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Marcus Davey: Roundhouse Diary

PUBLISHED: 14:47 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 10:25 07 September 2010

It s not just any old iron Everywhere one looks at the moment a bus is to be seen, either on the street or on TV or in the newspaper. The old phrase is really coming true. Actually not just three turning up at one time, but apparently 17 on one occasion

It's not just any old iron

Everywhere one looks at the moment a bus is to be seen, either on the street or on TV or in the newspaper.

The old phrase is really coming true. Actually not just three turning up at one time, but apparently 17 on one occasion recently.

As the final works are started on the land next to the Roundhouse to put the drains in, a digger has struck not one but two original 1840s iron wagon turntables.

With a mixture of excitement and fear my colleagues and I ran to the site and saw these beautiful industrial items coming out of the ground. Still in amazingly good condition, they are now awaiting a specialist from English Heritage to view them.

The excitement was obvious but the fear was less so. Shouting in my head were the words: "What are we going to do with these five-ton items? Where are they going to go and are we going to have to restore them?"

They need repair and that means money and as we still have £2.2million to complete the capital campaign - any extras are viewed as a headache. We want to save these items and perhaps one will be cleaned up and placed on the terrace. I can see it now: The Turntable Terrace ...

q There has now been huge coverage for our opening show FuerzaBruta. the new show from the creators of De La Guarda. Our new performance space, Studio 42, will also come alive on June 1 with a show created by Grassmarket Project and the Roundhouse.

It is a show called The Foolish Young Man, with David Harewood in the title role. He's a well to do gentleman who opens up his comfortable way of life with a view to rescuing several young people from the streets.

The character hopes he will be putting something back into society by giving these young people shelter and some form of education but in the end it's he who ends up getting re-educated.

Fifteen young people from the Roundhouse will work with Grassmarket Project director Jeremy Weller to make the show and they will be the other principal actors. As with FuerzaBruta, tickets have already gone on sale.

q The old iron columns in the Roundhouse have now been restored, cleaned down and repainted. The roof ironwork is being cleaned and will then not be painted but stay as it is - original, raw and stunning. Many doors have now been hung and much of the lighting has now been installed. The main staircase has been built and in the next few weeks the lifts will be installed.

The works on the land next to the Roundhouse will be completed in March, which means all the builders' portable offices will go. Every day now we are leaping forward with the building works ready for us to move in during April and May, ready for the opening at the beginning of June.

Much of our time is now taken up with planning for the future. We are programming the Main Space well into the future but leaving gaps to make sure we can accommodate exciting shows that will become available at short notice.

q Pop music events have a much shorter lead time than theatre or dance. Six weeks ago very few people had heard of the Arctic Monkeys and now it is almost impossible to sit in a café without seeing an advert for them or hearing at least three people talk about them.

We need to make sure that we can welcome such acts to the Roundhouse and be the first to present them.

o Marcus Davey is chief executive of the Roundhouse.

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