In just under seven weeks Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse will return with Utopia. The annual festival is dedicated to introducing new audiences to innovative culture with a weekly ‘pay what you like’ day to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy it.
The Roundhouse has today announced that they will present a series of five evening events in the Main Space that will run alongside the installation. Each event will be based around a different provocation, intertwined with the themes from the installation. The nights will examine issues including gender, inequality, wealth, inheritance, international exchange, and art revolution. The programme of performance, cabaret, spoken word, dance, live music, hip hop and DJs sets will bring together acts across the cultural spectrum in new and exciting collaborations, some for the very first time ever.
The incredible, eclectic line-up includes: a very special performance from sensational anti-drag queen David Hoyle; the world premiere of a brand new commission from Arlene Phillips featuring ZooNation Youth Company, Tommy Franzen and Roundhouse Street Circus Collective; art revolution with Penny Woolcock and singer Charlotte Church; spectacular neo-burlesque from Fancy Chance; utopian propositions and ideas from journalist Owen Jones, Syriza London and poet Yomi GREEDS; poet and writer Anthony Anaxagorou with pianist Karim Kamar, the world premiere of a new circus piece directed by Paul Evans; Block9 favourite DJ Honey Dijon taking revellers into the night; performances from the best of London’s hip hop and grime talent, including Awate, modern musical luminaries Micachu, BAFTA and MOBO award-winning Akala; One Mile Away’s Zimbo in a unique collaboration with string musicians and spoken word from Roundhouse Poetry Slam champions Caleb Oluwfemi and Toby Champion.
The events celebrate and elaborate on Utopia, the major installation in the Main Space from August 4 – 23. Imagined by award-winning Director and Filmmaker Penny Woolcock, the vision has been realised by radical design duo Block9 (Stephen Gallagher and Gideon Berger). Named after Thomas More’s 16th century imagining of a self-contained world in which communities shared a common culture and way of life, Woolcock’s Utopia is based on a walk through the neighbourhood of the Roundhouse and the differing perspectives on reality offered. Utopia is peppered with narrative soundscapes that reverberate with stories that are personal, political and pertinent to the parallel lives being lived in the world’s biggest cities. The stories have all been collected by Woolcock in interviews with residents across the social spectrum – from drug dealers, gang members, former offenders and sex workers to the homeless, the elderly, housewives and university graduates.
Alongside the installation, the Roundhouse will become a daily destination where members of the public can enjoy the sunshine at North London’s very own ‘seaside’ resort, Camden Beach, presented by Stoli Vodka. On the terrace, Camden’s biggest outdoor space, there will be 150 tonnes of the finest sand, deckchairs, beach huts, ping-pong, live music, some of the best food pop-ups in the city and the chance to enjoy Stoli’s drink of the summer, the Stoli Lemonade.
THURSDAY 6 AUGUST, 8PM
Curated around the provocation of a genderless world this evening will be an almighty hedonistic celebration featuring circus and cabaret.
The sensational anti-drag queen David Hoyle will bring a very special performance that promises to be polemic, provocative and highly funny, Circus Director Paul Evans will premiere a brand new circus ariel piece Don’t Mention The F Word plus performance artist Andie Macario takes to the stage. Fresh from headlining the Block9 field at Glastonbury this year, infamous international DJ Honey Dijon will take revellers into the night with her distinct Chicago sound with inflections of the deep New York underground mixing classic house and disco, techno and tech house.
WEDNESDAY 12 AUGUST, 8PM
Money, inheritance and celebrity are put in the spotlight through dance, spoken word and live art.
Tommy Franzen, ZooNation Youth Company, Roundhouse Street Circus Collective and established ballroom dancers will perform a mash-up of ballroom and street dance in a brand new commission especially created and choreographed for Utopia by Arlene Phillips. The commission will bring together dancers of all generations. Arlene will also deliver her impassioned provocation, for a world without material inheritance. The evening also features new work by artist Alison Jackson created especially for Utopia and Roundhouse 2015 Poetry Slam winner and runner up Caleb Oluwfemi and Toby Champion.
THURSDAY 13 AUGUST, 8PM
Celebrating the best of London’s hip hop and grime talent a host of artists take over the stage to examine inequality with exploding thoughts, critiques, and a fusion of music, poetry and speech.
Programmed by Kayne West and Jay Z endorsed rapper, songwriter and producer Awate, the line-up includes the up and coming young rapper and singer Amy True, BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, rapper and poet Akala who will share his deeply personal, unique and moving poetic response to Penny’s installation and DJ set from modern musical luminary Micachu.
WEDNESDAY 19 AUGUST, 8PM
An evening of utopian propositions, ideas and performances programmed in partnership with think-tank Compass featuring an arousing line-up of artists and speakers.
Poets Michelle Madsen (founder of Hammer & Tongue) and Sam Berkson will host the evening that includes Nigerian performer and poet Yomi GREEDS (Generating Rhymes to Engage the Enlightened Soul), columnist and writer Owen Jones, writer and educator Anthony Anaxagorou performing with pianist Karim Kamar, members from Sisters Uncut and Syriza London plus more to be announced.
THURSDAY 20 AUGUST, 8PM
A clash of art forms with Penny Woolcock in an evening of art revolution, celebrating the ideals and themes of Utopia.
Penny will be joined by singer, songwriter and anti-cuts campaigner Charlotte Church, spectacular neo-burlesque performer and clown Fancy Chance, performance poet Malik Sankara, One Mile Away’s Zimbo who will be performing accompanied by classical string musicians.
Roundhouse Members priority booking opens Mon 22 Jun midday. Find out more about Roundhouse Memberships. Public booking opens Wed 24 Jun midday.
For more information, go to: roundhouse.org.uk