Established in 1970, King's Head Theatre is now over 50 years old. Here are just a few of the highlights of our incredible journey so far...
1970 | Dan Crawford founds the first pub theatre in London since Shakespeare’s day and King’s Head Theatre is born. Dan Crawford serves as Artistic Director for 35 years.
1983 | A revival of Mr Cinders, opens at King’s Head Theatre before transferring to the West End. It goes on to run for 527 performances.
1983 | Noel and Gurtie, starring Joanna Lumley, premieres at King’s Head Theatre.
1985 | Hugh Grant makes his acting debut at King’s Head Theatre.
1986 | Maureen Lipman stars in Olivier Award-nominated Wonderful Town at King’s Head Theatre.
1988 | The premier of Tom Stoppard’s Artist Descending a Staircase opens at King’s Head Theatre before transferring to Broadway.
1991 | Steven Berkoff directs & stars in the UK premiere of Kvetch at the King’s Head Theatre.
2002 | Dan & Stephanie Crawford receive Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Contribution to the Arts, & The Trainee Resident Directors Scheme wins the Royal Anniversary Trust Award.
2006 | The documentary King’s Head Theatre: A Maverick in London, is made. It airs on SkyARTS World for 3 years.
2010 | Opera Up Close, founded by Adam Spreadbury-Maher & Robin Norton-Hale become resident company for 4 years. Adam becomes Artistic Director of King’s Head Theatre.
2011 | La bohème wins the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Performance.
2012 | Vieux Carre by Tennessee Williams receives its UK premiere before transferring to the West End.
2015 | King’s Head Theatre forms a new charity to secure the future of the theatre.
2015 | Shock Treatment, the sequel to The Rocky Horror Show Picture Show has its world premiere at King’s Head Theatre.
2015 | Trainspotting is first performed at King’s Head Theatre, hitting its 900th performance in August 2017.
2016 | 43,857 audience members see a show at our London home - our highest footfall ever!
2017 | King’s Head Theatre announces the transfer of La bohème & Strangers in Between to Trafalgar Studios 2 in London’s West End. La bohème goes on to be nominated for Best New Opera Production at the Olivier Awards.
2019 | King’s Head Theatre’s production of Kevin Elyot’s Coming Clean transfers to Trafalgar Studios 2 in London’s West End.
2021 | Mark Ravenhill is appointed as Artistic Director
2022 | Kings Head Theatre finally has its 50th birthday celebration, delayed because of Covid-19.
KHT50: Barstools to Broadway plays for one week bringing together work which premiered at King’s Head Theatre in the 1970s & 1980s. These plays included Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Third, performed at the V&A & read by Dame Kristin Scott Thomas & Gemma Whelan, directed by Audrey Sheffield.
Other plays are read at KHT include Tom Stoppard’s Artist Decending a Staircase, directed by original director Tim Luscombe. Stephen Jeffrey’s Like Dolls or Angels, directed by his wife Annabel Arden and performed by Isobel Isobel Adomakoh Young & Joel Maccormack. Bryony Lavery’s Grandmother’s Steps, performed by Showstoppers! stars Ruth Bratt & Lucy Trodd, directed by Abigail Anderson. Victoria Wood’s musical Good Fun, directed by original cast member Annabel Leventon. Finally, we closed the week with Elegies for Angels Punks & Raging Queens, directed by writer Bill Russell and joined by 30 recent graduates.