The Donmar Warehouse, located in the heart of Covent Garden, with just 251 seats and 20 standing positions offers an intimate space, not unlike the new King’s Head Theatre in the heart of Islington. So how exciting that the whole office team from the King’s Head Theatre spent their day at Donmar Dryden Street to get ready for 2019!
2018 has been a pivotal year for the arts with many issues such as #MeToo and #YesorNo (which the Kings Head Theatre is a proud champion of) making changes across the board. I have been lucky enough to work with the team on a project called 'OK/Not OK'. Taking inspiration from an initiative set up by he Old Vic, we gave teams various scenarios and they needed to decide if the situation was 'OK' or 'Not OK'. Working in an emotive and close environment like a theatre, it can be difficult to know what is and isn’t a grey area. We want to make sure that the King’s Head Theatre is a safe and comfortable place for everyone working there, whether that be full time or just for a few hours. Having a team with varying ages and backgrounds, many discussions were had about language and phrases that may be outdated, and we came out with some very positive and exciting ways to help make people feel more comfortable and happy in their place of work.
As a young person, it makes me so excited for the future and even the small changes we can make to a bigger picture.
As a team, we then read excerpts from our upcoming 2019 shows so that everyone on the team had a feel for the eclectic shows being produced at the King’s Head Theatre! How wonderful to start the year with a revival of Greig’s poetic and funny play, Outlying Islands by Associate Company Atticist, followed by a thrilling new adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen. Set in modern day, this is one to watch! The King’s Head Theatre have been pioneers for opera over the last ten years, and this new version is no exception. I am so excited to see the Operetta HMS Pinafore which is coming back for a four week run in April from Associate Company Charles Court Opera. They are lighting up the theatre currently with their inventive boutique Pantomime Buttons: A Cinderella Story this Christmas. After seeing Fat Rascal's hilarious and intelligent production of Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody this November, I was so thrilled to learn more about Associate Companies within the King's Head Theatre and how they are championing this work.
Being at the Donmar, we were fortunate enough to have Clare Slater, the Literary and Editorial Manager, and Artistic Director Designate Michael Longhurst come and speak to us. It was invaluable to hear Clare speak about her time at The Gate (a 75 seater pub theatre) and moving to the Donmar and Mike who had come from the same Trainee Resident Director scheme (albeit slightly different to now) at the King’s Head that I am currently on.
We couldn't forget that Christmas was just around the corner, and enjoyed mince pies and cake with coffee breaks and pulled on Christmas crackers with racing reindeers and festive hats inside.
It really was such a positive fun and educational day. I felt inspired for the year the ahead and the future of theatre, both at the King's Head Theatre and elsewhere