Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Theatres Trust


  I have just been shown the video recording made of the Select Committee meeting on 8 January when you questioned representatives of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  During it you referred to the article that I had written in the Trust's December Newsletter. I am afraid that you may have misunderstood the Trust's reaction to the proposal to rebuild the 1932 theatre. In your question you correctly pointed out the Trust was established by Parliament to protect theatres, but you seemed then to suggest that we would object if it proved necessary to demolish the facade and foyer. What I actually wrote (in a discussion about the constraints imposed by the listing), was that "we have made it clear to our friends at Stratford that if they are to persuade heritage people that there is no alternative to demolishing what are universally agreed to be the best parts of Elizabeth Scott's building, they will have to put up an extraordinarily good case".

  The Trust is not a heritage body, but through our work of ensuring that theatres are modernised, and when necessary replaced, we are obviously very aware of the constraints imposed by listing. If a proper case can be made we would certainly not object to demolition. Jonathan Pope's reply to your question correctly summarised the Trust's views on this matter, explained how we had been working with the RSC team and shared their dilemma, and had been advising them on the steps that they would need to go through.

  Earlier this week I wrote to the Clerk of the Committee in response to the Committee's request for a memorandum on the subject. I had not seen the video when I wrote that paper, but there should now be no doubt about the Trust's position. English Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society are, I think, both aware of our position.

8 February 2002

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