Our Birthday Boy Danny.
Al;ways good to be working on your Birthday- some say it is lucky- so Danny is smiling in his picture above! His place in the dressing room was decked out before he arrived, and Vincent got our Saturday Night audience to sing Happy Birthday as Rhys presented him with his cake and candles! His first Brick Lane Birthday!
I worked out the day Danny was born (In Bradford) I was doing “Cinderella” twice daily at The Grand Theatre, Leeds with Dame Hilda Bracket (Patrick Fyfe) and Windsor Davies and Janet Dibley! We performed until February 26th that year!
The “Pretty In Pink” finale picture
Yesterday we had a Lunchtime Panto, and tonight a Dinner Pantomime. This time next week we will be doing a Brick Lane first for me- TWO shows! Never done that before here (although in my other pantos it’s two every day always!). Next week we have a Gala Show with The Grand Order Of Water Rats joining our Saturday night guests for a special evening. I’m not sure yet how to while away the hours in between the two shows- a good four or five, but I’ll probably get a good book!)
Coming along next week (among other luminaries of Stage & Screen) will be my mate Bobby Crush. He’s coming with my friends Jason and John.Bobby will find our subject very familiar, as he’s recently finished “Sleeping Beauty” in Sunderland with my lovely friend Vicky Entwistle. I last saw Bobby at the Palladium Panto when we went to see “Cinderella” last month.Here’s Bobby and Vicky above.
Tonight’s show was received very well! They were up for a good boo-ing and a good participation from the off! The evening shows always have a different feel from the matinees, and the audiences are small parties that make up one whole party! Sometime our matinee guests can be two large groups, or even one. The make-up can alter the “feel” of the show. Maybe a bit more “Cabaret” in feel? I don’t know!
A very rowdy reception, and we finished at 11.30pm. I was home by midnight with a buttered crumpet and an earl grey. It’s a rock n roll life this adult panto you know!
Next week we have Six performances- Three Lunches, Two Teas, and one Gala Birthday Show celebrating Twenty Five Years of Brick Lane Music Hall. Our busiest week since we opened.
I was looking at various “Sleeping Beauty” posters in my archive, and found a few to share here or versions old and mostly new- Starting with my favourite one at Venue Cymru a few years back with the lovely Vicky Entwistle and John Evans. Here I am doing “The Mirror” routine with John, and arriving in my gorgeous car! I played The Queen in this one.
I loved that car! It isn’t exactlty MY car, but I like to think we had a great affinity! It actually drives on to the stage, and it is my all time favourite entrance in Pantomime. (and I’ve done forty four of ’em!). There’s Brendan off “Coach Trip” opening the door! I came across MY car this January onstage at The London Palladium when I was doing a “make over”. There it was in the wings on loan to someone called Paul O’Grady as Baroness. Earlier I saw it onstage at the English Nation Opera stage when someone called Glenn Close borrowed it for a small show she did in London.
I believe the very gorgeous Ria Jones may be in to see us at Brick Lane next week- She did her first pantomime with me back in The Grand Pavilion Porthcawl before a career that has taken her into nearly every major west End Musical, and recently to Paris in “42nd Street”. She has graced this beautiful car too when she took over from Miss Close at the Coliseum in “Sunset Boulevard”. Looking forward to seeing this gorgeous lady soon! (Ria, not Glenn!)
Here are some other “Sleeping Beauty” posters & pictures from recent times.
Notice Ria’s brother Ceri DuPree is The Queen in this Qdos Panto.
We return to Brick Lane on Tuesday 22nd February for a Lunchtime Panto.
Fun and frolics again thisa week. Mostly Lunchtime performances, allowing our company to head into town to see their share of shows after we finish at 5pm. These past few days have seen our lot visit “Wicked”, “Kite Runner”, “Kinky Boots” and the opening of a new Leon Restaurant with singing staff- in most cases the away team headed by Andrew Robley!
Visitors this week include Annie Galbraith, with her friend Audrey Butler, down from Royal Tunbridge Wells!
Annie is no stranger to these walls. Her years of working alongside her dearest friend Danny La Rue saw her at this and the previous Brick Lane Music Halls over the years. Lovely to see her once again, and indeed to see Mark Hinton.
Mark has just designed the settings for The Wilton’s Music Hall Pantomime, directed by Debbie Flitcroft and starring her equally talented hubby, Roy Hudd as Mother Goose.
The place is packed as always, and finally the weather is giving us the slightest hint of a possibility of Spring! Its lighter later as we leave after the show each day. We’ve had parties from Dover, Chatham, Luton, Yorkshire and all over this weekm, and a great reception. Vincent received a gift for the Music Hall today on stage from a party to celebrate Twenty Five Years of Music Hall.
we’ve seen a lot of David Harvey this week at the piano, along with Martin and Andy, with Matt (Pallant) joining us on Friday once again. Our visitors today (Thursday) included Chris Draper, a regular BLMH performer (aand fellow Panto performer here last year in “Jack”) along with Pantomime producers/agents Jamie Wilson and Simon Cossons joined by Josette Amos.
Lucy recently appeared in “Jack & The Beanstalk” at Gravesend Panto for these gents and their “Magic Beans” panto company. Lucy played Princess alongside Antony Costa as Fleshcreep, Leanne Jones as Fairy and Robert Pearce as Dame Trott. They also produce the Sevenoaks Panto. Josette has played Fairy in Panto, and in “The Pirates Of Treasure Island” for Magic Beans.
The Story Of Sleeping Beauty in Pantomime differs a bit from that original French Perrault story I mentioned in a previous blog. Here’s a brief guide (for those interested!) in the Pantomime versions past and present based on Perrault’s original tale.
The Pantomime version of “The Sleeping Beauty” tells the story as outlined by Perrault, and often follows this plot:
The Panto often opens with the Christening Scene. The Bad fairy gives her curse, and vanishes. The Good Fairy casts her spell- that the Princess will not die, but sleep for one hundred years. In some versions the pantomime opens with the Princess’s birthday party, and the christening scene is performed as a “flash-back”- the Fairy telling us what happened in the past.
The next scene is usually set outside the Palace, and celebrates the forthcoming birthday of the Princess. Generally it is her eighteenth birthday, but it can also be her sixteenth birthday. The King is seen to be banning all spinning wheels from the realm.
The Princess often has a friend, sometimes a jester, sometimes a lad who works in the Palace kitchens.- the comic. In “Sleeping Beauty” The Dame was traditionally the Queen, and sometimes (especially more recently) the dame can often be the nursemaid to the Princess, or her nanny. On odd occasions there have been two dames- both Queen and Nursemaid.
There are two differences to the original Perrault story- when the Princess encounters the spinning wheel in the palace, it has generally been placed there, and is being worked by the Evil Fairy. She witnesses the Princess prick her finger, and leaves believing she has triumphed.
The other main difference to Perrault’s version, and the version of “Sleeping Beauty” the ballet is the Prince. It is not really economical to employ an actor as Principal boy, and then not let him enter until Act two.- Although this has been done. Generally the plot is worked so that the Prince arrives to attend the Princess’s birthday party, they meet, fall in love and are able to sing a duet or two before she pricks her finger and falls asleep.
Whatever happens, of course, they cannot kiss in Act One! That would ruin the plot- after all, it is “Love’s First Kiss” that will awaken her in Act Two!
By working the plot, the Princess sleeps, and the Good Fairy casts a spell to make everyone else fall asleep for one hundred years. The Prince is often kept away from the Palace so he does not get affected by her spell. Act one usually finishes with a tableaux- the Sleeping Beauty and the court starting to fall asleep.
In Act Two- remembering that the story is almost finished- there is often a device where the Prince, aided by the Good Fairy will travel through time- one hundred years into the future. He is often given a magic sword by the Good Fairy, and has to cut his way through the thorns that spring up around the Palace- created by the Bad Fairy’s magic.
He enters the Castle and wakes the Princess with a kiss. This however is often too near the start of Act Two to finish the pantomime, and all that remains is to defeat the Wicked Fairy. Often there is a sub-plot: The Prince, or Princess may be kidnapped by the Evil Fairy- the comedy characters- Dame, Comic and King might well go to her Lair to seek the kidnapped Boy or Girl.
Sometimes the influence of Disney is felt, and the Bad Fairy will “transform” into a dragon, and be slain by the Prince. Evil is defeated, true love has won through, and the pantomime ends- happily ever after.
There are no straight forward traditional character names for “Sleeping Beauty”
Perrault gave the Princess the name “AURORA”-as beautiful as the dawn, but she can be called ROSE, or BRIAR-ROSE. She has had many names including “PRINCESS BEAUTY”, (Prince & Emile Littler’s pantomimes, Drury Lane 1920’s, Lyceum 1933) “PRINCESS MELANIE” (Palladium * again 1964)PRINCESS SABRINA, amongst others. In general the most common name for her would seem to be PRINCESS BEAUTY.
Again, there is no set traditional name. Perrault called him PRINCE FLORIMOND, he has also been called PRINCE FLORIZEL, PRINCE HAL, PRINCE RUDOLPH, PRINCE MICHAEL, PRINCE SILVERTHISTLE (The Emile & Prince Littler pantomimes that had a Scottish Waterfall scene) THE PRINCE OF CALEDONIA, but in General the name PRINCE FLORIZEL seems to be the most common. Today it is more than likely that Florizel would be dropped in favour of less “florid” names, and he might well be a Prince Michael, William or possibly even Harry! In Our version at the Brick Lane he is The Prince of Dover. Ben to his friends!
THE BAD FAIRY:
Disney named her MALEFICENT– a copyrighted character name, and she has frequently been called CARABOSSE– the character in the Ballet version of “The Sleeping Beauty”. She has also been named simply “THE WITCH”, “THE WICKED FAIRY”, SOMNIA, (in the Littler pantomimes) MALIGNA (Drury Lane) FURIOSA, FURIOSO, but overall the most common name is CARABOSSE. She is almost always described in Programmes as “A Witch”- she is, in fact just a Fairy who has gone to “The Dark Side!” At Brick Lane she is Deadly Nightshade!
THE GOOD FAIRY:
Mostly she is simply referred to as “THE GOOD FAIRY”, but she has been named at various times “FLORIZEL-guardian of Fairyland”, FAIRY ROSEYDAWN, “FAIRY STARDUST”, “FAIRY CLARIBEL” and “FAIRY FLORA” among other names. She has even been called “FAIRY GODMOTHER”, which, of course, she is! At Brick Lane she is called Fairy Nuff.
Traditionally the Dame was the Queen, and is most often referred to as “THE QUEEN”. She has also become “QUEEN QUIBBLINA” (Littler pantos) “QUEEN GUINEVERE” and “THE QUEEN OF HEARTS”. In one recent pantomime the King and Queen were “KING RICHARD & QUEEN JUDY”-nice to see panto keeping up with the times! Here at Brick Lane she is called Nanny Fanny!
When the Dame is not the Queen, she has had various names- none of them traditional- they range from “DAME DOLLY”, “NURSE NELLY” and recently “DAME DOT COM!”
Most often referred to as simply “THE KING”, he has at times been known as “KING ROLO BOLO”, “KING SATUPON”, even “OLD KING COLE”- drawing from the nursery rhyme. Since Perrault did not name him, his name is also not a traditional one. At The Music Hall he is called King Thrustalot!
In some versions of “Sleeping Beauty” the chief comic is the court jester. He has been called “PRESTO THE JESTER”, or CUTHBERT THE JESTER”, he has been a page- “RUDOLPH THE PAGE” and when he works in the Palace kitchens, he is most frequently known as “MUDDLES”. That is his name here At The Music Hall.
Vincent with Shelby, Ellie,Ben, Danny and Sam
Today, February 12th 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of Vincent Hayes’s Brick Lane Music Hall! To celebrate the Brick Lane website has Twenty Five photos of our worthy founder- take a look at www.bricklanemusichall.co.uk/news/
The First Music Hall opened its doors on the 12th February 1992 in the former Truman Brewery at Brick Lane.
Zara Kattan was at the first Brick Lane for the opening show. She began as a waitress, and then as one of a group of “singing” waitresses before taking over the running of the Box Office the following year. She has been totally involved with the administration and productions ever since.
Zara recalled her first day at the converted Truman Brewery site, when the building was not quite open. She saw what appeared to be a caretaker sweeping up. He then jumped up on to the stage and did a sound check. She wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, and was introduced to the “caretaker” – Vincent Hayes, and realised the unique set-up she had walked in to.
Within three weeks the stress of running and opening the venue affected Vincent, and he fell foul of a virus. He remembers sliding down the wall of the building, and very little else! Dockyard Doris took over presenting the show until he recovered.
The format then was to put on a Music Hall show four days a week, Wednesday to Saturday, changing the show twice a month.
On the Brick Lane’s First Birthday Barbara Windsor came to the theatre and appeared in a show. Danny La Rue came along to watch, and that began his involvement in the BrickLaneMusic Hall for the years that followed. Danny became a regular star turn at the Theatre in all its addresses.
Barbara Windsor called “Brick Lane” her Lucky charm Theatre. She said how she appeared at the venue in her show. Vincent suggested the second half (after her tribute to Marie Lloyd) would be a good setting for a Question and answer session. A BBC Producer happened to be there, saw Barbara and thought “I wonder why she’s never done Eastenders?”. Peggy Mitchell was born there and then!
The First Brick Lane Pantomime was in the December of 1992. It was “Dick Whittington”- It had Graham Richards as Dame, Vincent as Silly Billy, Brian Walker and Robert Meadmore as King Rat.
Paul & Nigel in the current “Schlepping Beauty”
Brian was ill for a performance and Zara found herself taking to the stage with a drawn on moustache and playing his role at a moments notice!
This Building, in Silvertown is Vincent’s third Music hall. It occupies what was once St Mark’s Church, built in the 1870’s. Four years ago Vincent was awarded the MBE for his services to British Music Hall.
The Panto had an amazing response on Saturday Night- Standing ovations. We had a lovely party of ladies who had travelled from Swansea (my home town) just to see the show! That’s quite a trip!
Had fun with them- a lovely group, and even managed a quick chat in Welsh to surprise them!
David & Matt. Matt Pallant.
This week we have David Harvey as our MD while Tom fulfils his prior engagements, and we have Matt Pallant in for Martin. The transition was flawless, and a better bunch of guys in our orchestra you won’t find anywhere!. That’s worth the fiver they gave me to say that!
Our visitor this week the lovely Saskia Brynne. Saskia was Principal Boy in Panto here, and the veteran of many BLMH shows. She’s recently been entertaining on glamorous ships in glamorous places!
Deadly Nightshade and her Bad Boys & Girls.
The week has flown by- Tonight (Saturday) the last of the week, and now two days off before the Valentine’s Day Tea show on Tuesday. I think we are now sold out, which is great, and an innovation this month will be Two Shows on Two Saturdays- an afternoon and an evening. One of those is a special Charity Evening for the GOWR or Grand Order Of Water Rats as it is officially known, and that will be a red carpet and celeb studded evening, raising money for this great Entertainment Charity.
Happy Anniversary Vincent & Brick Lane!
Martin & Me in The Green Room
Sitting in the Green Room yesterday in the interval chatting, I realised that Martin Layzell and his Dad Tony Layzell worked with me in panto years ago! We must have done about seven weeks together at Wimbledon Theatre, and only now we realised it!
It is quite easy not to recall so well (I’m not blaming advanced age!). When you rehearse a panto you only have the pianist/MD. When we get to technical the musicians are already in the pit. At a theatre like Wimbledon everyone vanishes after the curtain falls and runs for the tube! At least we realised now we both did “Cinderella” in 1994/95- it’s taken twenty three years to find that out!
That panto was a lovely one- June Whitfield and Mark Curry (Mark is in Wicked at the moment I believe) had dressing rooms next door to Peter and I, and her little dog “Rabbit” used to wander in and out throughout the day.
The Bill & A cartoon of Peter & I in the show.
It was the year Jennifer Saunders saw the show and asked Peter & I to contact her management about “Ab Fab”. In fact, that never happened- the idea wasn’t used, but we both did her “Mirrorball” pilot instead! A good year that! Working with the lovely Caroline Dennis once again, and with Mark who I toured in with “Billy Liar” and getting given a cricket bat by Ian Botham. Good times!
This week so far we’ve had Two Tea Time shows and a lunch. Its bitterly cold outside, but very cosy inside Brick Lane itself. Jolly audiences, including a packed house from Tesco that gave rise to a few “Every Little Helps” gags, and a couple of very raucous Schoolroom sketch days! Like the cross-eyed teacher, I cannot control my pupils!
Ellie has gone from here to The Globe Theatre on the South Bank, and performed in a show yesterday evening, and Hayley has sailed the Thames giving a concert- much in demand our Brick Lane lot. Tonight Tom was dressed up in his fabulous vintage “gear” to entertain on St Martin’s Lane in a venue close to the Coliseum, and I went home and cooked a casserole!
The shows continue apace, and have now settled in very nicely. The reception at the end is very warming- and it is a shock to leave this glowing warm scarlet draped atmosphere for the dark cold North Woolwich Road at 5pm!
Another trip down Memory lane happened when I was searching out my Wimbledon Programme for Martin. In my archives was a folder marked February 1oth 2001. That is exactly Sixteen years ago tomorrow!
Sixteen years ago Vincent asked Peter and I to take part in his Charity Gala show at the Previous “Brick Lane Music Hall” in Shoreditch. We’d performed at the one the previous year (Esther Rantzen, Claire Raynor and Shirley Ann Field attended) and this one had our mates Danny La Rue and Britt Ekland as guests of honour! It was a Grand Night!
Here’s the press cutting I found. I remember a very good auction hosted by Nick Bonham himself during which Dan won a Black & Decker Drill. Annie explained what it was to him, and in the handbag it went!
Photographs from the PREVIOUS year’s Gala Ball.
Such fun times at Shoreditch. Shortly after the 2001 Ball Vincent shut up shop and moved the venue here to Silvertown. On Sunday Brick Lane Music Hall celebrates TWENTY FIVE YEARS!
Here’s a lovely memory of that year when the Brick Lane Panto was “Aladdin and his Magical Lump!”.
The panto had the fabulous Phil Starr, and it also saw “The Pleasures Of Fanny”, a melodrama with Phil, Vincent and Annabel Lee throughout the Autumn.
Next year (2018) Brick Lane has announced “Aladdin” will be the Pantomime of Choice!
Delighted to see Hetty and Lottie back in Brick Lane Music Hall today! They both called in to see the Panto, and called around in the interval to catch up! Lottie Johnson and Hettie Hobbs have been stalwarts of BLMH for many many shows, and pantos here. Hettie was Good Fairy in “Jack” with Lottie as Principal Boy last year.
The Lottie & Hetty Group Picture during the Interval!
Currently Lottie is filming and Hettie is in “Phantom Of The Opera” (with my mate Tim Morgan) at Her Majesties Theatre.
We had a jolly show today. The sun was shining on the approach to Silvertown, and for a while I thought I was going to have to employ my swimming skills (I have none)as the swing bridge by Docklands airport was raised to allow two large ships/boats through. I could see the spire of the Music Hall tantalisingly, but had to be patient for twenty minutes!
Packed house as usual with the boys in the band- Tom, Martin and Andy in very good form!
We had a bit of a moment on my entrance as Fairy Deadly Nightshade, with an errant pyrotechnic (swallowed a dictionary on the way in I think!) but that was swiftly resolved! Thanks Rhys!
Ellie, Ben, Sam & Me being “Bad”
I applied my make-up post haste today as the bridge had held me up, and we went up on time to a jolly tea-time audience. The show starts at 2pm and then at 3pm the audience tucks in to tea (as do we backstage) until 4pm, when we return to the second half and carry on until 5pm.
Today’s birthday is the lovely Ashleigh Butler, seen here with Pudsey on HIS birthday a few weeks ago in Northampton panto. Happy Birthday Ashleigh. See you in Crufts with Puds and Sullivan on March 12th!
A typical day in the Bavarian Forest!
Bavaria doesn’t often feature in The Sleeping Beauty story. A lot of children only know of the Disney version, or the more recent Angelina Jolie “Maleficent”. Some recall the ballet version with the villain named Carabosse- but the version we’ve all come to recall owes its origins to Charles Perrault, the Frenchman who gave us the definitive “Cinderella”.
Here’s the Perrault version in short! Enjoy!
Charles Perrault’s book, published in 1697 included the story of The Sleeping Beauty- “La Belle au bois dormant”.
In Perrault’s version the story tells of a King and Queen who long for a child, and finally are rewarded. They arrange a christening and invite all the known fairies in the Kingdom. They find seven fairies. Each fairy will bestow a gift upon the Princess Aurora.
Each fairy has a gold and jewel studded place setting, with a gold cover for the dish. The Christening commences. Unexpectedly an old crone appears- she is in fact the eighth fairy who, shutting herself away in a tower for fifty years has been forgotten.
The “Bad” fairy, called Uglyane by Perrault, is angry that she was not invited. She is however treated with courtesy by the King who arranges an extra setting at the table. Unfortunately there is no gold cover for the dish- only seven were made, and Uglyane takes offence.
Plymouth TheatreRoyal with Hinge & Brackett as Good & Bad Fairies
Seated next to her the Fairy Hippolyta hears the old crone muttering, and fears she will do harm to the child in her gift. Hippolyta leaves the table and hides behind the curtain awaiting Uglyane’s gift.
Uglyane brings no gift to the child, she brings a curse. She vows that the Princess will reach her sixteenth birthday and will prick her finger on a spindle (the sharp point of a spinning wheel) and die. She then leaves the Christening and returns to her tower.
Hippolyta tells the stricken court that, although she cannot reverse the spell of Uglyane, she can alter it. The child, with her blessing, will not die, but will merely sleep for a long period of time. She will then be awakened by the kiss of a handsome Prince who will fall in love with her.
Sixteen years pass. In Perrault’s version the Princess Aurora is wandering the palace one day, on her sixteenth birthday, and finds a room in a tower she has never been to before. Inside the tower she finds an old servant spinning. The servant is unaware that the King has prohibited spinning wheels throughout the Kingdom. The Princess is invited to watch her spin- something she has never seen before, pricks her finger on the spindle, and falls to the ground, apparently dead.
The old servant rings the alarm bell, and the court is summoned. The King dispatches a dwarf wearing seven league boots to find Fairy Hippolyta. The Fairy arrives from many thousands of leagues away, and casts her spell over the court, so that everyone within the palace will fall asleep too, ensuring her Princess will not be lonely when she wakes up.
Here’s a Summer Version of “Sleeping Beauty” wot I wrote, which will be performed in August 2017.
Tomorrow is a lunchtime show. More panto fun and frolics to follow!
End of the week here at Brick Lane.Yesterday we had a couple of Brick Lane Regular performers in to see the show- Laura Hayward and Bill Byrne. Lovely to see them again, and the chance for another full house backstage picture in the interval!
Shows went very well, packed as always. Tonight (Saturday) it was very cold, but by the time I arrived at eight o’clock the guests were already being fed and watered and the windows were glowing. It looked very inviting, as indeed it is here!
Shelby & Lucy and my alter ego, Deadly Nightshade.
The show has settled in nicely now, and lots of laughs inbetween some pretty impressive and fast costume changes from all of us, supervised by Zara and Charlie. At one point Eleven people changing like wildfire- it keeps us slim after the interval cakes!
The Bavarian Boys and Two Of Deadly’s henchmen! Ben and Sam.
Tonight we had some visitors in to the evening show from the world of entertainment. Brian Miller and Audrey produced an array of white and coloured doves on stage in their career as illusionists. They also ran a very succesful costume hire business in Ilford, and we would often liase over costumes for the Kenneth More Theatre when we needed to hire. Great to see them both after a few years.
Audrey & Brian Miller with Andrew. Peter and Gale Sandeman.
Also in to see the show, as they do each year was Peter Sandeman and his wife Gale. Peter ran the prestigious Famous City Varieties Leeds for many years, and presented Music Hall and Pantomime there. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Peter since he was at Swansea Grand Theatre many moons ago. Great to catch up after the show!
A bit of witchcraft with Danny, Ellie, Sam and Ben
Its been a busy week of Birthdays this week, continuing into next week- Panto Villainess and Fairy Isobel Hurll joined panto dames Andrew Ryan and Marc Seymour and myself along with Owen Smith to celebrate all the birthdays! Mine isn’t until the end of the month so we’ve started early with four celebrations. Here we all are at Browns on Friday Night.
Marc, Isobel, Andrew, Owen and Nigel
So Saturday night’s show ended at around 11.30pm and after chatting to our guests, time to head home for the next two days of Birthday lunches and dinners! I like February! As the show came to an end tonight I spotted frequent Brick Lane visitor Ian Gold in the audience. He tells me he’s returning with another 34 guests in his party before the season ends! Thanks Ian!
We return on Tuesday for a full week of shows. I’ll be adding some “Sleeping Beauty” items from the IBY archive, and also sharing a stunning autograph album I’ve acquired from the early 1900’s. It has some fascinating Music Hall and Panto names and stories. Back on Tuesday!
A lovely sight to behold- we had two visitors today from The Brick Lane Family- Anna Campkin and Stephanie Sen! So lovely to see them in the audience today. Actually I didn’t SEE them, the eye infection I have means no lenses- I can’t see ANYTHING- but I knew they were there!
Here are a couple of pictures from previous productions here at BLMH.The panto shown above was Dick Whittington a couple of years ago with Anna and Spephanie next to Andrew as Pussy Cat!
Here we all are for our first group photo of the current season!
Crowded Green Room and we’re not all there! A short interval visit from the ladies before the second half. They are both currently attending auditions and got the chance to see the Panto this lunchtime show. Delighted to see them again!
Today we had a packed house, as we always do here, and an extra show has been put on, and sold out – this one is on my Birthday in February, so once again I get to spend it treading these boards! Birthdays here that I know about include Danny and Vincent – I’m sure there will be more.
Deadly Nightshade being “Bad” with Sam on the left, Ben on the right and Ellie is somewhere behind my horns!
This week is flying past, and the show is settling in nicely. Every show is different in some ways (Vincent can alter his material to suit the audience of the day, their locale, their group leaders) and the scenes can take on their own rhythm.
“Climb Upon My Knee, Sonny Boy!” Andrew & Vincent in Act Two.
Today the Schoolroom was more unruly than usual and a lot of fun was had on stage and in the audience as a result! there was a lot more falling off the bench than there should have been, and Anne Robinson had her hands full coping with the unruly rabble!
Tom Carradine our Musical Director is an amazing pianist and entertainer. I was applying make up today listening to him amuse himself playing “Back in Nagasaki where the fellers chew tobaccy and the women wicky wacky woo!” at triple speed. Some feat!
Carradine’s Cockney Sing -A -Long was founded in 2014 and he now plays sell out dates in Wilton’s, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and all over the shop in the Vintage & Cabaret scene. On Tuesday 7th March after the panto run has ended Tom will be appearing in The British Music Hall show held at the CAA at 20 Bedford Street London WC2. He’s produced a CD too- and its a joy to hear him tinkle the old Joanna daily here! Pop along if you fancy a great evening out!
Lucy, Ben, Ellie and Danny.