Just another site

Archive for the month “July, 2019”

Music Hall In Islington – New Exhibition


Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!

Music Hall in Islington

Dates: 25 July to 22 October 2019

Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am to 5pm, Wednesday and Sunday (and public holidays): Closed

Admission: Free

VenueIslington Museum, 245 St John Street, London EC1V 4NB

From ‘Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay’ to ‘Pack up your troubles’ and beyond, music hall songs and their performers occupy a special place in the hearts of Londoners and, in particular, Islington.

For over 100 years, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the borough’s many music halls and variety theatres entertained generations of Islingtonians. Each venue promised a unique evening’s entertainment and local residents and visitors would drop in to see their favourite ‘turns’.

Famous singing star Marie Lloyd made her debut at the Eagle Tavern, off City Road, and Norman Wisdom launched his professional career at Collins’ Music Hall on Islington Green. Astounding feats of daring and illusion were witnessed at the Finsbury Park Empire, where Harry Houdini escaped from near-impossible stunts and P T Selbit was credited with being the first person to perform the illusion of sawing a woman in half. Audiences laughed at the comedy of Charlie Chaplin, Kate Carney, Laurel and Hardy, and Max Miller and marvelled at the amazing feats performed by fire eaters, trick cyclists and acrobats.

This exhibition celebrates music hall and variety entertainment throughout a time when Islington was London’s undisputed ‘Parish of Pleasure’!

Free events programme

Booking essential

Show: A stroll down the Golden Mile

  • Matinee: Thursday 15 August, 2pm
  • Evening: Friday 4 October, 6.30pm

Islington Museum

Explore the remarkable and rambunctious history of music hall in Islington! Hear from our band of merry miscreants, the ‘Naughty Nineties’, as they sing their way through songs from the borough. Join in with old favourites including ‘Champagne Charlie and ‘My Old Man Said Follow the Van…’ and get a taste of what music hall was all about!

Book Matinee performance at Eventbrite

Book Evening performance at Eventbrite

Walk. The boy up in the gallery: Nelly Power and the music halls of Islington

  • Walk 1 – Tuesday 20 August, 6pm
  • Walk 2 – Saturday 14 September, 11am

Meet outside Angel Underground Station

Join our guide Lottie, as Victorian music-hall singer and Islington resident Nelly Power, on this free 90-minute ‘theatrical’ walk. Listen to Nelly’s story, and perhaps a song or two, while visiting the locations of the borough’s well-known music halls. Hear how these venues were once made famous by performers including Vesta Tilley, Gracie Fields, Marie Lloyd and, of course, Nelly herself!

The tour finishes at Islington Museum where you can view our music-hall exhibition.

Book at

Talk. Freak shows, circus and music hall: Victorian entertainment in Islington

Dr John Wolff

Tuesday 24 September. 6pm

Islington Museum

Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Historian and author Dr John Woolf explores the history of the Victorian freak show, through the stories of the ‘freak performers’ who graced the boards of this popular form of Victorian entertainment.

From the world’s first international celebrity, a dwarf performer endorsed by Queen Victoria, to the original ‘Siamese Twins’ who wowed the medical world – this talk brings centre stage the stars of the Victorian freak show that helped define Queen Victoria’s age, a number of whom appeared in Islington’s music halls and places of entertainment.

Book at Eventbrite

Talk. Chapel on the Green: The rise and fall of Collins’ Music Hall

Tuesday 15 October, 6pm

Islington Museum

Mark Aston takes us back to the golden age of music hall to tell the story of one of London’s most loved and famous halls – Collins’ on Islington Green. For nearly 100 years, Collins’ played host to all the music-hall greats, including Marie Lloyd, Harry Champion, George Robey and a young Charlie Chaplin, and also ‘turns’ considered not so great!

Book at Eventbrite



British Music Hall Society’s Birthday Show on September 3rd at The Water Rats pub

Birthday 1Birthday 2

Venue: The Water Rats pub, 328, Grays Inn Road, King’s Cross, London, WC1X 8BZ.

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets  (£11) available from


Stick A Geranium In Your Hat with Roy Hudd on Radio4 Extra


Stick A Geranium In Your Hat: A Comic Celebration of the words and music of songwriters Weston & Lee starring Roy Hudd, which was originally broadcast in 1982, is being repeated on BBC Radio4 Extra. The first of 4 episodes can be heard on Saturday 27th July at 7.30am or 5.30pm. A third repeat can be heard at 5.30am on Sunday 28th July.

Charity Theatre Organ Concert in Crook, County Durham on 4th August

2019 08 Macmillan Cancer Concert copy

Steve Hewlett Selling Re-Educating Archie DVD In Memory of Comedian Dave Evans


Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett is offering DVD copies of his stage show Re-Educating Archie: The Archie Andrews Variety Show to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory of his friend the comedian Dave Evans, who died recently.  Dave, father of comedian Lee Evans, was also a fine performer in his own right and took part in Steve’s show featuring the dummy Archie Andrews a few years ago at the Underground Theatre in Eastbourne. The DVD of the show is a 2 hour variety special featuring the famous Archie Andrews dummy and the evening includes a recreation of an episode of the radio series Educating Archie  live on stage. Dave plays Harry Secombe and Max Bygraves and other artistes appearing include Helen Ward Jackson as Hattie Jacques and David Conway as harmonica player Ronald Chesney. Steve Barclay appears as Max Miller and Grimble and there is a special guest appearance by Andrew Van Buren and Allyson.

The DVD costs £12 (including p&p) and to buy a copy, simply email Steve at

All proceeds go to the British Heart Foundation in memory of Dave.


Dave Evans and his son Lee

Music Hall Show Is Part Of Gatti’s 202nd Birthday Celebrations at the London Canal Museum


thumbnailthumbnail (1)

The Players’ Music Hall Company will be presenting an evening of music hall on Saturday 27th July at the London Canal Museum to mark the 202nd birthday of Carlo Gatti. To book tickets go to the Museum’s website by clicking below:

The Museum is staging a whole weekend of Gatti celebrations. Again, further information can be found by clicking below:

Those Were The Days at Leiston and Coventry in October

TWTD Leiston 2019 webTWTD Coventry 2019 proof

Recent Additions to the Website


Photos from the Society’s Day By The Sea which took place at the Royal Hippodrome, Eastbourne on Saturday 1st June can now be viewed on the website. Just click below:


There are also photos from the Society’s tribute evening on  Tuesday June 25th to Danny La Rue. These can be viewed by clicking below and scrolling down the page:

Simon Bashford’s One-Man Show at Redhill on October 19th


To book tickets ring the theatre on 01737 276500 or go the Harlequin’s website:

Post Navigation