The Alexander Playhouse

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The Alexander Playhouse is a theatre in East London.

Founding, function and history

The Playhouse was originally built as a rehearsal venue for the Dramatic Society of East London (DRAMSOC) in 1963, eleven years after DRAMSOC was founded. It was designed by architect Mr Bennie Shapiro. It was originally called The Playhouse, but was later re-named The Alexander Playhouse in 1999 after the Society's long-time chair and founding member, Lynette Alexander.

Aside from DRAMSOC utilizing the venue, the venue was used for various workshops and the Junior Dramatic Society used to meet there once every fortnight. Initially DRAMSOC rented the land on a 20-year-lease but later raised sufficient funds to buy it outright.

During the period that the Guild Theatre was closed for refurbishments, Lynette Alexander and her daughter Michele Brandenburger introduced dinner/theatre productions at the venue.

The revenue that was much needed for DRAMSOC was provided by the series of Showstoppers productions - the first of which was presented in the theatre in 1987. The venue was then able to improve on many things including an upgrade to the sound system, adding air conditioning, a dressing room, bathroom and increasing the size of the stage.

It was for the production of Hairspray in December 2011 DRAMSOC designed and created their own little orchestra pit, utilizing the area under the stage. In December 2012 the Alexander Playhouse celebrated DRAMSOC’s 60th anniversary with a Showstoppers Diamond Jubilee, directed by Michele Brandenburger.


Aside from the popular Showstoppers productions, DRAMSOC has staged many different types of shows at the venue, including musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and Hairspray, Valentine's cabarets, drama and comedy productions, Shakespeare and staged play readings.

The theatre also presented productions by visiting artists, and some of the first shows were Circle of Love, featuring Judy Page and her daughter Kim Callie, and Good Vibrations, directed by Themi Venturas and starring Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy. Other early cabaret artists who performed at the theatre include Kevin Feather, Elzabe Zietsman and Casper de Vries.


'A history of East London’s theatres', ShowMe (online), 1 August 2019 (

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