OperaUpClose is resident at the King's Head Theatre in Islington.
Dan Crawford founded the King’s Head Theatre in 1970. It was the first pub theatre founded in England since the days of Shakespeare.
The building itself has been around since the mid 1800s and the backroom where the theatre is located was previously a boxing ring and a pool hall. Various elements of the theatre, including the red velvet curtains and theatre lamps have been recycled from other famous venues including the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Lyric Shaftesbury and Scala Theatre.
Over the years the King's Head has staged the new works of Steven Berkoff and Andrew Davies, amongst others, and has produced plays by Harold Pinter, Athol Fugard, Terence Rattigan and Noel Coward.
Dan’s untimely death, in July 2005, robbed the theatre world of a colourful, energetic and maverick producer who was as well-known and well-loved as the people whose careers he helped develop. The King's Head carries on in his spirit by the people he mentored, who in turn continue the tradition of mentoring and supporting others.
The King's Head continues to be a hotbed of new and exciting creative talent after more than 35 years in the business. In 2005, founder Dan Crawford's partner and long-serving associate artistic director, Stephanie Sinclaire, took the helm as Creative Director.
The King's Head Theatre's core values are based on the nurturing and mentoring of talented writers, actors, directors and producers. Over the past four decades the King's Head has contributed to or showcased the successful careers of Victoria Wood, Joanna Lumley, Sir Anthony Sher, Alan Rickman, Sir Tom Stoppard, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Prunella Scales, Steven Berkoff, Anita Dobson, Mike Figgis, Sam West, Shane Richie, Maureen Lipman, Mel Smith, Corin Redgrave, Celia Imrie and James Jagger. The King's Head has transferred 37 shows to the West End, more than any other Off West End theatre as well as eight national tours and six Broadway transfers.
In May 2010 it was first announced that Adam Spreadbury-Maher would take over the artistic direction of The King's Head Theatre. His first programming choice was the Time Out Critics' Choice play Studies For A Portrait by Daniel Reitz. OperaUpClose, under the artistic direction of Spreadbury-Maher and Robin Norton-Hale, is now resident at The King's Head Theatre producing classic opera with new interpretations. The season kicked off with The Barber of Seville (Or Salisbury) in a new translation by director Robin Norton-Hale.