The Loft Theatre Presents…

‘The Theatre of Music Hall’

A tribute to and celebration of the performers of ‘The Good Old Days” of Music Hall

Devised and Directed by Sean Glock

AUDITION, SUNDAY, 14TH APRIL AT 12 NOON

Performance Dates 25th Sept – 5th October, 2019

The audition will start with an introduction by Sean where he will expand on the idea and aim of the show.  Please prepare a song you love to sing and be prepared to sing a music hall number, for which the lyrics will be provided on the day.

“The music hall is dying, and with it, a significant part of England. Some of the heart of England has gone; something that once belonged to everyone, for this was truly a folk art”

– John Osbourne, The Entertainer

“I’ve always said, I thought the Sex Pistols was more music hall than anything else – because I think

that really, more truths are said in humour than any other form.”

– John Lydon

“Freud‘s theory was that when a joke opens a window and all those bats and bogeymen fly out, you

get a marvellous feeling of relief and elation. The trouble with Freud is that he never had to play the

old Glasgow Empire on a Saturday night after Celtic and Rangers had both lost.”

– Ken Dodd

For me, these three quotes strike at the heart of what Music Hall is. It is at once steeped in heritage and violently contemporary; political and anarchic; traditional and revolutionary; academic and plainspoken. In no other part of British Victorian or Edwardian society, could a lady advocate the delights of sexual liberation in front of a more often than not rough house, and be applauded, encouraged and even loved!

The talents of players, from the first true entertainment superstars in the world such as Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno, to mid-20th century greats like Hattie Jacques and Sir Ken Dodd, have become a faded art form; to stand on a stage, tread that fine line between tears and laughter and through songs, tongue in cheek innuendo, and sheer force of will, titillate, flirt with and chastise an audience and become adored.

For far too long, this art form has been easily derided and dismissed as low brow fluff. This however belies the keen and honed theatrical techniques of these extremely talented and fine performers. Let it not be forgotten that music hall led directly to the very popular revue shows of the early to mid-20th century, which bred performers such as Dame Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams.

Drawing inspiration from the BBC’s, The Good Old Days, which ran from 1953 (the very end of the era where, ironically, television assumed music hall’s traditional audience) to 1983 (and the rise of post punk capitalism), our show will seek to showcase and educate through a joyful celebration of the magic that was Music Hall.

Through songs such as My Old Man Said Follow the Van, Burlington Bertie, Champagne Charlie, When I Take My Morning Promenade, Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ My Old Dutch, and more, we will breathe life back into this almost lost folk art, created by the likes of Vesta Tilley, George Leybourne, Sir Harry Lauder, Florrie Forde, Arthur Askey, Clive Dunn, Danny La Rue and Sheila Steafel, amongst others.

We will be forming a passionate company of performers that will take to the stage to perform numbers from some of the most famous names in British music hall history. Each performer will need, above all, bravery and enthusiasm; the ability to reach over the footlights and connect with an audience, forming an almost tangible link to The Good Old Days.

If you would like to find out more, do come to the Audition on April 14th, or contact me at spglock@hotmail.com or suemoore@lofttheatrecompany.com to express an interest.

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