Steven Berkoff backs calls to save north London’s Intimate Theatre from closure
Industry figures including actor, director and author Steven Berkoff are fighting to save a north London theatre from being turned into flats.
The 406-capacity Intimate Theatre in Palmers Green was home to the John Clements repertory theatre company until the late 1980s, with acting alumni including Richard Attenborough, Roger Moore, Berkoff, Nicholas Parsons and Tony Blackburn.
It is currently used by amateur theatre theatre groups and doubles up as a parish hall for St Monica’s Church, which owns the venue.
St Monica’s Church plans to request permission from Enfield Council to redevelop the theatre into a new parish centre and a block of flats.
Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition created by local residents to save the theatre, backed by industry figures.
Berkoff said: “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 20 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.”
Actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons said: “It would be so sad to see the Intimate Theatre disappear as many artists learned their trade there, perfecting their craft, not only in acting but also how ‘to walk a stage’, as they say.”
Producer Johnny Mans added that it would be a “catastrophe” to turn the Intimate Theatre into “anything other than an entertainment venue”.
One of the leaders of the campaign to save the Intimate Theatre, Warren McWilliams, told The Stage: “The theatre has such a history – just look at the number of people who have come through it and gone on to perform on West End stages.
“It’s still working as a theatre and producing talent for everyone to enjoy, so it would be such a loss to the community.”
St Monica’s Church has been contacted for comment.