Kings Head Theatre safe even if pub sold, says owner

Highbury and Islington Station today. Pic: Anna Bruce

Highbury and Islington Station today. Pic: Anna Bruce - Credit: Archant

The owner of London’s oldest theatre pub has given fresh assurances that it’s future is secure, despite plans to sell up.

Stephanie Sinclaire, who owns the Kings Head Theatre pub in Upper Street, has reportedly been looking for an investor or a buyer for months, after re-locating to Australia.

The theatre was founded in 1970 by Dan Crawford, but his widow Ms Sinclaire took over ownership after his death eight years ago.

Rumours have been rife since it was announced that the theatre was looking for a guardian angel in the summer and an Islington Rabai is among those who have shown interest in the property.

Despite being one of the most celebrated fringe venues in the country, the theatre – which receives no public funding – needs £100,000 a year just to keep going.

However, Ms Sinclaire says the future of the theatre and the pub are secure.

She said: “I can assure you the theatre is completely secure and operations will stay exactly as they are.

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“The theatre and pub are one entity and are interdependent. The theatre exists because of the pub and the pub’s atmosphere is informed by the theatre so they are one cohesive whole. “Both are secure as one heritage and iconic venue hopefully enhancing Islington and London and will continue to do so.”

The Gazette was contacted regarding concerns over the future of the theatre after it was rumoured the pub could be bought and turned in to a synagogue.

Current executive director at the theatre Dominic Haddock said: “It’s my understanding that she is looking to sell and has been for quite a long time so it could happen tomorrow or it could happen in 10 years time.

“Stephanie’s husband Dan Crawford set up the theatre pub, she’s very close to us and has always been very supportive.

“We don’t have daily conversations but I know she is keen to make sure it remains a theatre pub. If we were to have to move it would be a great shame.”