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Archive for the month “January, 2023”

Annual General Meeting – 26th March 2023

British Music Hall Society
Sunday 26th March 2023 2.30pm


will take place on

Sunday 26th March 2023 at 2.30pm

at the Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BZ 

Hear what the Society has achieved in the past year, plans for the future and vote for your future Committee. Once the business side of the AGM is dealt with, there will be tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to meet fellow members of the Society.

Join us for a pre-AGM lunch at the Water Rats at 12.30pm, with two courses available for £20. If you would like to have lunch with us beforehand, please contact Dean Caston by email and select from the following menu choices:


Roast Chicken served with Roast Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables & Gravy

Roast Beef served with Roast Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables & Gravy

Vegetarian option  


Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Lemon Posset

We look forward to seeing you there.

In the Limelight: Stephen Bourne on Black Performers in Music Hall, Thursday 23rd February 2023

Award-winning author and broadcaster Stephen Bourne will give an engaging and informative illustrated talk about some of the trailblazing black women entertainers who starred in Britain’s music halls from the 1880s to the 1930s. These will include Amy Height, Mabel Mercer, Elisabeth Welch and Adelaide Hall. Bourne befriended Welch and Hall in the 1980s and will share some personal anecdotes about these legends as well as rare photos from his personal archive.

Venue: The Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BZ.

Time: 7.30pm

Book now
Elisabeth Welch from Stephen Bourne’s collection.

In the Limelight: Peter Charlton on Jay Laurier, Thursday 19th January 2023

Peter Charlton will tell the story of Jay Laurier from red-nose comic to Shakespearian knight with some silly songs joined together with Nine Inch Nails. Peter will be accompanied by Stephen Lethbridge at the keyboard.

Venue: The Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BZ.

Time: 7.30pm

Book tickets here.

Jay Laurier. Image from the British Music Hall Society Archive

PETER CHARLTON trained at The Northern Theatre School, Bradford. His professional debut was in 1954 in “The Housemaster” with The Castle Players at the Grand Theatre Lancaster, alongside Frank Finlay and David Pugh.  After touring with the Northern Childrens’ Theatre, a season with the 1957 York Mystery Plays (where Judi Dench made her debut) and a few weeks with York Rep, he went off to do National Service, mainly with NATO in France.  On demob Peter spent some years with various repertory companies, tours, puppets  and the occasional variety show ending up at the Prince of Wales in London with Max Bygraves.  There followed a long spell with BBC TV, most of it writing and directing childrens’ television programmes.  Music Hall sort of crept in one day and refused to go away starting with Professor Alexander’s Vintage Music Hall and including the Players Theatre, the Bee & Bustle Music Hall and a tour of East Coast America.  Passionately interested in the history of Music Hall, Peter is currently one of the Historians of the British Music Hall Society.

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