The Roundabout Festival

Paul Sinha - Comedy in the Round in Margate

Paul Sinha - Comedy in the Round in Margate - Credit: Archant

For one week only (3-7 September 2014), a pop-up arts festival is coming to Margate - five days of non-stop events that all take place in a new state-of-the-art pop-up amphitheatre seating 168 people, completely in the round

Roundabout is the most dynamic, most innovative, most essential new theatre in the country and is brought to us by legendary touring theatre company Paines Plough, straight from the Edinburgh Festival 2014. It’s a completely self-contained 168-seat auditorium that flat packs into a single lorry and can pop up anywhere from theatres to school halls, sports centres to warehouses. And now it’s coming to the Winter Gardens.

Tickets are bargain basement prices (many are free) – and the more tickets you buy, the cheaper they get. Come on your own and see lots of shows, or bring a crowd to just one. Five or more tickets are just £6 each.

Wednesday 3 September – 8pm

Comedy in the Round

Paul Sinha, with support Dan Evans

Paul Sinha is a stand-up comedian, professional quizzer and sports fanatic. You may have heard him on Radio 4, on his own series or on The News Quiz or Just a Minute or perhaps, on Radio 5 Live’s Fighting Talk. You may have seen him, on Comedy Central on the Stewart Lee curated Alternative Comedy Experience or, indeed on ITV’s The Chase where he appears as the Chaser and general knowledge expert, The Sinnerman.

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Paul has been nominated for the highest accolade in live comedy at the Edinburgh Festival and won the Chortle Award for Best Club Comic in 2014.

Running Time: 90 minutes inc interval

Ages: 16+

Thursday 4, Friday 5, Saturday 6 September - 3pm

Cracking the Crinoline workshops

Do you want to perform at the Winter Gardens and The Turner, Margate? Do you want the chance to show the public what older people are capable of? Are you female and over 50? If the answer is yes, please join us!

The Moving Memory Company is a group of women aged between 52 and 82, who have been making performance together for four years. They have performed in many venues and combine theatre, dance and martial arts to arrest and delight their audiences. They would love to invite you to join them in their new street piece, Cracking the Crinoline. No experience is necessary.

The piece is five minutes long and will be taught to participants in two stages.

Further workshops will take place in October and November leading to a performance in Turner Contemporary on 15 November.

Running time: workshop 1 hour

Ages: 50+

FREE to participate and to watch– just come along

Sunday 7 September - 3pm

Cracking the Crinoline performance during the Roundabout Tea Dance (see below)

Thursday 4 September – 7pm

Saturday 6 September – 5pm

Paines Plough presents

LUNGS by Duncan Macmillan

“I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower.”

A couple are deciding their future. Thirty-something, educated and thoughtful, they want to have a child for the right reasons. But in a time of overpopulation, erratic weather and political unrest, what exactly are the right reasons?

Running Time: 80 minutes no interval

Ages: 14+

Ticket prices – see below

Thursday 4 September – 9pm

Paines Plough and Pentabus present


You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy.

You start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for.

1. Ice Cream

2. Kung Fu Movies

3. Burning Things

4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose

5. Construction cranes

6. Me

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

Each performance of Every Brilliant Thing involves members of the audience, making every night unique.

Running Time: 70 minutes no interval

Ages: 14+

Ticket prices – see below

Friday 5 September - 8pm

Looping the Loop: Cook up

Come cook up a storm in a wooden theatre inside Margate’s treasured Winter Gardens. There are no red curtains here, just a stage, a bar and a truckload of performers, producers and DJs scratching their work before your very eyes. Theatre native or novice, it doesn’t matter: just show up and we’ll do the rest.

If you are interested in scratching new work, email with LTL Cook Up in the subject box.

Running time: 90 minutes including interval

Ages: All

Tickets: Unticketed - with a pay what you can collection

Friday 5 September – 1.30pm

Saturday 6 September – 11am

Paines Plough and Half Moon present


Two terrible twins with a talent for turmoil rule their school with terror and tyranny - until the arrival of a new head teacher with green scaly skin, sharp gnarly fangs, and a long spiky tail…

Can the twins save the school from the child-eating Troll? Can they get Brussels sprouts in peanut butter taken off the menu? And most importantly, can naughtiness prevail?

Running Time: 50 minutes no interval

Ages: 7+ and their accompanying trolls (or parents).

Tickets: £3

Friday 5 September – 6pm

Saturday 6 September – 8pm

Paines Plough presents

THE INITIATE by Alexandra Wood

A British couple are seized by Somali pirates. In East London, a Somali taxi-driver decides to rescue them. Meeting disbelief with determination, he dismisses his wife’s fears and flies out to negotiate their release.

Speeding from the banks of the Thames to the now unfamiliar world of his homeland, he confronts the family he left behind and the bravado of the defiant men he once called brothers.

A thrilling tale of altruism, greed, and the search for how to belong from George Devine Award-winning playwright Alexandra Wood.

Running Time: 80 minutes no interval

Ages: All

Ticket prices – see below

Sunday 7 September - 11am

Sing World Music

with Maddie4Music

Singing workshop for all ages led by East Kent-based Maddie4Music who provided the local choir for the Follow the Herring project, which visited Margate in July.

Learn songs from across the globe, in glorious unaccompanied harmony. We promise a fun, relaxed, informal, and fulfilling hour of singing.

FREE - just turn up with your voice and a bottle of water. Bring family and friends to join in or to listen including an informal performance at 11.50am, no previous experience required or need to read music - songs taught by ear!

Running Time: 1 hour

Ages: All

FREE to participate and to watch– just come along


Sunday 7th September – 2pm – 5pm

The Ragoof Players present

The Roundabout Tea Dance

The Roundabout Tea Dance is a fantastic three-hour participatory event

featuring DJs for discerning dancers playing authentic jazz and swing music from the 1920s to 1950s, vintage costumes, glorious dance displays, the company’s trademark instant dance classes, and a chance for everyone to trip the light fantastic.

Everyone is welcome, no partners needed – and Ragroof’s unique approach to partner dancing encourages everyone to learn the steps of both lead and follow, rather than be dictated to by gender.

So polish up your dancing shoes and join us – and if you fancy it, then do dress to impress, but it’s not compulsory!

And at 3pm have a break and enjoy

Cracking the Crinoline

StevensonThompson’s Moving Memory Company come to the Roundabout to deliver a short, sharp, surprising sting. Combining crinolines, corsets and boxing boots, these Queen B’s remind us not to take little old ladies for granted. Join them for a performance that it uplifting, life enhancing and will leave you reaching for your Marigolds.

Stephenson Thompson are an Associate Company of Theatre Royal Margate.

Tea Dance Running Time: 3 hours

Ages: All

FREE to participate and to watch– just come along

Sunday 7 September – 8pm

Lila la Scala presents

Another F*cking Variety Show

With The Boy with Tape on his Face

And so we draw this Roundabout Festival to a close in style. Grab yourself a cold one and take a seat for Lili la Scala and her glittering cavalcade of Cabarati.

Running Time: 1 hour 40 mins (including 1 interval)

Ages: 18+

Ticket prices – see below