History

Some earlier Playbills A Short History
The Rhyl Children’s Theatre Club was founded in 1944 by actor Joseph Holroyd. In 1962 the Council granted it a 21-year lease of a former school. The building was not suitable for conversion to a theatre. So following a fund raising campaign the school was demolished and replaced by the first purpose-built Children’s Theatre in the UK opening on 18 May 1963.

That the newly-opened Little Theatre was considered a flagship enterprise is confirmed by the calibre of some of its former Hon. Presidents:- Emlyn Williams, Dame Flora Robson, Robert Morley, Richard Burton, Sir Harry Seacombe, Meredith Edwards, and Nerys Hughes. Rhys Ifans is the current President. One of the early performers was the Rhyl born, renowned Liverpool poet, Adrian Henri. The Children’s Club productions were the inspiration for Jess Yates’ Yorkshire TV’s Junior Showtime programmes. He regularly brought daughter Paula to the Theatre to watch its shows.

Three former Club members went on to become members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Others have also done well in the performing arts, including Hollywood film producer Sara Sugarman who is a patron of our theatre. Other former members also gained the confidence to do well in their chosen careers and professions including two who are Professors. Our Theatre Director, Gwynne Williams, is drama school trained with over 30 years experience as a professional actor and company manager.