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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th January 1973 Born today: Crispian Mills, London, vocalist/guitarist (Kula Shaker)
18th January 1950 Christopher Fry's Venus Observed, premieres in London
18th January 1884 General Charles Gordon departs London for Khartoum
The Players' Theatre
Home to a legendary Theatre that out-acted Hitler
Location: 43 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2
Description: The Players' Theatre was a theatre in London as well as a theatre club for music hall in the style of the BBC programme 'The Good Old Days'.
It opened on this spot in 1929 on the top floor of 43 Kings Street, Covent Garden - the founders, Leonard Sachs and Peter Ridgeway, acquired premises from Dorita Curtis Hayward.
The Players' was recognised by public and critics as 'The most original entertainment in London'. It was even endorsed as one of the clubs to which the subalterns of the Household Brigade were permitted to belong.
The outbreak of the second World War in 1939 inevitably caused serious problems. The Players' premises, on the top floor of an old building with a glass roof and a hydraulic lift, were not an ideal venue during an air-raid.
Eventually, after two short-term arrangements (including a number of performances in a member's drawing-room in St. John's Wood), the Players' found a refuge in Albemarle Street in the former El Morocco nightclub.
This was in a basement in one of the few concrete buildings in London. Thanks to this good fortune, the Players' (along with The Windmill) 'never closed' throughout the War.