Award-Winning London Fringe Theatre Shutters After Failing to Secure Performance License

News   Award-Winning London Fringe Theatre Shutters After Failing to Secure Performance License
The Cock Tavern Theatre in the London suburb of Kilburn, where the Olivier Award-winning production of La Boheme originated in 2009 before transferring to Soho Theatre last year, has shuttered with immediate effect, following its inability to comply with safety regulations that are necessary to secure a performance license from the regulatory local council.

In a press statement issued by the theatre, they commented, "At the Cock we've always said that size doesn't matter. However, we found out today from Brent Council (during negotiations to extend the venue's entertainment licence) that our Victorian staircases don't meet the current regulations. They are too steep and too short. There were several minor and rectifiable venue-related council concerns. However there was one stipulation which in this case we could not overcome; our inherited Victorian staircases. The first staircase leads our audience from the pub to the theatre and the second is our emergency exit. Without any funding to rebuild two 110-year-old staircases that serve as our audience access and emergency exit, we have decided to suspend all performances since Tuesday night." It affects two current productions, Rob Hayes' A Butcher of Distinction and the world premiere of Tennessee Williams' A Cavalier for Milady. The former is set to now re-open at the King's Head, with the latter planning to transfer to the Charing Cross Theatre (formerly the New Players) in the fall, where it is intended to be produced in a double-bill with the Cock Tavern's previous world premiere, Williams' I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark On Sundays.

In a press statement, artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher commented, "I'd like to thank my hard working and talented writers, directors, actors, designers, producers, agents and general management for their dedication, commitment and passion to The Cock over the past 26 months. I also thank the press for their belief in, and support of, our venue and work, with special mention to the Peter Brook Empty Space Award, and the local and national publications. And to our fearless audiences without whom it would have been lights-out long ago. The Cock will continue to produce world-class theatre, so stay tuned."

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