With a heavy heart, Samuel French announces that our theatre bookshop in London will close in mid-April.
The lease on our current building in Fitzroy Street (where we’ve been since 1983) is coming to an end. Facing an unsustainable 200% rent increase to stay in our current location, and after exploring all options for alternative premises, we have come to the conclusion that sadly it isn’t viable to maintain our London shop.
We remain resolutely committed to theatre bookselling, and we will continue to sell a full range of plays and theatre books (from both Samuel French and other publishers) through our well established and growing online shop. In recent years, we’ve already seen many of our customers switching to the online store - 4 out of every 5 books we sell are now bought online or through other retailers. We will offer the same selection, expertise and support online that has made our London bookshop such an invaluable resource.
Though we bid a sad goodbye to the bookshop, we will be staying in touch with our customers, and making some of the great work the shop has done available to everyone, both in London and far beyond. You’ll still be able to contact us for advice on plays and books on the phone, email and social media. Our famous Monologue Guides for actors will find a new home online. Our new eplay reading platform Abbott makes it easier than ever to browse and discover plays. Our new offices will allow us to expand our homegrown range of events for actors and theatre makers, and we’ll be attending more events and conferences than ever, all around the UK.
The rest of the Samuel French business isn’t affected by this move: we’ll continue to publish and license plays as before from our brand new offices, as we have done for the past 187 years.
We’d like to thank our loyal customers from all over the world who’ve supported our bookshop through the years. We’ve loved meeting and helping you all, and we’re very grateful that the shop has played such an important part in the theatre community. Before the shop closes, we'll be throwing a party to say farewell and thank you to all of you, and to celebrate the wonderful times we've had.
But even as we look back on an era coming to an end, we look forward to a new one just beginning. We hope you’ll come with us.
If you have any questions about the closure of the shop, please do get in touch