Brian Epstein takes over the Saville Theatre, London

On this day The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein took over the lease on the Saville Theatre on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue.

Epstein had wanted to be an actor prior to managing The Beatles. He had trained at RADA, and still harboured a desire to appear in plays. With little time to devote to acting, however, he settled for staging shows at the Saville until his death in 1967.

Under Epstein’s control, the Saville promoted new works by writers, and on occasion fell foul of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship laws by staging plays with obscene content or nudity.

From 1966 onwards the theatre began staging music events, with performers including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum and The Who. The Sunday night shows proved particularly popular, as most other venues were closed on the day.

Last updated: 12 April 2018
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