The Roundhouse in north London has unveiled plans to bolster its theatre output, which will see it introduce curated seasons of work as part of a more prominent performing arts programme.
Best known for live music, the venue has spent the past year redeveloping its strategy for theatre and performing arts in order to “be more consistent in the kind of work [staged] and the kind of support offered to artists”, its head of performing arts Malú Ansaldo told The Stage.
“We want our performing arts programming to be more prominent in the theatrical landscape because I feel it’s our responsibility as a civic space and a public space. We have to be able to champion these voices,” she said.
As part of this, the Roundhouse will be putting a renewed focus on its resident artist and research and development initiatives. It will also be announcing theatre shows in several curated seasons, meaning its performing arts programme can run consistently throughout the year.
Ansaldo, who joined the Roundhouse last year in a newly created role, said she hoped this would mean the organisation could better “support artists on their journey and hopefully lead to having amazing shows in the main space as well”.
“All of these things were already happening here, but we are finding a much clearer way of articulating them and a more established and clearer vision of who we are in the ecology of venues, theatres and makers,” she said.
The first season to be announced, which covers spring 2020, includes Emma Frankland’s show Hearty, Funeral Flowers by Emma Dennis-Edwards, and two shows by Rachael Young, Nightclubbing and Out.
It will also stage Stardust, a solo production exploring the impact of the cocaine industry on Latin American communities.
Following a run at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, it is being reworked for the Roundhouse, where it will be performed by Columbian theatremaker Miguel Hernando Torres Umba.
Ansaldo described the season as “very diverse, progressive and different”, adding: “All of them have something massive to say and that they can stand behind. As an organisation, we have to [champion] that with our stages and the spaces we have. It is our responsibility.”
“We are in a very lucky position because yes, we do receive Arts Council England funding, but we also operate on a different financial model because of our commercial operations and the different gigs we have here,” she added.