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Betty’s Blog- Tuesday February 18th

February 19, 2014

Tuesday 18th February


A Lunchtime show, and for a change it wasn’t raining! Got in earlier than usual as all the trains were behaving, and had a cuppa with Rusty before getting ready.


Very full today, and a case of playing to the corners and the back of the room every time you are on. I think I counted three coaches as I was arriving, and it was wall to wall jolly pensioners and parties from Essex, High Barnet and further afield.

Good fun to be had with my Arsenal and west Ham costumes today, as Betty’s boyfriend- Keith from Rainham joined in and made the whole thing a riot!

Here is a picture of Andrew which I forgot to add to yesterday’s blog- too good to miss out on!


Vincent told a story today of when he and a group of variety artists were performing at a venue and a visitor backstage was surprised none of the gents in the dressing room were wearing their costume trousers. The answer being that Variety performers NEVER sit down in their costumes. I recalled G.H.Elliott on a television chat show, when he was a very old gentleman saying exactly the same thing.

In Number one dressing room the spirits of Variety and Music Hall might hopefully be listening in- I can’t think of many places, with the exception of those societies like BMH (British Music Hall),  and CAA (Concert Artistes Assoc, now renamed “Club for Acts & Actors…. And GOWR (Grand Order Of Water Rats) where the names of the Variety artistes of the past are mentioned so frequently. In the room the names of Billy Whittaker, and Mimi Law are mentioned- GH Elliott (admittedly by me!) Sadie Corrie, Barbara Newman, Stanley Baxter, Albert & Brian Burdon..their names are kept alive.

Paul ended the hat routine today with an impromptu “I Thang Yew”. It made me smile,  and I wonder how many in the audience would have instantly recognised the catchphrase that was coined by Arthur Askey? Just me? I don’t think so!

All this prompted me to add the following set of “adverts” from a  late 1940’s Christmas Edition of a trade journal.”The Performer”.

whittaker49     tedray42  wheelan1942revnell1942 morecambe1949  moreton49  nevans1942  howerd49 lotinga1942  elliott1942   bartlett42  burdon1942   berylr1949

unashamed wallow in nostalgia that! The catchphrases and “Billing Matter” too- “Fiddling & Fooling” for Ted Ray, “The Long And The Short Of It” for Revnell & West, and memories of lovely Trevor Moreton  who had “The Utility Woman” as his billing during the War as Dame!  Then of course there’s the theatres that are no more listed in those adverts- The Empire Oldham, The Opera House Leicester. I couldn’t help myself but to add those for anyone with a bit of nostalgia in their soul!

Brian Walker called in today, and I had a quick chat with him- and pointed him in the direction of this blog! Brian is out and about with the Brick Lane “outreach” Music Hall, along with my mate Michael Topping and Joni Talks. He was telling me about a great show they did a few days ago, and what a marvellous reaction it got from an audience, many suffering from Altzheimers, who were able to turn back the clock and sing andd laugh for a few hours.

A good show here today too- , and it was very nice to leave the building in daylight with blue skies- I’m not used to going home from a pantomime in daylight- it’s a novelty!

Tomorrow a tea time show followed by our Brick Lane Company meal “Up West”!



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