Former members of St Michaels Association in Headingley came to perform plays in the new Civic Theatre in the Mechanics Institute on Cookridge Street in the centre of Leeds in 1949. These drama enthusiasts joined other Leeds amateur groups (who had been doing plays in city-centre cafes, tearooms, church halls, etc) under an affiliation of the Leeds Civic Arts Guild in partnership with Leeds City Corporation. St Michael’s group started doing performances and became The Cosmopolitan Players in May 1955. The quality of their shows ranked them as one of the top dramatic groups at The Civic Theatre.
By the 1980’s, the patronage of amateur theatre had changed and most groups in the Guild were struggling financially -theatre audiences were being lost to popular television. The Cosmopolitan Players met this challenge by putting on more comedy titles, and COS survived by cross-working with other Guild groups at the Civic Theatre; notably Leeds Childrens Theatre, Leeds Art Theatre and LIDOS. Since the Millennium, we have had a successful run by grabbing ‘telly-favourites’ adapted for stage, picking up new popular titles and doing ‘pop-theatre’: Godber, Agatha Christie, etc