charing cross arches

Players Theatre

My wife always tells me I should write about some of the things I have done in the past, so this is one of those stories.

We are going back to about 1986-87 and I was back in London after a couple of years in Dublin, where I worked in a night club (another story)!

So I am back in London doing freelance bar tending (which means I got paid cash) I believe memory serving I was working in about three pubs or to be accurate two pubs and one theatre, (yes that’s how it’s spelled).

I got the job at the Players bar as the man that ran it at the time was a drinking partner and he asked me to help out. I must admit as a The Players (this link is to the current theatre), was definitely a one off.The theatre has moved location since I was a employee. So the location I was privy to was one of the arches on villiers street between the Strand and the Embankment.

As you walked into the theatre the bar was to your right, the bar was small all wood with screens behind the seats. But you could look straight at the stage, which we did on occasion. The shows would run for two weeks and then change, what I always loved was how much a show would change in a two week period. The actors would invariably change things to make fun of and/or with the other actors. The last night would always be a lesson in what I can get away with, and most of the regulars would be back for that night even if they had seen the show already. Remember the players was not just a theatre, it was a club. And members would often have their own pewter tankard in the bar so there was a very real club atmosphere. Of course helping that fun along was the fact that we did serve drinks late into the night, again the club atmosphere might go along until nearly the same time as the Gay night club in the arch next door 3am maybe.When I say arch these arches were under Charing Cross station and shops and clubs were inside each arch.

In the time I spent there I met quite a few famous people, notably actors of stage and screen, Art Garfunkel was a guest one evening. I also had a lovely evening chatting with Oliver Reeds body guard. At the time they had a falling out as Mr Reed had thrown said bodyguard over a balcony and he had hurt his back. I do believe they sorted it out and were friends again.

I highly recommend a visit to the players, it has moved and is on Craven street now. on the other side of Charing Cross. Music Hall is and will always be a wonderful evening out.



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