Established in 1970, King’s Head Theatre was the oldest pub theatres in London. For 53 years we were housed in the back room of the King’s Head Pub on Upper Street in an old boxing ring and pool hall, becoming the UK's oldest pub theatre. On the 13th August 2023, we closed the pub theatres doors in anticipation of moving to our new home, right behind the pub at 116 Upper Street which will open in 2024.
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.
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.
Across our two spaces, a 200-seat auditorium and 50-seat cabaret space, we programme multiple productions a day from a variety of forms and genre -
You're always bound to find something on at Kings Head Theatre!