The King's Head Theatre has officially reopened in a brand new building just behind the Upper Street pub where it was based for 54 years.

The venue was built with the help of £800,000 from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, and money from Cain International, the developers behind Islington Square.

It includes a 200-seat accessible, flexible auditorium, offices, rehearsal space and two bars - one of which doubles as the 50-seat Cabaret House which will host cabaret, drag, readings and comedy by stand ups such as Jodie Mitchell, Hannah Platt, and Lorna Rose Treen.

Ham & High: The main auditorium is fully accessible and seats 200The main auditorium is fully accessible and seats 200 (Image: Jake Bush)

The theatre reopened last month with the world premiere of Exhibitionists by Shaun McKenna and Andrew Van Sickle, and held an opening gala attended by friends and supporters, with City Hall's Deputy Mayor for Culture Justine Simons unveiling a plaque. 

Posters of past productions line the walls, recalling stars such as French&Saunders, Hugh Grant and Richard E Grant in plays by the likes of Steven Berkoff, Tom Stoppard and Victoria Wood.

In recent years the theatre has championed work by and for the LGBT+ community and the opening season includes the Exhibitionists until 10 February, followed by Turning The Screw (14 Feb - 10 Mar 2024) by Kevin Kelly which examines British composer Benjamin Britten and his close relationship with then 12-year old actor David Hemmings in 1954.

Ham & High: A staircase in the new venue namechecks famous past productions by the likes of Steven Berkoff and Tom StoppardA staircase in the new venue namechecks famous past productions by the likes of Steven Berkoff and Tom Stoppard (Image: Jake Bush)

Executive Producer and interim CEO Sofi Berenger who leads on the artistic programming, said, “After around a decade working closely with the Mayor of London, Cain International, Islington Council and Young & Co’s Brewery it’s fantastic to be able to open our new home.

"This is the start of the next chapter, and our focus now is on producing exemplary work for our main stage, opening our cabaret house, building new artist development programmes, and becoming a hub for the LGBTQI+ community."

Other shows to come include Liebenspiel’s Late Night Week running from February 26 to March 2 and Above The Stag’s Eurovision Your Decision which will run in the lead up to this year's song contest finals in April/May.

Ham & High: The foyer of the new theatre in Islington SquareThe foyer of the new theatre in Islington Square (Image: Jake Bush)

Later in the year, New Old Friends bring their farcical comedy Houdini’s Greatest Escape (27 May - 30 June) for a five-week run. After famous escapologist Harry Houdini and wife Bess are framed for a murder can they clear their name in this knockabout thriller?

In October, Jonathan Maitland (An Audience with Jimmy Savile, The Interview, The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, Park Theatre) premieres the stage adaptation of his acclaimed book How To Survive Your Mother, centred around his relationship with his mother, and growing up in Britain's first ever gay hotel.