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Kilburn campaigners protest as Kiln Theatre chiefs accused of ‘stonewalling’ local community

PUBLISHED: 14:38 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:40 18 January 2019

Our Tricycle campaigners at the Approaching Empty press night at the Kiln Theatre

Our Tricycle campaigners at the Approaching Empty press night at the Kiln Theatre

Archant

Campaigners staged its 10th protest at the opening night of a new play claiming Kilburn theatre chiefs continue to “stonewall” them.

Our Tricycle supporters turned out for the press night for Approaching Empty on Monday, which is currently playing at the Kiln Theatre, formerly The Tricycle, in Kilburn High Road.

Alison Schulte, who organised the demo, said: “We had calm and friendly exchanges with those attending the performance and front-of-house staff.

“We were able to put our case, but it was also important to listen to them.

“We still need our objections acknowledged and our questions answered with something other than an impersonal, standardised response.”

As reported in the Kilburn Times talks between the community and Kiln representatives broke down in November and there’s been no communication since.

The community who live nearby claim they were never consulted which Kiln representatives deny and have staged protests since the reopening of the refurbished theatre in September.

The Our Tricycle campaign submitted a series of questions concerning Kiln’s compliance with the Charity Commission’s governance code in December but is yet to receive a response.

Ms Shulte added: “We care deeply about this treasured place on the High Road and want it to be as successful as it can be. But we don’t think that will happen unless the Tricycle name is brought back.

“We’ve never called for a boycott but we know many people are staying away because of this high-handed name change. It’s time to start listening to us.”

Tickets for the Approaching Empty show are available as a “seat filler” for £4 on a central tickets website, which campaigners argue demonstrates dropping interest in the theatre.

Martin Fisher, who founded the Our Tricycle campaign, said they never will call for a boycott, nor ever demand any resignations.

He said: “The Kiln Theatre was foisted on Kilburn. We don’t take issue with the artistic direction, it’s the name change and the manner in which they defend it through claims about consultations we have seen no evidence of and don’t exist. They are pulling the wool over our eyes.

“Kiln has stonewalled the literally thousands of local protesting voices. Such disreputable behaviour threatens its viability.”

A spokesperson for the Kiln Theatre declined to comment.

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