Existentialism, absurdism, clowning, vaudeville, country music and a gentle queer romance all collide in this strange but rather lovely show. And Then The Rodeo Burned Down is sometimes reminiscent of other, more conventional, plays – Waiting For Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead spring most readily to mind – but has an off-kilter comic energy, suffused with a certain quiet melancholy, that is entirely its own.
‘Compelling & repelling experience’: ONE MAN POE: A TRIPLE BILL – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★
Director and performer Stephen Smith bought One Man Poe to our screens during the lockdown. The gothic trilogy The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Raven are now being performed live on stage at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. Smith breathes an eerie new life into the 19th century work.
NEWS: Rip-roaring spy story Man of 100 Faces returns to the King’s Head Theatre
The Death of Stalin meets Bond in Unleash The Llama’s Man of 100 Faces returns, a tragicomic one-man homage to the greatest spy MI6 ever produced. Following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the show returns to London’s King’s Head Theatre, running from 8-12 November 2022.
‘A 5-star triumph’: FAME WHORE – King’s Head Theatre
The first of a double-bill I watched last night at the King’s Head Theatre Pub, Fame Whore (the creation of Tom Ratcliffe – writer/director, and Gigi Zahir – lyricist/performer) finally sashays its way onto the stage after a COVID enforced absence.
NEWS: Go on a voyage of emotions with dark thriller The Drought at the King’s Head Theatre
Pither Productions is presenting the London premiere of Nina Atesh’s atmospheric dark thriller The Drought –a drama of desperation, dread and deception set to take the audience on a voyage of emotions – at the King’s Head Theatre from 20-24 September 2022.
NEWS: A musical about panto? Oh Yes I Am! at the King’s Head Theatre is proof there is nothing like a Dame
Is it a musical? Is it panto? Is it a musical about panto? Find out when you see OH YES I AM!, arriving at London’s King’s Head from 11-12 September 2022.
‘A magical theatrical miniature’: QUENTIN CRISP: NAKED HOPE – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★
Another night at the King’s Head, another feat of astonishing transformation by the chameleonic actor-writer Mark Farrelly. Because delivering one bravura turn as a gay icon isn’t enough apparently (his utterly brilliant Jarman – about Derek – is currently running in repertoire as part of the Islington venue’s ongoing Boys Boys Boys season), Farrelly also reignites his heart-swelling, life-affirming tribute to the self-proclaimed “stately homo of England”, Quentin Crisp. The King’s Head is an appropriate venue for the show as well, since Crisp performed here at the beginning of his career.
‘What they’ve created is roaring, but delicate, ritualistic & totally unique’: JARMAN – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★
Pitched somewhere between a celebration, a séance and an unusually engaging piece of performance art, Jarman at the King’s Head Theatre eschews linear storytelling in favour of a sensory assault encompassing spoken word, music and direct audience engagement. Some of Jarman’s iconic film works are referenced – Sebastiane, Caravaggio, Edward II, The Tempest, the heartrending Blue which depicts the artist’s slide into blindness – and settings from Ken Russell’s chaotic movie shoots (Jarman designed several of his films) to Derek’s beloved, wall-less Dungeness garden are vividly evoked.
‘I cannot wait for a kebab’: Writer & performer Christopher Wollaton on fasting while reviving his workout obsession play Brawn
Christopher Wollaton discusses the return of his solo show Brawn, revived as part of the King’s Head Theatre’s Boys!Boys!Boys! Season. The play, exploring body dysmorphia and mental health issues in men, runs from 16 August to 3 September 2022.
‘A compelling watch’: FREUD’S LAST SESSION – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★★
Mark St Germain’s play Freud’s Last Session at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington is a compact yet powerful play which imagines a clash of intellect and reasoning between two famous minds.
‘Providing some authentic chills’: THE HAUNTING OF SUSAN A – King’s Head Theatre ★★★
Mark Ravenhill’s The Haunting Of Susan A is a creditable and often gripping attempt to marry contemporary issues with Islington’s somewhat grim past, and an interesting, evocative way to commemorate fifty years of the King’s Head Theatre.
‘Intimate & immediate’: LA BOHEME – King’s Head Theatre ★★★
Mark Ravenhill’s production of La Boheme is pared down to 90 minutes and four on-stage characters, with a piano taking the place of an orchestra. This makes it intimate and immediate.
VIDEO: Who wins a debate between Sigmund Freud & CS Lewis? Freud’s Last Session post-show Q&A
Mark St Germain’s play Freud’s Last Session, first seen Off-Broadway in 2010 and now receiving its European premiere at London’s King’s Head Theatre, pits two of the 20th-century greatest thinkers against one another.
‘A fantastic night of debate to expand one’s mind’: FREUD’S LAST SESSION – King’s Head Theatre ★★★★
Sigmund Freud, one of the most renowned neurologists of his time, changed the way the world thinks with his views and published works on, love, god and sex.
New post-show Q&A: Join Terri Paddock for Off-Broadway hit Freud’s Last Session
As part of her resumed post-show talk series, Mates founder Terri Paddock will chair a discussion at Freud’s Last Session at London’s King’s Head Theatre on Tuesday 25 January 2022. Time to get booking!
‘This play debates the big issues. Is there a God? Do we own our lives?’: Director Peter Darney on Freud’s Last Session
King’s Head Theatre associate artist Peter Darney returns to Islington to direct the European premiere of Mark St Germain’s award-winning 2010 Off-Broadway play Freud’s Last Session. He took time out from rehearsals to tell us about Sigmund Freud, CS Lewis and why we need to support live theatre now.
NEWS: Off-Broadway hit Freud’s Last Session gets its European premiere at King’s Head
Mark St Germain’s award-winning 2010 Off-Broadway play Freud’s Last Session gets its European premiere in January at London’s King’s Head Theatre, with a real-life psychiatrist playing Sigmund Freud.
‘A mind-expanding experience’: TENDER NAPALM – King’s Head Theatre
I had a mind-expanding experience this week. And, listen, there’s still a chance for you to have one too.
FEATURED SHOW: Lidless Theatre’s ★★★★★ revival of Tender Napalm is ‘an absolute must-see’. Reviews are in!
Philip Ridley himself recommended that Lidless Theatre mount the tenth-anniversary revival of his instant classic Tender Napalm. The result, according to the critics, is “first-rate” and “an absolute must-see”. Check out our round-up of review highlights. Time to get booking!
PHOTOS & VIDEO: In the rehearsal room with Philip Ridley’s Tender Napalm
Performances begin this week for Lidless Theatre’s revival of Philip Ridley’s “jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, expectation-topping” play Tender Napalm. We caught up with the company in rehearsals.