History

Established in 1970, King's Head Theatre is now 49 years old. Here are just a few of the highlights of our incredible journey so far...​

1970 - Dan Crawford founds the first pub theatre in London since Shakespeare’s day and the King’s Head Theatre is born. Dan Crawford serves as Artistic Director for 35 years.

1983 - A revival of Mr Cinders, starring Joanna Lumley, opens at the King’s Head Theatre before transferring to the West End. It goes on to run for 527 performances.

1983Noel and Gurtie, starring Joanna Lumley, premieres at the King’s Head Theatre.

1985 - Hugh Grant makes his acting debut at the King’s Head Theatre.

1986 - Maureen Lipman stars in Olivier Award nominated Wonderful Town at the King’s Head Theatre.

1988 - The premier of Tom Stoppard’s Artist Descending a Staircase opens at the King’s Head Theatre before transferring to Broadway.

1991 - Steven Berkoff directs and stars in the UK premiere of Kvetch at the King’s Head Theatre.

2002 - Dan and Stephanie Crawford receive Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Contribution to the Arts and The Trainee Resident Directors Scheme wins the Royal Anniversary Trust Award. The scheme is still running today.

2006 - The documentary, The King’s Head Theatre: A Maverick in London, is made. It airs on SkyARTS World for 3 years.

2010 - Opera Up Close, founded by Adam Spreadbury-Maher and and Robin Norton-Hale become resident company for 4 years. Adam Spreadbury-Maher becomes Artistic Director of the King’s Head Theatre.

2011La bohème wins the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Performance.

2012Vieux Carre by Tennessee Williams receives its UK premiere before transferring to the West End.

2015 - King’s Head Theatre forms a new charity to secure the future of the theatre.

2015Shock Treatment, the sequel to The Rocky Horror Show Picture Show has its world premiere at the King’s Head Theatre.

2015Trainspotting is first performed at the King’s Head Theatre – in August 2017 it hits its 900th performance.

2016 - 43,857 audience members see a show at our London home - our highest footfall ever.

2017 - King’s Head Theatre announces the transfer of La bohème & Strangers in Between to Trafalgar Studios 2 in London’s West End. La bohème goes on to be nominated for Best New Opera Production at the Olivier Awards.

2019 - King’s Head Theatre’s production of Kevin Elyot’s Coming Clean transfers to Trafalgar Studios 2 in London’s West End.

2020 - Subject to a succesful fundraising campaign, King’s Head Theatre to move to its new permanent home in Islington Square securing the future of the venue for generations to come.