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Archive for the month “November, 2013”

BMHS 50th Anniversary Festival Interviews on YouTube

Filmed interviews with some of the stars, BMHS committee members and audience at the BMHS 50th Anniversary Festival at Wilton’s Music Hall in September 2013 have now been put on YouTube. Just go on YouTube and enter ‘Wilton’s Music Hall’ in the Search column and you can see chats with Sir John Major, Steve Hewlett, Jools Holland, June Whitfield, the BMHS founder Gerry Glover and many more.

You can also click here:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wilton’s%20music%20hall&sm=12

The New BMHS CD – The Ideal Christmas Present

Trying to think what to buy people for Christmas? Or searching around for a treat for yourself? Then look no further – the British Music Hall Society’s first-ever CD, ‘Jewels Of The Past: Music Hall And Variety Gems’ makes the ideal Christmas stocking gift. Nearly all the tracks are new to CD and many of them have never been issued before, featuring Roy Hudd, Mrs. Shufflewick, Hutch, Alma Cogan, Gladys Morgan, Joan Savage, Elsie and Doris Waters, Randolph Sutton, Joan Hinde, Tommy Trinder and many others 

You can now order the CD online by going to the SHOP page:

http://www.britishmusichallsociety.com/index/shop.htm

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Leeds City Varieties – Book Of Memories

Caroline Fields, on behalf of the Friends of the City Varieties,  has produced a wonderful ‘Book Of Memories’, paying tribute to the much-loved City Varieties Theatre in Leeds. The book marks the 25th anniversary of the Friends organisation as well as the 60th anniversary of the television show ‘The Good Old Days’ which, of course, was broadcast from the Leeds venue. 

The book is priced at £9.99 plus p&p and can be obtained by contacting Caroline: cfields237@btinternet.com

The book contains over 50 memories and photographs of well-known artistes including:

Ken Dodd OBE, Wyn Calvin MBE, Vincent Hayes MBE, Roy Hudd OBE,
Barry Cryer OBE, Duggie Chapman MBE, Dame Vera Lynn DBE,
Nicholas Parsons OBE, Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE, Don Maclean OBE,
Kay Mellor OBE, Stan Stennett MBE, Barbara Windsor MBE,
 
 

 

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Voices Of Variety – New Website

There is a brand new website that will be of great interest to lovers of music hall and variety. It is called ‘Voices Of Variety’ and is the brainchild of BMHS member Stephen Dixon. Stephen has based the site around veteran performers he interviewed, and in some cases befriended, when he was a features writer on ‘The Guardian’ newspaper in the early 1970s. Among the artistes covered are Elsie and Doris Waters, Hetty King, Billy Russell, Leslie Sarony, Nat Jackley and Sandy Powell.

Do check it out at:

http:// www.voices-of-variety.com/

 

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The Bedford, Camden Town

Together with colleagues at King’s College London, John Stokes and Richard Kirkland have developed a particular interest in ‘The Bedford’ Camden Town which was sadly demolished in 1969. They are now wondering about the possibility of a digital reconstruction accompanied with archival material relating in particular to its rebuilding in the 1890s.

In the early twentieth century the Bedford established itself as one of the most important halls in London, hosting all the major performers of the time and gaining distinction as Marie Lloyd’s favourite venue. It was also a place that Walter Sickert and other members of the Camden Town Group painted and sketched many times. As music-hall waned in popularity so the Bedford’s fortunes declined. It was converted to a cinema in 1933, then to a conventional theatre in 1937, and eventually closed down entirely in 1959. The building lay derelict for a decade before it was finally demolished. Its woebegone appearance in its last years was depicted in the documentary The London Nobody Knows, directed by Norman Cohen in 1967.

 

A digital reconstruction would be an ambitious and expensive undertaking that would require funding by one of the major academic bodies and putting together an application would in itself be a complicated business. However, King’s is at the forefront of digital technology and, together with John and Richard, have some considerable experience of research into theatre history and a great deal of enthusiasm. As part of their preparations for a bid for funding they would be delighted to hear from anybody who could share their memories of the Bedford with them. Full acknowledgement would, of course, be given and all permissions sought. They can be contacted by e-mail (john.a.stokes@kcl.ac.uk) or at the Department of English, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS. 

 

 

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