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Betty’s Blog Tuesday 21st January

January 22, 2014

Arrived at midday for notes- Vincent has made a few changes here and there to tighten the show- nothing needed to shorten it, it seems to be just the right length, and we ran through a few of these before getting ready for the afternoon tea matinee.

A lovely lot in this afternoon, and I’m starting to get the feel of the “room”. You need to be aware that this is an intimate venue, and that the audience and the room has to be worked. You can’t face front and ignore those sitting at tables at the sides, or the back, and need to involve them as well as those seated in the middle. The changes felt smoother today too- you find time to hang things up during a quick change that you couldn’t have done three days ago.

The “tea” shows are unusual in that you do the first act, then have a 45 minute break while your audience enjoys tea and cakes and sandwiches, followed by the Brick Lane Raffle. This raffle helps to send a Music Hall entertainment out to retirement and care homes in the area or further afield. Then you do act two.


This is going to be the exception to the panto rule. You ALWAYS lose weight during a pantomime. In Brick Lane I think I’ll put it on! Food appears magically from the kitchens and during our break out come those cakes, fancy pastries and sandwiches. You spoil us Mr Hayes!

Rusty has a new costume. He is now a very dapper King Rat, a sort of Fat Rat Banker so to speak, and this is due to his furry costume shown earlier being.. well.. just too cuddly! Maybe that is just the allure of Rusty Goffe, but he is now more dapper and a tad menacing! More and more aquatic touches appear each day thanks to Zara adding to her Under The Sea designs for Act Two.

The Brick Lane Music Hall website has a lot of features including a regular “Backstage News” section with photographs. it is

I had a few nostalgic memories today between shows. Over Christmas I was lucky to do the Barbara Windsor Pantomime Radio Broadcast on Christmas Day. Barbara and I talked about Brick Lane. In the previous building Vincent asked Miss Windsor to do a week of Music Hall. A BBC producer called in and thought “Why isn’t this lady in Eastenders?”. The rest is history. Peggy Mitchell was created! We talked about a few corporate events Barbara, Peter Robbins and I did there at the old Brick Lane, and today I remembered a wedding here, at this venue that Peter and I crashed in as Bridesmaids during the reception to a lot of hilarity.


Peter and me as bridesmaids

It was at Brick Lane Music Hall my mate Britt Ekland and Peter teamed up with Danny and John Inman for the Altzheimers charity ball, organised by Vincent. I found these pictures when I got back home tonight. What a lovely picture this is. Britt is very involved in this charity- I must send it to her, it will make her smile!


Peter, Britt, Danny and me

Talking of the legend that was Danny La Rue, just looking around this building I remember the auction held at Brick Lane, when Danny’s costumes raised a fair bit of money when they were bought by museums, collectors , friends and performers. I fell in love with the beautiful yellow “Terry Parsons” designed bustle dress from Danny’s Plymouth “Mother Goose”, and bought it . I wore it in Llandudno just a few weeks ago as Queen Blodwyn. Here is a picture from the Mail, of the costume at the auction.

dannysbustle    LlandQueen1

Danny’s Dress at the Auction                   In “Sleeping Beauty” at Llandudno 2013

The show went very smoothly, and as Ellie and I left for the DLR train, I was very surprised to discover it was still light- after a panto matinee! That is not something I’m used to! Leaving at 4.30 in the light!

Tomorrow another Tea Matinee with a call for 1pm.

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