Cooking up a storm

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There were rare moments at Brick Lane Music Hall this week when you could hear a pin drop during rehearsals for Babes in the Wood. With the pantomime due to open on January 20th, everyone has been concentrating hard on being ready for the opening night – learning lines, going through routines, getting the set and props organised, the costumes ready…. Pictured above (left to right) a studious Rusty Goffe, Vincent Hayes discusses the finer points of the production with fellow cast members, while Zara Kattan ensures all is in order. Below (left to right) Frank Kershaw fills dressing room 2 with pink brocade, on stage, Lottie Johnson, Laura Hayward, Catherine Dennison and Stephanie Sen work on their moves, and, proving that a woman’s work is never done, Nigel Ellacott puts the finishing touches to one of his frocks.

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But as rehearsals continued, the mischief began – and it started looking as though Babes in the Wood could turn out to be our most riotous production yet!

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Left to right, Nigel Ellacott, Vincent Hayes, Laura Hayward, Andrew Robley, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Paul James, Rusty Goffe and Alan McHale.

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As Vincent hits the ground, you can be sure plenty of laughs will be in store in our panto’ for grown-ups, as Teach (aka Ms Vera Minge, played by Nigel Ellacott) tries to restore order with no help from the Sheriff (Sheriff Loosebottom, played by Andrew Robley) because he’s too squeemish to keep the Babes (played by Paul James and Hayley-Jo Whitney) in check. Will Robin Hood and his Merry Men come to the rescue? Find out! In Babes in the Wood, our annual pantomime for grown-ups which runs until March 6th!

Get the Party Started!

Ilford recorderThe Brick Lane Music Hall Outreach team were making a splash this week, kicking off 2015 in Ilford, where they got the party going for Bob Govey who was celebrating his 100th birthday, along with friends and family members. Pictured above, Bob (with birthday badge) with Brian Walker and party guests. The event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, at Fernways Care Home.

Read more on our Out and About page! Photograph courtesy of the Ilford Recorder.

Happy New Year!

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Relaxing after the show, left to right, Andrew Robley, Lucy Hayes, Vincent Hayes MBE, Paul James, Eleanor Jennings, Lottie Johnson, Laura Hayward, Tommy Knapp, Stephanie Sen and Anthony Friggens

2014 has been a big year for new talent at Brick Lane Music Hall, with three bright young talents in particular being introduced to the Music Hall by their illustrious parents! Seen above, Vincent Hayes with his daughter, Lucy Hayes, who has been keeping him in check, working as Assistant Theatre Manager, alongside Zara Kattan, during her gap year.

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Ross Tomlinson backstage, left to right, Hayley-Jo Whitney, Judith Hibbert, Ross with Bert the dog, Ross’s Dad, Malcolm Tomlinson, and sister, Eleanor.

Earlier in the year we were delighted to welcome Ross Tomlinson, son of music hall artist Judith Hibbert, who appeared in our first shows in Brick Lane. Ross sang and danced his way into our hearts in shows including the St Patrick’s and St George’s Day shows. Then along came Ben Goffe, son of Rusty Goffe, who first worked at Brick Lane Music Hall as Fight Director in the 2014 pantomime Big Dick Whittington. He then re-appeared to wow audiences in our Fifties show, Be Bop A Lula.

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Ben and Rusty Goffe in the dressing room during Be Bop a Lula. Behind them, left to right, Vincent Hayes MBE, Paul James, Jess Conrad and Alec White.

A Happy New Year to you and yours from all at Brick Lane Music Hall!

PS and – talking of bright young things – this is the latest addition to our midst – introducing baby Ruby, born to Joni Talks and husband Tom Wilkinson on December 8th. Congratulations, Joni and Tom and a special happy New Year to you from all at Brick Lane Music Hall.

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Merry Christmas from Brick Lane Music Hall!

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Thank you to all our incredibly hard-working staff and all the artists who have helped make this our busiest and most successful year ever at Brick Lane Music Hall. And a special thank you to all our customers for your loyalty and support – we couldn’t do it without you!

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Brick Lane Music Hall Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Looking forward to seeing you all in 2015!

Vincent Hayes MBE

Christmas is coming!

Christmas is a big time at Brick Lane Music Hall, with Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland running from mid-November, right up until December 22nd. The staff and artists put so much into creating the best Christmas experience possible for our customers, we wondered how they would be celebrating Christmas themselves. We started by asking some of our artists ….

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The Nativity Factor

I’ll be going to see the Christmas lights at Kew Gardens with my old friends from school. On Christmas Day all my family go to my sister and brother-in-law’s house for a big family dinner. My 6 year old nephew wants us to put on a nativity for the family!
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On New Year’s Eve, I’ll be performing – dancing in a 1920’s show. The cast are all my friends, so it should be fun. Then back to Brick Lane ready for the panto’!

Stephanie Sen

 

 

 

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Strictly Christmas

Myself and Dan are really looking forward to shooting off to Bristol to spend what we hope will be a peaceful Christmas with my family and friends. Christmas Eve will be spent doing the usual last minute wrapping, carolling at Midnight Mass and having a quick drink in the local pub,Strictly-Come-Dancing-Christmas-Special-2013 before going home and waiting for Father Christmas to come.

Christmas Day will be spent with my family for the big Christmas dinner, board games and the Strictly Christmas Special! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tommy Knapp

 

 

Monopoly Marathon

This year will be the same mostly as others with a few additions. Two days before Christmas – it’s an early visit to Billingsgate to pick up crayfish for a Christmas dinner starter. Then I make gravy and three different types of stuffing on Christmas Eve before leaving to conduct the choir at my local church for our midnight mass.SONY DSC

Christmas day, my wife and I usually get up before dawn and watch our two children open their presents before having a snooze as the day dawns. Then it’s off to Brentwood cathedral for service with their magnificent choir. After mass we go home for, amongst other things, a glass of champagne and later we have dinner and then usually pop round to my father in law for drinks, more present giving and usually a monopoly marathon.

christmas-story-monopolyOther highlights this Christmas include “Treasure Island” at the National Theatre and family ice skating at Somerset House, where my children (Omar aged 9 and Tallulah aged 7) skate. I circumnavigate the rink holding onto the hoardings for dear life while my wife drinks mulled wine and takes photographs of me in various ungainly poses. Love it!
Bill Byrne

 

Christmas Sunshine!

I am very lucky that each year I get the chance to work on a luxury cruise liner that will take me to exotic places. This year I will be in the Canary Islands culminating in a concert in Madeira on New Year’s Eve.SONY DSC

christmas_cruiseLast year I was in the Caribbean and on an afternoon off was lazing on the beach when a local lady offered to braid my hair. I declined profusely but unfortunately due to a potent gin and tonic I fell asleep in the sun and woke up to find the lady standing over me. Luckily she hadn’t braided my hair – but she had braided my chest, which now resembled a Christmas tree! She had tightened it so much that I was in agony. This plus the sunburn that I had sustained was horrendous! The only way to get it out meant having my chest waxed, so the moral of the tail is to keep off gin and tonic when lying on a beach in the Caribbean! Happy Christmas!      Andrew Robley

 

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In our business, you get used to working all over Christmas, so I’m looking forward to a Christmas at home and a chance to catch up on some DIY! The highlight of Christmas will be Boxing Day which I will be spending with my daughter and son-in-law and my wonderful Grandson, who is two and a half.

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My daughter is expecting another baby soon, so I am lucky enough to be able to look forward to many more magical Christmases to come,with my Grandson and his new little brother or sister. I wish everyone at Brick Lane a Merry Christmas, whatever you will be doing!

Paul James

 

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland Spectacular

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Our theme this year for Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland, is an animal circus, with, of course, Vincent Hayes as ringmaster. Visitors to the show have been treated to sumptuous lighting, as well as sound upgrades which make this the most spectacular year ever, with people enjoying the richness of the sound as well as the festive feel to the theatre.

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Our circus theme is continued on stage, pictured above, Vincent Hayes MBE.

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Each window is decorated with a different set of “big cat” performers.

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Paul James plays the clown. With him on stage, left to right, Stephanie Sen, Laura Hayward and Lottie Johnson.

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Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland

Christmas is now officially in full swing at Brick Lane Music Hall, with a spectacular show to celebrate the festive season in amazing style. Pictured below, our talented cast, starting with the lovely Mr Tommy Knapp.

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Below, left to right, the very glamorous Stephanie Sen, Laura Hayward and Lottie Johnson.

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In fine voice, Mr Bill Byrne.

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Gorgeous as ever, Mr Andrew Robley.

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In glittering form, Mr Paul James.

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And – what more can we say?- Mr Vincent Hayes MBE.

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Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland runs until December 22nd.

Welcome to Christmas!

 Vincent Hayes presents the line-up for Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland 2014.

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Left to right: Paul James, Tommy Knapp, Laura Hayward, Stephanie Sen, Lottie Johnson, Andrew Robley, Bill Byrne and Vincent Hayes MBE.

Vincent’s Christmas Wonderland

It was all hands on deck for four days while Brick Lane Music Hall was transformed into this year’s Christmas Wonderland. As rehearsals went on, a whole team took charge of the theatre, installing a new state-of-the-art sound system, impressive lighting, stage sets and, of course, decorations, which this year follow the theme of a woodland winter wonderland complete with animal circus!

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Troops of animals lined up to be costumed, from a dog band, to cheeky chimpanzees and impressive big cats. All have received a Brick Lane Music Hall makeover and can be seen from Friday, November 14th up until the end of our panto’ in March.

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A heartfelt thanks to all those who worked so tirelessly to make this year’s wonderland one to remember. We’re sure all our visitors to the Music Hall over the festive season will enjoy their efforts and we hope it will help to make their visit even more special.

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A Special Remembrance Service

 

BL22The RAF roundel was just one of the many wreaths and poppies placed at the War Memorial in the grounds of Brick Lane Music Hall in loving memory of former servicemen, in a moving Remembrance Sunday Service attended this year by over 400 people, including local schoolchildren, members of the Silvertown and Woolwich British Legion, Music Hall staff, local residents and members of Newham Council, including the deputy Mayor.

The service included songs and poems by local children as well as artists from Brick Lane Music Hall and the Caledonia Pipe Band. Afterwards, tea, coffee and cakes were served inside the theatre before the official parade back to the British Legion.

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Photographs by Robert Rogers. Many thanks to Robert who laid the RAF roundel in memory of his uncle Jack and his crew, killed in action 70 years ago this year, plus other members of his family who died in service of the country, mostly in the local area.

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