A Personal Memory of Streatham Hill Theatre


  • Charlotte Mackie, daughter of the renowned and prolific director, playwright and screenwriter Philip Mackie, who wrote many series for television in the 1960s and 1970s including ‘Raffles’ and ‘The Cleopatras’.

Charlotte Shares a Memory of Streatham Hill Theatre

My father put on two of his plays, ‘The Whole Truth‘ and ‘The Key of the Door’, at the Streatham Hill Theatre in the 1950s. When ‘The Key of the Door’ was showing, each programme contained a key. The correct key opened a box at Kennard’s department store, Croydon, (now, I believe, Debenhams) and won a box of whisky.

I believe the Key of the Door was shown in 1956 when our family was living in Hampstead Garden Suburb, shortly before we moved to Gloucestershire. I do remember as a small child watching my father at rehearsals (maybe for one of these plays) when he kept asking an actress to say her lines over and over again – I couldn’t understand why!

Later he became successful as a TV drama writer, and I believe the last production of ‘The Whole Truth’ was by an amateur drama group in Guildford in the 1960s, or maybe it was The Key of the Door?

The Whole Truth was made into a film starring Stuart Granger – not sure how successful it was.

3 thoughts on “A Personal Memory of Streatham Hill Theatre

  1. I can see Streatham Hill Theatre from my study!

    Before the War, my father worked as a stage-manager on one or two Ivor Novello shows at Streatham Hill Theatre – such as “Careless Rapture” and “Glamorous Nights”. This would have been around 1937-8.

    Strangely, my grandfather was the solicitor involved when the Streatham Hill Theatre Company was founded in 1929!

    Impossible that we might occasionally see shows there once again?

  2. Not only possible but already happening. With the help and support of Beacon Bingo who now own the building, Streatham Theatre have converted the first floor foyer into a small theatre, called “The Studio at Streatham Hill Theatre”, seating around 50 people. We’ve already performed two shows there: “Streatham Then and Now” for the Streatham Festival in July last year and “On the Air” last November.

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