Tricycle Theatre

Founded in


Artistic Director

Indhu Rubasingham

Since 2012

Tricycle Theatre logo


The Tricycle views the world through a variety of lenses, bringing unheard voices into the mainstream. It presents high quality and innovative work, which provokes debate and emotionally engages. Located in Brent, the most diverse borough in London, the Tricycle is a local venue with an international vision.

Open seven days a week, the Tricycle offers a unique 235 seat theatre, an independent 300 seat cinema, vibrant bar and café, plus three rehearsal spaces that are used for our community and education work, Tricycle shows, or hires.

Converted from a music and dance hall, the Tricycle opened in 1980. Today, the Tricycle Theatre continues its reputation for presenting the highest quality British and international work, reflecting the exceptional diversity of its local community.

We tell big stories from all over the world. The Tricycle champions unheard voices and stories which offer an unexpected viewpoint, or come from the margins. We aim to diversify the canon of work on British stages through scale of opportunity, commitment to talent and by telling human stories without borders.


Company type: building based

Company Type

Building based

One auditorium, 235 capacity

Public funding graph

Public Funding


Arts Council England subsidy for the 2013/14 financial year.

Location: Kilburn, Brent


Kilburn, Brent



Opened in 2013 (plus 2 received shows)


Core staff

Our Question

How can the Tricycle better represent female designers (set, lighting, and sound) in its creative teams? Also, both male and female, what can the Tricycle do to broaden the cultural make-up of its creative teams, now and for the future?

We discovered a disparity between the diversity of our acting companies, writers and directors and the diversity of our creative teams. Without disregarding the creative talent we are already privileged to work with, we wanted to better understand this and whether it represents a broader question for the industry.

What We Did

“We did some number crunching, and it became clear that for us as an organisation there was some disparity between some roles. We tried to look at the areas where we had the least representation. We wanted to start asking questions about why that was, what it means, and how we might address imbalances.”


Internal research and the Gate/Tonic group’s statistics showed women are underrepresented in design roles in creative teams. We want the Tricycle’s creative teams to have as broad a cultural make-up as is evidenced by our actors, writers and directors. In Indhu Rubasingham’s inaugural Tricycle seasons, 89% of directors were female (please note, our Artistic Director is female), writers 45%, actors 43%, whereas the design roles were 9% for set and lighting and 35% for sound. In 2014/15 to date, these statistics have altered: female directors make up 70%, writers 64%, actors 55%, with set and lighting designers at 10% and sound designers at 70%. We have a female Artistic Director and a male Resident Director, which is taken into account.

Our focus is now upon female representation amongst set and lighting designers. Tonic have helped facilitate conversations with the Gate Theatre, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Clean Break and the Association of Lighting Designers, to name a few. Lighting Design will be our first area due to this connection.

What We’re Doing in Response to What We Learned

  • We would like to work with other theatres/companies to improve training, mentoring and access from underrepresented groups, and share resources.
  • Annual day of introductory meetings between designers and our artistic team.
  • Continue to monitor gender representation across our creative teams/programming.
  • Host workshops, including Lighting Design workshop during our 2015 Tricycle Takeover which will include prominent female role models.
  • Continue to be alert to – and introduce – talent from underrepresented groups.

Is This Work a Step Towards a Bigger Goal?

Yes, we want to encourage a greater diversity amongst creative teams within the Tricycle, highlight role models and contribute to broader change within the industry.

Watch the interview with Nic Wass, Artistic Associate, Tricycle Theatre.

“Working with the group was invaluable. Every theatre chose one area to focus on, but it quickly became clear that many difficulties were shared. It was helpful to hear how others were tackling questions of equality, share knowledge, resources and advice. Most importantly, it was great to look constructively at how we can work together to make things better.”
Nic Wass, Artistic Associate

Creative team employment stats

Why do this work?

The answer’s simple; things are still far from equal in the theatre industry...
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10 key things we learned

We investigated the numbers behind who is making theatre work in England, and on which stages. The findings were massive and far-reaching...
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5 key things other theatres can do

Practical suggestions for what other theatres can do to move forward themselves...
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