- Weston's Music Hall
name = Weston's Music Hall
caption = Westons, circa 1880
city = Camden,
designation = Demolished 1960
latitude = 51.517431
longitude = -0.120111
owner = Henry Weston
capacity = 2000 (1906)
opened = 16 November 1857
yearsactive = 1857 - 1941
rebuilt = 1886-1890 Lander and Bedells
closed = 12 May 1941
othernames = 1868 Royal Music Hall Royal Holborn Empire 1892 Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties 1921 Holborn Empire
Weston's Music Hall was a
music halland theatrethat opened on 16 November 1857at 242-5 High Holborn. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire.
The theatre was constructed on the site of the "Six Cans and Punch Bowl Tavern". The licensed victualler of the premises, Henry Weston had already transformed the former "Holborn National Schoolrooms" into a music hall several years before [http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/personalisation/object.cfm?uid=014EVA000000000U00715000 British Library on Weston's] accessed 31 Mar 2007] . This purpose built hall was his response to the success of Charles Morton's
Canterbury Music Hallin Lambeth. In 1861, Morton struck back by opening the Oxford Music Hall, nearby in Oxford Street; a development Weston opposed on the grounds there were already too many music halls in the area [http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/westons.htm Weston's Music Hall, at Arthur Lloyd music hall history] 31 Mar 2007] .
The theatre was renamed the "Royal Music Hall" in 1868, and then changed names again in 1892, becoming the "Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties". So successful was it in that decade it began to rival Morton's Canterbury Theatre, which was the most popular and profitable in London.
The hall's early and most influential years were presided over by an exacting chairman and master of ceremonies, W. B. Fair, famous for the song "Tommy, Make Room for Your Uncle". He chose the acts, warmed the audience up for each succeeding performance, and encouraged them at all times to interact with the performers throughout the evening. Fair was thus responsible for introducing to the London stage some of the most famous music hall acts, including Bessie Bellwood and JH Stead.
The theatre became moribund at the beginning of the 20th century, but was rescued by George Cray, with sketches such as "The Fighting Parson".
In 1906, the theatre auditorium was remodelled by
Frank Matchamat a cost of £30,000, and was renamed the Holborn Empire [ [http://library.kent.ac.uk/library/special/icons/playbills/HOLBORN.HTM Theatre Collection at the University of Kent] accessed 13 Oct 2007] , becoming a part of the Moss Empiresgroup, remaining as the last surviving variety theatrein the West End [ [http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/server.php?show=ConObject.4715&objImageIndex=2 Museum of London] accessed 31 Mar 2007] , also performing special theatrical matinees.On 22 January 1907, a long brewing dispute between artists, stage hands and managers of the theatres came to a head at the Holborn Empire. The artists, musicians and stage hands went on strike. Strikes in other London and suburban halls followed, organised by the Variety Artistes' Federation. The strike came to be known as the "Music Hall Wars", and was against the conditions imposed by the managers. These included sole rights to a star and the ability to include additional matinee performances in the schedule without pay, or notice. Eventually the managements were forced to give in, in the face of solidarity by major stars like Marie Lloyd, and additional payments for matinee performances were introduced [ [http://www.peopleplayuk.org.uk/guided_tours/music_hall_tour/the_story_of_the_music_halls/strike.php "Music Hall Strike of 1907" (Theatre Museum London)] accessed 15 Nov 2007] .
The theatre premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, "The World, the Flesh and the Devil", a 50-minute
melodramafilmed in Kinemacolour[imdb title|title=The World, the Flesh and the Devil|id=0004837] . In 1926, comedians Flanagan and Allenwere booked by Val Parnellfor a début at the theatre [ [http://www.turnipnet.com/crazygang/gang.htm "Flanagan and Allen" (The Crazy Gang)] accessed 15 Nov 2007] , and Margaret Lockwoodmade her first stage appearance at the age of 12, in 1928, as a fairy in " A Midsummer Night's Dream".
The Holborn Empire was where
Max Millerwas taken on by impresario Tom Arnold in 1926, and also where he starred in the George Black revues "Haw Haw!" (1939), followed by "Apple Sauce" (1940) featuring Florence Desmond, Jack Stanford and Vera Lynn. The theatre was closed as a result of an unexploded time bomb near the stage door [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/16/a4693016.shtml "Dame Vera Lynn's Tribute to the 93rd Searchlight Battalion" (BBC People's War)] accessed 15 Nov 2007] , during the Blitzon the night of 11- 12 May 1941, and the show transferred to the London Palladium[ [http://www.maxmiller.org/stage3.html "Notable Stage Appearances" (Miller's the name, lady)] accessed 15 Nov 2007] .
The building was hit the following night by another bomb and too badly damaged to reopen. It was finally pulled down in 1960.
* "The Oxford Companion To Theatre" (second edition) (1957)
* [http://www.victorianweb.org/mt/boucicault/pva233.html Boucicault's Dramatic Works, 1838-1885]
* [http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/westons.htm Weston's Music Hall, (Arthur Lloyd music hall history)]
* [http://www.gabrielleray.150m.com/ArchivePressText/20020720.html "An Evening at Westons", 20 July 1865 (in "John Culme's Footlight Notes")] accessed 31 Mar 2007
* [http://library.kent.ac.uk/library/special/icons/playbills/HOLBORN.HTM Theatre Collection at the University of Kent]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Music hall — This article is about the British form of theatre and the venues associated with it. For other uses of the term Music Hall, see Music Hall (disambiguation). The Oxford Music Hall, ca. 1875 Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment… … Wikipedia
Music hall songs — There are a very large number of music hall songs, and most of them have been forgotten. In London between 1900 and 1910, a single publishing company, Francis, Day and Hunter, published between forty and fifty songs a month. Music hall songs were … Wikipedia
Music hall — Número de variedades en que cinco jóvenes enseñan sus gatitos bajo la falda El Music hall fue una forma de espectáculo muy popular en Gran Bretaña entre 1850 y 1960, pero que luego entró en decadencia. El término puede referirse a: Una forma… … Wikipedia Español
Wilton's Music Hall — Infobox Theatre name = Wilton s Music Hall caption = Fill image address = Graces Alley, Cable Street city = Tower Hamlets, London country = designation = Grade II* listed latitude = 51.510680 longitude = 0.066930 architect = Jacob Maggs owner =… … Wikipedia
Oxford Music Hall — Coordinates: 51°30′58″N 0°07′52″W / 51.516°N 0.131°W / 51.516; 0.131 … Wikipedia
Canterbury Music Hall — Infobox Theatre name = Canterbury Music Hall caption = Interior of the Canterbury Hall, shown in a print of 1856. address = 143 Westminster Bridge Road city = Lambeth, London country = designation = Demolished latitude = 51.5031 longitude =… … Wikipedia
Music of West Virginia — Music of the United States AK AL AR AS AZ CA CO CT DC DE FL GA GU HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA … Wikipedia
Weston High School (Massachusetts) — Infobox School name = Weston High School location = 444 Wellesley Street Weston, Massachusetts 02493 country = USA coordinates = district = Weston Public Schools principal = Anthony Parker viceprincipal = Kelly Flynn faculty = ratio = enrollment … Wikipedia
music — musicless, adj. /myooh zik/, n. 1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. 2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or… … Universalium
Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier — Infobox Pier Pier name=Grand Pier, Weston super Mare caption=The Grand Pier, August 2007 official name=Grand Pier carries= crosses= locale=Weston super Mare, England type= Pleasure Pier maint= id= design= construction= P. Munroe owner= Michelle… … Wikipedia