Art News
 Roundhouse, 360 Network, Call to Create, youth initiative, Robert Lepage
London Roundhouse ‘Out Of Nappies Now’ - ArtLyst Article image

London Roundhouse ‘Out Of Nappies Now’

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London Roundhouse reveals two major new initiatives – the 360° Network, and Call to Create –, with the promise to take the venue to the next level

The Roundhouse in London has announced two major new initiatives, marking an exciting new stage in the venue’s life since it re-launch in 2006. The first of these is the ‘360° Network’ – an international network of round artistic venues, the criteria for which is a central circular stage with the audience seated at 360 degrees around the performing space.

This network sees around 30 venues from across the world – including the UK, Sweden, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands – banding together in an effort ‘to communicate actively on the original and exceptional heritage of round artistic venues [and] ... to reconcile the physical characteristics of these spaces with artistic creation in all disciplines of the performing arts.’ Together, they hope to celebrate all that is special about the round venue, harnessing what the Roundhouse Director Marcus Davey describes as that ‘ritualistic feel’, that affinity with ‘spectacle’ – that expectation of seeing ‘a few Christians about to be eaten by lions’.

The first major production to travel between these venues will be Cartes, a specially-commissioned new work by the internationally acclaimed director Robert Lepage. More news on this to follow!

The second announcement suggesting that the Roundhouse is finally ‘out of nappies’ (Davey’s phraseology, not mine), 5 years since is re-launch, is the commencement of ‘Call To Create’ – a youth programme that asks ‘what the Arts can do to make the lives of young people better’. Having already helped over 17,000 11-25 year-olds realise their creative potential in the last 5 years,  Call to Create hopes to go that one step further by connecting creative organisations working with young people across the globe. 

The collective aims hopes to bring together as many as 100 member international organisations by 2015. They will work together to ‘show just how brilliant young people are’, simultaneous to helping them ‘to use their imagination and creativity to construct a better future than they have now’. In practice this means facilitating the staging of artistic work by young people, sharing approaches and techniques, and raise awareness of the impact of work that supports young people to create.

As Marcus Davey puts it, this project is inspired by the belief that, ‘To build better futures for themselves, the next generation will need to be more creative, more enterprising, than ever before’: ‘Engaging in creative activity is vital to helping them to develop both the skills and confidence to realise their potential. By helping young people to engage with their creativity positively, we give them a chance to enjoy better lives and build a better society.’

In 2014, the collective will stage the first biennial ‘Call to Create Festival’ at London Roundhouse.

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