We’ve received messages of support from local politicians and those in the entertainment industry. As we receive more we will add them below.
The great theatres of England are slowly being eradicated piecemeal. The first time I witnessed it was when the magnificent Finsbury Park Empire, designed by that legendary architect Frank Matcham was destroyed to make way for a supermarket. Finsbury Park is now a dead zone. Each time a theatre is pulled down, it is like a part of that particular borough is amputated. They tried to destroy the Hackney Empire, also a magnificent theatre, but the theatrical community resisted so fiercely that the order to destroy it was redacted. Now that theatre is functioning and breathes fresh new life into Hackney.
To lose The Intimate, Palmers Green where I have also played as a young man, would be more than just a shame. In the past twenty or more years, we have lost hundreds of libraries, score upon score of theatres, endless lido swimming pools and the reason always given is to build yet more soul-destroying rabbit hutches.
Steven Berkoff – Actor, author, playwright and theatre director
It would be so sad to see The Intimate theatre disappear as many artistes learned their trade there, perfecting their craft, not only in acting but also how ‘to walk a stage’… as they say. So many well-known stars have worked this lovely little theatre, which has a great history of presenting all kinds of entertainment over the years and, as a performer, if you lived in London it gave you the opportunity of working a theatre, and being able to get home at night after the show.
I had my early theatrical training there, working for a producer named Ronnie Kerr, and although it was hard work having to learn your lines in the afternoon then performing at night, The Intimate was exactly that….Intimate. It gave you a warm and cosy feeling. A wonderful place to be.
Although people like to watch television these days, this little theatre in Palmers Green was the place to go and meet friends, see a great production and, as they also say, there’s nothing like a live show. Why take that away from us?
“It would be a catastrophe to turn The Intimate Theatre into anything other than an entertainment venue. As a comedian myself in my early days I played several pantomimes there as well as numerous ‘one-nighters’, and it was also a great venue to hold charity concerts for the Comedian’s Golfing Society with many star names appearing on-stage in our shows.
During my slow changeover from a comedy performer to a Theatrical Producer, I also used the coin-box telephone in the dressing room during my breaks in panto scenes so I could book many a star-studded tour for artistes such as Matt Monro, Larry Grayson, Danny La Rue, Max Bygraves and Norman Wisdom. I could hear my fellow artistes calling me saying such things as …”Johnny, get off the ‘phone! I don’t care who you’re booking….you’re on in two minutes in the Beanstalk scene!”….They were great days and The Intimate made me as successful as I am today. It will always be a part of my life, a part of show-business history, and something that should be listed as a theatre forever more.”
Johnny Mans. Producer – Johnny Mans Productions.
“I am writing to express my support for the campaign to save the Intimate Theatre, Palmers Green, from possible demolition. From the correspondence I have received, and the posts that I have seen on social media, I know that the future of the Intimate Theatre means a great deal to the Saint Monica’s Players (SMP) theatre group, as well as many other local groups and members of the Palmers Green community.
The Intimate Theatre’s rich history, dating back over 80 years, makes the site not only a valued part of Enfield’s cultural heritage but also the history of British theatre. I support your aim for the theatre to be refurbished to suit the needs of the parish of St Monica’s Church, Palmers Green, and to be run as an affordable community theatre space – thereby preventing the loss of one of London’s last remaining local theatres.”
Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP – Labour Member of Parliament for Enfield North
‘I first stepped foot in a theatre like the Intimate when I was eight or nine. The experience set me on the path of being a film and television director with an Oscar nomination. Destroying an important resource like this is a tragedy for the children and young people in our community who won’t be given the chance to find out if the creative arts is for them’
Councillor Ian Barnes – Winchmore Hill ward (Labour) – TV and Film Director
“The Intimate Theatre was where I, and so many generations before me, first experienced theatre – on stage, back stage and as an audience member. In my teenage years it was a place to perform, socialise with people my own age in my community and to have a real sense of belonging to that community. Without theatre’s in our community we are depriving future generations the opportunities to create, learn, entertain and be entertained. 10 years of selfish austerity has squeezed the already pinched middle and working class and robbed a whole generation of personality building outlets. These theatres focus on the local communities and should be more affordable and accessible than larger, city centre theatres. The Intimate Theatre is in desperate need of governmental or Arts Council investment and community support. At the very least, it should be replaced with a similar space for generations of future West End performers to have an opportunity to dream of what they could become and for thousands of young people to have a space to express themselves, be safe and enrich their lives in areas of personal development. Losing a community space in favour of more unaffordable housing is a damning indictment of how broken and implosive our society has become. We don’t need less theatres like The Intimate: we need MORE.”
David O’Mahony – Actor