Theatre at Risk Intimate Theatre rejected for Historic England listing

We are disappointed by Historic England's decision to reject the Intimate Theatre’s application for statutory listing and have asked the Departent for Culture Media and Sport to review this decision.

The Intimate Theatre was added to our Theatres at Risk Register earlier this year after St Monica’s Catholic Church announced its intentions to demolish the building to make way for a new church hall and accommodation.

Theatres Trust, as well as the group campaigning to the save the theatre and others, had outlined what makes this theatre special - why we think it should be given the protection that statutory listing provides.

Historic significance 

The Intimate Theatre has been in continual use as a performance space up until January 2019 and is much loved as a venue within its local community. It has a rich social and cultural history, including hosting the first complete play to be broadcast live by the BBC. Many famous names have trodden the boards there, including Richard Attenborough who made his professional stage debut there in 1941 and David Bowie who appeared at the theatre in 1968 as a part of the Lindsay Kemp Company.

Architectural significance

The building also has clear architectural interest as a rare survivor of a repertory theatre built in the inter-war period. Professional repertory theatres such as the Intimate played an important role in the history of drama within the UK. These theatres were where many actors, directors and playmakers learned their trade. They were also the creative bed for much of the commercial theatre of the day. The Intimate theatre also benefits from many original high quality and ornate interior features and fittings that survive intact.

Theatres Trust will continue to engage with local stakeholders to make the case to protect this unique theatre. Read our full press statement here.

Read our advice note on Protecting theatres through listing for more information on the different types of listing and what protection each provides.