Incredible ways the space has been transformed - Roundhouse - Celebrating 50 Years


1997 – 2016

A look back at the amazing ways the Roundhouse has been transformed by awe-inspiring installations, immersive circus and unique, in-the-round performances.

The groundbreaking 'Fuerzabruta' reopened the Roundhouse as a performance venue in 2006, returning in 2013 and 2014 as the fastest selling performing arts show in Roundhouse history. Making use of the entire perimeters of the round space, the spectacular show saw performers running at speed through closed doors, pools of water suspended above the audience as swimmers smiled down on the crowd and performers soaring above stunned revellers, taking members of the audience up into the air with them.

Credit: David Levene, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

'Utopia' saw award-winning filmmaker and artist Penny Woolcock team up with Block 9, the designers responsible for Glastonbury’s after-hours fantasy worlds, to create an awe-inspiring installation that turned the space into a distopian city filled with crashed cars, a looted bookshop, a street turned to rubble and an endless factory of empty boxes.

Credit: David Levene, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 2015 the Roundhouse teamed up with the Royal Opera to produce a new production of Monteverdi’s early opera L’Orfeo. A rare opportunity to see an opera at the Roundhouse, the production was brought to life by a stark yet magnificently atmospheric set by award-winning theatre designer Tom Piper, that was surrounded by the audience and saw a platform ascending from the stage into the circle, transporting the characters from the underworld up into heaven.

Credit: David Levene, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Created for the Roundhouse in 2011 and returning in August 2016, Ron Arad's Curtain Call was an epic 360˚ installation that audience members were invited to step inside to experience the artwork. The piece was made up of 5,600 silicon rods suspended from the ceiling down to the floor, which provided a canvas for films created by several artist collaborators.

Credit: David Levene, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4

In 2013 the internationally renowned contemporary circus company NoFit State performed above, behind and all around the standing audience with a constantly evolving set in their immersive promenade experience Bianco.

Credit: David Levene, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Conrad Shawcross' 2013 installation Timepiece saw a vast eight-metre faceless clock suspended above the Roundhouse’s epic Main Space that flooded the circular space with light, using the 24 support pillars to turn the room itself into a timepiece.

Credit: Stuart Leech, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 2009 David Byrne brought his interactive piece Playing The Building to the Roundhouse. The unique sound installation was made up of a customised pump organ in the centre of the space that was controlled by a series of motors and compressors that allowed visitors to literally “play” our wonderful Victorian architecture.

In 1997 choreographers William Forsythe and Dana Caspersen and composer Joel Ryan teamed up with Artangel to squeeze a world record-breaking-sized bouncy castle inside the Roundhouse’s iron pillars to create the installation Tight Roaring Circle.

Credit: Matt Antrobus, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


By Esther Lyons (Marketing Coordinator at the Roundhouse )