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Kilburn’s Tricycle reopens as Kiln Theatre in the face of local protests

Andrzej Lukowski

When artistic director Indhu Rubasingham announced the comeback season for Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre – which had been closed for a two-year, multimillion-pound refurb – attendees at the launch were surprised when she informed them that the building would be renamed as the Kiln Theatre.

This has prompted a somewhat interminable controversy, as (some) Kilburn locals and even former members of Tricycle staff have implored Rubasingham to change the name back. She has steadfastly refused.

Kiln Theatre finally officially opened its doors to the world and it’s fair to say that in many ways it feels like a brand new venue – not least because the old auditorium was possibly the least comfortable theatre in all of London, while the massively reconfigured new one is, frankly, a delight to sit in.

There whole building has been impressively done up, with a new restaurant, much more noticeable frontage, and vastly upgraded toilet capacity. Plus there’s a nice colourful plaque out the front with the former name on it.

None of this was enough to appease a small but fairly well-organised group of protesters, who picketed both building entrances on the Kiln’s big opening night with some surprisingly fancy placards. 

Kiln opened with new play ‘Holy Sh!t’ – read our review here.


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