Music Hall (1974)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by Various

Produced by Miss Ann Mattey

Performances: (Dates not in archive book) January 1974, Theatre


A recreation of Music Hall with monolgues, 29 songs and a magician.

  • Secure with Simkin's 'Semper Fidelis' Magnetic Braces. Attested by A Thespian of Norwood who wore them with Confidence in the Duel Scene from Hamlet.The Mind cannot comprehend the further Olympian Peaks the Swan of Avon might Himself have Attained with the True Peace of Mind afford by Simkins Best British Braces, as worn by Rat-Catchers, Theatricals et cetera.

The Production

The Artistes



"Uninspired Fare"

It needs a memory of no great length to recall the pleasure given by the Lambeth Players when they visited the South London Theatre with an entertainment called "Victoriana".

In expectation of a revival of those joys, the pulses are quickened this week as we pass through the S.L.T.C. foyer to be greeted by a picture of the great Queen in repose against the flag of her far-flung Empire. But the beat is soon brought down to normal - even a little below - by the goods on offer inside the theatre.

Some of the best talents of the S.L.T.C. are employed to no great purpose in a bill calling itself Old Time Music Hall. Unlike the above mentioned show by the Lambeth Players, it is amorphous, lacking in identity, jumbled as to period and without a definable point of view.

Worst of all, it is short on variety, the spice of life of any music hall worth its salt. We have to wait until the near end for the very accomplished turn by guest magician Hugh Lennon. Until then it is virtually all songs relieved by a couple of long monologues and a fitfully amusing mimed sketch to a narrative peom spoken by the Chairman.

Victor Shar, as it happens, has the makings of a very good Chairman. His eyebrows can express pained surprise with the best of them, and his voice has that whiff of condescension that betokens superior knowledge.

Nor is there much wrong with the performers as such. The songs are put over with feeling enough, the only trouble being they arrive by the boatload. Dennis Packham has a chirpy touch of Harry Champion; Ginny Kybert does the awkard schoolgirl bit with some spirit; Sally Lill, though vocally thin, has a certain naive charm; and the singing waiters are at least amusing to look at.

Arthur Skinner tells a long and sentimental story about a dog and Janice Grady tackles, with defiant sincerity, an equally long and even stickier monologue.

Even with the unpromising material used, one often longs for that touch of affectionate mockery with which the 1970s are wont to salute the folk art of a former generation. Anyone knowing nothing of its vital tradition might well wonder how on earth our forebears managed to get through the long evenings before the arrival of the box.

Donald Madgwick, The Croydon Advertiser


Reminiscences and Anecdotes

Members are encouraged to write about their experiences of working on or seeing this production. Please leave your name. Anonymous entries may be deleted.

See Also

We have produced other varieties of Music Hall, in the Bell Theatre, Prompt Corner and The Nettlefold Hall (or West Norwood Library Theatre, as it is sometimes known) one of which was recorded for the TV programme .....



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