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Ken Livingstone joins protesters holding a vigil against the Kiln Theatre’s new name

PUBLISHED: 10:56 08 November 2018

Ken Livingstone with campaigners outside the Kiln Theatre, formerly Tricycle,  protesting its name change. Picture: Martin Fisher

Ken Livingstone with campaigners outside the Kiln Theatre, formerly Tricycle, protesting its name change. Picture: Martin Fisher

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Campaigners were joined by a former London mayor has they held a candlelit vigil outside a Kilburn theatre.

Campaigners outside the Kiln Theatre, formerly Tricycle,  protesting its name change. Picture: Martin FisherCampaigners outside the Kiln Theatre, formerly Tricycle, protesting its name change. Picture: Martin Fisher

Ken Livingstone, who lives in Cricklewood, joined protesters outside the Kiln Theatre, in Kilburn High Road, on Monday to mark the press night for Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.

The theatre, formerly called the Tricycle, reopened in September after a two year multi-million pound refurbishment.

But its new look has been marred by protests against the change of name, which was announced in the Brent & Kilburn Times in April.

Mr Livingstone said: “The Tricycle was the pride and joy of Kilburn and put it on the London map. Any cab driver would know where it was. Now it’s been replaced with a name people hate and no one will explain why.

“Everyone wants the re-opened theatre to succeed, but the name change is completely unnecessary for that to happen.

“Why would you dump such a great brand, without consulting the community that supported the theatre for nearly 40 years, and without any explanation?

“It makes no sense.”

The Kiln Theatre continues to defended its decision saying it held a public wide consultation where more than 300 people responded to an e-survey sent to more than 4,000 people.

Staff spoke to 65 people during a two day street survey in Kilburn High Road, Willesden Green, Queen’s Park, Brondesbury and West Hampstead.

Furthermore there was a consultation with “40 stakeholders”.

A theatre spokesperson said: “As we have said from the outset we are incredibly proud of the history of the theatre and are committed to protecting its legacy – this is represented in everything we do, including on the theatre’s exterior signage, on the website, and through an exhibition in the refurbished building. We are in fact honouring our history more comprehensively than has ever been done before. That said, theatre is not here to fossilise culture, but to invigorate it. It needs to reflect the changing dynamic nature of both London and Kilburn.

“The new name Kiln Theatre represents the next chapter in this remarkable building’s history - proudly locating us in Kilburn and reflecting a space of creativity, transformation and energy - one we would love those, who claim to wish us well, would celebrate with us.”

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