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.