Players' Theatre



  • A London theater club that opened in 1927 as Playroom Six at No. 6,New Compton Street, with the aim of presenting a wide range of entertainment.However, in 1936 it moved into the former Evans's Supper Room(also known as Evans's (late Joy's)) in Covent Garden and soon began toconcentrate on recreating the type of music hall entertainment originallyseen on these premises. The club moved to Albermarle Street in 1940 and then,in 1946, to a theater under the arches of Charing Cross Station in VilliersStreet. Here, for over 50 years, it continued to present its unique brand ofVictorian entertainment with Leonard Sachs, Don Gemmell, and Dominic Le Foeas successive masters of ceremonies and a great deal of audience participation.In 1953 Sandy Wilson's musical The Boyfriend had its premiere at thePlayers' Theatre; a longer version subsequently transferred to the West End.

    The future of the Players' was cast into confusion in 2002, when a bitterschism developed between two factions within the club. Following a protractedHigh Court battle, one group (styling itself the New Players' Theatre) tookover the Villiers Street premises, which it sold on to a management company;as the New Players Theatre the venue now presents a range of productions in the 'off-Broadway' tradition. The other group, which continues to be known as the Players' Theatre, is currently seeking to build a new venue on the other side of the railway tracks.