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Licensing London’s oldest pub theatre

Award winning licensing team petition for a premises licence for the famous King's Head Theatre

King's Head's team posing in front of Theatre

Poppleston Allen is pleased to announce it has successfully licensed a new home  for London’s oldest pub theatre.

The complex case saw the award winning licensing team, led by solicitor, Alex Tomlinson, petition for a premises licence for the famous King’s Head Theatre for its new premises.

The King’s Head Theatre was the UK’s first pub theatre founded in 1970, it operated from the back room of the King’s Head Pub in an old boxing ring and pool hall on Upper Street, London for over 53 years until August 2023. It was in this pub theatre that household name artists such as Hugh Grant, Victoria Wood, Maureen Lipman and Alan Rickman made their debuts, with many productions transferring to the West End and Broadway over their years.

The theatre’s new location, 116 Upper Street, is situated immediately behind its original venue and opened on Friday 5 January 2024. There is a 200 seat auditorium and 50 seat cabaret space, capable of hosting multiple productions per day.

The new space will continue the tradition of high-quality theatre, and the operator aims to provide a first-class experience for its customers and local residents alike. The King’s Head has always been a much-loved and valued part of the Islington community. The change to a more dedicated theatre location allows the premises to continue to be operated as an asset to the local community.

In order to mitigate against any potential objections from the authorities or residents, Poppleston Allen included a number of measures in the licence application to promote the licensing objections for the client.

Alex Tomlinson, solicitor said: “We were honoured to be approached by a business with great historical and social value. It was an interesting case for us in that though the primary reason for customers to visit the venue isn’t to consume alcohol, the premises are in the Upper Street special policy area and a number of residents objected.

“Due to the licence we have secured, customers can enjoy alcoholic drinks freely as part of their experience indoors, outdoors and due to the extended hours, there will be no rush to leave the venue immediately after the production ends which all helps contribute to a very enjoyable event.”

If you need to licence a venue or have any questions in doing so, please feel free to contact, a.tomlinson@popall.co.uk.

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