King’s Head Theatre Pub revamp gets green light from Islington Council to ‘push the boundaries’

King’s Head Theatre Pub on Upper Street, Islington. Photograph: Islington Council

A massive overhaul of the King’s Head Theatre Pub in Upper Street has been approved by Islington Council’s planning committee, in a move the theatre says means it can “continue to push the boundaries”.

The venue will now move its theatre into the Islington Square complex behind the pub, where a new space with a 276-seat auditorium will be joined to the pub by a courtyard under a canopy.

The current theatre will become part of the pub, in plans which include demolishing dressing rooms and a new roof terrace, which would have to close at 9pm.

The King’s Head Theatre Company will move down the road to a 113-seat space in the John Salt Bar so it can stay open while building work takes place.

Islington Council has confirmed the theatre’s planning application was “approved as per the recommendations in the report” at the committee’s meeting on 23 April.

Adam Spreadbury-Maher, artistic director of the King’s Head Theatre, has said: “In our new home we will be able to continue to experiment in how to push the boundaries of what defines excellent fringe theatre and opera, and we will be able to increase the amount and types of people who can engage with our learning and participation programmes and be our audience.

“Our new home will triple our capacity, which is much needed as we are artistically bursting at the seams, demonstrated by the success of our recent touring to regional venues and festivals, plus transferring work such as La bohème to the West End, culminating in a 2018 Oliver Award nomination for Best New Opera production.”

He added: “We plan to become a London hub for emerging regional artists and companies to be seen by the industry.”