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Thursday, 20 January, 2000, 17:27 GMT
Harris in drinking club fight

Richard Harris: Regular customer at the Green Room


Actor Richard Harris is backing a battle to save a London drinking club frequented by West End performers from closure.

The Green Room club, in a basement close to the Strand in central London, is under threat because the building's owners want to redevelop it.

But Harris - famed for his hellraising reputation as well as films like Camelot and A Man Called Horse - has joined the campaign to save the club.

He told industry weekly The Stage: "I would hate to see the Green Room go. I love it there because it is totally devoid of luvvies and darlings.

"You can go there anonymously, have a pint, have a chat with your friends and remain unmolested.

"It is full of technicians and actors struggling to get a job - people who are far more interesting."

The club's lease expired in 1996, but it is awaiting a court judgement over a claim it has a protected tenancy, which would allow it to remain at its home in Adam Street indefinitely.

The club was founded in 1877, but moved to Adam Street in 1955.

President Johnny Dennis said: "It encompasses the whole profession from people like Richard Harris and Lord Attenborough to struggling actors and technicians.

"It's only a humble dwelling in a 200-year-old cellar. It resembles Fagin's kitchen with water dripping in from above, but it has a unique charm. It's a home away from the pressures of work."

Comedy actor Brian Murphy and writer Barry Cryer have also backed the campaign to keep the Green Room open.

Central London county court is expected to rule on the club's future in the next two to three weeks.

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