All The World’s A Stage…
…except the Greenwich Playhouse, that is.
You know, when I first heard that the owners of the now-ex-Greenwich Playhouse were closing it down, I was at first outraged. Then I made a mistake.
Now. I make a lot of mistakes, as any regular reader of this blog knows. I usually blush, admit my stupidity/naivity /ignorance and chalk it up to experience. That’s why I’ll never be a politician.
And here’s another prize Phantom boo-boo.
I decided to actually believe the Group Operations Director of Beds and Bars (who own the building), six months ago, when he went on record in The Wharf as being an outraged, deeply-hurt, hard-done-by landlord accused of something he’d never dream of doing. Go on, enjoy it – it makes entertaining reading now.
So – he didn’t want to cash in on the Olympics – heaven forbid! How could anyone…honestly - he was shocked at the thought. He wasn’t going to lose Greenwich’s Playhouse, he just wanted a more diverse programme than the one resident group, Galleon Theatre Company. Hell – he was going to put the show on right there and run it himself!
Okay, I thought. Fair enough, perhaps he just wants to branch out. Could actually be quite interesting, with a varied fare of new material. Cool.
So I – and many others – held back.
But a few weeks ago, it seemed they’d changed their tune:
Ex-Greenwich Playhouse landlords, Beds and Bars, have illegally embarked on building works to convert the theatre on Greenwich High Road into hostel facilities for backpackers attending the Olympics. They have not obtained planning permission and have been issued with a legal notice by the planning department at Greenwich Council instructing them to stop the conversion of the 20-year-old theatre space immediately. Ex-resident Galleon Theatre Company is urging its supporters to email Greenwich Council and Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford, to request that Beds and Bars are forced to comply with the law.
I guess I shouldn’t have been so naive. The clue was in the name – it wasn’t Beds & Bars & Theatre, after all.
It’s not even as though they gave running the theatre themselves a go and realised it was going to fail – to my knowledge not one single show has gone on in the space since the Playhouse was closed.
It now seems that Beds and Bars HAVE finally applied for permission; I don’t know whether building work is ongoing, pending decision, or finished and they’re already back-packing ‘em in (despite the application still being in consultation).
Here is the application. I don’t know what you feel about losing a theatre and gaining a bunch of cheapo bunk beds instead, but I think what makes me most angry is the protestations of injured innocence on the part of Beds and Bars six months ago, throwing naive Phantoms like me off the trail, only to totally shaft us later on.
It’s still theoretically in consultation period. Just saying…
BTW I note that my link seems to be very slow on the application.
Here is a detailed account of how to object.
1. Please click on the following link (it may need copying and pasting) http://onlineplanning.greenwich.gov.uk/acolnet/planningonline/acolnetcgi.gov?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeResultDetail&TheSystemkey=71480
2. Click on ‘View on line form’ and on the next page select ‘if you do not have a reference number’, this will open up the brief Planning Objection form. Please remember, after adding your comments, to select under ‘options’ – OBJECT.
3. Other useful information: Application number: 12/1764/F. Case Officer Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 0208 921 5438; Jacob.firstname.lastname@example.org
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