I have been an actress for 25 years, performing in theatres all over the world, including the Apollo Shaftesbury Avenue, The National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Chichester and Sydney Opera House, I can honestly say that The Lyric has a character like no other. I fell in love with the space, its faded glamour reminiscent of a bygone era, and wanted to perform there as soon as I had seen it. I have since seen many shows there, attended puppet clubs and workshops with my children, tea dances, tango sessions and electro swing dance nights – all wonderful and different, truly different. The Lyric attracts a community like no other venue I can think of, and people feel a sense of freedom, almost anarchy, when they come to see or take part in something, whether it’s dressing up in vintage clothes, or expressing themselves in manners they wouldn’t elsewhere. Likewise the performers at the Lyric are always surprising, challenging, enterprising and above all inclusive, regardless of age, sex or background. I finally had my chance to perform my solo show there, and was supported enormously by everyone involved with the theatre and by the entire local community. The sensation is almost magical, almost as if the auditorium was a part of the show itself, and the audience so full of character as to be playing roles within it. If any community venue should be kept alive and thrilling it is this one.