"In uncertain times, it's great to see one of the stalwarts of London's fringe going onwards and upwards... and a bit to the left." Mark Gatiss
"A bright star with a brighter future." Joanna Lumley
The King’s Head Theatre is on the move - the well-worn, much-loved 110-seat auditorium can no longer contain the artistic ambition of the Theatre. To realise a creatively and financially sustainable future, the company is set to move to a brand new theatre space within Islington Square, neighbouring its current location.
Sager Group in association with Cain International, along with the King’s Head Theatre and Young’s, have, following extensive discussion and collaboration, submitted a planning application to Islington Council. The aspiration is that the King’s Head Theatre will move in to its new purpose-built space in 2020. Here, it will be able to continue to grow and thrive within the community.
The theatre space within Islington Square has been designed by celebrated architect Graham Currie of ISA, and will be equipped to meet the demands of a thriving theatre in the 21st century. The submitted proposals would see the creation of a 250-seat auditorium and an 85-seat studio, along with bar, foyer and outstanding facilities for actors and audiences alike.
The MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, said, “I am always thrilled when I get the chance to go to a King’s Head Theatre production – the combination of big sounds and small spaces is really wonderful. It is great news that they are only moving a few yards and it sounds as though the new performance spaces will open up great new opportunities, whilst maintaining an intimate feel. I look forward to my first visit to the new King’s Head Theatre – and I wish the team every success.”
The new King’s Head Theatre box office will be at ground level; accessed through the Islington Square arcade via the Grade II listed former Post Office. This is immediately neighbouring the current location, with access to the theatre space at basement level.
The new venue brings the opportunity for the King’s Head Theatre to thrive for years to come and continue its unapologetically eclectic approach to programming; new writing, first revivals, musicals, opera and cabaret. With 65 per cent of funds for the build and fit out already raised, the King’s Head Theatre team is now actively seeking donations to help secure the remaining £2 million needed to see the project through.
Giris Rabinovitch, CEO of Sager Group commented, “We first discussed working in association with the King’s Head Theatre way back in 2003 when we met with the original founder and impresario Dan Crawford. Ever since, we have continued those discussions with Stephanie Crawford who became Artistic Director following Dan’s passing and more recently with Young’s and the King’s Head Theatre.
We are, therefore, delighted to be able to honour Dan’s memory by announcing this news and to be supporting the King’s Head Theatre and the arts. Islington Square is a unique project, and the proposals submitted add a new dynamic to the community. Patrons, users and the theatre community welcome the creation of new, modern space and we look forward to pulling back the curtain and revealing this theatre.”
The iconic Upper Street venue helped launch the careers of stars aplenty, among them Joanna Lumley, who says, “It’s thrilling that the King’s Head Theatre now has a chance to spread its colossal wings and fly into the front line of innovative work in the theatrical capital of the world. It has always punched far above its weight; with these dazzling new – planned – facilities it can even offer comfort (hitherto pretty much undreamed of) and reliability (once rain fell so steadily on the audiences’ heads that they made umbrellas of their programmes). It is a bright star with a brighter future, and no place deserves it more.”
Olivier Award-winning actor and King’s Head regular Mark Gatiss commented, “I’m delighted that the King's Head Theatre is planning to move into such an exciting new venue and has an equally exciting future. In uncertain times, it's great to see one of the stalwarts of London's fringe going onwards and upwards... and a bit to the left."
Chair at the King’s Head Theatre, James Seabright added, "Having only recently joined the trustees as Chair, I am delighted to be working alongside the King's Head Theatre team to see through this incredible opportunity to move into a purpose-built new home on Upper Street. Its new venue will be brilliantly placed to serve both the venue's ever-growing audiences, and also the artists who create and stage the varied programme of unique work. This final fundraising push will ensure the theatre can deliver on its potential from day one.”
To discuss the move, or to help us financially with the move to our new home, contact Fiona English, Executive Director on [email protected] or on 020 7226 8561.