This brick behemoth is a place to soak up Camden's radical past and present
This aptly-named Camden landmark has decades of radical theatre and music history behind it: its round brick walls have been rocked by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors, and it staged theatre critic Kenneth Tynan's scandalous nude revue 'Oh Calcutta' in 1969. These days things are a little more sedate, but it still plays host to an eclectic range of big-name music acts from Imogen Heap to Gary Numan to The Darkness.
Its high-ceilinged space is also a great place to see acrobats soar through the air as part of the venue's popular biannual Circusfest: the next edition is in May 2020. And Roundhouse has also become the centre of London's buzzing spoken word scene: it's got a programme which supports young Camden residents to get into slam poetry, which bears fruit in the venues' annual Last Word festival.
Constructed in 1846 as a turntable shed for the London and Birmingham railway, the Roundhouse – a Grade II-listed building – has a long and illustrious history, including spells as a liquor warehouse and long periods of disuse. But it came into its own as a legendary music venue in the '60s/'70s, when it hosted radical happenings of every flavour. Work on the extensive overhaul/refurbishment began in 2004 and it reopened in 2006 as a modern arts and mixed-media performance space with strong community bias. The main room benefits from a high domed ceiling and Victorian metal 'ribs', and a flexible auditorium that can house seated audiences for theatre or cabaret shows, or standing crowds for gigs.
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‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ review
Talk about a well-deserved victory lap. Inua Ellams’s brilliantly vivid, funny, moving drama about the importance of barber shops to the black African and diaspora experience has played a couple of stints at the National Theatre and toured the world....Drama Until Saturday August 24 2019
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:22
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
One on my favourite venues. So many iconic artists have played here
Choice of seats or standing for gigs. Bar is less busy than other venues and there's an option for food too.
In the summer, try the beach. Sand and cocktails is perfect in the London sunshine
Loved this venue! I had a standing ticket and was expecting to have to queue for ages to get in and pay excessive amounts for drinks - I was proven wrong on both counts. In fact, drinks were very reasonable (£4.50 per spirit and mixer) and the queues for them weren't too long. The floor of the actual venue is slightly sloped which enhances the view - bonus! Would definitely go and see more things there.
One of the most eclectic venues in London, that still plays to full houses in whatever blend of artists that perform.
Wonderful venue, wonderful staff and volunteers and seeing Suede here twice in two nights last winter was a life highlight
Very good venue; excellent acoustics and good choice of artists. Saw Spiritualized there years ago (admittedly not been a huge amount) but that was perfection!
Oh, Roundhouse. I really, really want to love you and give you a big 5 stars. You're great. The interior of the main gig space is architecturally astounding, there's a decent number of watering holes dotted around the venue and there's a nice bit of outside space for all tobacco enthusiasts (or just a bit of fresh air). However, I went to see the amazing Kwabs there. And amazing is understatement for how amazing he was. The problem was that my gig partner and I were stood outside the metal arches in the gig space and sound does not carry well at all outside of the "inner circle". There were times when I struggled to hear him and he was, after all, the reason I was there. So, Roundhouse, if you're reading this, you're great but you have your flaws. Sort out your acoustics. Oh, and please ban iPads?
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