WE WILL UPDATE THIS ARTICLE WITH THE LATEST INFORMATION AS IT ARISES.
St Monica’s Church Plans
– At a meeting held on the 18th September for parishioners, and some of the users of the Intimate Theatre, a presentation was given regarding the current state of buildings and three options that the church had considered.
1. Refurbishment of current buildings
2. Sale of Cannon House, demolition of The Intimate Theatre and new build of parish centre.
3. Sale of Cannon House, demolition of The Intimate Theatre and new build of parish centre. Addition of 6 flats.
– During the meeting questions were taken and we were told the architect would take everyone’s points into consideration.
– The church has also reached out on social media placing the following statement on the Love Your Doorstep group.
– After an article appeared in The Stage https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2018/steven-berkoff-backs-calls-save-north-londons-intimate-theatre-closure/ voicing actors including Steven Berkoff’s support for the venue. We were contacted by the Buildings Audit Committee and invited to present some ideas to them in private although these will not be taken into consideration. *Sadly this meeting did not materialise however you can see the presentation we had planned to give with our proposals here: http://www.smptheatre.co.uk/the-intimate-theatre-our-proposals/
– We have accepted their offer and the date for the meeting is TBC.
– As it stands our production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Jan 2019 could be the final show staged at the Intimate Theatre.
We’re pleased to announce that The Intimate Theatre is now listed as an Asset of Community Value by Enfield Council.
This follows a succesful application supported by six local amateur dramatic groups on behalf of the wider community that use the Intimate for various uses. The application was granted despite a challenge from St Monica’s Parish.
Thank you to all that have signed the petition, it did not go unnoticed by the panel.
The panel found that:
“This asset is an integral part of the wider parish & community. Historically it is also renowned Borough wide. It provides a platform for various community groups to convene and engage whether it be through the medium of arts and culture. The nominator has clearly demonstrated a programme of upcoming events which signals inclusivity and regular use.”
“The nominator highlighted the current users desire to see continuity of this facility, indeed they also highlighted the fact that former clubs/societies made a commitment to return if said asset had major investment. It is also apparent via a recent online petition that there is demonstrable support for this nomination”
The panel also felt that “the asset be made fit for purpose practically and within reasonable resource requirements and within timescales”
– On Sunday 20th January 2019 SMP performed for the last time on the Intimate stage, their sunday matinee performance was the last show as the doors were to be closed and no more bookings were taken by the church for the Theatre. We gave the venue a good send off with a sell out performance and were joined by more people at home as our send off was broadcast live on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SMPTheatre/videos/1237897986359768/
– On Tuesday 22nd January 2019 The Theatres Trust announced that The Intimate Theatre would be included on their Theatres at Risk register and that they would be campaigning to reopen the Theatre. They wish to try and set up dialogue with the church to work towards a possible solution. http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/how-we-help/theatres-at-risk
– On The 1st February St Monica’s Church put out a press release with an update on their plans. We felt some of the information included warranted a response and so on the 4th of February we issued our own press release. You can read both below.
On the 13 June we recieved the news that the application of National Heritage Listing had not been succesful. A press release was issued by the Theatres Trust regarding the decision: http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/latest/news/948-theatre-at-risk-intimate-theatre-rejected-for-historic-england-listing
– We stand to lose both our rehearsal venues, the venue to perform our annual pantomime and our storage space for set and costumes.
– We believe that by refurbishing and developing the current buildings and with good management the needs of the parish groups could be met and prioritised, avoiding demolition of such a valuable asset to the community.
– There are people willing to volunteer to help with management of the building and with the refurbishment process. But it would take the will of the church to allow that to happen.
– A petition has been set up to save the Intimate Theatre from demolition which can be found here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-intimate-theatre-palmers-green
– A facebook group has also been set up for people to share their memories of their time there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332720484202395/
– With some good lighting and a bit of creativity we know how nice the venue can look these pictures are from a wedding reception in the Theatre in 2013.
- Our proposals of how the space could be developed to meet the needs of all parties can be found here: http://www.smptheatre.co.uk/the-intimate-theatre-our-proposals/
- Should planning be granted we would like to produce on last show at the Intimate to give it a fitting send off. We have asked about a booking in Easter 2019 but have been told that there will be no bookings allowed after our panto in Jan 2018.
What this means for Saint Monica’s Players.
– It’s unclear at which point we ceased to be a parish group. The group was set up 60 years ago by parishioners and whilst it is true few of our members attend services on a Sunday, we have always acted as a group in a way that would not be to the detriment of the church
– In addition, our members have helped by serving on committees and assisting at fundraisers like the Cannon House garden parties where we have provided equipment, organisation and entertainment to help raise money for the parish. Members have also played Father Christmas for the parish children in the past.
– We believe that we were included on the St Monica’s Parish website under parish activities S-Z. Currently our contact details are not listed but a picture from our show ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ performed at Cannon House in 2006 appears.
What do we plan going forward?
– We are in full swing with rehearsals for our next show Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 17th – 20th January 2019
– This could be the last show staged at the Intimate Theatre
– We are actively in the process of looking for new rehearsal venues, and either somewhere to store our costumes or a site that we could place a portacabin/shed. If anyone has any suggestions please get in touch.
– Our summer musical has not been confirmed. We were looking into the possibility of a musical as normal as well as a full length Shakespeare play staged outdoors in promenade at a location in Enfield.
– Due to the uncertainty we may not be in a position to put together a musical for summer 2019.
– However we will be performing the full length Shakespeare play and are committed to performing a pantomime in 2020.
– As of 3/02/19 – We will be performing a promenade performance of Much Ado About Nothing in Bury Lodge Park in June and we will be part of Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture programme as we will perform Cinderella at the Chingford Assembly Hall in December 2019.
- As of 24/06/19 We performed Much Ado About Nothing and it was very well recieved by our audience, Our next show will be Cinderella at the Chingford Assembly Hall in December 2019 and is part of the programme of events for Waltham Forests London Borough of Culture Schedule.
- We have also relocated our set and costumes from Cannon House and no longer rehearse there or at the Intimate Theatre.
Why is the Intimate Theatre important?
– The Intimate was built by the church in 1931 for parish use and became a professional theatre in 1935, when it was home to Sir John Clements’ repertory theatre company.
– It was the first London theatre to reopen during WW2 and the theatre made history when George and Margaret, a comedy by Gerald Savory, became the first play to be televised on the BBC in 1946.
– Since then many stars, including Richard Attenborough, Roger Moore and David Bowie, have graced its stage.
– It is now one of the last remaining local theatres left in London and its sprung floor and plaster proscenium arch are rare examples of their kind. The theatre also contains many original features such as its fire curtain which are in fine working order.
– The building also houses a small hall which is used by local groups and whilst the theatre has mainly been used as a function room for parish events since 1988, local theatre groups have continued to use it to stage performances and hold rehearsals.
– The theatre has continued to produce talent to this day and many have gone on to be professional actors, directors and musicians.
– The building is listed on the Enfield Heritage list.
We hope you can support all the shows at the Intimate this year and Like it’s new Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/TheIntimateTheatre/
More on the Theatre’s history
General history – https://www.palmersgreenn13.com/2015/11/03/every-street-in-palmers-green-5-ladies-and-gentlemen-live-from-palmers-green/
TV broadcasts – https://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/live-from-the-intimate-theatre-1946-1949-part-1/
David Bowie’s performance at the Intimate – http://www.palmersgreenn13.com/2012/07/20/improbably-famous-in-palmers-green-1-david-bowie/
Intimate Memories, The history of the Theatre. Written by Geoff Bowden – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Intimate-Memories-History-Theatre-Palmers/dp/0952607638
Messages of support for the theatre from those in the industry – http://www.smptheatre.co.uk/messages-of-support-for-the-intimate-theatre/
Our proposals of how the sites could be managed without demolition to meet all parties needs http://www.smptheatre.co.uk/the-intimate-theatre-our-proposals/
Last updated 24.06.2019 indicated with italics