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Betty’s Blog Thursday & Friday 6-7th February

February 7, 2014

Thursday and Friday- Both Lunchtime shows, with a call for 1.30 to be ready for the 2.30pm show following the three course lunch.

Today was the continuation of the Tube Strike- to finish by 9pm this evening. * More on that later! Arrived at Brick Lane and inspected the Rusty Goffe Sanctuary! The toilet dedicated to our King Rat. On closer inspection it has a dedication to Andrew Robley inside! Rusty claimed that there had been an official opening, which I’d missed, but I’m not sure there wasn’t some photoshopping or use of cardboard cut-outs involved. This is the photo Mr Goffe showed me anyway!

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Our mate Sherrie Hewson arrived hot foot from the studios to see the show. It’s her second visit I believe, and we had time for a chat before the matinee.

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She rather foolishly left her faux fur coat backstage, and was to  later witness Vincent wearing it for his opening spot, and going through the pockets as he did so!


A very good crowd they were today, and a great response. Despite the rain and the tube strike people will have a good time if it is on offer, and Brick Lane Music Hall offered!

After the show Andrew, Sherrie & I headed off into town to meet up with Andrew (Ryan). Andrew Ryan directed and appeared with Sherrie at the Lyceum in Sheffield a few years back in “Sleeping Beauty” when she was a “goodie” and I appeared with Sherrie when she was a “Baddie”, and Andrew Robley has known Sherrie for a long time. We all set off for Ballans and then to watch a film premier (for Sherrie to review) in a very bijou screening cinema that didn’t provide Kiora, it provided Gin Based Cocktails. My sort of Cinema. We all donned 3D glasses and watched the delightful movie “Mr Peabody and Sherman” in total comfort!

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Outside the streets of a soggy London were heaving. The strike had finished at 9pm but the stations were closing, one by one. Taxis were invisible and it was a trek to find one of those red things- like a taxi but you don’t tip to get to the overground station. A long trip home but a jolly night!

Next Thursday Sherrie is launching her new Cookery book- “Nanna’s Kitchen”, with Sherrie cooking with her grandchildren, and sharing Nanna recipes along the way!

Friday was a lunchtime show, and I think I counted four coaches outside when I arrived – from Stevenage, Canterbury and from Essex I think. We were certainly packed out. Act Two is a blur for me, as I do four changes in about forty minutes some of them quite swiftly, aided all the way by Fairy Ellie. Certainly the Deckchair entrance is fast and furious. In the interval the topic of conversation turned to Circus, and it is amazing how the worlds of Variety and Circus are still linked. We all know people who do both- Clive and Danny in Newcastle Panto for example, and speciality acts we have worked with at one time or another. I remember my friend Laura Nayman becoming the first Singing Ringmistress for a Circus once- if she reads this blog she can remind me if it was a Chipperfield or a Cottle. Danny and Clive of course run “Circus Hilarious” which tours throughout the year before they make the annual stay at Theatre Royal Newcastle with Chris Hayward to be in Michael Harrison’s Qdos Panto every year.


Friday was a day when Andrew needed a touch up- and Brick Lane’s answer to “Mr Teasy-Weasy” (I wonder how many readers of this blog will recall Raymond the Hairdresser to the stars…?) Or is it “Herbert Of Liverpool”- appeared as the Man In The Mirror in a Liverpool “Snow White” Recently…anyway when Vincent Hayes, proprietor of this Music Hall went back to his roots (sorry! it IS still panto here!) and sorted out Andrew’s Barnet. Yes- Cockney Rhyming Slang here in “Dick Whittington” land- Barnet Fair means……? No prizes sorry!


Nice to hear Vincent leading a “Happy Birthday” for an Eighty Seven Year Old lady in the audience. What a fun thing to do on your birthday- see King Rats, Sailors, Camp Cats, double talking Captains and Mates, dancing girls, Fairies,  and a man in a frilled frock and a pineapple on his head! All that  and joining in with Vincent singing “Susie, Susie, Sitting in a shoe shine shop…All day long she sits and shines, all day long she shines and sits….” Happy Birthday to you lovely lady!


Tomorrow is Saturday, and a rowdy full house for an evening show!


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