The King's Head Theatre Pub

Pub in Islington
The King's Head Theatre Pub image

7 / 10 from 2 reviews
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN
020 7226 4443
Nearest Station
Essex Road
0.33 miles
Opening Summary
Monday-Thursday: 11am-1am
Friday-Saturday: 11am-2am
Sunday: 11am-12.30am
Venue Facilities

Disabled Facilities

Children Welcome

Credit Cards Accepted

Music Played

Live Music Played

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...

All In London Review

There is a lot going on here!

When the King’s Head Theatre was founded in 1970, it was the first of its kind to be found in a pub since Shakespeare’s era. London has since seen a whole lot of other pubs join the cast but there’s something to be said for being the original.

The pub and theatre coexist in a historic Upper Street venue. More space is made available to the boozers than the thesps, however, although it may be small, the theatre has made stars out of a number of actors and sent multiple shows into the West End.

With a history that dates all the way back to the 15th century, The King’s Head scrubs up well. Old theatre benches are installed for seating along with a collection of furniture pushed to the edges. A large bar takes care of the middle of the venue and there is a dedicated space set-aside for regular band visits. Yes, live music is the main event here. An eclectic booking policy means that the acts you’re likely to hear are always a cut above the usual pub bands.

With a triple threat consisting of pub, music venue and theatre you can expect the place to be busy, however, with a noisy, jovial clientele, the buzzing atmosphere is a noteworthy attribute that the King’s Head should take pride in.

You’ll find the usual big beer brands on draught, a small wine list and prices that are lower than the Upper Street standards you might expect here. There is a lot going on here and whether you’re in it for the theatre, the live music or just the pub, action is guaranteed.

Reviewed by T.A.O
Published on Oct 1, 2012

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Located on Upper Street in Angel, The King’s Head is both pub and theatre. You’ll find live bands playing regularly throughout the week but perhaps most strangely is that while that is going on the work of young directors, actors, writers and producers is being performed in the back. Having transferred over 30 shows to the West End over the years The King’s Head Theatre is something of a legendary space.

User Reviews


Oct 16, 2013

Every time I go to the Old Kings Head theatre pub it just reminds me of a ye olde version of an American bar from movies like Roadhouse. It gets rammed on weekends when the live band performs really energetic covers of Stevie Wonder et al. Sweaty fun but if the thought of a nasal, yet powerful, rendition of Mustang Sally makes your hair stand on end then you might not like it. Luckily, I love stuff like that!

Keep on rockin' in the free world!
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