Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This Day in History v.22

I read this blog Tired of London, Tired of Life which is basically a daily post about things to see/do/experience around London. Now normally, I've never done or been to most of the places he lists on his site because these are uber non-touristy things and even though I lived in London for a year, there is no way I could have seen everything I wanted to see, much less the out of sight, out of mind places. But the other day, one of his posts was about the Kings Head Theater. Now, there I've been!

While one of our (Hannah and my) numerous stumbles on Upper Street we drunkely stumbled into this pub and just knew we had to come back sometime. Well, it was more like "wait, what awesome crowded pub was that with the live music?!?!" I thought I had remembered walking into a back room with a stage but in my sober moments the next day I thought, "there's no way!" Well, lo and behold there was a super secret back stage part. Ok, maybe not secret, but not well known. I had only known because I took a wrong turn after the loo.

We even visited this pub for the live music during our "Giving up alcohol for Lent days" and had an amazing time, even sober! However, that was also the COLDEST night EVER that night and we nearly froze our little fannies off! While waiting FOREVER for a night pus, we were so miserable that we opted for a black cab. Which, if you had known us then was a HUGE HUGE HUGE deal! While in London we were SO poor that we'd rather walk miles and miles in lieu of cabbing it because it was so expensive!!! That and public transportation is usually much better and cheaper. But alas, that night we sprung for a cab because we nearly froze to death (ok, not really, but still!)

King's Head Theatre now

King's Head Theatre in the olden times (who knows when)

A little bit about the place:
There has been a Kings Head Pub on this site since the 1500's. It is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diaries. It is thought to be called The Kings Head because King Henry VIII would stop in for a pint on his way to see his mistress. The current building dates from 1860. The world renowned pub is known for its music and its theatre in the back which has enjoyed over 40 transfers to the West End and Broadway. The great music line up includes rhythm and blues, rock, soul, jazz and swing and has been the starting ground for many great bands including Dire Straits and The Tiger Lilies. As well as a fine spirit selection it has a great selection of good wine and real ale along with a selection of lagers and bottled beers. The authentic Victorian pub has roaring fires in winter and is decorated with photos of familiar faces who have graced the stage over its 40 year history with one family, founded in 1970 as the first theatre pub since Shakespearean times.

The backroom where the theatre is located was previously a boxing ring and a pool hall. Various elements of the theatre, including the red velvet curtains and theatre lamps have been recycled from other famous venues including the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Lyric Shaftesbury and Scala Theatre.

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