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 smp snow white curtain call at intimate theatre 2The cast of Snow White say goodbye to the audience and to the Intimate Theatre

On Sunday afternoon the curtain came down on Snow White and, if its owners have their way, also on the Intimate Theatre itself.  Fittingly, the theatrical company putting on the final show at the Intimate was St Monica's Players, named after the church which owns the property, and whose members, like the seven dwarfs, have been working away at preserving this historic Palmers Green landmark.

Then, a couple of days later, a possible Prince Charming appeared in the shape of the Theatres Trust, which announced that it had added the Intimate to its register of Theatres at Risk, along with another north London venue, the Tottenham Palace.  The Trust describes the Intimate as "A landmark building in its local community and with a rich theatrical history that is in danger of being demolished".  The entry in the register mentions its pioneering role in the live broadcast of plays on television and its famous alumni (Richard Attenborough and David Bowie), and states that the Trust is providing advice on how best to offer the building protection, while also seeking discussions with the owner. The campaign is being backed by industry figures including actor, director and author Steven Berkoff and actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons, both of whom have also played at the theatre in the past.

This announcement resulted in a prominent article in Tuesday's Evening Standard, as noted in the PGC forums

The campaign to save the Intimate continues.  The petition set up by Garry Humphreys has now amassed more than 4,300 signatures and will remain online until the church submits a planning application (likely to be pretty soon).  Warren McWilliams of St Monica's Players (who would probably have difficulty getting cast as one of the seven dwarfs) leads the Save the Intimate Theatre campaign and has been in touch with English Heritage, who, he says, have not been allowed to access the building.  You can read Warren's update on the situation in the box below.

The Intimate Theatre - an update by Warren McWilliams of Save the Intimate Theatre

Sunday the 20th January saw our last performance at the Intimate Theatre. Snow White’s run finished with a sold out performance and the 400 people at the Intimate gave the place a fine send-off featuring a balloon drop, a speech giving thanks to the venue and a sing-a-long to 'Thank you for the music'. It's posted on the Intimate's Facebook page and was very emotional for all. www.facebook.com/TheIntimateTheatre/

So now the doors are locked and the church are refusing to take any more bookings. Ironically, we had an enquiry to hire the theatre for a concert on the Facebook page on the day it was closing.

On the plus side we are still awaiting the decision from English Heritage on national listing. We have been invited to comment on their report so are in the process of sending through more information about the historic and architectural features. English Heritage tried to visit the theatre but were denied access to the whole building.

Another plus point is that the Theatres Trust announced that the Intimate would be included on their Theatres at Risk list. www.theatrestrust.orguk/latest/news/833-theatres-at-risk-register-2019-revealed-with-three-new-additions

The Theatres Trust have tried to make contact with the church but they are currently being ignored. They will continue to try and get some dialogue going with the church.

We don't know what the current plans are as a result. Planning, which was due to be submitted before Christmas still hasn't been submitted and there is no mention of the plans in the church newsletter.

If we have any news in the meantime I will keep you informed.

Warren  

Links

Entry in the Theatres Trust register of theatres at risk

Article in Evening Standard

Save the Intimate Theatre campaign

Online petition

Intimate Theatre registered as an Asset of Community Value

This article was amended on 24th January to include a photograph of the right show (!) and an updated version of the message from Warren McWilliams.

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See also...

  • 03 July 2019

Planning application submitted for demolition of the Intimate Theatre

A planning application has been submitted for the demolition of St Monica's Hall (the Intimate Theatre) and its replacement by a new-build parish centre for St Monica's church and a block of six apartments. The campaign to save the theatre is appealing to supporters to submit objections to the application. Read more

  • 20 February 2019

Intimate Theatre: Churches launch counter-campaign

Catholic churches belonging to the Enfield Deanery are asking parishioners to write to MPs and councillors complaining about Enfield Council's decision to register St Monica's Large Hall/Intimate Theatre as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). The reaction of the Save the Intimate Theatre campaign has been to express hope that the letters to elected representatives might provide a 'longed for opportunity' for a meeting to take place with all interested parties present. Read more