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Save The Shed

February 12, 2014

When the National Theatre’s Cottesloe closed in early 2013, to be expanded, refurbished and re-named the “Dorfman,” they created a small red temporary wooden building in front of the Lyttelton foyer, and christened it “The Shed.”

With a life expectancy of just a year, that is now looking a little longer as the Dorfman isn’t ready yet.

Having seen more in “The Shed” last year than I saw in the main auditoria – and enjoying more of the output there too (the current “Blurred Lines” is sublime – if you can get a ticket), I’m now strongly in favour of the National expanding to a fourth venue.

In order to help them, I’ve therefore come up with a list of means by which they can keep it going – whether planning authorities or any other person with a “stick up the…” likes it or not. So, I suggest ten, but feel free to add your own:

1) Telling the local authority that it is an “original Banksy.” Everybody (myself included) LOVES a Banksy, and they are tourist attractions in their own right. Who on earth would object to that?

2) Put yellow flashing car “hazard lights” on each corner. Everybody knows that when hazard lights are flashing, the owner has temporarily given themselves permission to disregard any claim of obstruction or any legal requirement “for the time being, while we just do one small errand.”

3) Get the army “Camouflage Corps” in to make it look like it’s just another part of the National building.

4) Use the blueprints from the Olivier Theatre’s “drum revolve” to create another one for the Shed. If any busybody happens by, let it gently sink into the ground, to re-emerge when the trouble’s past.

5) Conversely, who looks up in London? Build a “fly grid” over the whole thing, and lift it 20 feet into the air as required. I was once told the Olivier grid can “fly” a double decker bus if need be. Flying a Shed should be a snap.

6) Tie a big bow on it and explain that it is just the wrapper for Nick Hytner’s “leaving gift” and that when he goes, he’ll pick it up after the party. After the party, explain that he “couldn’t get all his gifts into his taxi home,” but will pick it up later… without explaining what “later” actually means…

7) It’s wooden, therefore it will float. A barge base on it will help, but then there is space galore on the water not 100 feet from the current site.

8) Tell the council that it belongs to the Haywood Gallery next door. Agree with the Haywood that they will say it belongs to the Festival Hall, with the Hall that it belongs to the Purcell Room, with the Room saying it belongs to etc, etc. The letter could keep circulating for years…

9) Whip-round for the planning officer?

10) Just leave it and say nothing. Simplest, and everybody knows that Londoners ignore absolutely everything all the time. If you don’t say anything, then we won’t!

Hope one of the above works, as it would be a real shame to lose such a great theatre space, I think.


EDIT! Less than 8 hours after I put this online, it was announced they are looking to keep the venue until 2017!!! Guessing they read this LOL. Either way… YAY!!!!!

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