Search

King’s Head Theatre set to move to Upper Street bar for 18 months until new venue is ready

PUBLISHED: 15:57 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 20 April 2018

The Kings Head Theatre is leaving the King's Head pub in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Kings Head Theatre is leaving the King's Head pub in Upper Street. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Archant

Upper Street’s famous King’s Head Theatre pub could move into a “trendy neighbourhood bar” for more than 18 months until its new site is ready, a new report reveals.

An artist's impression of the new development, showing the theatre space in the foreground on the south of Islington Square. Picture: Islington Square/Redwood ConsultingAn artist's impression of the new development, showing the theatre space in the foreground on the south of Islington Square. Picture: Islington Square/Redwood Consulting

A planning application that would allow the theatre to continue its programme of shows in the nearby John Salt has been recommended for approval by Islington officers and will be voted on next week by councillors.

The King’s Head opened in 1970, becoming the first theatre pub in London since Shakespeare’s time, and helped to put Upper Street on the map.

It launched the careers of Alan Rickman, Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant but has now outgrown its 110-seat capacity and is being moved into two underground floors of the new Islington Square development. But that can’t happen until it has raised enough money to pay for the fitting out of the new venue, which is currently in shell form.

Sager, the Islington Square developer, will pay for the auditorium and other works to be installed at John Salt – but the application has changed from a temporary use to a permanent one in case there are delays in moving into the new space.

A report states: “Although it is still the aim of the King’s Head Theatre Group (KHTG) and Islington Council to ensure the KHTG move into their new premises as soon as possible, this will be dependent on effective fundraising by the KHTG.

“Although the KHTG suggest they would hope that no more than 18 months would be spent in the John Salt, it was considered appropriate that the application be permanent to alleviate any risk of the new use exceeding the duration of the permission.”

When it does open, the new venue will consist of a 276-seat auditorium and an 84-seat studio. The original theatre will now form part of the pub, which will get a refurbishment and a new roof terrace.

Developers also want to demolish the old Grade-II listed dressing room at the back of the existing theatre and replace it with a courtyard for the new entrance.

Islington planning officers said in their report: “The fit-out is intended to create a highly contemporary, inclusive and sustainable theatre space.

“The proposal represents a radical departure from the current theatre and its size, flexibility and high quality facilities will, it is hoped, see the theatre forming a key cultural component and significant draw for the Islington Square development.”

Related articles

1 comment

  • Surely it would be more sensible to secure funding to fit out the new space rather than move to John Salt in the interim. You'd think Young's would fund the refit seeing as they're getting a pub twice the size. But perhaps they are.

    Report this comment

    Christopher King

    Friday, April 20, 2018

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest Islington News Stories

A housing association has been lambasted for its “appalling” approach to repair and maintenance work on a Clerkenwell estate.

12:49

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

10:47

Volunteers from a Finsbury Park charity that uses surplus food to cook for people in need have scoooped an award for their “outstanding” meals.

A multi-billion-pound gas company has bowed to opposition and abandoned plans to partially astroturf the historic Canonbury Square Gardens.

Yesterday, 17:16

Bookworms could get their names in works by high-profile authors such as Margaret Atwood and Lee Child and raise money for a Holloway torture charity at the same time.

Yesterday, 16:02

Two new police constables will be deployed to Highbury West next month to help tackle drug-related problems across the ward, the Gazette can reveal.

Yesterday, 12:38

A walk through history will raise cash for the mayor of Islington’s chosen charities on Sunday.

Yesterday, 11:47

The community celebrated “sustainability” and British apples in Gillespie Park on Sunday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now