King's Head Theatre

Theatre , Musicals Barnsbury
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(9 user reviews)
27 Love It
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© Andrew Brackenbury
The King's Head

Started in the 1970s as London's first pub theatre on a spectacularly lean budget, the King's Head Theatre is a tiny space tucked away at the back of a Victorian boozer on Islington's Upper Street. In the past, it's helped launched a raft of stars, among them Hugh Grant, Steven Berkoff and Alan Rickman, and today boasts Joanna Lumley and Tom Stoppard as patrons. It flirted with a major change of direction in 2011 when Adam Spreadbury-Maher became artistic director and turned it into a fringe opera venue, though it has since reverted to a more traditional fringe-style programme.

Venue name: King's Head Theatre
Address: 115 Upper St
N1 1QN
Transport: Tube: Angel
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  • Drama Until Saturday June 18 2016
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  • Contemporary theatre Until Saturday June 18 2016
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  • Tuesday June 21 2016 - Saturday July 16 2016
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening
Brian M

Service was appalling. Waited patiently at bar as all of the regulars got served, then waited some more as staff went off to collect glasses, then waited more for staff to return and serve more regulars.

Left after 10 minutes of standing at bar, being ignored.

Poppy L

This intimate Victorian pub/theatre is a hidden treasure in Angel. With a great selection of beer and features such as gas lights, coal fires and lots of old photos, it's the perfect hideaway. Well known for its music and theatre, The Kings Head is known for introducing and supporting new talent. It's definitely worth a visit, whether just for a pint or to see a show. It's especially good if you want to show people another side of London.

O. Gordon

A classic pub and fringe venue that is steeped in history. It's all a bit run down but what do you expect? The place fills out easily and always has an atmosphere with or without the live music. The theatre never seems to be dark; the space is a good size and functions well with a variety of work. Shame the cash register is no more.

Christopher K

recent takeover by Youngs has injected some much needed business acumen into the old dear. Ale is improved as is wine list and half-arsed pub grub is now provided without an actual kitchen. Live music endures as does the theatre, which is currently overdosing on gay plays, so be aware of the usher announcing loudly "last call for fucking men" to the Hoxton beardy horde.

Sara B

Love to attend events here - have been coming for years and have loved every production I have gone to.

 running  blue

Dirty toilets, poor service and rude staff. This place has gone downhill since getting a late licence.


I loved "Elixir of Love". Everything was spot on - singing, acting, direction and translation. In fact I am going to book to see the parallel cast who have had equally good reviews. Hope it has not sold out yet!


So much fun to have our very own opera house in Islington. Have now seen three new opera productions here (Barber of Seville, Madam Butterfly & The Coronation of Poppea) and would highly recommend every single one. Wonderful to have singers so close up, you see every expression. No food served in the pub these days, but lots of good finds on Upper Street. Look forward to the next opera!


I have never experienced such poor customer service. The theatre cancelled the performance of Barber of Seville for the third time in a row and hasn't notified me in time. Avoid buying tickets in advance for their shows as the show will probably be cancelled.