Visit London Blog » wilton’s music hall Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Visiting the Past: Wilton’s Music Hall Mon, 18 Mar 2013 10:30:04 +0000 Wilton’s Music Hall is one of the oldest surviving music halls in the world, and offers a glimpse of a bygone age of popular entertainment.

When John Wilton unveiled his “magnificent new music hall” in 1859, it was the newest venue in a thriving scene. During the late 19th and early 20th century, East London had more music hall theatres than any other part of the country. Music hall entertainment was raucous and rapid-fire; its acts often quirky and outrageous and its audiences legendarily bawdy and restless.

Many acts on the Wilton’s stage performed comic songs in character. An enchanted 1872 reviewer described the performance of impressionist Annie Delemont:

“Miss Delemont, who has a beautiful voice and is a superior vocalist, sang serial comic ditties in a way which charmed all who listened to her.”

Upon John Wilton’s death in 1880, Wilton’s was taken over by the East End Mission of the Methodist Church who were determined to help relieve the notorious poverty in the area. They used the building as a soup kitchen and as a refuge for people whose homes had been

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bombed during World War II.

The Grade II listing building then fell into disrepair until 10 years ago, when it began to be used as a music and events venue.

Museum of LondonWilton’s Music Hall has just re-opened its auditorium after completing the first phase of a grand refurbishment. It is hosting a production of The Great Gatsby until 23 March 2013. Find out more about the history of the building or catch a show.

Guest post by the Museum of London as part of our Visiting the Past series. More London history next week

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Stage Fright 2012: Top Halloween Theatre in London Fri, 12 Oct 2012 14:00:31 +0000 London has gone Halloween crazy this year, with loads of special events taking place across the city. If you’re looking for something different to spook you this year, why not check out one of London’s super-scary theatre shows celebrating All Hallows’ Eve?

Terror 2012: All In The Mind at the Soho Theatre, 16 Oct-3 Nov
Head to the Soho Theatre Downstairs for theatre company The Sticking Place’s annual season of horror theatre. Disturbing, controversial and thrilling, the four plays on offer are strictly for over-18s only. Writers Robert Farquhar (Kissing Sid James & Gods Official), Alex Jones (Noise and I’m a Minger), Mike McShane (Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Mon Droit) and Darren Ormandy (Hamburg and Sweetmeat) bring you their spookiest short plays alongside chilling cabaret from award‐winning songstress Sarah‐Louise Young (Cabaret Whore and Fascinating Aida) and Desmond O’Connor (Vive Le Cabaret).

Drowning Rock at the Camden People’s Theatre, 16 Oct-4 Nov
This ghostly tale set in a remote lighthouse is inspired by cult author HP Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Drowning Rock dwells on the mysterious and dark forces beyond the understanding of humankind. Again, this show isn’t for the faint-hearted: Camden People’s Theatre recommend it for audiences aged 15 and older.

The London Horror Festival at the Etcetera Theatre, 15 Oct-7 Nov
For four weeks, the Etcetera Theatre in Camden is being taken over by a broad range of performers bringing the best in horror theatre, comedy, magic and performance art, “from psychological spine-chillers to all-out splatter”, according to their website. Highlights include The Puppetry of Flesh (23-25 Oct); Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario (29-31 Oct) and the One Man Halloween (2-4 Nov).

The Horror! The Horror! at Wilton’s Music Hall, 24 Oct-7 Nov
Presented by Theatre of the Damned and part of The London Horror Festival, The Horror! The Horror! is a promenade performance through the historic cobwebs of Wilton’s Music Hall. It promises a “blood-soaked evening of murder, mayhem and bellowing madness, combining London’s rich history of music hall entertainment, the ancient horrors of HP Lovecraft and a cornucopia of Victorian gothic nightmares”. Sounds excellent.

The Good Neighbour Halloween Special at BAC, 31 Oct
BAC is presenting an adult-only version of family show The Good Neighbour for Halloween. You can explore the dark and dusty passages of Battersea’s old Town Hall: either fight your way through the cobwebs in search of a lost memory, or take an eerie moonlit tour of the streets of Battersea with the strangest brass band you’ve ever seen. After your journey, join in the Council Chamber-based Halloween party complete with spooky cocktails and DJ.

Halloween Fun at the Polka Theatre, 30-31 Oct
With all these adult-only shows, you might be thinking Halloween theatre’s not for kids. However, the ever-brilliant Polka Theatre has a couple of fab workshops for little ones, meaning everyone can get into the Halloween spirit. On 30 October, there’s a Halloween themed make-up session for 7-11 year olds; and on 31 October, you can create Halloween light sculptures, laterns and ghostly shadow puppets in a creepy, craft workshop for 5-7 year olds.

Check out more London Halloween spookiness here

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Video of the Week: The Pirates of Penzance in The Scoop Fri, 23 Apr 2010 08:01:50 +0000

The cast of London’s all-male Pirates of Penzance headed outside into the sunshine to give visitors to The Scoop a free performance at lunchtime yesterday. The show looks really fun and sounds great (sorry, it’s a bit windy out and the microphone picked that up too) .

The production is on at Wilton’s Music Hall, the oldest surviving music hall in the world.

Pirates of Penzance, 8 April – 16 May, £15 – £22.50,

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