Jacksons Lane

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre (JLAC) is a multi-arts venue in Highgate, north London, located in a Grade II listed former Wesleyan Methodist church.[1] The building is home to a 166 capacity theatre, a large scale dance and rehearsal studio, a cafe-bar and four other multi-purpose spaces.

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre
AddressArchway Road
London, N6
United Kingdom
Coordinates51.57659°N 0.14528°W / 51.57659; -0.14528
Public transit Highgate
OwnerJacksons Lane Ltd
TypeArts centre
Capacity166 (250 including standing) plus 5 multi-purpose spaces
Opened1975 (1975)


Jacksons Lane Arts Centre is 'North London's Creative Space' based in Highgate, north London – a theatre, a centre for participation, and a space for new circus theatre companies and artists to create and perform. The venue has a history of innovative work including experimental visual theatre companies, contemporary dance and circus. It was acknowledged in Sideshow Magazine's 'State of the Circus' report in 2014 as the UK's leading presenter and supporter of contemporary circus.

JLAC supports some 100 companies and artists every year. It offers mentoring, space, production, commissioning, technical support, promotion and production. In 2015 has commissioned two brand new productions as part of its 40th Birthday, involving emerging collective Silver Lining with Throwback and a brand new work from Gandini Juggling – Meta.[2] Jacksons Lane was hailed as 'The Innovator' and 'a breeding ground for fast-rising talent' By Time Out London magazine.

The annual Postcards Festival runs each Summer with range of circus, cabaret and performance.

JLAC is a venue for Circusfest in association with The Roundhouse, hosts several productions each year as part of The London International Mime Festival and supports the annual Total Theatre Award for Circus at the Edinburgh Festival.

Established names and companies such as Complicite, The Mighty Boosh, Shared Experience, Stephen Merchant, Out of Joint and Frantic Assembly have all performed or developed work at Jacksons Lane over the venue's 40-year history. Matt Lucas and David Walliams (Little Britain) started out at Jacksons Lane.[3][4] [5]

Jacksons Lane was the venue for the European Juggling Convention in 1980.

Partners include The Roundhouse, Circus Space, Crying Out Loud, The Place and Sadlers Wells. JLAC is managed by a board of trustees, chaired by co-founder Melian Mansfield.

JLAC has six spaces including its 166-person capacity main theatre, as well as one of the largest dance and rehearsal spaces in the UK. The theatre itself won a RIBA Community Enterprise award for its design by Tim Ronalds Architects: '‘Socially, aesthetically and technically the design offers inspirational lessons" (The Architects’ Journal).


JLAC is funded by Haringey Council, Arts Council England, John Lyons Charity and Children In Need.


Highgate or Jackson's Lane Wesleyan Methodist church was opened in 1905, on the current site at the corner of Archway Road and Jacksons Lane. The building was of red brick with stone dressings, designed in an early Gothic style included a Sunday school and was designed by W. H. Boney of Highgate. The church seated 650 and the schoolroom 400. [6] Jackson's Lane was well known during the 1960s for its community work. The church was closed in 1975 and reopened to begin its new incarnation as an arts centre and centre for the North London community.


  1. Historic England. "Highgate Methodist Church and manse with hall behind (1079250)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. Hutera, Donalds. "META at Jacksons Lane, N6". The Times. The Times.
  3. "Jacksons Lane Annual Review 2014/15" (PDF). jacksonslane.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  4. Smart, Gordon (29 September 2012). "Interview". The Sun. News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  5. Dipper, Andrew. "The Two Davids: South Shields Lecture 2013 – with David Walliams". Gigglebeats. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  6. Baggs, A P; Bolton, Diane K; Hicks, M A; Pugh, R B (1980). "Hornsey, including Highgate: Protestant nonconformity". In Baker, T F T; Elrington, C R (eds.). A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 6, Friern Barnet, Finchley, Hornsey With Highgate (British History Online ed.). London: Victoria County History. pp. 183–189. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
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