We've made this page available to try to answer some of the questions we are often asked.
Q. When's your next show?
Q. When's your next audition?
Q. If I want to audition for one of your shows, when and where would the audition take place?
A. Audition details are posted on this website on the news page, and are sent to everyone on our e-news mailing list, which you can sign up for here. When and where depends on the particular show, so check these sources for details. You can often find our audition notices in other publications.
Q. How do your shows get chosen? Can I propose one?
A. Any member of the group can propose a show for the forthcoming season at the AGM. The committee will then run through the pros and cons and discuss what backing (in terms of human and financial and other resources) the show needs. The proposer would ordinarily be the director or producer, or in rare cases a lead actor. The committee's decision will be based on venues available, timescales, budgets (especially costs!), the team proposing the show, the perceived available audience for the show, whether rights are available, and if other shows are proposed for the same slot (there are currently three per season). The committee can also help in putting a team together to get the show off the ground. Proposals are accepted all year round, with decisions made in June for the following season. For further information about proposing shows, contact Selina Asombang.
Q. I've never auditioned for Chelsea Players. Can I do so now?
A. There is an open audition for all of our productions, and whether you've been a member for 20 years or 20 minutes makes no difference - you will be cast if the director of the production wishes to cast you (or not, as the case may be). Individual production auditions are the only auditions held - there is no audition to join the society. If you are cast in a Chelsea Players production, it is mandatory that you join - see our membership page. One other thing to note - you need not prepare for an audition, or bring any materials beyond paper and a pen. They are always held in London Travelcard zones 1 or 2.
Q. How many members make up Chelsea Players?
A. We are in a period of growth just now, with about 100 paid-up members in the current season - and more joining each week.
Q. Where and when do you rehearse? I work full time/certain evenings/constantly, so need to know what level of commitment is required.
A. Chelsea Players stage productions in several London venues and at the Edinburgh Fringe, and as a consequence our rehearsal venues vary. Most recent rehearsals have taken place in Pimlico, London. Rehearsal schedules for our productions are produced at the discretion of individual productions' management teams (ie. director, stage manager, producer), but usually take place twice or three times a week in evenings and at weekends until the week prior to the production, when more rehearsals are typically scheduled. Rehearsal runs last from between six and 12 weeks. Those cast in productions will be informed at the appropriate time when and where rehearsals are to be held.
Q. Where do you perform?
A. Chelsea Players, since 2000, has been a touring company without an official "base". We have produced shows at the Barons Court Theatre, Fulham; the Landor Theatre, Clapham; the Putney Arts Theatre, Putney; the London Oratory Arts Centre, Fulham. In 2004 and 2005 we successfully took shows to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Q. Do you ever put on musicals?
A. We have done in the past - but it is not our specialist area of theatre. Get an idea of what we're about at the shows archive.
Q. I'm not a paid-up member of Chelsea Players. Can I still attend your AGM?
A. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a meeting of the society's members only, ie. those who have paid their membership fee for the season, and as such it is not open to non-members. If you wish to come to the AGM, please contact us about joining the society. The same goes for the various members-only theatre trips and social events we hold throughout the year.
Q. I've sent my cheque for membership, plus my membership and mandate forms downloaded from the Chelsea Players website, but I haven't heard back from you yet. What's happening?
A. If you've sent a cheque, together with your forms, give it three weeks and if you've still not heard from us, it's worth checking that we've received your application. Do contact us - but do so only after three weeks from the date you posted your application.
Q. I'm a member of another theatre group. Can I still join Chelsea Players?
A. Of course - it's up to you what your level of commitment is, but there's nothing to stop you joining Chelsea Players in addition to your other group.
Q. How do you contact your members about events? I don't have an email address but would still like to join.
A. Correspondence with our membership takes place by email, so we'd strongly advise you to set up an email account, which you can do for free with many and varied providers such as Yahoo and Hotmail.
Q. I'd like to advertise an audition for a television or theatre or radio production to your members - how can I do this?
A. Our e-news mailing goes out at least once a month. We may decide to include your advert in this if it benefits our members - but we do not advertise shows, tuition or other commercial schemes to our members on your behalf. We also do not give out details of our mailing list to third parties, so please don't ask. We've created a notices page on this website to which e-news members are directed.
Q. Where are your weekly meetings being held, and can I come along to decide if I like you?
A. We don't have weekly meetings so they are not held anywhere. For details of forthcoming events, please check out our programme of events and let us know if you are interested in getting involved. If you are interested in joining the society, contact us and let us know. You can also contact our membership officer Ani Chakrabarti to find out when our next members' social is being held - and come and meet us at that.
Q. How much is your annual membership fee?
A. The current season's membership fee is £35, with concession rates available. Please click here for more information on joining.
Q. I've written a play. Do you put on new writing?
A. This is something we've been working on since 2003. In 2005 we staged three newly written plays - Body Anonymous, The Empty Chair and Sid & Nancy - as our Virgin Territory slot in London's Baron's Court Theatre. We then took The Empty Chair to the Edinburgh Fringe. We have since staged Teacher's Playground in London and Edinburgh in 2006. If you would like to submit your own play, see point 4 above for how to propose a show, or contact Selina Asombang.
Q. Why do I have to fill out a mandate form to join?
A. Chelsea Players is a registered charity. Filling out this mandate form allows us to claim tax back on your membership fee.
Q. I am interested in helping to fund your productions. How can I help?
Q. How long does a "season" last for?
A. Our season presently runs from September to August.
If you still can't find the answer to your Chelsea Players-related question above, please contact us.