music hall at the museum of comedy

20 Jul

The Players Theatre Club
Music Hall produced by Jan Hunt
At the Theatre of Comedy
The Museum of Comedy in Bloomsbury has a cosy underground theatre styled like an old music hall complete with pros arch and a good lighting rig. So it is appropriate that the Players Club should do the occasional gig there, concentrating mostly on songs from the Golden Days.
They do not rely solely on Old Style material, but in this show there were episodes from ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ beautifully sung by Micky Driver especially ‘When this …war is over which he did a capella. Also from the fifties, Lionel Bart/ Laurie Johnson  musical ‘Lock up your daughters’ . Lovely Helen Watson, in the guise of a village virgin uses the audience to great effect in ‘Lovely Lover’ and on a ‘Sunny Sunday Morning’. The Aria from Samson and Delilah sung by Carolyn Allen suddenly turns into the Tom Jones number ‘Why Oh Why Delilah’  happily joined in by the entire audience.
But one of the highlights was the old Alec Hurley number ‘I ain’t nobody in particular’  sung by Michael Chance – this was a number made famous at the Players Theatre by Dudley Stephens and it made tears as well as chuckles. Dudley died young – at the height of his powers.
Another highlight was the chairmanship of Peter John who is a highlight in everything he does.
But the episode that spoke most loudly of music hall was a mistake which turned out to be a triumph. Somehow or other there was a mix up with the music for the two numbers from Julia Sutton. She had for her first wild comedy number a cockney costume complete with Eliza Dolittle hat.  But Paul Smith, {the orchestra}, played the opening to her sweet love song. So she sang her serious number in her music hall costume. Oddly enough it was all the more poignant as sung by a coster girl. What was even stranger , she was wearing her black sequin evening dress to do the mad comedy number and it was hilarious. It is a perfect expression of her enormous  talent that she was able to do this – and make it a success.
This is what music hall is all about. Triumphing over disaster!
The Theatre Club will be returning to the Museum of comedy regularly as well as the shows they do elsewhere. The Players Theatre club can be reached and membership obtained by mailing to

Aline Waites

Thu 19 Jul, 13:58 (1 day ago)

to Elsie, Susan, nigel, jodytoo


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