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Jayne Loughland

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Here at IBY we were saddened to receive news that Jayne Loughland has died on June 28th aged 49.

Each year when I am in Pantomime at Llandudno Jayne and husband Stuart presented the Theatr Colwyn pantomimes, and we would meet up at a joint cast party at the end of the two seasons.

For the past four years Stuart and Jayne put on the pantomimes, and toured Easter pantomimes around the UK. This year it was “Goldilocks” on tour for Magic Light Productions.


Jayne & Stuart Loughland

as “Safire”, Jayne and Stuart toured the world with their illusion act, and appeared alongside Peter Kay, Ken Dodd, Joe Pasquale and The Chuckle Brothers amongst many other stars, and presented their illusions in America, Germany and The Ukraine.


The Daily Post had this to say about the sad loss of Jayne:Here is a link to their tribute.


During May Jayne and Stuart were touring in “Goldilocks”, and a both attended the North Wales concert of Lionel Richie a very short time before Jayne lost her battle to cancer.Cinders-Promo

This season Theatr Colwyn will host Magic Light’s production of “Jack & The Beanstalk”, which will I am sure be dedicated to, and in memory of Jayne Loughland. The Pantomime, the fifth at the theatre will be a tribute to her long and dedicated work in presenting and appearing in productions there. A great and a sad loss to the world of Pantomime.

Sat 5th March:The Last Night!


The final show! We started rehearsals on 12th January, opened on 19th January, and now here we are. A great night to finish on, with a super audience, packed to capacity and full of fun!

During the morning, as I mentioned in the last blog, Andrew Robley & Vincent Hayes attended the unveiling of a blue plaque in memory of Dora Bryan in Brighton. The president of the society, Roy Hudd and Debbie (Flitcroft) Hudd joined them along with Michael Aspel and Wyn Calvin, the veteran dame who travelled from South Wales for the event. Here they are at the ceremony.


Among the guests were Steve Hewlett, Daniel Lawton, Tony Adams and members of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.


Roy and Debbie returned from Brighton to join with Jess Conrad and his wife Renee to see our show this evening. Lovely to see them again, and to chat about Roy and Debbie’s recent Panto at Wiltons, and to hear some of Jess’s wonderful if unprintable stories of the “Business”!


Jess, Vincent, Renee, Debbie and Roy

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As all last shows, it sped past, and Fairy & Villain, Comics and Dames, Singers and Dancers &  Principal Boys and Girls strutted their stuff, and on the stroke of midnight – well 11.30pm to be accurate- we’d finished! By half past twelve, and a glass of champagne (Thanks Zara!) the party was over, and the frocks packed!

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There’s a lot of information on shows at Brick Lane throughout the year, and more photographs from backstage at the panto on the BLMH Website- thanks Joanne Hayes for the fascinating information that you can get a knitted version of Rusty Goffe! See the backstage news area on BLMH site for more on this!

Hoping you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the world of grown up panto- I’m delighted we hit the 400 views a day mark recently, as it’s nice to know I’ve not been typing this to myself!

Thanks for reading and joining in. Your comments always welcomed!

So- as the pumpkin hour passes, and Ivy’s frocks leave in the tardis-like Mini Cooper for storage, Thank you one and all at Brick Lane Music Hall- it’s been, as always, a joy!


From all of us at Brick Lane Music Hall- Goodbye!

Nigel Ellacott




Thursday 3rd March: Penultimate Panto!


Thursday 3rd. Matinee Tea. Stephanie & Anna!

Delighted to have a visit today from two veterans of Brick Lane Pantomime, and regulars performing here- Stephanie Sen (to left of me) and Anna Campkin (To my right). They were in to watch the show this afternoon, and to have a catch-up with Vincent and all of us between acts backstage.

Here’s the final Panto tea for us backstage! The last show on Saturday is, of course, an evening! Say Goodbye to the Cream Cakes and hello to the diet I think!


Rusty and “a little of what you fancy does you good!”

We missed celebrating Vincent’s Birthday, which was on Tuesday, and those of us doing panto were not involved in the Trad Music Hall lunch that was held here yesterday.While Lottie and Catherine were working hard on stage, some of the Panto stalwards were out front enjoying their Music Hall Lunch!

The Ellacott’s are keeping up their Music Hall ends this week. My brother Vivyan, was putting together a Music Hall at Ilford Town Hall in memory of Redbridge Pearly Queen, Peggy Oliver who tragically died last Autumn in a road traffic accident. The show raised funds for various charities supported by the Mayor of Redbridge. Here’s Vivyan (second from left) with some of the cast and some Pearly Royalty who attended!


We had a great Panto this afternoon. The time has flown, and as the evening get a bit lighter, and the daffodils are in full bloom, it is time to wind down the world of Pantomime.

I started Panto back in October! Andrew Ryan and I took out our Pantomime Roadshow, visiting Darlington, Newcastle, Llandudno and East London before heading off for our various pantos- Andrew to Birmingham and me to Venue Cymru.Before then I had put together all the Panto costumes for Ilford’s “Snow White”, finishing a few bits off in early December. From my North Wales Panto I went straight into rehearsals for this show at Brick Lane- its been quite a Panto epic to date!

Playing Poison Ivy has been fun. I think after Saturday she might shimmy down the beanstalk and I think she might be found running her own pub!


Andrew Robley stumbled across this bar and sent the photo to me. I bet she’ll be there Sunday with dangly earrings and a frosty smile across the bar!

Saturday’s show will be gone in a blur.I’ll be packing as I go, and clearing away the make-up and costumes. The very jolly thing about BLMH is we have a constant parade of mates coming to visit, and I’m sure Saturday night will be no exception!



Andrew and Vincent have headed off to the Seaside- on Saturday morning they will be taking part in a ceremony to honour Brighton resident and star comedienne and actress Dora Bryan. A plaque will be unveiled to honour Dora on the wall of her former home (and the hotel she ran) with a gathering of friends, family, fans and theatre folk. Max Miller was a famous comic who was honoured by Brighton, and now Brighton’s female comic and star of film, radio, musical and theatre- as well as Palladium Panto, will be honoured in the morning!

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Sat 27th Feb. The Ivy League!


Although officially tomorrow, like the Queen I had two birthdays! Today was the Brick Lane Music Hall Birthday, complete with chocolate cake and a boquet handed to me while the entire company & audience sang “Happy Birthday!”. How good is that?

Thanks one and all at BLMH for a very jolly working Birthday!

Today we had a matinee tea, and visitors included a group from the Kenneth More Theatre, headed by Alan Hardy, and with them Margaret Brice.

Margaret has been responsible for making costumes for the KM Theatre for over twenty five years, and made the Ugly Sister costumes for Peter Robbins and myself since 1981. When I began solo Dame, it was Margaret who came out of retirement and created some more fabulous costumes, and with her Bermans training ever to the fore, her costumes last seemingly forever! Thank you Margaret- the gorgeous green number Poison Ivy wears below is a tribute to you!



Ivy discovers Daisy Themed Knickers!

The show was very jolly today, with a great crowd in. Heard from our mate Sherrie Hewson today that all is going well at the BBC Rehearsal rooms in South London for “Are You Being Served” the reboot. They work through this weekend, then regroup next Thursday at BBC Salford Media Centre, filming in front of a live audience on Saturday- a week today!

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Some of the posters painted on the walls of the Music Hall. Ben Goffe (Rusty’s son) is billed there as you can see. He has just opened in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. Rusty and Sarah will be heading to Warwickshire on Wednesday to see the show.Great reviews for Ben too!


I noticed a couple of photo frames as I was front of House yesterday. This one reminded me that Peter & I played “Sisters” for a charity evening with our mate Britt Ekland for Vincent at Brick Lane. Danny La Rue was there with Annie (he won a Black & Decker Workmate in the raffle. I remember Annie explaining what it was!  Imagining Danny changing his catchphrase to “Wotcher Workmates!”).

In the pictures above you can see Dame (how fabulous is that!) Barbara with Scott and Vincent, and John Inman with Peter Robbins, and I spotted the lovely Joan Reagan, Frankie Vaughan, and a host of other celebs at the previous building.


Here’s a close up from the second frame. There’s (back row) Vincent and Peter Robbins and infront Desmond Wilcox, me and the lovely Esther Rantzen at the charity bash.


Backstage with Vincent 2016 with Eleanor who helped with the scenic construction .

We have a break now as Panto winds down. Only two performances left- the time has flown! Next week there is a Traditional Music Hall tea, and a Panto Matinee on Thursday and our final Panto performance on Saturday evening!


Thursday 25th Feb.Corrie Night Out!


Nigel, Roy Barraclough, Vincent, Sherrie Hewson, Andrew, Daran Little and Patrick Rankin. Balans Soho Society!

Daran Little was at the next table- and a ran into these Corrie Stars unexpectedly! This BAFTA award winning Television writer worked on “Coronation Street” from 2000 to 2010. Incidentally Daran co-wrote Betty Driver’s autobiography! The same Betty Driver Mr Robley and I were listening to on the iphone a few days ago!


Andrew Ryan joining the Panto/Corrie Line-up. Are we being served?


A very jolly night out after we’d finished our matinee show at Brick Lane, joining our mates Sherrie Hewson and Roy Barraclough. Sherrie and Roy came straight from the BBC rehearsal rooms where they are currently blocking the forthcoming BBC “Are You Being Served” relaunch – a glowing tribute to that wonderful comedy show that Graced (and favoured!) our telly screens for so many years.


Roy and Andrew behind the Rover’s Return!(1986)

Sherrie of course is currently on our screens in Benidorm, and flies out to begin the next series directly after filming takes place for “Are You Being Served” at Salford BBC next week. She will be Mrs Slocombe- no sign of a pussy at Balans tonight- and Roy will be playing Mr Grainger. “A Glass of Water for Mr Grainger!”.

Sherrie recently played Wicked Queen in “Snow White” at The De Montford Hall, Leicester, and I’ve had great fun appearing with Sherrie in “Aladdin” and “Jack & The Beanstalk” recently.


Sherrie & I enjoying a night in old Peking- or Hull as it was!


Roy Barraclough

Roy Barraclough MBE is Panto Royalty. Millions remember the fabulous double act when Les Dawson and Roy created Cissie & Ada on television. So many clips can be discovered online at youtube. If you are not familiar with comic genius and the best comic timing, as well as some naughty “corpsing” from Les Dawson mainly, please take a look!


Roy & Les. “Cissie & Ada”


Roy in pantomime.

Roy has appeared in many pantomimes over the years, since first starting out in Reps including Oldham. He has appeared as both “Ugly Sister” and as Dame, and in fact played Nurse in “Babes In The Wood” with Andrew Robley back in the day! The next “Spotlight on..” article for this site will be “Spotlight On Roy Barraclough“. Watch this space!

His career has spanned theatre and television. Appearances in “Coronation Street” began in 1964, and again in 1972 and 1975. His character Alec Gilroy featured for twelve years between 1986 and 1998. Roy has also created the role of Santa Claus in the musical of that name on several occasions recently.

My particular favourite Roy Barraclough series was running between 1972 and 1973. It was called “Pardon My Genie” and featured Roy and Ellis Jones alongside the marvellous High Paddick of “Jules & Sandy” fame! I loved that children’s series, and did Panto with Ellis when the series ended.I think it was the Leicester Haymarket…or The Belgrade Coventry. I should look it up!


Before heading into town had a lovely chat with a Brick Lane regular Annie Galbraith. So lovely to see her in to watch the show. Annie was, of course the lady who looked after Danny La Rue’s gorgeous wardrobe, and looked after the gorgeous man himself. Shortly she will be putting together another exhibition of some of Dan’s costumes- this time in Kent. Looking good Annie!



Annie & Danny

So a full week of shows but a very lovely night out. Tomorrow we have our lunch time show, and Saturday a matinee tea, with a few visitors from Ilford’s KM Theatre calling in to enjoy the show!





Wednesday 24th Feb:A Blue Day!

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David Hahn,  Antony Costa and Alec White join the BLMH company for tea

Lucy Reed brought along two visitors today. David Hahn is the Managing Director of “Celeb Agents”, and looks after Lucy and many clients including Joe McEldery- recently announced for Wolverhampton Panto, and Kerry Ellis, Cheryl Baker and Helen Lederer to name but a few. His friend and client Antony Costa joined us. Antony is, of course part of Blue, and is a singer, songwriter and actor. He recently appeared with Lucy in Panto.

Joining them today watching the show was Brick Lane regular Alec Wjite. He first appeared here in the Be Bop A Lula show, and will be returning for the St.George’s show later in the season.


Also visiting us this week for the matinee show was Musical Director Tom Carradine. He has recently finished pantomime at Tunbridge Wells for UK Productions, and was visiting us today, joining Hannah Hawkins. Hannah played “Snow White” at the Weymouth Pavilion this season, alongside my mate Lee Redwood who played Dame.


Tom & Hannah backstage at Brick Lane!

This week is a full week of shows, all either Lunchtime or Tea Time performances from Tuesday to Saturday. Next week there are less Panto performances as Music Hall shows appear on the schedule, and rehearsals begin for the very popular Irish Show.


Lucy Reed


Saturday 20th Jan.A Good Evening!


The end of the week!

A very jolly Saturday evening at Brick Lane, with my mates Jason Belne & John Pitton in to see the show, courtesy of Ian Gold who brought along another twenty-eight in his party! It’s Ian’s second time to see “Jack and his Stalk”, so we must be doing something right! It was lovely to see them backstage and I managed to go out front at the end of the show for a glass of vi9no. Here are some pics of their visit.

Here we are joined by Andrew Ryan at the end of the night. From left to right John, Jason, Mike, Laura Andrew and me having the first sit down of the night!


Backstage with Ian Gold (Centre)

Jason (Belne) along with Mandy Holiday (of Les Miserables fame) produced “The Tinder Box”, a children’s show at the Player’s Theatre London this Christmas. It played throughout the festive season, and got some excellent reviews!

Apart from my lot in, there was a large group celebrating a departure to Frace, another were celebrating an engagement, and the joint was jumpin’ as I went front of house after the show. Great fun tonight both on and off stage, with Vincent on fine form as ever, and a jolly atmosphere.


Vincent prepares!

This week the BLMH company have been to see shows in the West End, including a return visit to “Funny Girl” and to “Kinky Boots” and “The Railway Children”- possible when you do a matinee show and its half an hour into the West End.

Getting into make-up can be a fairly lengthy process- Poison Ivy takes me longer than usual as she has more facial glitter! Andrew R and I while away the time listening to the very latest in music trends to keep up with whats hip, street and on point. Today it was Anne Shelton followed by Betty Driver (yes- Betty from Corrie) and next week we might venture into a few Vera Lyn tracks.

Here’s a photograph I like- its Vincent and Ivy caught off guard. I think he was being naughty at this moment and it made me laugh. I like this moment captured!


When we left Brick Lane after midnight on a very wet and windy night/morning, it struck me that now we have just seven panto shows left between now and March 5th. The Music Hall show will be rehearsing shortly, as will The Irish Show, and soon it will be time to wind down the wand and crank up the shamrock!


Here’s a photograph I received from Charles Burdon. What a great picture! From left to right Debbie Flitcroft(Hudd) with Hubby Roy Hudd. The fabulous Joan Hall and Charles Burdon. Panto magic on one sofa! Debbie has recently presented “Dick Whittington” at Wilton’s Music Hall starring Roy in his very FIRST Dame role! Joan has appeared in countless Musicals and Pantomimes-A very lovely Fairy Godmother, and Charles is one of the country’s top Dames, having (like someone else I know) played Ugly Sister in a long running partnership for many years. Burdon & Moran and Ellacott & Robbins certainly saw some “Cinderellas”!

Next week Five shows, all daytime!