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January 18, 2017


This year the subject at Brick Lane Music Hall is “Schlepping Beauty”, and my role this year is Deadly Nightshade, the Bad Fairy who was NOT invited to the Christening!


Regulars to this Brick Lane Blog over the years will know that the Brick Lane Panto is not for Kids, and not in Brick Lane! If you have those two facts right, then you are in for a late pantomime treat, with an afternoon tea, or a lunch, or a dinner in with the show!

This will be my fourth Music Hall Panto in the magnificent building, The Former St Mark’s Church that nestles next to London City Airport, in Docklands.

The Brick Lane Music Hall was founded by Vincent Hayes MBE who has presented every show in this building, and its two former incarnations in the East End over many years since it opebned its doors in 1992. Vincent Co writes and directs the panto, and this season is giving his Muddles The Court Jester.


Vincent & Paul

Brick Lane regulars Paul James who co-writes plays The King, and Andrew Robley is playing Nurse Nanny Fanny, Hayley-Jo Whitney rejoins the BLMH Panto company as Fairy Nuff, with Princess Beauty played by Shelby Morgan, Prince  Dover (Ben to his friends) by Lucy Reed rejoining the panto and Ellie Self, Sam Sadler, Ben Hutt and Danny Lawton playing a great many diverse characters at one and the same time!


Brick lane has the talented Tom Carradine as our Musical Director with Andy Pook on Percussion, and an artistic and  production team headed by Zara Kattan,  with Anthony Friggens looking after sound and lighting and scenery created by Chris Floyd and  Eleanor  Jennings. Rhys Mann is our Stage Manager.

Andrew Robley & This year’s Script.

We started rehearsing on Tuesday 17th January, and will continue for a week ending with a Dress/Tech on Tuesday 24th opening the next day on Wednesday January 25th.

We’ll be playing Tuesdays to Saturdays from then on, right through until March 4th, keeping Panto alive into the early Spring! Looking after the BLMH Box office will be Charlie and Thom taking bookings for all the Music Hall throughout the year- a lot of them totally sold out in advance!

It’s a quick sprint from my Panto “Jack & The Beanstalk” in Northampton as Dame to Villainess here at Brick Lane, as it has been for Lucy who recently finished Gravesend Woodville Halls” Panto, “Jack & The Beanstalk”, and Hayley-Jo who finished her run in “Peter Pan” for UK Productions in Mansfield.

Scenery & Lighting gets underway. We rehearse on the floor.

Between Lucy and I in panto this year we’ve worked with half of “Blue”! Antony Costa was in Gravesend and I had the lovely Simon Webb in my panto at Northampton.

One of the great joys of rehearsing in Brick Lane is the amazing hot home made food we get lunchtime, created by resident Chef Salem in the kitchens. Just amazing and very welcomed!


So for this week we’re rehearsing from 10.30 through to 6pm, and Vincent blocked the two acts by Wednesday morning. The Afternoon was spent on music with Kate and Tom, and costume fittings for some of the company with Frank Kershaw.


Frank in Dressing Room 2 – a Sea of Sequins!

I’ll be keeping this blog up to date every couple of days, and, as usual, since this is a unique living and thriving Music Hall, I’ll be adding short articles related to “Sleeping Beauty”, to Music Hall Pantomime stars and our great tradition of Variety in the UK.


Keep calling in, keep abreast of the Music Hall times! Here’s a link to The Brick Lane Music Hall website

it regularly features Backstage news and of course the schedule of performances!




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