Curtains for the Cock Tavern as stairs are deemed unsafe

THE award-winning Cock Tavern pub theatre in Kilburn has been forced to close its doors after it failed a safety inspection by the council.

Productions at the 56-seat theatre on Kilburn High Road have come to a standstill after the 110-year-old stairs leading to the playhouse were deemed a safety risk.

A ‘tip-off’ to Brent Council which detailed serious safety concerns over the venue’s stairs lead to an emergency inspection, and it is now curtains for the venue.

Last week, while carrying out an inspection, council officers noted that the two century-old staircases, one which leads to auditorium and the other serving as an emergency exit, are both ‘too steep and too short’ and the theatre was immediately closed.

Although the issue over the stairs may seem like a pernickity health and safety issue over an old building, the venue is not entirely blameless – they had failed to secure the correct entertainment licence and have been operating without one.


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A spokesman for the theatre said: “Due to sudden licensing negotiations, the Cock Tavern Theatre has suspended sales to all shows as we cannot guarantee when performances will recommence.

“We are doing everything we can to get our productions back on as soon as possible. We are now contacting all customers to refund and reallocate tickets.”

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Speaking about the decision, the Cock Tavern theatre’s Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher said: “The Cock will continue to produce world-class theatre, so stay tuned.”

A spokesman for Brent Council said their inspector had observed multiple issues at the premises adding that a further visit “confirmed very serious issues relating to public safety” which was why the pub was closed.

He said: “These include inadequate escape routes, poor seating and an unsuitable staircase. In the event of fire it would be hard to get out, putting lives at risk.”

As well as fixing the steep staircases and creating adequate fire exit routes, the pub will need to spend �450 on an entertainment licence, changes that the pub’s management cannot afford.

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