The Tricycle Theatre

Founders: Wakefield Tricycle Company, led by Shirley Barrie and Kenneth Chubb

Established: 1980 (opened 16th September)

Location: 269, Kilburn High Road, London, NW6 7JR

Reason: To provide a permanent base for the Wakefield Tricycle Company and to serve as a receiving house for other theatre companies

Current status: Still in operation as the Tricycle

Policy: To produce new writing, produce work for, by and with women and the local communities, and to create work for and with children

Structure: The Tricycle operates an hierarchical management structure, with a diverse Board of Directors overseeing policy, development and major appointments. It is the Artistic Director’s role to interpret the policy and to take charge of the theatre’s creative activities. The General Manager is responsible for the running of the organisation, supported by various other positions across a range of departments, including Education, Front-of-House, Accounts, Marketing, and Stage Management.

Funding: Arts Council of Great Britain (later Arts Council England), Brent Borough Council, Camden Borough Council, Greater London Authority, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Individual projects, schemes or productions have also received funding from various funding organisations, including Pears Foundation, Bloomberg and the classified-ad newspaper Loot.

Audiences: Very mixed, and often vary according to the production. The theatre has sought to attract audiences from the local communities, but its work has also reached national and international audiences, in particular through its political work.

Other site activities and spaces: Education workshops, Saturday afternoon children’s theatre productions, youth theatre training company, art studio classes, cinema (often with after-show talks), rehearsal and workshop space in the Mackintosh and Baldwin Studios, social space in the café/bar and exhibitions in the gallery.

Links: Tricycle, Shirley Barrie, Kenneth Chubb, and Nicolas Kent

Existing archival material: The Tricycle Theatre’s archive is held at the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Archives, based in Blythe House, West Kensington. The Tricycle’s ‘special collection’ runs from 1972 (covering the Wakefield Tricycle Company as well as the Tricycle) until 2004. See also the V&A’s own ‘core collections’ on the Tricycle Theatre, consisting of a Building File on the Tricycle Theatre (mostly cuttings and advertising), Production Files for the Tricycle Theatre (mostly theatre programmes, cuttings, and reviews), and Biographical Files on individuals (mostly cuttings).

Acknowledgements: This page was created by Eleanor Paremain