Dear Ed

Re: The Hippodrome

Why should we put on arty rubbish or put up with an old theatre that had ‘old hat’ Larry Olivier, Harry Houdini, Sarah Bernhardt – performers of old, out-of-date years, when, instead of looking at the past of, yes, even The Beatles and the old Rolling Stones, we could have new, junk architecture revolving around making millions/trillions for our esteemed developers?

David McKnight, Stanford Avenue

Dear Editor

On reading your article in The Whistler about the Brighton Hippodrome, I felt I must drop you a line and see if we can get together and save this beautiful theatre.

I worked at The Hippodrome in the mid 1950s. I played Robin Hood with Jimmy Edwards and Freddie Frinton in the pantomime, ‘Robin Hood’. And what a thrill it was to stand on that stage and look out to that auditorium. The acoustics were perfect, the lighting was perfect, and the sightlines were perfect. As to the back stage, there was plenty of room, nice dressing rooms, good wing space, and an enormous dock door leading onto a large area, big enough to house Jimmy Edwards’ big hunter, standing there and waiting for his entrance. The point is, is that it has been announced in the press that I would lay down in front of the bulldozer to stop them pulling it down. However, as I am now an aging actress of nearly 87 I may have to think again on that one. But I would certainly like to do all that is possible to keep this wonderful Grade II listed building as a theatre. After all, we do not have a large theatre in Brighton. By large, I mean big enough to take Opera and Ballet Companies. We miss out on all the large touring musicals. Let us not forget that Brighton was the Number 1 touring date outside London.

So, let’s get together and do all we can to save this beautiful Frank Matcham theatre for the people of Brighton – they deserve it. Thank you so much for your time for reading this.

Sheila Matthews, Southwick


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