Players' Theatre

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Players' Theatre
Address Villiers Street
Westminster, London
Opened October 1937
Closed 2002

The Players' Theatre was a theatre in London that opened in October 1936. The theatre produced various productions, all in the style of the music hall tradition. Based in King's Street, London for a year, it moved to Villiers Street in October 1937.[1] Other sources list intermediate locations of the theatre as the Arts Theatre and Albermarle Street.[2] The theatre closed in 2002.[3]

Appearing at the Players' Theatre were Leonard Sachs (who was often the chairman), Patricia Hayes, Hattie Jacques, Peter Ustinov, Clive Dunn, Ian Carmichael, Joan Sterndale-Bennett,[4] Vida Hope,[5] and Denis Martin, who eventually became Director of Production.[6][7]

In 1967 the music label Decca Records issued an LP A Night of Music Hall from The Players' Theatre, (London's Victorian Theatre) with 19 songs and duets encompassing a typical evening at the Players, chaired by Don Gemell. The artistes recorded were Miss Stella Moray, Mr Maurice Browning, Miss Margaret Burton, Miss Patricia Rowlands, Miss Hattie Jacques, Mr John Rutland, Miss Joan Sterndale Bennett, Miss Josephine Gordon, Mr Robin Hunter, Miss Daphne Anderson, Mr Clive Dunn and Mr Bill Owen, with Mr Peter Greenwell and Mr Geoffrey Brawn (piano). At the time of the recording the membership of the theatre club was over 5,000.[2]

The name of the nightly show was 'Late Joys' which derived from a hotel on the site of the building at 43 King Street: 'Evans' - Late Joy's', Joy having been the owner of the song and supper room before a comedian from Covent Garden, Evans took over.[2]


  1. Sheridan 1952, p. 27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cover notes for Ace of Clubs SCL 1238, 'A Night of Music Hall' from The Players' Theatre, (London's Victorian Theatre), Decca Record Company, 1967.
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  4. Sheridan 1952, pp. 91–94.
  5. Some of the Company – Vida Hope. In : Late Joys at The Players' Theatre. T V Boardman & Co Ltd, London, New York, 1943., p83
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