19 January 2022
The Kings Head Theatre presents ‘KHT50: Barstools to Broadway’. Join us in celebration of 50 years of fringe theatre, as we dive into the dusty archives and re-mount plays that started at our small but mighty pub theatre – many for the first time since their original staging.
The Third by Timberlake Wertenbaker: Reading and Panel Monday 14th February 6.15pm
Director Audrey Sheffield
The Third Dame Harriet Walter
Helen Gemma Whelan
We kick off celebrations with an event at the V&A in South Kensington, including a staged reading of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s "The Third", directed by Audrey Sheffield with leading stage and screen actor Dame Harriet Walter performing the titular role, followed by a Panel Discussion on New Women’s Theatre and Lunchtime Theatre, where Dame Harriet is joined by playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker, and King’s Head Theatre co-Artistic Director and Joint CEO Hannah Price, hosted by theatre historian Susan Croft. The Panel Discussion will be available to access online, with the play reading only accessible to the in-person audience. Tickets are available now as part of the KHT50: Barstools to Broadway Sovereign experience and are on sale to the general public via the V&A website.
Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard Tuesday 15th February 7 pm
Director Tim Luscombe
In addition to early career first chances, the theatre also maintained several long-term working relationships, such as that with Tom Stoppard. His play, “Artist Descending a Staircase” (1988) began life as a radio play but the then Artistic Director, Dan Crawford saw an opportunity to bring it to the stage. It also marked the return of Tim Luscombe to the venue, after working with them on a production of Noel Coward’s “Easy Virtue”, that had transferred to the West End. Stoppard’s play received similar acclaim and duly transferred to the West End as well, followed by a transfer to Broadway!
Like Dolls or Angels by Stephen Jeffreys Wednesday 16th February 7 pm
Director Annabel Arden
Like Dolls or Angels (1977) was transferred to the King’s Head Theatre after a successful run at National Student Drama Festival. This marked Stephen Jeffrey’s first professional production, another example of the King’s Head Theatre championing early career playwrights.
Grandmother’s Footsteps by Bryony Lavery Thursday 17th February 7 pm
Director Abigail Anderson
Cast Ruth Bratt, Lucy Trodd (from The Showstoppers)
Bryony Lavery’s second play, Grandmother’s Steps (1977), was also a lunchtime production. Les oeufs malades, the company that Bryony co-founded alongside Gerard Bell and Jessica Higgs in 1976 was created to create roles for women. Bryony is also part of an extensive lineup of LGBT theatre makers that the King’s Head Theatre has supported in their early career.
Good Fun by Victoria Wood Friday 18th February 7 pm
Director Annabel Leventon
Another such long-term relationship was that with Victoria Wood. Dan Crawford was an early supporter, transferring her second play Good Fun (1980) to the theatre. She would go on to repay this early support of her career by hosting many fundraising galas that were vital to keeping the theatre afloat in the latter years of Dan’s tenure.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens Saturday 19th February, 3pm & 7pm
Lyrics & Book by Bill Russell
Music by Janet Hood
Writer and director Bill Russell returns to the King’s Head Theatre to direct the cult hit: Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens. Originally produced in the 80s, this groundbreaking piece of Musical Theatre started at the King’s Head Theatre and consequently went on to dazzle in the West End.
The show is a collection of heart-wrenching monologues and songs, playing homage to the intertwined cacophony of voices affected, killed and debilitated by AIDs. These stories and characters span generations, sexual orientation and gender - telling the true story of the loss and pain felt by an entire generation. Scored to perfection by Janet Hood.
This epic show boasts a cast of over 30 performers; which in our fringe theatre space, is a feat worth experiencing in itself.