arts centre has been unveiled in a bid to bring the West End to
north London's doorstep at affordable prices.
Artsdepot, a £14
million venue, plans to introduce a host of diverse and high-profile
artists and performers to the borough for the first time over the
in looking around the new Artsdepot building? Take our virtual
tour and see the space as you hear Artsdepot's Claire Lewis
guide you around.
The north Finchley
centre is home to two spacious, state-of-the-art theatres - the
400-seat Pentland and 150-seat Studio - an art gallery, dance studio,
rehearsal rooms and educational facilities.
It took two-and-a-half
years to build and represents a radical step-up from The Bull, previously
Barnet's premier playhouse with a 177-seat capacity.
Secretary Tessa Jowell attended last month's opening ceremony in
the company of artsdepot patrons and supporters including percussionist
Evelyn Glennie (pictured) and actors Miranda Richardson and Richard
"What we will
be able to find here is not just the cutting edge of the art forms
and innovation," she said, "but this could be a trial
venue for plays which are thinking of transferring to the West End."
She added that
artsdepot's value came from the fact that it can and will be used
by children and local groups to watch and perform theatre, dance
Away from the hoopla
of the opening, where guests quaffed sparkling wine and canapes
while enjoying entertainment by dance company Shobana Jeyasingh,
the centre has announced an ambitious line-up.
and adult participation
Over the coming
months, comedians such as Al Murray and Mark Thomas rub shoulders
with the likes of John Mortimer and John Hegley, while shows such
as Stones in his Pockets and Rasa's Curry Tales fulfil the aim of
appealing to the multi-ethnic make-up of the neighbourhood.
very eclectic," says artsdepot's Claire Lewis. "We're
covering the widest breadth of all the genres we can and appealing
to everybody from eight to 80."
upcoming shows include a Christmas production, Kazzum's contemporary
adaptation of the boy-puppet favourite Pinocchio (pictured), and
a promenade performance, New Lives, that weaves together real voices
from local people.
The venue will
also play host to regional dance and touring companies, local drama
groups and projects in development, with a particular emphasis on
youth and adult participation in the form of courses on tango, samba
percussion, new writing, drama and storytelling.
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