Date(s) - 18/09/2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Cole Hole pub
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The taverns and coffee houses of 18th century London where men met to eat, drink and do business, were where Music Hall and variety shows began. The Victoria & Albert Museum records that “Performers sang songs whilst the audience ate, drank and joined in the singing. By the 1830s taverns had rooms devoted to musical clubs. They presented Saturday evening Singsongs and Free and Easies. These became so popular that entertainment was put on two or three times a week. For more middle-class clientele song and supper rooms opened in the 1830s. They served hot food and provided entertainment until the early hours of the morning.”
In the company of Max Miller and other Music Hall heroes, re-created by Mr Tommy Parsons (aka Mitch Feral from Funny Story Productions), we will start at The Coal Hole on the Strand (just at the bottom of the steps by the Savoy Theatre stage door – on the borders of London’s Theatreland. We visit the sites of the very first beginnings of Music Hall : Evans Supper Rooms and The Cyder Cellars. The original buildings no longer exist, but there are traces and plaques and names – for instance, the Coal Hole pub still bears the name of one of the earliest ‘free ‘n’ easy’ venues.
The Strand was the backbone of early music hall and variety, and we will visit sites of early Music Halls such as The Tivoli and on to St.Martin’s Lane where the Coliseum still stands – originally built as a Music Hall. We make our way to the Empire – built as a palace of varieties and home to many great stars – and then on to the site of the Alhambra in Leicester Square – one wall of the exterior still exists as part of the Empire cinema. This was the biggest and grandest venue of its day. We end our Music Hall Encore at the statue of Charlie Chaplin Leicester Square – whose beginnings were in Music Hall.
Tickets: £15 if booked before 1 September, 2019, £18 thereafter
Participants in our unique Music Hall Encore walkshop will have the option to purchase a ticket to see all the old time stars mentioned represented in Funny Story Productions’ live Music Hall show, in contemporary costumes, singing all the original songs and with a simultaneous illustrative film show of Victorian London and with images and footage of the original stars themselves. (This will incur an additional charge).