|The Stratford circus|
|Owned by||Newham Sixth Form College|
|Capacity||Circus 1: 314-seat (650 standing)
Circus 2: 93-seat (160 standing)
Circus 3: dance studio
|Production||Student and visiting|
Stratford Circus is a contemporary performing arts venue in Stratford in the London Borough of Newham, east London. It was designed by Levitt Bernstein architects and built with funding from the National Lottery.
Initially opened in 2001, the organisation's board went into voluntary liquidation in August 2003, following a loss of funding. The London Borough of Newham stepped in and assumed interim management responsibility. In 2005, Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc), who had been a partner from the outset, took over the management and a ten year lease for the venue. Since then the centre has hosted a broad and varied programme of performances, events. Organisations who have been based at the venue include East London Dance, Urban Development, Theatre Venture, and the Newham Youth and Community Education Service. The University of East London's Institute of Performing Arts Development (iPAD) and the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) are also working in partnership with the centre.
The centre hosted the first ever BBC Question Time pre-election debate in 2005 featuring all three leaders of the mainstream political parties: Prime Minister Tony Blair, then Tory Leader Michael Howard and then Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy.
Artists who have performed their work at Stratford Circus include Andy Hamilton, Billy Bragg, John Hegley, Seun Kuti, and 60x60. 60x60 Dance held its European debut at Stratford Circus in 2010. The event featured more than 150 dancers with 60 choreographers creating dances to each of the 60 one-minute works in the 60x60 project.
As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings, Stratford Circus will be the training facility for the Japanese athletes during the 2012 Olympics in London.
Blake, A. (2005) 'Collaboration or collapse? NewVIc and the Stratford Cultural Quarter', in Jeffery, G. (ed) (2005) The Creative College: building a successful learning culture in the arts, Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham Books.
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