Vincent Hayes’ award of an MBE earlier this year was in recognition of his commitment to keeping Music Hall alive in Britian. Central to this is holding regular auditions and attending end-of-year shows to give emerging young performers a chance to appear at Brick Lane Music Hall. Following one such audition, held at the Dance Attic Studios in Fulham, Joni Talks was invited to perform at Brick Lane Music Hall in 2009.
Although she had only recently graduated from the musical theatre course at RADA, Joni seemed instantly at home in the shows, starting in the Cockney Sing-Song and then appearing in our annual Wartime Music Hall Show. It was as if she had been born to sing the heart-melting songs of the era. When we asked her about her affinity with songs which were popular so many years before she was born, Joni said that she had her Grandparents, Nora and Arthur, to thank. She had loved to sing along to the songs with them as she was growing up.
This is now Joni’s fifth year appearing at Brick Lane Music Hall. She has become a well-established member of the team, appearing regularly in our Wartime show, as well as other shows across the board, from regular Music Hall shows to Divas and the Sixties shows. We all have a lot to thank Nora and Arthur for, who could not be more proud of their talented protégé and are regular visitors to the shows.
There’ll Always Be An England – A Wartime Music Hall Show is ON NOW and plays until Saturday, 9th November. Pictured above, Joni Talks with Saskia Brynne (right) and Hayley-Jo Whitney (left). The exciting new show also stars Vincent Hayes, Paul James and William Byrne. Don’t miss it!
On Remembrance Sunday, 10th November, Brick Lane Music Hall hosts the Annual Remembrance Sunday Service in conjunction with the Silvertown British Legion who parade from Albert Road with members of the Scott’s band. All welcome.
With the Divas show well under way, all our artists are having fun taking on a range of roles as they step into some very big shoes, performing the songs of some of the most devastating divas from across the decades. One of the stars of the show is Hayley-Jo Whitney, who pays tribute to a diverse selection of darling divas from Carmen Miranda to Shirley Bassey (above).
A versatile songstress and performer, Hayley-Jo is no stranger to Brick Lane Music Hall audiences, who may be interested to keep an eye out for the latest Specsavers television commercial. Set to be another comedy mix-up, the new ad. features a Zumba instructor, played by Hayley-Jo, and a bingo caller…. The commercials are due to screen from the end of October, when Hayley-Jo will be appearing in our Wartime show There’ll Always Be An England – A Wartime Music Hall Show.
Divas continues until October 16th and stars Vincent Hayes, Paul James, Joni Talks, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Saskia Brynne and special guest artist, Andrew Robley. Pictured above, Vincent Hayes is Elvis, with left, Joni Talks and right, Saskia Brynne.
Thank you to all those who took part in our Divas quiz designed to help us celebrate our brand new show.
Although the term diva applies to a celebrated female singer, it has come to be synonymous with extravagant lifestyles and uncompromising demands and can easily be applied to certain male performers as well. At Brick Lane Music Hall we decided to celebrate the larger than life exuberance of Divas across the decades, of both sexes and on both sides of the Atlantic, with music, song and comedy, in a brand new show which opened on September 27th.
1 - Featuring in more than 12 films and a stage musical, this Barry Manilow song was inspired by a beach in Brazil
2 - Judy Garland first sang this hope-filled song five minutes into the film The Wizard of Oz in 1936
3 - One of the best-known Bond songs which shot Shirley Bassey to fame in 1964, this song took its title from the film and was the name of the sinister vilain
Those ringing with the correct answers (“Copacabana”, “Over the Rainbow” and “Goldfinger”) qualified for our special offer price for Saturday, September 28th and were entered into our prize draw for a celebratory bottle of champagne!
Divas is at Brick Lane Music Hall from September 27th – October 16th 2013. Phone Box Office or see website listings for details.
Brick Lane Music Hall began as an idea in a small pub, The Lord Hood in Bethnal Green in the 1980’s. Because of his love of Music Hall, Vincent Hayes, who was the landlord at the time, had constructed a small stage from beer crates, where he invited his favourite Music Hall artists to come and perform. It was the popularity of these shows that prompted Vincent to find premises suitable for a fully fledged Music Hall venue. Over the years many acclaimed artists have performed at Brick Lane Music Hall, some of whom appeared with Vincent in those early days at the Lord Hood. One such artist is Peter John.
A classically trained actor, Peter John is a brilliant, inimitable, performer with a repertoire of comedy characters which he plays to perfection. He has recently been honoured with the British Music Hall Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pictured above, Peter John at Brick Lane Music Hall. Left to right, Your Baby Has Gone Down the Plughole, Nobody Loves a Fairy When She’s Forty, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo and My Old Man Said Follow the Van…. Peter John will be appearing at Brick Lane Music Hall in the Cockney Sing Song and Music Hall shows this season. He will also appear with Vincent Hayes, Andrew Robley and Joni Talks at the forthcoming Festival of British Music Hall at Wilton’s Music Hall to celebrate the British Music Hall Society’s 50th Anniversary, on September 21st.
Many of you will know that Paul O’Grady came to Brick Lane Music Hall last November and took part in our Wartime show. This was filmed by the BBC for a forthcoming series, Paul O’Grady’s Working Britain.
The series will be broadcast on BBC1 at 9pm, starting on Thursday, August 15th. The Music Hall sequence is in the second episode, to be broadcast on Thursday, August 22nd at 9pm! Of all the television celebrities that have graced our stage over recent times, Paul O’Grady was one of the most gracious and engaging personalities and we are all very much looking forward to his new series.
Backstage with MD, David Harvey and Vincent Hayes before the show
The unflappable David Harvey
“She was poor but she was honest…”
Our magnificent Wartime line-up
After the show
Geoff, Sue, Tom and Charlie, some of the customers interviewed for the show!