It was a record breaking hot early May Bank Holiday and the heat was on the Tricycle Theatre management today when local people who attend the theatre and cinema assembled to protest outside the theatre at the name change to 'The Kiln.'
They complained about lack of consultation with the local community and the theatre and cinema's customers and lamented the loss of the historic links of the original name - ironically links that the billboard outside the theatre described. (below) One demonstrator commented that as customers they should have been consulted and that as Brent Council had given the theatre 1,000,000 for the refurbishment the Council should also have had a say and discussed the proposal with residents. Their council tax had helped pay for the refurishment.
'It is not the private property of the directors,' one demonstrator said, 'It is a community facility - it belongs to all of us.'
Another demonstrator, a local man who has attended the theatre and cinema for decades, went further saying that the action of the artistic director was one of a piece with other community losses in Kilburn. He spoke about the loss of local pubs and the demise of community projects with local people feeling a loss of control as things that really mattered to them were taken away or shut down. Now, he suggested, the community outreach work of the Tricycle seemed to be threatened in the wake of the relaunch.
Two young women spoke about what they had gained from the drama workshops held at the Tricycle and how this has increased their confidence and social skills.
It is likely that there will be more demonstrations and protests before the new season opens with a petition already gaining more than 1,000 signatures. Sign the petition HERE.