The Chipstead Players are based at The Courtyard Theatre in Chipstead, Surrey, a beautifully converted stable block situated in the grounds of an old mansion once owned by the Stoddart family and subsequently by Surrey County Council from whom the Players acquired the freehold of the stable block in 1978. Before this, for many years part of the stables had been used for storage with productions taking place primarily at the Peter Aubertin Hall, but the grant of a longer and more extensive lease had enabled the Players to create a bar, rehearsal room and a space for committee meetings just in time for their 50th anniversary in 1974.
It was perhaps no surprise that having acquired the freehold, thoughts turned to converting the premises to provide the Players with their own theatre. During the early 1980s that dream started to take shape, plans were drawn up and approved and funds were raised from within the membership to enable the works to be started and in 1995 the dream was realised when the theatre was formally opened and the Players’ first production there took place. Although superficially complete at that time there were parts of the building which still needed work, but a generous bequest by one of the former members a few years later enabled that work to be completed and a sinking fund to be created to cover the cost of future repairs.
Now, after 20 years of careful management of their affairs the Players have been able to afford a new workshop extension giving them more space to create the sets for which they are rightly renowned. With up to the minute lighting and sound facilities they can match many professional theatres in the technical quality of their productions and with the creative talent available to them they are amongst the foremost amateur “little theatres” in the south-east.
That said, they are always on the lookout for new members. Whilst there is always room for someone who can add to the present talent pool, enthusiasm and commitment are highly valued and there is room for everyone, so come and join us and be part of the next generation of Chipstead Players!
New visitors are frequently amazed at the wealth of talent, expertise and resources inside this fully equipped 96-seat theatre and bar, with its thriving membership spanning all ages. There are currently over 200 members, including many Youth Theatre members (aged 7 to 18).
The Players present some 7 productions each season covering the full range of drama, comedy, musical theatre and pantomime. We have an excellent reputation for the quality of our productions and with a loyal group of non-acting members we regularly play to full houses.
Come and discover our drama group as a visitor and share the secret of our fantastic theatre!