Kings Head Theatre

© Jim Stephenson

The Opportunity 

The Kings Head Theatre is one of London's oldest and best known pub theatres. It's been an Islington institution for over 50 years, housed in the back room of the King's Head pub, in an old boxing ring and pool hall. With the existing lease expiring, the King’s Head was offered space within the adjacent Islington Square Development - an opportunity to create a purpose built, 250 capacity home, to welcome a new wave of diverse, queer artists bringing joyful, alternative stories to the stage.

Our Work

• Architectural Design
• Theatre Space Planning
• Interior Development
• Technical Detailing
• Planning and Building Regulation Approval


Collaborator - PUP Architects (Wayfinding and Public Space Furniture Design)

 

 

Client - Kings Head Theatre

Our Response

Following an extensive programme of building works with support of £800,000 from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, the new theatre in Islington Square is located immediately behind the original pub theatre.

It features an accessible, flexible auditorium, offices and rehearsal space, as well as two bars - one of which will double as a 50-seat cabaret, drag and comedy space as well as for rehearsals and readings.

 

Working within an existing concrete shell that extended down 4 levels below ground, the challenge was to create an accessible space that retained the heart and soul of the existing theatre.

 

This presented a complicated technical challenge from a coordination and build perspective, whilst also offering an excellent opportunity to rethink the customer experience when visiting the Theatre's new (and dramatically different) space.

S+Co and the Kings Head Theatre team embraced the somewhat ‘quirky’ nature of the existing building to create a unique and multi-functional series of spaces that can be used day and night, building a new legacy for generations of artists.

© Jim Stephenson

© Erica Belton - Pip Films

"To come tonight and see this beautiful, wonderful space, it's intimate but it's big as well. It's not too small, not too cramped, it's a wonderful vibe. I'm just absolutely thrilled to see that the King's Head is still here - it's moved with the times."

Sean Mathias, Actor and Director

 

"It is both very different from what the King's Head was like, and it also feels as if there are similarities, as if something has come through."

Timberlake Wertenbaker, Playwright

 

"It's a beautiful space. You just feel like you are in it all the time - I love the inclusivity."

Luke Ward Wilkinson, Actor and Singer

© Jim Stephenson

© Jake Bush

© Jim Stephenson

© Jim Stephenson 2024

© Jim Stephenson

© Jake Bush

© Jake Bush

© Jake Bush

© Jim Stephenson