In loving memory of his father, John Arthur Rogers, one of our regular customers, Robert Rogers, gave a donation to the Brick Lane Music Hall Charity which enabled us to take out a show to the Royal Star and Garter Home for Ex-servicemen and women.
As a young Royal Engineer, John Arthur Rogers took part in the D-Day landings, Operation Overlord. Pictured below, second on the left, his unit were sent over to construct the Mulberry Harbour – which Robert’s grandfather had helped to make in the local Blackwall Docks. In fact, the Rogers family contributed much locally to the war effort. John Arthur served in Europe until 1947, dying in 1986 of complications arising from his service. Robert’s Uncle Jack, John Edward Cowan, served in the RAF, while his other grandfather served as ARP Warden on the home front in Canning Town. Killed by enemy action, Rogers Road is named in his honour.
Staff and residents at the Star and Garter were very moved to hear about Robert’s father, having lost their last survivor of D-Day only last week. By co-incidence, both he and John Arthur had been deployed on “Gold Beach” during the landings, so there was a great sense of connection in the room and appreciation of Robert’s kind gesture in sending the Brick Lane Music Hall team along.
The show was led by Brian Walker, with Michael Topping as MD, and starred Lowri Ann Richards and Bill Byrne who have recently both appeared at Brick Lane Music Hall in our Seaside Special. It was an afternoon that will be remembered for a very long time.
With five schools participating in our Schools Programme this year, and with our team busier than ever working towards five separate end of year productions of Oliver, we felt we had another mission for our star reporter, Nigel Ellacott.
An authority on theatre and pantomime, Nigel is a writer and performer and the author of its-behind-you.com.Seen here backstage with Vincent Hayes during Big Dick Whittington, Nigel will be known to Brick Lane Music Hall audiences for his performance as Betty Swallocks. Throughout the panto’, we all eagerly tuned in to Nigel’s daily news round-up in Betty’s Blog.
Nigel went along to Tollgate Primary School, Plaistow, to see how the team were getting on. You can read his full report by clicking this link to ourOut and Aboutpage.
As the Tour de France sweeps past Brick Lane Music Hall and on to its next stage, our artists make a grand departure from the stage for the Summer break. Above, Vincent Hayes MBE leads the cast in the finale of the final performance of our Seaside Special. And below, left to right, Bill Byrne, Paul James and Ross Tomlinson and Lowri Ann Richards with Anna Campkin.
Bill Byrne and Lowri Ann Richards join Brian Walker and Michael Topping next week for a very special Outreach show at the Royal Star and Garter Home for Retired Servicemen and Women. While Ross Tomlinson continues working in our schools programme, along with artists Joni Talks, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Alan McHale and Jeff Chandler, with final performances of Oliver over the next two weeks. Brick Lane Music Hall re-opens in September with the Cockney Sing Song.
There was no shortage of talent or enthusiasm among the pupils at Cleves Primary School as they rehearsed for their end of term production of Oliver. The Brick Lane Music Hall team, led by Joni Talks, is hard at work, dividing its time between the five participating schools. Working alongside Joni are artists who will be familiar to Brick Lane Music Hall audiences: Hayley-Jo Whitney, Alan McHale and Ross Tomlinson.
Ross, who is pictured above, is also managing to get back to the Music Hall for performances of our Seaside Special. Ross is pictured below – later that same day – on stage with Anna Campkin. The Seaside Special runs until July 8th.
The Outreach team have had a busy week, with a Strawberry Tea in Edenbridge in Kent, sponsored by the Edenbridge Rotary Club, where Brian Walker and Musical Director, Michael Topping, were joined by Peter John and magician, John Styles, to the delight of all.
After a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in Kent, the next day Brian and Michael were in Chingford to attend a 100th Birthday party.
“We were made welcome as we set up, then came the grand entrance of dear old Elsie. She was a woman of some style and humour, her family had piled her gifts and cards in front of her and she sat there holding court while us mere mortals looked on. When we started the music her face lit up and a she sang along with us as much as she could, she even gave us a solo performance, a heroic stab at The Laughing Policeman.” Brian Walker
If you know your Cockney rhyming slang, you should head down to the Roman Road for a chance to win tickets for two to Brick Lane Music Hall! We are offering the winners of a quiz, to be held on Saturday 14 June in the Roman Road Market, two tickets to any performance of our forthcoming saucy Seaside Special, to include lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. The event will raise funds for the Whitechapel Mission.
Here are a few teasers of our own. Answers at the bottom of the post!
1. Apples and pears 2. Trouble and strife 3. Adam and Eve 4. Ruby Murray 5. Butcher’s hook 6. Dustbin lid 7. Barnet Fair 8. Dog and bone 9. Duke of Kent
If you get the chance, and would like to win free tickets, you can head over to Gladstone Place, E3, outside the Bow Idea Store, Roman Road, 2 - 3pm.
Translation: 1. Apples and pears – stairs 2. Trouble and strife – wife 3. Adam and Eve - believe 4. Ruby Murray - curry 5. Butcher’s hook - look 6. Dustbin lid - kid 7. Barnet Fair - hair 8. Dog and bone - phone 9. Duke of Kent - rent
Pictured above, The Sixties Show, left to right, Saskia Brynne, Bill Byrne, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Andrew Robley, Anna Campkin, Vincent Hayes MBE, Joni Talks and Paul James. Below, Brick Lane Music Hall regular, Peter John, and his friend with Val and Pat Cody watching the show from the Royal Box.
Peter John is appearing this week in a Brick Lane Music Hall outreach show at Pilgrim’s Hospice in Kent, alongside Brian Walker and Michael Topping. Artists from Brick Lane Music Hall regularly perform in our outreach shows, including Joni Talks, Andrew Robley and Bill Byrne, pictured above. The visit to Pilgrim’s Hospice was arranged by John Oliver who brought a group to Brick Lane Music Hall in order to raise funds for the Hospice. You can read more about our outreach work on the Out and About pages.
Due to the incredible customer reviews we have been receiving on TripAdvisor since joining in the Autumn, we are delighted to announce that Brick Lane Music Hall is the winner of the coveted Certificate of Excellence, in recognition of its sustained commitment to outstanding service to customers. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed their feedback, your continued support is very much appreciated. The theatre’s presence on TripAdvisor has been attracting visitors from all over the world, from Canada to Australia, to this small corner of Silvertown: Welcome all.
2014 WINNER Certificate of Excellence BRICK LANE MUSIC HALL
The soundtrack to our Sixties Show was put together by Paul James. Paul was not only part of the Sixties music explosion with his young band, The Soundcasters, he also worked in the music industry with the iconic stars of the decade – from Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer, to Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Beatles.
We asked Paul how he chose the music for the show.
“I have been writing shows for over forty years and, for me, choosing the music is the fun bit. Choosing songs for the 60’s show was easy with so many great classics to choose from. I always like to choose songs that the audience know and love, the ones that they say “I haven’t heard that for years, but it used to be my favourite”.
With wonderful songs – and a few laughs along the way….. The Sixties Show opens May 30th 2014 – be there or be square!
Pictured: top, Joni Talks with, left Hayley Jo Whitney and right Saskia Brynne. Above left to right, Paul James, Andrew Robley, Vincent Hayes MBE and Steve Galler Let’s Twist Again, 2013.
Don’t forget to get your copy of our 2014 Souvenir Programme – which features a full length interview with Paul to accompany the show.
It’s official! Brick Lane Music Hall is the smiling heart of the East End.
On the day that a Right Move survey was published claiming that the people of the East End are the unhappiest people in England, an ITV News report showcased Brick Lane Music Hall as proof that the East End is still a great place to live. Any East Ender feeling unhappy, they said, just needs to drop in to Brick Lane Music Hall, guaranteed to get them smiling!
The report was presented by ITV’s Glen Goodman, who chatted to customers enjoying lunch before the Divas show. It also featured Vincent Hayes leading the audience in a cheery rendition of Brick Lane Music Hall’s “National Anthem”, Daisy Daisy!