Groucho Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Groucho Club
General information
Address 45 Dean Street
Town or city London, W1D 4QB
Country England, United Kingdom

The Groucho Club is a private members club formed in 1985 located on Dean Street in London’s Soho. Its members are mostly drawn from the publishing, media, entertainment and arts industries.[1]

The club has rooms on several floors, including three bars, two restaurants (dining room and brasserie), 20 bedrooms available for members or their guests, a snooker room, and four event rooms available for hire.[2]

History[edit]

Dreamt up by a group of publishers[3] as an alternative to stuffy gentleman's clubs who wanted somewhere to meet and relax, they approached Anthony Mackintosh owner of ‘The Zanzibar' – a members bar in Covent Garden – and Restaurant 192. Tony and his partners got to work to create The Groucho Club.

Premises were found in Soho, the bohemian heart of London, and membership was drawn from the Arts, Publishing, Film, Music and Advertising, many of whom were working in the area. On 5 May 1985 the club officially opened.

Members[edit]

Rachel Weisz (left) and Terry Pratchett (right) are members of Groucho Club

Anyone may apply for membership, but applications are favoured from individuals working in the creative side of media and the arts and who are proposed by two existing members.[4]

Well-known members of the Club include Daniel Knott, William Orbit, Noel Gallagher, Alex James, Janet Street-Porter, Melvyn Bragg, Stephen Fry, Michael Grosvenor Myer, Robin Millar, Robert Elms, Richard Bacon, Victor Lewis-Smith, Sheridan Smith, Rachel Weisz, Noel Fielding, Damian Lewis, Zadie Smith, Fay Weldon, Terry Pratchett, Danny Wallace, Matthew Bellamy, Keith Allen, Lily Allen, Matt Smith, John Lloyd, Roy Hudd, Max Keiser, Richard Coles and Andrew O'Hagan.[citation needed]

Art[edit]

Over its twenty-nine year existence, the Club has become a bastion and refuge for all sorts of artists. By supporting the individuals and hosting many exhibitions and private views, the Club has amassed a large collection of contemporary art.

Under the direction of curator and artist Nicky Carter The Groucho Club Collection has grown to include work by: Gavin Turk, Marc Quinn, Ian Davenport, Gary Hume, Jason Martin, Alison Watt, Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake, Mat Collishaw, Conrad Shawcross, Boo Ritson, Polly Morgan, Graham Hudson, Jim Lambie, Stella Vine and many more.

The Groucho Club Maverick Award[edit]

Launched in 2010 as ‘the antidote to other awards’, The Groucho Award celebrates people who have broken the mould in their own particular field, by challenging and making a significant contribution to culture and the Arts in the previous 12 months, either in the UK or internationally. Nominations for the award are made by Groucho Club members. The winner of the award receives £10,000 in prize money, lifetime membership and a sculpture by artist Gavin Turk. The announcement of the winner is made at an awards ceremony held at the Club.

Previous winners include:

  • Danny Boyle (2012 Winner), Michael Fassbender, Pussy Riot, Grayson Perry, Noel Fielding, Deborah Curtis.
  • Nick Davies (2011 Winner), Molly Crabapple, Idris Elba, Hilary Lloyd, Caitlin Moran, Tom Watson.
  • Nell Gifford (2010 Winner), Javier De Frutos, Monte Hellman, Henry Hudson, Simon Singh, Tilda Swinton.

The Gang Show[edit]

The Groucho Club produces The Gang Show held every year at the Club, showcasing the best of the Club’s talent to its members. Previous performers have included Chrissie Hynde, UB40, Heaven 17, Annie Lennox, Babyshambles, Rufus Hound, Michael McIntyre, Miles Kane, Professor Green, David Walliams, Texas, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Alphabeat, The Feeling, Eliza Doolittle, Nigel Kennedy, Kaiser Chiefs, David Arnold, David McAlmont, The Hoosiers, Armstrong & Miller, Howard Marks, Jessica Hynes, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Abandoman, Leigh Francis, and Rich Hall. Originally created to fund the Streetsmart charity, which former-Managing Director of the Club, Mary-Lou Sturridge created, the Gang Show is now a major fundraising event in the club’s calendar.

Ibiza Pop Ups[edit]

In 2012, The Groucho Club hosted a pop up in Ibiza from 16 to 28 August 2012 at Sa Talaia open to members and non-members. The pop up featured DJ nights from 2ManyDJs, Paul Oakenfold, James Lavelle, Pete Tong, William Orbit and Club Dinners hosted by Chefs Russell Norman from Polpo, Fergus and Margot Henderson of St John and Arnold Henderson, seafood dinner by Mitch Tonks from Seahorse, and Tom Parker Bowles. The pop up was to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, who had their fundraising Summer Party there on 16 August with Groove Armada and Neneh Cherry performing.

From 18–22 August 2013, the Groucho Club hosted another Ibiza pop up at a restored finca in the North of Ibiza, in San Juan. The pop up will feature a Pool Party hosted by Liz Mendes and Jaime Winstone on 22 August and the Teenage Cancer Trust Summer Party on 20 August with Groove Armada and DJ Antz. "@GrouchoIbiza" is The Groucho Club’s Ibiza Twitter handle.

Hay Festival Pop Up[edit]

Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh border is known as the ‘town of books’ and every year hosts a world famous literary festival, the Hay Festival. The Groucho Club was invited to set up a temporary restaurant and bar in the Medieval Hay Castle in the centre of town from 23 May to 2 June 2013. The pop up hosted a special Club Lunch by Chefs Fergus and Margot Henderson, of St John and Arnold Henderson restaurants, on 30 May 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]