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 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/
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.
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.
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 03.10.2018 indicated with *