Friday 11 July 2008 10.10am
South Bank- a cultural centre of importance or a Fairground???
I never imagined I'd turn into 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' when I moved to the South Bank- I felt really quite cool to be moving here as an older person who was not willing to go quietly into the yonderworld where older people are supposed to go- quietly and serenely. I'm more of a ' when I'm old I'll wear purple' person- if you remember that old 60ies poem..
I believed that settling near the RFH, I was settling at the centre of the British Cultural Universe, close to the National Theatre
- within walking distance of the Donmar- 15 Min from the Barbican. What joy!!!
I did not expect to be in the middle of a Fairground- and this is what the new Regime at the Southbank centre seems to be aiming for- It is outrageous and offensive to surround a beautiful concert hall restored at great cost- with a gaudy tent and a Rollerskating contraption-both blasting out booming sounds to attract - who exactly->??? If this is meant to attract new audiences to the RFH or Hayward- I fail to see how- they don't even go into the building- as the noise contraptions are quite separate and no effort is being made to link them to the RFH. For rollerskating fans other venues are more suitable.
This seems just a desperate stunt to make money-which utterly cheapens the South Bank-
Is a noisy fairground all we are expecting from entertainment nowadays? Why not stage Big Brother!!! London has many pop venues- why try so desperately to create yet another one- and destroy what we have here- a special place for classical/world music, people who want to talk rather than shout at each other, eat in peace, people who want to ballroom-dance( a Great ,very sociable event for all ages last winter)-
What is so wrong in attracting older people- who also have money to spend- and will not return if sorrounded by gaudy tarpolin and blasts from loudspeakeres that make their eardrums burst. I'm told the RFH has already run out of money for programming next year- if this is true and this is a desperate attempt to get money- Government should step in together with Business to rescue this place of British Culture at its best- not let it destroy itself by ill-advised stunts as these.
Please put a stop to this before they ruin this place- We had a perfectly suitable plan by the Friends of Jubilee Gardens
to make a wonderful park where the rollerskating is set up- that would be so good for the local community- good for London , preserving green space.- whatever happened to that idea? Maybe the New Mayor will plant some of those famous trees here!! Now that would be a great new beginning!!!