Rhinegold Photo credit: Philip Vile
Interior shots of the renovated Kiln (left) and Bristol Old Vic (right) theatres

Cameron Bray


Historic theatres re-open in London and Brighton

9:56, 24th September 2018

The historic Tricyle Theatre in Kilburn, London was reopened at the start of September following a renovation that cost around £7m and forced the closure of the venue for two years.

The theatre retains Indhu Rubasingham as artistic director but has been renamed the Kiln Theatre, a move that has sparked protests in the area. A campaign called ‘It’s our Tricycle, not your Kiln’ was launched – though it remains unclear who the ‘our’ and ‘your’ is referring to in the slogan. The protesters object to the renaming on the grounds that the Tricycle theatre is a well-known name with a history that is important to the people of Kilburn.

The first production at the reopened theatre was the world premiere of Holy Sh!t by Alexis Zegerman. A new adaptation of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, itself set in Kilburn, is coming to the theatre in November with Rubasingham directing.


Up to M4, the Bristol Old Vic reopened its doors on 23 September following a two-year period of redevelopment. The £26m project has seen the addition of a new studio theatre, along with a fully-accessible front of house space with a bar and kitchen and an interactive heritage exhibition.

Originally opened in 1766, the Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously-working theatre in the English-speaking world. During the renovation, interesting artefacts from the theatre’s long history were uncovered such as an 18th-century thunder run – a wooden contraption in which rolling weighted balls simulated the sound of thunder.

Emma Stenning, the theatre’s chief executive says: ‘We’d urge anyone who’s interested in seeing what has been going on behind the hoardings for the past two years to come and find out more about this inspiring new space when we throw open our doors.’

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