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The Play Pictorial was an English theatrical magazine which was published in London between 1902 and 1939. It concentrated on providing a pictorial record of West End theatrical productions, each issue being devoted to a single show, with descriptions of the plot, the costumes and the sets, and numerous photographs of the cast and scenes from the production; in the case of musicals, it usually included some of the lyrics and short extracts from the score.

The Play Pictorial
Cover of Play Pictorial, vol 7, no 45, 1906.png
Cover of The Play Pictorial, vol 7, no 45, 1906
First issueApril 1902
Final issue
September 1939
CompanyGreening & Co
Based inLondon

In its early years, the magazine experienced several changes. The ownership changed hands in May 1904, when the first editor, Rudolph Birnbaum, was replaced by Frank M Boyd. He in turn was succeeded after less than a year by Fred Dangerfield. who edited the next 20 issues.

In 1905, The Play Pictorial merged with a rival magazine, The Play,[1] which had been published between May and October 1904 under the editorship of Benjamin William Findon, and in mid-1906 Findon took over as editor of the combined magazine, which he continued to edit for over 30 years.

The last issue of Play Pictorial, no 446, appeared in 1939,[2] after which the magazine was absorbed into another London theatrical magazine Theatre World


  1. ^ "The Ghost Walk". Otago Witness. 18 January 1905. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Catalogue". National Library of Australia.