King’s Head Theatre submits plans to move to new purpose-built venue
The King’s Head Theatre in London is set to move to a new, purpose-built space in Islington Square.
The theatre has been based in the back room of the King’s Head pub on Upper Street, which could seat 110 people. It was founded in 1970 by Dan Crawford, and has seen performances by the likes of Maureen Lipman, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Richard E Grant.
It has now submitted a planning application for the new space located ten doors away from the current theatre, the current site of the John Salt Bar (131 Upper Street). Designed by architect Graham Currie, the proposed site would include a 250-seat auditorium, an 85-seat studio space and a bar. The plan is to move into the new space by autumn 2018.
The theatre’s artistic director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher, said the building “would celebrate our illustrious heritage, while securing our future for decades to come”.
Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, said: “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.”
The King's Head Theatre says it has raised 65% of the funds required for the move, and is now seeking donations for the remaining £2million needed.
In 2016, 87,000 audience members saw the 84 different productions put on by the theatre: over 43,000 at the Islington venue (and a further 43,000 on tour). The theatre is currently showing Kevin Elyot’s drama Coming Clean.
Actress Joanna Lumley said the theatre is a “is a bright star with a brighter future” while Mark Gatiss added he was “delighted” the venue was planning the move.