Chapel End Savoy Players (or CESP) was conceived in 1972 and born on 16th July 1973 when a concert of Gilbert and Sullivan was presented at St John's Church, Brookscroft Road, Walthamstow by members of three churches in the Chapel End area of Walthamstow, London E17. This was followed in the same year by a concert performance of HMS Pinafore.
The first full production was The Pirates of Penzance at Lloyd Park in 1974. Since then, CESP has performed all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas (except Thespis), together with many concerts.
Chapel End Savoy Players takes its name from the medieval village of Chapel End - now a district of Walthamstow in north east London, adjacent to the north Circular Road at the Crooked Billet roundabout. In the north of the "village" lies the Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium, the venue of some exceptionally cold carol singing. On the southern border lies Water House, which is also known as the William Morris Gallery. The Arts and Crafts pioneer lived in Chapel End from 1848 to 1856 and he is mentioned by name in two of the Savoy operas - Ruddigore and The Grand Duke. Morris (who was born in Walthamstow in 1834, not half a mile from Chapel End) is credited with the start of the aesthetic movement from which W S Gilbert took the idea of Patience.
Our aim is the promotion and advancement of public appreciation of operatic and other musical works, particularly by promoting productions of the Savoy Operas. We put on at least one full production a year, together with several concerts, and are also available to perform Gilbert and Sullivan, Olde Tyme Music Hall and songs from popular musicals at private functions.
To book us, contact our secretary.
We are delighted to have the Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford, as our President and the renowned contralto Jill Pert as our Honorary Vice-president. We are affiliated to NODA (National Operatic & Dramatic Association) and Waltham Forest and Redbridge Arts Councils from which we receive funding.