Commissioned and produced: Paines Plough
Designers: Lucy Osborne and Emma Chapman in collaboration with Charcoalblue and Howard Eaton
Fabricators: Howard Eaton Lighting Ltd, Factory Settings and Total Solutions
Photographers: Paul Zanre and x y a
Roundabout is a portable, in the round theatre which allows Paines Plough to tour new writing to communities across the United Kingdom. It has been touring since 2014 and has a diameter of 11.1m. Seating 168 people it is able to pop up in a day, built by only six. The energy lines of the auditorium are very clear and strong - with three vomitories which intersect in the centre of the playing space only 4.6m in diameter. Opposite each vom is an audience staircase this works in containing the energy an actor brings into the space. It requires no tools apart from an allen key to construct with no working at heights.
All the technical infrastructure is hidden within the architecture with no visible conventional lighting units or speakers. Instead the lighting consists of 627 fixed focus individual LED fittings - a mixture of tuneable white and RGBW installed in nine triangles and one overhead central disc. The nature of the 'plug and play' system mean that shows look identical whether you see them in the first location or the last. The steep rake of the auditorium creates clear sightlines from every seat in combination with the strong architectural lines this creates a democratic space which feels very permanent.
"Extraordinary innovators and engaged collaborators; the perfect combination"
James Grieve, Co-Artistic Director, Paines Plough
Joint winner – The Stage Awards Theatre Building of the Year 2014
Best Fringe Venue 2015
Nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award 2017
Represented Great Britain at the Prague Quadrennial of Theatre Architectural Design 2015 and 2019
Roundabout was made possible thanks to the belief and generous support of the following Trusts, companies and individuals: Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, John Ellerman Foundation.