This website covers the history of the original Players' Theatre Club from its founding in 1936 by Peter Ridgeway & Leonard Sachs right up to its last days at The Arches, Villiers Street and its final closure in 2002. Please remember there is 66 years worth of material to digitise, all of which has been in store for many years and which needs to be sorted and catalogued so there will be new material added on a regular basis. Please check above to see when the site was last updated. Grateful thanks to Keith Fawkes-Underwood who salvaged the majority of the archive just before everything was about to be cleared and destroyed and to Bill Halson of the 'new' Players' Theatre who has ensured that the remainder of the archive together with the Music Library and many other Players' artefacts remain in safe storage.
Herein you will find a wealth of original material from The Players' archives comprising full reproductions of the books and other publications written about the Players', Programmes and photographs of virtually all of the Christmas Pantomimes, details of the other Productions and Scenas that were presented at The Players' Theatre itself as well as those which transferred to other theatres - including, of course, The Boy Friend, photographs of Artistes from the earliest days onwards and last, but by no means least, The Late Joys - The Players' most famous Victorian Music Hall entertainment that started in December 1937 and became its raison d'etre. Indeed without The Joys the Players' would very likely have sunk without trace by the 1940s.
So popular are the Joys, even today, that other Players' Members Clubs were formed after the 2002 closure and they continue to put on Late Joys performances at regular intervals throughout the year. Full details of these two organisations can be found in the Links section.