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Abney Park’s Music Hall Stars

Colin Sell Presents ‘Your Own, Your Very Own’ – Abney Park’s Music Hall Stars


Colin Sell, of Radio 4’s Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, will present Your Own, Your Very Own, a documentary detailing the life and times of the music hall stars buried in Abney Park, followed by a live Q&A session.

This event will consist of a short talk from Colin Sell in which he discusses the links between Abney Park and music hall of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. This will be followed by a live stream of a 45 minute documentary presented by Colin Sell, and featuring Barry Cryer, which goes into the stories behind such stars as George Leybourne, Fred Albert, Nellie Power, Walter Laburnum and many more.

Submit your questions for the Q&A session ahead of this event via email at

To book tickets for this event, click on the link below:

Theatre Royal Dublin Talk On 17th September

Thursday 17th September7.30pm

Conor Doyle, Historian of the Theatre Royal, Dublin, will give a talk on

Dublin’s Theatre Royal, Remembered

Ireland’s greatest theatre opened in 1935 and was billed as Europe’s largest theatre at the time. Many ‘A list’ Irish, UK and world stars appeared at this cine variety venue, which held a capacity of 4,000 patrons. Using rare photographs and previously thought ‘lost’ archival footage. The talk plots the rise and fall of this amazing and much loved Dublin institution which is still missed today in the city! This talk was delivered as part of the Music Hall And Variety Day on 16th May.

Zoom log in details will be sent out to all British Music Hall Society members on email this weekend.

Doreen Hermitage

It is with much sadness that we announce the death of Doreen Hermitage. Doreen was an actress, dancer, singer and choreographer, a past Queen Ratling and a past Chairman of the British Music Hall Society. Doreen appeared in West End musicals such as Gone With The Wind, On Your Toes and the recent revival of Gay’s The Word. For many years she was associated with the Players’ Theatre and was the choreographer for all the Players’ Theatre Company scenas on BBC TV’s popular music hall show, The Good Old Days. She also made quite a few appearances on that show and here is a link to one of her best – leading the Players’ Theatre Company in a medley of songs made famous by Vesta Victoria:

Gladys Morgan and Wyn Calvin on Funny Nation

Gladys M 10

In 2019 BBC Wales screened a 3 part series called Funny Nation exploring Welsh comedy. In Episode 3, the British Music hall Society’s Vice President Wyn Calvin appears and we also hear a clip of Welsh comedienne Gladys Morgan. It’s heartening to see modern comedy actors discovering Gladys and even saying she was ‘ahead of her time’. The programme can be viewed by clicking below:

Strictly Variety at Cromer’s Pavilion Theatre


29th August – 13th Sept (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays)

Brought to you by Nigel Hogg Productions

The first indoor socially distanced variety show in Norfolk and possibly even Great Britain is right here, it’s not The Cromer Pier Show but it is the next best thing.

.Hosted by Norfolk funny man Olly Day and an array of the finest variety entertainers in the country fused together in a celebration of variety and the arts.   Expect some familiar extremely talented faces that have graced the theatre’s famous stage before and also some brand new faces in a 90-minute variety extravaganza.

The Pavilion Theatre cannot open profitably until social distancing is over so the space is being made available to help the acts try to generate some income for themselves and get back on stage to perform which they so desperately need to do.  In making the theatre available to this intrepid band Cromer Pier is doing their bit to help Keep Variety Alive until normal service and their own Summer Show can resume. During these challenging times the show is in aid of supporting the artists that have been left with no income and support until they can work again, the production team, the artists and tech crew would be very grateful for your support. We have got a show, now all we need is you, please come along and help us save the Arts.

With the help of Openwide Coastal Ltd. and North Norfolk District Council the Pavilion Theatre has been made completely Covid-19 safe and has been given the Visit England “Good To Go” award for enhanced confidence.

Limited to 100 tickets per show any unsold tickets will be available on the door

Booking is unallocated seating, you will be seated by the ushers on the evening according to your social bubble

Ticket collection is from the pop up box office in the Pavilion Bar on the night of the performance only.  No postage option is available

Show duration is 90 minutes with no interval

Face coverings must be worn

Pavilion Bar will be open until show time.

More information can be found at:


Ghost Lights: Ivor Novello And His Leading Ladies


Ghost Lights: Ivor Novello And His Leading Ladies, written and directed by BMHS member David Slattery Christy will be performed at Hinde Street Methodist Church, London W1U 2QJ on Friday 11th December at 7pm. Featuring the music of Ivor Novello and Noel Coward, the cast will include Rosemary Ashe and Ben Stock. Tickets can be obtained from the box office:

Music Hall Wednesdays at the Lambeth Heritage Festival

The Lambeth Heritage Festival this year is online and features a series of talks on music hall called Music Hall Wednesdays, organised by the Brixton Music Hall Project. These will take place on Wednesdays throughout September:
September 2nd: Brixton’s Music Hall Community
September 9th: The Empress Theatre Of Varieties
September 16th: Researching Brixton’s Music Hall Connections
September 23rd: Music hall Jugglers Of Lambeth
September 30th: International Music Hall
All the talks are free and commence at 7pm.
To book and to see further information click on the link below:
The Festival also has talks on the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Streatham’s Theatres and the National Theatre

Drama about Lucille Ball on Radio 4


Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Sitcom is a 5 part drama to be broadcast on Radio 4 from Monday to Friday 17th -21st August 2020 at 10.45am each morning , repeated at 8.45pm each evening. Written by Gregg Oppenheimer, it tells the story of his writer-producer father’s famous TV series I Love Lucy.

This roller-coasting five-part serial shows how television, at a crucial time, learned from the established craft of radio. Cuban bandleader Desi’s inventive genius engendered studio techniques now taken for granted. Lucille and Desi’s uplifting relationship flouted conventional thinking and defied accepted entertainment practice in one of the most influential sitcoms in TV history.

Martin Jarvis directs a cast that includes Anne Heche (as Lucy), Wilmer Valderrama (as Desi), Alfred Molina, Stacey Keach, Mike McShane and Jared Harris.

BMHS Music Hall & Variety Quiz Night

Fancy testing your Music Hall & Variety knowledge?
Well join Vice Chairman Dean Caston for a fun evening with our Zoom Music Hall & Variety Quiz Night on Wednesday 5th August at 7.30pm 
This event is free to all members of the Society and full details are on page 36 of the Summer edition of The Call Boy.

Day By The Sea

We have just heard from the management at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne that this year’s Day By The Sea, which we rescheduled for Saturday 3rd October, has sadly been cancelled. In fact the theatre has cancelled all their shows for the rest of the year and do not plan to open until 2021.
We do however, plan to be back at the Hippodrome next year on Saturday 5th June 2021 and so all tickets booked for this year’s show  will be automatically  transferred to next June’s event.
All those members who have booked for this year’s show should receive an email from Ticket Source giving information about the transfer and also information about refunds if needed.
It is so disappointing for us to have to cancel this very popular event but we do hope you will be happy to transfer your tickets to next June when we can hopefully all get together for a day of song and laughter by the sea!

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