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In The Limelight on May 19th features the life of Renee Houston.

The next In The Limelight talk on Thursday 19th May 2022 at the Water Rats, 328, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8BZ at 730pm will feature Miranda Brooke talking about the life of Renée Houston, a performer who, with her sister, Billie, become a leading variety act in the 1920s. She later appeared on TV, radio and film. Miranda Brooke is the author of the only biography about Renée called Renee Houston: Spirit Of The Irresistibles. Tickets (BMHS Members £8; Non-Members £10) can be booked via Ticketsource:

The Best of British Music Hall at the Mary Ward Centre on Saturday 21st May at 3pm.

Mary Ward Centre, 42 Queen Square, London WC1
Saturday 21 May, 3pm

Come along and sing along to the hits of yesteryear
Door donation £5.

John Mann will be playing Europe’s largest mighty Wurlitzer Organ on Sunday 29th May

Barry and Joan: Keeping Vaudeville Alive

Screenbound Pictures and Blue Dolphin Films

are pleased to announce the release of

Barry & Joan

Keeping vaudeville alive

IN UK CINEMAS 6th May 2022

Directed by: Audrey Rumsby

Starring: Barry & Joan Grantham

Running Time: 87mins



Discover one Britain’s best kept theatrical secrets as documentary feature film Barry & Joan is released in cinemas this spring on 6th May 2022.

Barry & Joan is a unique and joyful insight into the creative world of Barry and Joan Grantham, two British eccentrics who have kept the skills of British vaudeville alive for over seventy years. Since becoming stage-struck lovers in 1948, Barry and Joan have taught, danced and acted alongside the greats of British film and theatre. They are the last of the golden generation of vaudeville acts, eager to pass on their legacy and passion to future generations.

An energetic couple, they have been treading the boards for over seven decades. He was an incurable performer who loved to cross-dress. She was a dancing piano genius. She spotted his legs when they met in a musical. Seventy-five years later, they are still married, performing, and teaching. This quirky and delightful documentary takes us on a journey through the lives of Barry and Joan’s rich history as performing artists and creators on stage and screen. They are emblems of expressive freedom, having built a repertoire of performance spanning from television and Music Hall to drag and nude theatre.

Novices and performing arts professionals alike travel from Europe and the US to hone their skills and expand their craft under the methodical chaos of Barry and Joan’s workshops on Vaudeville, Eccentric dance and Commedia dell’Arte at the Sands Film Studio in London. Their story is a treasure trove of inspiration for the playful and open-minded. As their magic unfolds before us, the joyous enthusiasm the pair share for performance and each other is infectious and it becomes clear that they just didn’t have time to grow old.

Making her feature film debut director Audrey Rumsby, who studied under Barry and Joan, describes the film as ‘about artists and people who devote their lives to play. I don’t claim for a single moment that the artists in this film are “doing it best” or are perfect in any way. It’s about the experience of finding a craft, learning it, cherishing it, and devoting one’s life to it. Barry and Joan symbolize a way of life, and a possibility for what you can be and who you can love, and what you can create if you’re willing to be your own quirky self. That idea is the root of Commedia dell’Arte, Vaudeville, Music Hall, and Eccentric Dance. Thank you for stepping into our world. I hope you like it here as much as I do.’

Following a UK premiere at the North East International Film Festival in November 2021 Barry & Joan now embarks on a UK release marking an exciting opportunity to bask in the warm glow of these inspiring characters. This tale of two national treasures is a rallying cry for uniqueness and self-expression in an increasingly box shaped world.

Barry & Joan graces UK cinemas from 6th May with special Q&A screenings to be announced.

Keep up to date via:

Day By The Sea on Saturday 18th June 2022

Only just over 6 weeks to go before the British Music Hall Society returns to the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne with the 6th Day By The Sea – an all-day celebration of music hall and variety.

Lissenden Players May Music Hall

The Lissenden Players will be staging their monthly music hall evening on Wednesday 18th May at the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, 11, South Grove, Pond Square, Highgate, London N6 6BS. Doors open 7.30 for 8 pm start .

Artists appearing: Roz Nelson, Sheila Miller, Barbara Kealy and Clive Bennett

with Alec Dunachie in the Chair and Derek Marcus at the piano.

Produced by Barbara Kealy.

Admission at the door: £8.  

In The Limelight with Renee Houston on May 19th

The next In The Limelight talk on Thursday 19th May 2022 at the Water Rats, 328, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8BZ at 730pm will feature Miranda Brooke talking about the life of Renée Houston, a performer who, with her sister, Billie, become a leading variety act in the 1920s. She later appeared on TV, radio and film. Miranda Brooke is the author of the only biography about Renée called Renee Houston: Spirit Of The Irresistibles. Tickets (BMHS Members £8; Non-Members £10) can be booked via Ticketsource:

Andrew Van Buren Talk on Zoom on Thursday 28th April

Derby & Notts Music Hall Association invite BMHS members to join them for a presentation via Zoom on Thursday 28th April at 7.30pm when Performer, Showman and Raconteur Andrew Van Buren gives his talk My Magic Life in Showbiz.

Born into a showbusiness family, hear about Andrew’s family background and what it’s like growing up in theatres, on film sets and in circus. Tales of famous names, behind the scenes, and a lifetime touring the world, with adventures in the West End of London to Luxury Cruise Liners and the Middle East. Working for some of the world’s biggest companies to a few gangsters, close shaves with dictators, life threatening circumstances, mixing with British Royalty, working for Monaco and United Arab Emirates Royal families, and becoming television’s gameshow expert – using real plates!

These stories are of a life like no other, some of it unbelievable, but it’s all true! 

 The meeting starts at 7.30pm. Log on anytime after 7pm

Topic: DNMHA Zoom Meeting
Time: Apr 28, 2022 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 884 3866 0123
Passcode: 585468

The World Of Douglas Byng on Zoom for Music Hall And Variety Day

Music Hall & Variety Day

The World of Douglas Byng

Presented by Keith Fawkes & Richard Norman

Monday 16 May at 7.30pm

This presentation will be via ZOOM

Book now at:

A fascinating insight into the career of this comic singer and songwriter billed as ‘Bawdy but British’ who appeared in music hall, variety and revue. This talk was originally presented at The Water Rats in September 2021 but we are delighted that it is being presented again (this time via Zoom) as part of the celebrations for our 3rd Music Hall & Variety Day.

Players’ Theatre New Faces Music Hall on Sunday 1st May 2022 at 3.30pm

The Players’ Theatre will be presenting a New Faces Music Hall on Sunday 1st May at 3.30pm at the Museum Of Comedy, Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2SA.

Ten, young performers will pay tribute to many of the music hall greats in song, dance, comedy and magic.

Among the artistes taking part will be


Tickets available from:

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