrical spaces and has now been revamped at a cost £27 million, about $47 million.

The Roundhouse will officially reopen June 5 with Fuerzabruta a 65-minute piece of physical theatre involving 12 performers by the makers of the venue's 1999-2000 spectacular De La Guarda.

According to production notes the show features "the most stunning theatrical imagery the U.K. will have ever seen, and plunges its audience into a world that is at times hard, dark and aggressive, and at other times joyous and celebratory."

The Roundhouse's Main House boasts a seating capacity of 1,800 and standing room for 3,300. The roof has been replaced and its central glass lantern restored, allowing natural light into the space for the first time since the 1860s. The building also includes Studio 42, a 150-person seated or 200 standing capacity studio theatre space, named in recognition of the recently knighted dramatist Sir Arnold Wesker whose pioneering Centre 42 launched the Roundhouse as an arts center in the 1960s.

Another part of the venue, known as the Undercroft has been converted into rehearsal spaces and recording and video editing studios, providing opportunities for 10,000 young people a year between to develop creative skills.