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Save The Tricycle protesters say nobody asked them about name change

Theatre tight-lipped on how consultation surveys which found support for new name were run

10 May, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Demonstrators outside the venue soon to be known as The Kiln

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the rebrand at The Tricycle theatre say they have been stonewalled when asking how its new name – The Kiln – was chosen.

The iconic arts venue on the Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, is set to re-open in September after a multimillion-pound refit. But, as the New Journal revealed last month, a protest group, Save The Trike, has been formed in a bid to convince managers not to bin its name. The theatre says the change came after positive feedback in consultation surveys but the objectors insist nobody asked them.

Campaign organiser Martin Fisher said told the New Journal: “We have asked the theatre to let us know who they asked about the name change and where is the evidence of the responses. They have not replied to our questions.” He added that his group had asked members, donors, and regulars but not one could say they had been contacted by the theatre to gauge their views on the change.

“We have seen no evidence that anyone was asked for their views before they decided to scrap such a much-loved, successful and well-known name,” said Mr Fisher. “We have spoken to members who paid £100 each for seats at gala events and there was never any mention of a new name there, either.”

Mr Fisher said Brent Council awarded the theatre a grant of £1million last year and when the funding was discussed at a council meeting, no mention was ever made of a new name being adopted.

A petition against the change has now garnered more than 2,000 signatures and, after picketing the venue over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Save The Trike group say they plan further demonstrations on the theatre’s doorstep.

The New Journal put the same questions to the theatre’s PR team, asking who was consulted on the name change and what form the consultation took. They declined to answer the questions and referred to a statement they had issued when the new name was announced. It had said last month: “We’ve had an over­whelmingly warm response from our donors and supporters, from the theatre world and the people around us in Kilburn.”

A theatre spokesman, meanwhile, said they were standing by their previous statement explaining the strategy ahead.

“We’re close to the end of a stunning and major architectural renovation and we have a brand-new season of our own exciting productions and outreach work coming up,” it said. “We are sorry our new name doesn’t please everyone. We have thought about this for a long time and consulted audience members, staff, our young company, our board and many members of our communities.”

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