Formerly known as the Tricycle Theatre, the Kiln Theatre was relaunched in April 2018 by Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham to hail an exciting new chapter in a beautifully refurbished new building – the final stage of The Tricycle Transformed project.
First established in 1980, the venue is steeped in its community on Kilburn High Road, and continues to embrace its local spirit and history to produce programmes for the future under the guiding hand of Rubasingham, who became Artistic Director in 2012 (taking over from Nicholas Kent). The renaming of the theatre from the Tricycle Theatre to the Kiln Theatre reflects the local ethos of the venue.
The venue actually began life as the Foresters Hall in 1929, as a meeting place for the Foresters Friendly Society, helping those in need “as they walked through the forests of life.” It soon doubled as a music and dance hall and, during World War II, an air raid shelter and food distribution point. It was only in 1980, when the Wakefield Tricycle Company made the site its permanent home, that it became known for its theatre.
The building reopens its doors in 2018 following major renovation work and its largest-ever fundraising campaign. The newly created space contains a 300-seat cinema, two studios and a host of creative areas which are used for education and outreach workshops as well as the 292-seat main theatre.
The Kiln Theatre has a long history of supporting theatre that highlights the human rights issues of today. This history was rewarded when Kiln, along with Rubasingham and Kent, was awarded the Liberty Human Rights Award in 2010.