Stratford Circus

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Stratford Circus is a contemporary performing arts venue in the Stratford, London Cultural Quarter‚ in East London. It was designed by Levitt Bernstein architects and built with funding from the National Lottery to provide a performing arts centre in Newham to reflect the residents' cultures and communities whilst also filling a niche within the London-wide arts scene.

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 responsibilty.

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, workshops and education and training opportunities to the local community and broader audiences. Resident organisations include East London Dance, Urban Development, Theatre Venture, and the Newham Youth and Community Education Service. It is regarded as an innovative model of partnership working and has gained a reputation for inclusive and participatory arts practice and successful support and incubation for emerging creative entrepreneurs and artists in East London. 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 debate in 2005 featuring Prime Minister Tony Blair, then Tory Leader Michael Howard and then Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy in the run up to the General Election.

Artists who have performed their work at Stratford Circus include Shobana Jeyasingh, Henri Oguike, Billy Bragg, and Seun Kuti.


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Stratford Circus

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