Welcome to The Takeover.
Four Guest Artistic Directors have been given the keys to the building to curate & programme their own seasons from the end of March to August 2023.
They will have full creative control to programme whatever they want in our 110 seat theatre.
Our Guest Artistic Directors are:
- Isabel Adomakoh Young (PECS Drag Kings, Romeo & Juliet)
- Tom Ratcliffe (Fame Whore, Wreckage)
- Tania Azevedo (&Juliet, But I’m a Cheerleader)
- David Cumming (Operation Mincemeat, Dog Show)
All four Guest Artistic Directors are looking for new fresh shows to programme in their seasons. From full productions of plays, musicals & shows ready for longer runs to comedy shows, late night entertainment, cabaret, drag & shows in development suitable for a variety of lengths, from one night to four weeks!
We want to find new ways of working with new artists & new ideas, find out more below & apply by completing our Production Proposal Form.
Guest Artistic Director: Isabel Adomakoh Young
For my season I’m asking who should finally get their turn in the limelight? How can we take a fresh look at old narratives? What have we taken as read without ever asking ourselves why?
I’ve deliberately kept my concept broad because I’ve found an open mind & a keenness to learn have brought me to more discoveries than prescriptive targets ever could. I want to know what your unique minds bring to the table.
That said, I’m especially interested in:
- Imaginative uses of language
- Reframing & fresh angles
- Ambitious play with form
- Unheard stories & erased communities
- Diversity - gender, sexuality, class, heritage, ability, national identity, I want it all!
- Courage - challenge me with your big ideas
- Escape - strong narratives that take us to new worlds
- Joy in the face of darkness
I believe art & activism can be symbiotic, & through them audiences can change their perspective & even their behaviour.
I’m very open to both traditional scripted drama & less conventional performance pieces; performance art, puppetry, digital, music, scratch, comedy, cabaret… Let’s change the world from a pub theatre in North London.
Isabel is a co-creator of PECS Drag Kings, AIM “Best Independent Festival” Brainchild, & the bestselling Lionboy book trilogy which was adapted & toured by Complicité. Isabel also starred as Juliet in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s recent production of Romeo & Juliet where she won a BBTA award for her performance.
A Queer Interrogation
Guest Artistic Director: Tom Ratcliffe
"From a Tom Ratcliffe season you can expect a new writing bonanza! I'm looking for plays & stories that have something BIG to say & ask important, necessary questions about the world we live in today. Expect to see plot driven stories with rounded LGBTQ+ characters. Alongside this I'm on the lookout for queer variety artists for fun & loud late night shows which give us cause for celebration!
Specifically I am on the lookout for an epic 3 week main house show alongside 3 other comedy / dark comedy shows looking to do 1 week runs in a later slot. Interspersed with this please get in touch for one night events including work in progress. I want to hear what you have to say & base a programme of work from your incredible stories."
Tom is a writer & the co-Executive Director of WildCard Theatre Company & is currently on attachment to Harlow Playhouse. His plays include Wreckage (currently playing at Turbine Theatre), Fame Whore (Kings Head Theatre), Evelyn (Mercury Theatre/Southwark Playhouse), VELVET (Pleasance Courtyard & UK/Ireland Tour) & Circa (Theatre de Meervaart, Amsterdam & Old Red Lion). Tom was awarded the JB Priestley Award for Writers of Promise in 2020. As well as his recent play Fame Whore, Tom also performed in Kings Head Theatre’s production 5 Guys Chillin’.
MT Pride Lab
Guest Artistic Director: Tania Azevedo
The MT PRIDE LAB will be the King’s Head first ever season dedicated to New Musical Theatre, showcasing LGBTQ+ artists &/or musicals telling LGBTQ+ stories.
New musicals need spaces where they can be nurtured & grow. And that is especially true of LGBTQ new musicals. This is where the MT PRIDE LAB comes in. The Main Lab slot will see three new musicals playing “in rep” over the 6 week season. This will allow the creatives to listen & learn from audience reactions & have the opportunity, time & space to make changes to the piece during the run. For our audiences, it will offer the unique opportunity to be part of the development journey of the hit musicals of tomorrow.
Wrapped around this lab, we will open our doors to 1 week runs, staged readings, gig-theatre, concerts & workshops, all focused on the new diverse voices making LGBTQ Musical Theatre.
“I’ve spent most of my career working in new musical theatre development & what comes up time & time again is the lack of opportunities for the writers to test their material on their feet, staging it, listening to the audience's response & adjusting accordingly. Musical Theatre is an extremely complex art form & there’s only so much you can learn from a workshop presentation. This is where the MT PRIDE LAB comes in. I want this season to be a launching pad for the new wave of exciting, queer, musical theatre makers to take risks, learn about their craft & their piece & have the support to experiment in a lab setting. The King’s Head is where I started my career 10 years ago, via their trainee director scheme. It was a time where I could learn, make mistakes & develop my creative ambitions. I look forward to doing that same for the new generations of musical theatre makers ” - Tania Azevedo
Tania is currently resident director on & Juliet and directed the world premier of But I’m a Cheerleader (Turbine Theatre) based on the cult LGBTQ+ film, for which she has been nominated for an Offie Award and Broadway World Award. She also directed It’s Only Life (Union Theatre), Toyboy Diaries (Hope Mill Theatre),Tenderly (New Wimbledon Theatre), Paper Hearts (Upstairs at the Gatehouse and international tour), Piece of Silk and Hello Again (Hope Theatre) and assistant director on Heathers. Tania’s new musical A Mother’s Song, co-created with Finn Anderson, is set for a production at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Scotland in Feb 2023. Tania trained at Kings Head Theatre as a trainee resident director.
Queer Futures: A festival of The Now Which Is Yet To Come
Guest Artistic Director: David Cumming
What may be the future of queer theatre? Of queer lives? Of a queer world? And in what ways is that future already upon us?
In its final four weeks of the Guest AD Takeover, the King’s Head will host Queer Futures: A festival of The Now Which Is Yet To Come - an eclectic snapshot of contemporary queer work that speaks to possibilities, to new ways of seeing, being, thinking & making. A smorgasbord of theatre, cabaret, musicals, comedy, panel chats & weird sh*t, this season aims to be a place for queer voices to celebrate, congregate, whisper, wail, sing, scream, loathe, love, discuss, dissect & dissent.
Let’s hear what this old King full of young Kweens has to say about our collective futures. Long live the King’s Head!
David is a writer, performer, director, composer & co-Artistic Director of SpitLip & Kill the Beast. One of The Stage’s 25 Theatre-makers of the Future, David is fast making a name for himself including as a co-writer & performer on the hit new musical Operation Mincemeat - which is set to transfer to the West End this March after runs at the New Diorama Theatre, Southwark Playhouse & Riverside Studios. David’s other writing & performing credits including Dog Show (Pleasance Theatre), Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster (Battersea Arts Centre & BBC 4) & as his drag alter-ego Cheryl Dole.
Are you ready to be part of THE TAKEOVER?
If you would like to submit your proposal for one or more seasons, please use our PRODUCTION PROPOSAL FORM.
Please note that each Guest Artistic Director will be programming their own seasons but will be using a variation of our existing slot structure which can be read in more detail here, including rates & what you can expect when bringing your work to King's Head Theatre.
Things to consider before applying:
- The King’s Head Theatre is a 110 seater venue in thrust formation.
- The space is shared between many productions on a daily basis, so please think about making your show in a 'festival format'. Even shows that have design priority need to ensure that other shows can play on top.
- We are an Equity registered building, please read our Equity agreement here.
The Takeover is supported by Arts Council England.