God Gets Hippodrome

By Lindsey Last edited 139 months ago
God Gets Hippodrome

El-Shaddai are very excited. Particularly Dr Ramson and his wife, Pastor Linda, founders of and pastors for this “non-denominational, Christ-centred” church. They've just spent £5m on a shiny new London home.

This weekend, they'll be meeting their flock in the splendid surroundings of Golders Green Hippodrome, former home of the BBC Concert Orchestra. This is a considerable step up from borrowing bits of UEL or faceless Fairfield Halls. Yep, the Beeb wanted out of their lease to 2060 and, owing to Barnet's vague planning classifications, there was no obligation to maintain this grade II listed building as a performing arts venue despite its extensive musical and theatrical history.

It's certainly seen some entertainment having been graced by the likes of Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Stephane Grappelli, Arthur Askey, Django Reinhardt and Chico Marx, the D'Oyly Carte touring opera and Danny La Rue. Then there were the gigs: Queen, Stiff Little Fingers, AC/DC, Procul Harem and a youthful appearance by Jim Davidson but you can't hold that against it.

Despite campaigning efforts by Save London's Theatres and attempts by Central School of Ballet and Peter Schauss Ballet to keep the old music hall in arts usage, the evangelists got in there first with, frankly, less complicated planning needs and, apparently, plenty of cash.

So, God gets it. Lucky sod.

If it's any comfort, you might get to see it on telly.

Last Updated 17 May 2007