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In the Limelight: Midge Gillies, Thursday 17th November 2022

Our final ‘In the Limelight’ talk of the year is next week, on Thursday 17th November at 7.30pm at the Water Rats. Midge Gillies will be talking about the history of Piccadilly Circus, the subject of her latest book which she describes as “a people’s history” of Piccadilly Circus. She will discuss how music hall performers helped to turn the world-famous junction into “the hub of the universe” and why one police officer described it as “the wickedest pavement in England”. Her illustrated talk will describe what went on at the London Pavilion and how its history marked the changing world of music hall. She will tell the story of the acts who performed at the subterranean night club, the Café de Paris and its tragic finale, as well as the big bands who performed at the GIs’ favourite, Rainbow Corner, and the more sedate Criterion. She will introduce you to performers such as the “Man/Doll” Phroso, invite you to take a cup of tea at the first Lyon’s Tea Shop and explain why Piccadilly Circus was the best place in the world to celebrate – whatever your class or means.

Many of you will be familiar with Midge from her 1999 biography of Marie Lloyd, The One and Only. Midge also spoke most eloquently about Marie’s life at our recent commemoration service. Tickets may be booked via Ticketsource and the booking link can be found here.

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