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The Cock Tavern Theatre closes

Theatre news

THE COCK Tavern Theatre has been forced to suspend all performances because the building’s two Victorian staircases that serve as audience access and emergency exit, don’t meet the current regulations.

The move follows an inspection by Brent Council – part of negotiations to extend the venue’s entertainment licence – who discovered that both staircases were too steep and too short.

And although there were also several minor and rectifiable venue-related council concerns, the problems relating to the staircases could not be resolved structurally or, without funding, financially.

Speaking about the situation, Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher said:

“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.”

Hopefully, a new home will be found nearby. In the meantime, all remaining performances of Rob Hayes’ A Butcher of Distinction have transferred to Islington’s King’s Head Theatre. And this autumn, A Cavalier For Milady will transfer to the Charing Cross Theatre (formerly New Players Theatre), where it will be produced in a double bill with I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark On Sundays.

The Cock Tavern Theatre opened in January 2009, under the artistic leadership of Adam Spreadbury-Maher, with an extended revival season of Adrian Pagan’s The Backroom. It established itself at the forefront of the London Fringe within its first year by winning the prestigious Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award at the Peter Brook Empty Space Awards 2009.

The Cock Tavern Theatre has premiered work by Tennessee Williams, Edward Bond, Hannie Rayson and Jack Hibberd and staged revivals by Nick Ward, Stephen Fry and Jon Fosse.

In 2010, Adam Spreadbury-Maher was awarded Best Artistic Director at the Fringe Report Awards. And in April 2010, the theatre became a producing venue for resident companies Good Night Out Presents and OperaUpClose. For six months, it was home to the record-breaking extended run of La Boheme, which went on to win the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production and the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Off-West End Production (2011).