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Archive for the month “August, 2019”

Roy Hudd on tour in Oscar Wilde play this autumn


Our President Roy Hudd will be touring in the Oscar Wilde play A Woman Of No Importance this autumn. The tour begins at Cheltenham (5th – 14th Sept) and moves on to Richmond (16th – 21st Sept), Brighton (23rd – 28th Sept), Edinburgh (1st -5th Oct), Cambridge (8th – 12th Oct), Perth (22nd – 26th Oct), Guildford (29th Oct – 2nd Nov) and Norwich (5th – 9th Nov). Roy will also be performing 3 songs in between acts of this play.

Article on Seaside Piers in Daily Express, Monday 19th August


There is an excellent article on Britain’s seaside piers in today’s Daily Express, written by journalist (and BMHS member) Neil Clark.

Blue Plaque Unveiled to Lily Elsie



David Slattery-Christy, Rosemary Ashe & Roy Hudd


Lily Elsie

A Blue Plaque to the Edwardian musical star Lily Elsie was unveiled at Stanhope House, Stanhope Place (near Marble Arch in London) on Friday 16th August at 11.30am. This was Lily’s home from 1911-1938. The driving force behind the plaque was the author and playwright David Slattery-Christy. David has also written a biography of Lily called Edwardian Beauty – Lily Elsie And The Merry Widow.

The event was officiated by West End star Rosemary Ashe, who told the guests that Lily was born in Leeds and started her career on the music halls, billed as ‘Little Elsie’. She eventually moved to London and as she was now a young woman felt that the name ‘Little Elsie’ was too juvenile so changed it to Lily Elsie. She became a Gaiety Girl and a protege of the theatre impresario George Edwardes . It was Edwardes who cast her in the title role of the original London production of Franz Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow. The show was a smash hit and Lily became a huge star, also appearing in the operettas The Count Of Luxembourg, The Dollar Princess and A Waltz Dream.

Among the guests at the unveiling were the President of the British Music Hall Society Roy Hudd OBE and his wife Debbie.

Tommy Steele Lunch on November 7th – Just a few tickets left

Tommy Steele advertTommy Steele form

To download a booking form go to:

Gwen Farrar & Norah Blaney Book Launch in Brighton on 25th October

Screenshot 2019-08-08 16.20.46Screenshot 2019-08-08 16.20.26

Tell Me I’m Forgiven

This autumn sees the publication of a biography of two women music hall performers who were household names in 1924. Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney met each other performing in Lena Ashwell’s pioneering concert parties for troops in World War 1. They were classically trained musicians but turned their hand to comedy when fellow performer Wish Wynne broke her leg. Norah performed songs at the piano which Gwen sent up with peculiar noises and comedy tricks which included picking up her cello and playing it like a banjo.

When they came back from France they were mentored by ventriloquist Arthur Prince and were soon topping the bill at music halls all over the UK. They performed in the first of the regular Royal Variety Shows at the London Hippodrome in November 1921 and were called ‘ the premier British double turn at the piano.’ (Sunday Post in 6th November 1921).

In 1924  they recorded the hit song It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More and scored a huge success in The Punch Bowl revue at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

The ups and downs of their career and love lives is explored in detail for the first time in Alison Child’s biography: Tell Me I’m Forgiven:The Story of Forgotten Stars Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney.

For more information go to:

Alison Child will be giving a talk about Blaney & Farrar on Thursday 9th April 2020 as part of the British Music Hall Society’s ‘In The Limelight’ evenings.

Unveiling Of Blue Plaque To Lily Elsie On Friday 16th August


Rosemary Ashe



A Blue Plaque to the Edwardian actress, singer and beauty Lily Elsie will be unveiled by West End actress and singer Rosemary Ashe on Friday 16th August 2019 at 11.30am at Stanhope House, Stanhope Place, Hyde Park, London, W2 2HH. All welcome.

Lily Elsie played the leading role of Sonia in the original London production of Franz Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow and also starred in the original London Productions of The Count Of Luxembourg, The Dollar Princess, A Waltz Dream, A Chinese Honeymoon and The Cingalee.

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