London's King's Head Theatre Appoints Adam Spreadbury-Maher as New Artistic Director

News   London's King's Head Theatre Appoints Adam Spreadbury-Maher as New Artistic Director
The King's Head Theatre – London's original pub theatre, which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding by the late Dan Crawford – has appointed Adam Spreadbury-Maher as its new artistic director.

His inaugural season will open in the autumn of 2010. He is currently artistic director of the fringe theatre company Good Night Out Presents and opera company OperaUpClose, both currently resident at the Cock Tavern Theatre in Kilburn, which won the Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award (sponsored by Nica Burns and Cameron Mackintosh) at the 2009 Peter Brook/Empty Space Awards. Good Night Out Presents and OperaUpClose will be the resident producing companies at the King's Head and remain the resident companies at the Cock Tavern as well.

After Crawford died in 2005, his partner and associate artistic director Stephanie Sinclaire took the helm of the King's Head as creative director and chief executive to continue his legacy, which during his time at the helm saw the theatre transfer over 40 shows to the West End, six to New York (including the 1980 Broadway musical A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine); eight have toured nationally. In February 2010, Sinclaire bought the freehold of the King’s Head. As a result, future plans include building a second story to increase capacity from 120 to 199.

In a press statement, Sinclaire commented, "Five years ago the King's Head Theatre was a Dante’s Inferno of grief, uncertainty and debt. Having left my film career to save the baby, in this case more like Rosemary’s Baby, I interviewed potential successors to Dan’s brilliant 35 year reign...Even if there was hope in the vision, the final hurdle of no wage and no producing budget always scuppered proceedings. So, taking the helm myself and forging forward where angels fear to tread - in true King’s Head style and with the support of the theatrical community, through sheer graft and a large dose of madness we rose from the ashes, set the ship aright and sailed towards the elusive goal of returning to full time producing. Many different producing models were attempted while hosting outside shows, including 'slate funding' from my film background. This was particularly successful, revitalising and exciting, re-establishing the King’s Head as an independent producing house, and leading to the production of some gems, such as Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan which transferred to America, and The Shadowmaster – now in development for a feature film, but finally not enduring as a realistic ongoing model."

Sinclaire continues, "Last year Adam Spreadbury-Maher won the Dan Crawford/Peter Brook Award (sponsored by Nica Burns & Cameron Mackintosh) for The Cock Tavern and on that basis we met. His passion, knowledge, commitment, sincerity, breadth of vision and ability to inspire reminded me immediately of Dan. He has the talent to match. Discussions to link our two theatres led to a bonfire of ideas and possibilities. The final clincher was Adam’s own producing model. Based on his concept of ‘super engagement’ it is a model after my own heart, born in collaboration and inspiration and visionary leadership. I had found the heir to Dan’s throne. Adam will now begin his own 'mission impossible', with my full support and I hope the entire theatrical community's. The King's Head, now under our full control, and with an ambitious expansion plan in the works, remains a glorious and special place with its unique atmosphere and special history…. Adam's vision of new drama, edgy musicals and opera with young companies is very exciting and I believe his move to the King's Head will revitalise the little magic theatre we all have loved as well as the theatrical scene at large."

Spreadbury-Maher's own production of Studies for a Portrait will transfer to the King's Head Theatre beginning March 30, prior to an official opening April 7, for a run through May 23.

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