While audiences enjoyed the first of the St George’s Day Shows at Brick Lane Music Hall, the Outreach team were out and about, performing at Hawthorne Green Residential and Nursing Home in Stepney.
Brian Walker led the show which was also attended by pupils from the local St Paul’s Way Trust School who had volunteered to help serve tea. They were having their first taste of Music Hall and needless to say were quickly given a crash course by Brian, including a masterclass in “Ballin’ the Jack” and the finer points of a good old sing-along, such as when to “oi” in Lambeth Walk. They were a great credit to their school and gamely joined in with everything before taking tea round to the residents. Pictured above, Brian with some of the pupils and Musical Director, Michael Topping on keyboards.
As the party got into full swing, Lowri-Ann Richards, pictured with Brian below, sang songs from the four countries of the British Isles and tea was served to a rousing chorus of “Land of Hope and Glory”.
For almost four hundred years St George’s Day was celebrated as a national feast day on a par with Christmas. The tradition died out at the end of the eighteenth century after union with Scotland, but there has been a national call to re-invent St George’s Day and to make it a national holiday once more.
Amidst the unashamed flag-waving, our St George’s Day show at Brick Lane Music Hall is a reflection of a unique cultural heritage – one of bravery and pride, but also one which never takes itself too seriously for too long.
Above, St George’s Day Show 2014 – left to right, Ross Tomlinson, Joni Talks, Vincent Hayes, Bill Byrne, Saskia Brynne, Paul James. Below, the cast perform Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
Did you know?
St George became the Patron Saint of England in 1348 when Edward III put the foremost order of knighthood in England, the Order of the Garter, under the banner of St. George
English Army regiments still celebrate St George’s Day with great ceremony, calling on the legend of St George, who is thought to have supported English troops on the battlefield
The bonnet of the Queen’s Rolls Royce bears the emblem of St George slaying the dragon
Shakespeare was born on St George’s Day, 23rd April 1564, and he died on the same day in 1616
St George’s Day is the first official day of camping for Boy Scouts clubs around Britain
Paul James and Vincent Hayes, St George’s Day Show 2014.
We’ll be flying the flag of St George in our St George’s Day Show, April 23rd – May 9th. Grab a flag, wear a red rose, or come as you are, but make sure you are part of our national celebration!
Our last show before the Easter break was a Music Hall matinee. We had great pleasure in welcoming Pauline Shoop who chose to come to Brick Lane Music Hall with friends and family to celebrate her 102nd birthday! Pictured below, Pauline with her two daughters.
Other special guests at the show included a whole group of family and friends who had come together from all over the country to celebrate the life of the late Eva Norman. This had actually been one of Eva’s last wishes and was a moving occasion attended by her son and daughter, brother, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, partners, friends and neighbours.
The show starred (below, left to right) Vincent Hayes, Laura Hayward, Andrew Robley, Lottie Johnson, Paul James.
After the Easter bank holiday, the Box Office will be open on weekdays from 10.30 – 5. Our next show be the St George’s Day show – hope to see you there!
There was no shortage of shenanigans at Brick Lane Music Hall as we celebrated St Patrick’s Day 2015. Regulars included the Lewisham Irish Pensioners Club and the Joy Club, who were joined by a group of Retired Magistrates from Bromley, a party from Wiltshire and members of the cast of the rock’n’roll pantomime version of Beauty and the Beast.
Pictured above, left, members of the cast of Beauty and the Beast, who recently appeared with Ben Goffe at the New Wolsey Theatre; centre, Joyce Williamson, group organiser of “the Joy Club” receiving flowers; and right, members of the St Patrick’s Day audience enjoy the show.
On stage, Vincent Hayes leads the party.
Pictured above, Ben Goffe.
Party girls, left to right, Helen Colby, Catherine Dennison and Laura Hayward.
All the cast were in fine voice, including Andrew Robley,
And Paul James, who later took to the stage as Val Doonican.
Spring is in the air at Brick Lane Music Hall as we get ready for the St Patrick’s show – which opens on March 13th. Bigger and brighter than ever, the show stars Vincent Hayes, Paul James, Andrew Robley, Bill Byrne, Ben Goffe, Laura Hayward and Catherine Dennison, and we are delighted to introduce Helen Colby. Making her Brick Lane Music Hall debut, Helen has appeared in prestigious West End shows, including Sister Act and Sweeny Todd.
Above, during rehearsals, left to right, Helen Colby, Paul James, Bill Byrne, Ben Goffe, Vincent Hayes, Laura Hayward. Below, born in Galway, Vincent Hayes leads the show. The St Patrick’s Irish Party Week, March 13th – 26th – guaranteed to put a Spring in your step!
We bid a fond farewell to the girls and boys of pantoland… Left to right, Alan McHale, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Stephanie Sen, Lottie Jonson, Catherine Dennison, Laura Hayward. Catherine and Laura will be joining us for the St Patrick’s Irish Party Week (opening March 13th), along with Vincent Hayes, Paul James and Andrew Robley. We look forward to welcoming the rest of the cast in future shows through the forthcoming year.
Brinsworth House is a very special home created for retired music hall and variety artists. Known in the trade as ‘Old pro’s paradise’, it is run by the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, through funds raised annually from the Royal Variety Performance and more recently from Britain’s Got Talent.
Our Brick Lane Music Hall Outreach team made the journey across town to Twickenham, to perform at Brinsworth House, before a discerning, but (thankfully) appreciative audience. Brinsworth has its own bar and stage, so our team quickly made themselves at home. You can read more on our Out and About page.
In the week that we celebrated 23 years of Music Hall at Brick Lane, we took a brief pause in our pantomime schedule to present a Music Hall show. It was an opportunity to introduce two new artists, both graduates of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, who are currently appearing in Babes In The Wood, Lottie Johnson and Laura Hayward. Both gave absolutely stunning performances, each giving their own take on traditional music hall songs. They joined Vincent Hayes, Andrew Robley and Paul James for an afternoon to remember.
Babes In The Wood plays until Saturday March 7th. This is followed by the St Patrick’s Show, the St Patrick’s Irish Party, a sensational show starring Vincent Hayes, Paul James, Andrew Robley, Bill Byrne and Ben Goffe, who will be joined by Laura Hayward and Catherine Dennison.
Our next Music Hall shows are March 3rd and 4th. You can read more about all of the artists appearing at Brick Lane Music Hall and see full 2015 listings in our brand new 2015 Souvenir Brochure – now available!!
Our very first pantomime at Brick Lane Music Hall was Cinderella, with the late great Tommy Osborne and Tony Page (pictured above) as the Ugly Sisters.
While times move on, some traditions will never die and over the years Brick Lane Music Hall has played host to some of the greatest dames in the business, from the much-loved Colin Devereaux (aka Dockyard Doris) and Phil Starr, to the most famous dame of them all, Mr Danny La Rue, who appeared many times to sell out houses from the early days in Brick Lane, right through to 2008 where he gave his last official performance at our current home in Silvertown.
The dame currently treading the Brick Lane Music Hall boards is Nigel Ellacott, who plays Dame Vera Minge in Babes in the Wood. Seen below backstage with Andrew Robley (the Sheriff of Loosebottom), Nigel has been playing dame for over thirty years. Nigel made his Brick Lane Music Hall debut as dame in 2014, when he played Betty Swallocks in Big Dick Whittington.
This week in February 1992, Vincent Hayes was putting the finishing touches to his ambitious venture, a brand new music hall, the first music hall to open in Britain since the Second World War. Vincent chose Brick Lane because it was at the vibrant heart of the East End. At the time the area was still run-down, with the iconic Truman Brewery building standing empty, its former canteen disused. Vincent took a chance on both the venue and the public’s appetite for music hall shows. Loving music hall himself, he felt that there was no reason others shouldn’t love it too, especially since he intended to create a music hall fit for the times.
The Truman Brewery and Brick Lane proved to be the perfect starting point for Vincent’s venture, so much so that within a few years the business needed to move to larger premises, first in Shoreditch and then on to Silvertown, though retaining its original name. Brick Lane Music Hall has always represented Vincent’s own unique take on music hall, with laughter the key ingredient. It is safe to say that Vincent has successfully re-ignited the public’s love of this very British form of entertainment.
The original bar in Brick Lane, which opened for business in February 1992.
One of the early line-ups: left to right, Peter John, Barbara Windsor, Brian Walker, Judith Hibbert and Vincent Hayes
This cartoon appeared in the London Evening Standard, where Robert Gore-Langton in one of our earliest reviews, wrote “There is an atmosphere of dissenting comic anarchy in tune with the original spirit of music hall. It also has the most socially diverse audience I have ever seen in one room. The night I went, the Bishop of Lancaster was at a table with a nun and two monks.”
Vincent Hayes on stage with the late Danny La Rue, who was one of Brick Lane Music Hall’s great early supporters.