Picture of a lunch time ballet audience

Picture of a lunch time ballet audience

The Arts Theatre Club in London's West End opened in 1927 to provide 'the amenities of a London Club and a congenial place for those interested in the theatre on both sides of the curtain'. Because it was a club it was not subject to normal censorship regulations and could stage unusual productions even if they had been banned by the Lord Chamberlain.

During World War II ballet became extremely popular and the Arts Theatre put on daytime performances of ballets. From 1940 the hour long Lunchtime Ballet was packed daily with civilians grabbing a sandwich before returning to work and servicemen on leave. It proved so successful that an After Lunch Ballet performance was added, then Tea Ballet followed by an After Tea Ballet and by 1941 an early evening Sherry Ballet.