This major supporter of Irish theatre and film in Kilburn is set for a massive overhaul with Arts Council funding.
The beloved Kilburn theatre is set for a £5.5million transformation to secure its future for generations to come, with more wheelchair accessibility and a bigger auditorium.
The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn High Road will undergo a complete makeover in the summer under plans to create a new cafe for the high street, increase capacity by a quarter, and refresh the entrance foyer.
Arts Council England has pledged £3.1million to the project, but the heads of the charity are calling for public fundraising support to help to raise the remaining funds.
The campaign will be launched in the coming weeks and more information will be available.
Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre said: “This vital upgrade will help us to secure The Tricycle’s future and enable us to realise our ambitious vision by ensuring our venue is truly accessible and open to all.
“We are hugely excited about this and are deeply grateful to all those who have contributed to date.”
The project will increase the number of permanent wheelchair accessible seats from two to eight as part of the theatre’s drive to make the playhouse accessible to all.
New seating in the auditorium will also be adaptable to allow for different staging configurations.
Work will also go ahead to make the backstage areas more accessible, with improved exit and entry points to the stage.
The redevelopment forms part of the wider regeneration of Kilburn High Road.
Shakespearean actor and Tricycle ambassador, Adrian Lester, has today pledged his support for the campaign.
He said: “Under the leadership of Indhu Rubasingham, the Tricycle has blossomed as a venue in and for the community whilst proving itself as an incredible production powerhouse which rivals any UK theatre venue.
“I am delighted to be supporting this campaign that will lead to the transformation of the auditorium, with increased capacity, improved sightlines, greater accessibility and a better experience for both audiences and actors alike.”
Architects ChapmanWaterworth will lead the project. Their previous projects include the new Football Union headquarters at Twickenham Stadium.
Architect Greg Chapman said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the Tricycle Theatre to create a more accessible and welcoming environment.
“We recognize the Tricycle operates at the highest level and we are proud to be a part of the team that will ensure their refurbished premises match their future aspirations.
“We believe that when completed, the changes will help ensure the Tricycle continues to be both an integral part of the local cultural fabric of this vibrant community and London as a whole.”
The Tricycle plan to start works in the second half of 2016, with completion due in 2017. Shows are set to still go ahead throughout works.
However, some of the theatrical productions may be moved to the cinema, disrupting the cinema’s popular programme, including favourites such as the Irish Film Festival London, which takes place there every November.
More info here: www.tricycle.co.uk