5 days in the life of Nicholas Kent The artistic director of London's Tricycle Theatre advances his plans for a new cinema

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Monday: I've been here for 13 years now, and this is one of the most exciting periods we've had. We've been awarded Lottery money which means we can do seven more productions than normal over the next two-and- a-half years, and we're also introducing an arts card to every young person in Brent. Anyone between the ages and 14 and 26 will be able to come and see plays for pounds 1.50. It's a completely new thing. Our latest production, Sive, has just opened, and I'm in meetings about a version of Strindberg's Dance of Death which will involve transposing the setting to the west of Ireland. And the new cinema has meant lots of meetings with architects. Then there are always auditions going on and discussions with writers - I had dinner last night a with a very good young playwright, Dolly Dhingra, to discuss an Asian play she might write for us.

Tuesday: Auditions for the Dance of Death. We've got a great reputation in Ireland because of the number of Irish-related plays we've done over the years, and of course they reflect a big section of the local community. So a number of Irish actors had come over to audition. Some very talented people who are having to decide whether to remain in Ireland or try to make careers in London. The writer working on the new version is Carlo Gebler, and there were a lot of discussions with him. Tonight was the Irish embassy Christmas party in Belgravia. The embassy has been very supportive of us. I'm told it was the best embassy party in town and I can well believe it. The Guinness was flowing freely.

Wednesday: A meeting with the architect and the designer for the cinema. We've only got a few decisions left, but they are big ones: like what the colour of the walls and the seating will be. The cinema will have a slightly 1930s feel and the sculptural form dictates what shades to use. We also want to let out the space in the mornings for conferences, so we don't want it to feel too dark. But at the same time it wants to feel dramatic and exciting when you walk into a film. We all wanted slightly different things, but I think we've come up with a scheme we all like. Then it was off to Brent Council again to discuss whether we can put a piece of public art in front of the entrance to draw more attention to us. We've had quite a struggle with the planners, and then two weeks ago we found a telephone box had been installed on the pavement right outside! I'm on the Kilburn High Road Regeneration Committee and one of our aims is to reduce the amount of clutter on the pavements. It's not as if the road needs another telephone box. There was an outcry among the local shopkeepers and we got it removed. Tonight I went to see Frank McGuinness's play Mutabilitie at the National Theatre. It's got some very interesting ideas.

Tthursday: Some people from the Swedish National Theatre came to see me to find out out about our various access schemes - like the young people's card - and how we have got involved in multicultural work. Sweden is becoming a much more multi-cultural society. Had lunch with a benefactor, then more auditions for Dance of Death. We offered a part to a brilliant young Irish actor; unfortunately he turned us down the next day because he's been offered something bigger in Dublin.

Friday: Discussions with the builders. Part of the theatre bar is going to have to be shut for them to do their work. The day ended with a leaving do for someone who's been with us on work experience for six months. I left at 7.15 and had my first evening in since I don't know when.

The Tricycle Theatre is at 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 (0171 328 1000). The 290-seat Tricycle Cinema is due to open there next autumn.

Comments