Paines Plough’s Roundabout has revolutionised the possibilities of national touring. The ‘venue’ – a pop-up, plug and play structure – provides an environment with a festival feel, open and accessible and has enjoyed successful seasons in urban and rural environments across the UK.
Launched in 2014, Roundabout has a track record in attracting audiences from some of the least engaged communities particularly amongst young people, offering audiences a high-quality technical facility and a showcase of the best new writing the UK has to offer.
With Arts Council funding now secured for phase two of Roundabout’s touring life, these advances will continue to build stronger, better-connected and more dynamic arts ecosystems across the UK. ACE’s continued support is a ringing endorsement for this touring model.
James Grieve and George Perrin said:
“Roundabout is the nation’s local theatre, popping up in local communities and inviting people to pop in and see a show, take part themselves and experience something new. For five years now we have seen audiences grow as local people have taken ownership of Roundabout as their own space with ever more community generated events and activities alongside Paines Plough productions of outstanding new plays. This is touring at its most grassroots, a theatre for local people run by local people. We are thrilled and grateful Arts Council England has recognised the impact and value of Roundabout with a significant investment that secures the project for another three years.”
From 2019, Paines Plough will work closely with partners to grow audiences and participants for Roundabout in places like Mold, Salford, Lincoln, Poole, Stoke-on-Trent and Stratford, continuing to work with the communities that have made Roundabout such a success so far.
Nationally, the shared goal is to build a bigger, more engaged and more diverse audience for new plays; to innovate partnership models and strengthen infrastructure and to extend the reach of new plays on tour. Early indications from the Audience Agency show that the proportion of Roundabout’s audience that come from the least engaged segments has more than doubled since the project began.
Programme details for Roundabout’s 2019 season will be announced in January 2019.