The London Palladium has attracted the finest artists from the world of variety and entertainment for over a hundred years. In 1930 the Palladium hosted its first Royal Variety Performance and the following year the Crazy Gang came together. Closing briefly during the Blitz, the theatre reopened with Max Miller and Vera Lynn. Star bills in those early decades ranged from Harry Houdini, to Dickie Henderson, Gracie Fields, Sophie Tucker, Ivor Novello, Jack Benny, Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Fats Waller, Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley) and Kitty McShane, Tommy Trinder, Tessie O’Shea, Gracie Fields, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda, Laurel and Hardy, to name but few.
Val Parnell brought over the major American stars: the impressive role-call included Danny Kaye, Harpo and Chico Marx, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Sinatra, Abbott and Costello, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope. Home grown talents appearing at that time included Max Bygraves, Julie Andrews, Alma Cogan, Harry Secombe, Terry Thomas, Billy Cotton, Charlie Drake, Cilla Black, Norman Wisdom, Des O’Connor, Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Corbett, Arthur Askey and Shirley Bassey.
Some of the greats who appeared at the Palladium: Sammy Davis Jr, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.
Sunday Night at The London Palladium was first broadcast on ATV in 1955 and soon became a firm family favourite, with the best variety performers, the Tiller Girls, Beat the Clock, and of course, hosts Bruce Forsyth, Norman Vaughan and later Jimmy Tarbuck.
The London Palladium has continued to play host to the biggest stars across the decades, including lavish pantomimes and musicals, from The King and I with Yul Brynner, to Barnum with Michael Crawford and the stage premiere of Singin’ in the Rain with Tommy Steele. Notable musicals have included Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, (for which the famous revolving stage was finally removed in 2002), Scrooge, The Sound Of Music, Sister Act, La Cage Aux Folles, The Pirates of Penzance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver!
Sunday Night at the London Palladium is our tribute to this most fabulous of venues and one hundred years of unrivalled entertainment. Pictured at the top of the page, some of the cast; top row: Vincent Hayes, who leads the show, with Paul James. Bottom row: Catherine Dennison, Andrew Robley, Laura Hayward and Ben Goffe. The show also stars Bill Byrne and Hayley-Jo Whitney, with Musical Direction by Kate Young. Incidentally, our very own Kate Young was the first female Musical Director at the London Palladium!
Brick Lane Music Hall was the place for a right royal sing along today, as our autumn season got underway with a host of brilliant performances. Vincent Hayes and the outstanding cast of the Cockney Sing-Song received a standing ovation from the audience.
Pictured above, Hayley-Jo Whitney got the audience singing along to a reprise of Florrie Forde songs, while Ross Tomlinson performed some traditional Irish ditties and Catherine Dennison, bottom picture, had everyone joining in with a lively medley of Marie Lloyd songs.
Lead vocalist, Andrew Robley reacted with enviable decorum when he was joined on stage during his romantic solo medley by Vincent Hayes for an impromptu duet…
Maestro Peter John performed Your baby has gone down the plughole and The barmaid’s song, below, and yet more merriment was brought by Paul James, bottom picture, who finished his routine with The music man.
Pictured below, the outstanding cast, led by Vincent Hayes MBE. The Cockney Sing-Song, September 16th-19th.
Pictured above, Brian Walker popped in this week to give some of our outside signage a facelift, in preparation for re-opening on September 16th. Brian is the man behind all the brilliant sign-writing around Brick Lane Music Hall. Pictured below, his touches can be seen all around the Music Hall.
Brian may well look familiar. As a seasoned Music Hall performer, he has appeared many times on stage at Brick Lane Music Hall, particularly in the early years, and now is busy with our Outreach shows, taking all the fun of Brick Lane Music Hall to those who are unable to come to us.
Next week he will be taking shows to a Care Centre in Ipswich and to a Dementia Café, in his old stomping ground of Hackney.
Two of the people who are working hard this week to get the Music Hall ready to re-open in September are Eleanor Jennings and Anthony Friggens.
Pictured above displaying their First Aider badge (Eleanor) and Fire Officer badge (Anthony), they both work tirelessly “behind the scenes” to ensure the smooth-running of the theatre and the shows. An art graduate, Eleanor works alongside Chris Floyd (pictured below) creating the stage sets, props and other artwork for the theatre. She also works backstage during the show co-ordinating props and scene changes and helping with quick costume changes.
Anthony (pictured above right at rehearsals with Theatre Manager, Zara Kattan and Lighting Designer, Kevin Roach – and below on stage) is in charge of light and sound at the venue, setting up all things technical and working the “lighting box” at the back of the theatre. During the shows, the two are in communication via walkie-talkie to ensure a seamless performance.
Griffin Community Trust is a unique charity which provides a befriending scheme to the residents of Shaftsbury Lodge, a care home in Poplar. The Trust is run by 23 medical and dental students from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, who all live in the student accommodation next door to Shaftsbury Lodge, in Griffin House.
Earlier in the year, the students brought some of their neighbours from Shaftsbury Lodge to see Babes In The Wood at Brick Lane Music Hall. The students found it a revelation to watch how even those with dementia and memory loss laughed and sang along to the show. It meant so much to them they asked us to perform at their Annual Summer Garden Party which is held in the grounds of the Lodge, officiated by Lady Westbury, Patron of the Trust.
Pictured above, Brian Walker led the show, with Musical Director, Michael Topping and Music Hall artist, Lowri-Ann Richards. ” The early numbers were greeted with interest, smiles and a little bit of silence from the students”, reported Brian. “But as soon as Daisy, Daisy came along they all got the idea of joining in and Ballin the Jack had the biggest number of dancers that I have ever seen!” As the show got going, “Lowri-Ann pulled out all the stops and captivated everyone, even climbing onto a raised flower bed, much to the delight of the revellers!”
You can read more about Lowri-Ann Richards and the work of the Outreach team on our Out and About pages.
We have to take this opportunity to nominate our Head Chef, Salem, as this year’s Star Baker! Ever calm, he and his team produce the tastiest cakes and bakes known to man, managing to make 180 people very happy during our matinee performances. They also turn their hand to hearty lunches and delicious dinners, especially popular in the autumn and winter months. We say five stars every time!!
It’s that time of year again – Brick Lane Music Hall has been busy with its school’s programme. This year, five Newham schools took part in the programme, Central Park, St Stephen’s, Tollgate, Selwyn and Cleves Primary Schools.
We were asked to produce a show to tie in with the National Curriculum, where Year 6 pupils have been studying World War II. The show was called There’ll Always Be An England, and was performed with great gusto by the Year 6’s, with many enthusiastic solo spots and much flag waving!
Pictured: Pupils from Central Park School. For more pictures see our Out and About pages.
Brick Lane Music Hall ended its Summer run with a classic Music Hall show. The cast, led by Vincent Hayes MBE bid a fond farewell before the Summer break after another fun-packed show, where Vincent Hayes, Paul James and Andrew Robley were joined by Hayley-Jo Whitney (also pictured below), Ross Tomlinson and Catherine Dennison.
There will be a whole week of Music Hall shows to look forward to in 2016 as part of our special celebrations to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, which will also include a special St George’s Day Show, a Sixties Show and a Best of British show. This Autumn, we return with our ever-popular Cockney Sing-Song, followed by an all new show to keep you cheery as the nights draw in, as we celebrate in our own inimitable style the great British icon that is the London Palladium.
Be sure to look out for our new 12 month listings which we will be sending out to all customers on our database in early September. In the meantime, if you would like any more information, or would like to book up for any of our shows, please give the Box Office a call!
Vincent Hayes led the cast keeping cool in the Brick Lane Music Hall summer show, our first Summertime Showcase.
The show reprieved some of the highlights from our annual programme. Beginning with the opening from the Cockney Sing-Song, when all the cast donned pearlies. Pictured below, left to right, Vincent Hayes, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Paul James, Andrew Robley, Catherine Dennison and Ross Tomlinson.
They were soon able to cool down with a section from our Seaside Special, when they were all “Off to Sunny Spain ….”
Pictured above, left to right, Catherine Dennison, Andrew Robley, Hayley-Jo Whitney and Ross Tomlinson. Below, left to right, Catherine Dennison, Paul James and Hayley-Jo Whitney.
Below, the Spanish finale: Vincent Hayes, with left to right, Paul James, Catherine Dennison, Andrew Robley, Hayley-Jo Whitney and Ross Tomlinson.
The audience were also treated to highlights from the St Patrick’s Show, with Irish songs and dancing performed by Ross Tomlinson, below.
Andrew Robley sang and “The Old Ladies” (Agnes and Ruth aka Paul James and Vincent Hayes) performed their sketch from The Fifties Show.
Finally the entire cast performed our spectacular patriotic finale from the St George’s Day Show.
Yes, it’s official. British Summertime starts on June 26th, with the Brick Lane Music Hall Summertime Showcase. Above, the cast at rehearsals: left to right Paul James, Ross Tomlinson, Catherine Dennison, Vincent Hayes, Hayley-Jo Whitney and Andrew Robley.
Pictured, far left, Vincent Hayes with Musical Director, Kate Young. Left, Andrew Robley with Ross Tomlinson. Below, Theatre Manager, Zara Kattan, with Lighting Designer Kevin Roach and Brick Lane Music Hall Light and Sound Engineer, Anthony Friggens. Below, left, Catherine Dennison with Laura Hayward who is choreographing the show.
The Brick Lane Music Hall Summertime Showcase runs until July 8th and is a chance to see some of the highlights from our annual programme of shows before we close for our Summer break.