The British Music Hall Society’s In The Limelight returns to the Water Rats on Thursday September 16th for the first live presentation since the lockdown. Two favourites, Keith Fawkes and Richard Norman, will be presenting The World Of Douglas Byng – A fascinating insight into the career of this English comic singer and songwriter billed as ‘Bawdy but British’ who appeared in music hall, variety and revue.
Sir Harry Secombe would have been 100 years old on 8th September 2021 and to mark this event, BBC4 will be screening a biography of Sir Harry on Tuesday 7th September at 9pm followed at 9.30pm by an episode of Parkinson when Michael Parkinson interviews the Goons. (The biography is from the series Welsh Greats and was originally broadcast on BBC1 in 2009.)
On Wednesday 8th September at 7pm the National Library of Wales is presenting an online event entitled Remembering Harry Secombe – a live Q&A session with two of Harry’s children, David and Katy Secombe as they discuss items from the archive which is being transferred to the National Library of Wales. Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance via Ticketsource:
The 2016 final of Britain’s Got Talent was unique. For the first time the winner was a magician, Lance Corporal Richard Jones, who devised a magic programme based on the story of Richard’s fellow Magic Circle member, Fergus Anckorn. The veteran had used magic to help him through wartime captivity by the Japanese on the notorious Burma railway in the Second World War. At the end of Richard’s routine, a Union Jack was raised to reveal the 97 year-old Fergus Anckorn. A week later Fergus was part of the BMHS Day By The Sea at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne where he wowed the audience with his card tricks. On Friday 22nd October 2021 L/Cpl Richard Jones presents his own evening of magic at the same theatre in his show, Escape: Breaking the Limits of the Mind. Other October dates include Bristol, Chesterfield, Peterborough and Market Drayton.
Jan Hunt’s Paper Moon Theatre Company will be staging another Magnificent Music Hall at the New Wimbledon Theatre, on Thursday 30th September at 2.30pm with Brian Conley (subject to availability) topping the bill. To book tickets click on the link below:
Hooray! We are back to staging live talks and shows again. Here are 2 events scheduled for September at the Water Rats pub, 328, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8BZ. Both events commence at 7.30pm
Tuesday 7th September: Colin Simmons for Showscope Productions is proud to present
Tuesday Night Is Variety Night
A celebration of the Society’s 58 glorious years
with Simon Bashford, Verona Chard, Tom Rolls, Chris Hare and Richard Leigh
Tickets £11 (BMHS Members); £13 (non-members) available from
All-round entertainer, Bernie Clifton, and pianist, Bobby Crush, top the bill this September in The Good Old Days. Together with the City Varieties Orchestra (under the masterful direction of Mr Paul Smith), and The New Variety Dancers, they will be joined on stage by:
Week 1 (17/18 September) Top of the Bill: Bernie Clifton Chair: Richard Gauntlett Supporting artistes: Judith Hibbert (Vocalist); Jan Hunt (Vocalist); Andy Eastwood (Ukulele); and Scott Penrose (Magic).
Week 2 (24/25 September) Top of the Bill: Bobby Crush Chair: David Graham Supporting artistes: Emily Brown (Ventriloquist); Mel Harvey (Magic & Comedy); Linda Watts (Vocalist); and Mickie Driver (Vocalist).
The shows take place at 7pm on Fridays and 2pm on Saturdays. Further information and booking details can be found by clicking on the link below:
The Good Old Days was a BBC television light entertainment programme produced by Barney Colehan which ran from 1953 to 1983. Filmed at The Varieties, the show recreated an authentic atmosphere of the Victorian–Edwardian music hall with songs and sketches of the era performed by present-day performers in the style of the original artistes. Compered by Leonard Sachs, the show featured more than 2,000 performers over the course of its run, including Les Dawson, Barbara Windsor, Bruce Forsyth, Eartha Kitt, John Inman, Ken Dodd and Barry Cryer. The original series has recently enjoyed a re-run on BBC4.
Kate Garner brings her brand new show to the Crazy Coqs cabaret venue, 20, Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7ED on Thursday September 9th at 7pm.
Did you know that Irving Berlin wrote ‘Always’ as a wedding present for his wife? Or that Edith Piaf quickly wrote the words to ‘La Vie en Rose’ on a scrap of paper in a Parisian cafe after an impassioned plea from a friend who desperately needed a new song.
With a life long passion for vintage music, singer songwriter Kate Garner returns with a brand new show telling the fascinating stories behind some of her favourite songs from Music Hall to the 1920s and 30s.
Kate will tell the intriguing stories of how and why these songs were written, then perform them at the glorious Crazy Coqs grand piano.
Kate will draw on her vast knowledge and passion for this vintage era which she first fell in love with when her dad, Chas Hodges of Chas and Dave, bought her a wind up gramophone.
Joined by special guests, including the fabulous Tom Carradine, Kate will also play some of her own songs which were inspired by the great songwriters of the era and will share childhood stories of her life growing up in such a musical family.
Southend Film Festival will take place from 16th – 19th September and will feature the world premiere of the film The Louder You Scream, The More We Show. The late, great, all-round entertainer Roy Hudd takes us on a ride through the history of British Fun Fairs and Amusement Parks. Filming at Carter’s Steam Fair is supplemented by glorious archive footage from the Pathe vaults. A wonderful nostalgia trip for anyone who has ever enjoyed the Great British fun fair. The film will be screened at 6.30pm on Sunday 19th September in the Park Inn By Radisson Palace Ballroom in Southend.
Other highlights include The Laurel and Hardy Laughter Show on Sunday 19th September at 1.30pm; Southend On Stage looking at the history of theatre in Southend (Sunday 19th September at 4pm) and many films.
Full details of the Festival including booking information can be found by clicking on the link below:
There is a change of speaker for the In The Limelight meeting at the Water Rats pub, 328, Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BZ on Thursday 21st October 2021 at 7.30pm. Instead of The Life and Career of Joan Turner, which has been rescheduled to 2022, the British Music Hall Society is delighted to welcome comedy scriptwriter Brad Ashton, who will give a talk entitled The Job Of A Laughtime.
Brad will tell lots of humorous backstage stories about the many top name comedians he has had the pleasure (and sometimes displeasure) of working with. Among the comedians he’ll be talking about are Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Frankie Howerd, Bruce Forsyth, David Frost, Bob Monkhouse and Groucho Marx.
Tickets (£8 BMHS members; £10 non-members) can be booked by going to the website: