Established in 1970, King’s Head Theatre is one of the oldest pub theatres in London. For over 50 years the theatre has been housed in the back room of the King’s Head Pub on Upper Street in an old boxing ring and pool hall.
Under Artistic Director & Founder Dan Crawford, who’s tenure lasted 35 years until his death in 2005, the theatre became known as a breeding ground for new talent and great work. Renowned actors like Maureen Lipman, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Alan Rickman & Richard E Grant have all performed here, & a number of our productions have transferred to London's West End & New York's Broadway, premiering work from writers such as Steven Berkoff, Tom Stoppard, Bryony Lavery & Victoria Wood.
In 2010, the Olivier Award-winning company Opera UpClose Productions became the theatre’s resident company for four years, & with Adam Spreadbury-Maher as Artistic Director, turned King’s Head into “London’s Little Opera House”, winning an Olivier Award for La Boheme in the Best New Opera category. Opera remains at the core of what we do in the theatre, alongside our commitment to emerging, daring & innovative work, such as Trainspotting, the Edinburgh Fringe & touring immersive theatre hit that was developed under our roof.
You can find more about our history here.
In 2021, Mark Ravenhill became Artistic Director & today, our artistic policy is joyful, irreverent, colourful & queer. King’s Head Theatre showcases work across a wide range of performance styles: from plays to musicals, to opera & cabaret, to drag & comedy. You’re always bound to find something that’s entertaining, alternative & just for you.
Our theatre focuses on showcasing LGBTQ+ work which explores the full spectrum of experiences symbolised by the rainbow flag. We are a home for a new wave of diverse queer theatre makers & we love to embrace stories that haven't been told before, in ways that haven't been invented yet.
We believe in trying to find sustainable solutions to making work on the fringe, & we were the first fringe venue to develop a fringe house agreement with Equity which makes a commitment to paying all our performers & stage managers ethically. Our theatre has, and always will be, a place for new talent, on & off-stage.
The future of the fringe is here.