Careline Theatre Alcalali

The Good Olde Days

Welcome to Those Good Old Days, this is Careline Theatre’s first solo venture into music hail and we trust that you will enjoy the experience as much as we have in bringing it to you.
It has been our long-held dream to diversify our programme to include musicals, following our extensive experience with pantomimes. We thank our Musical Director,  Mr Roger Dean, for his amazing patience and we hope to bring you some memories times gone by in song, dance and with a good sprinkling of humour too.
So sit back, flex your vocal chords and join in some old favourites, Also watch out for the bee!!

Marian Carter & Candida Wright

 

Dramatis Personae

Robin Baxter
Brenda Boud
A]ison Burns
Marian Carter
Neil Carter
Peter Ciague
Ian Coleman
Andy Crabb
Elaine Farrow

Dorothy Fish
Elysha Fish
Alan Gill
Lily Hamer
Scott Hamer
Dave Henderson
Sue Jones
Celia Pearce
Vernon Pearce

Jim Sissens
Pam Small
Brenda Smethurst
Kaye Stubley
Brenda Taylor
Janet Walker
Cohn Worrall
Candida Wright
Kelly Wright

Orchestra: Roger Dean, Bob Milner & Laurence Woodworth

 

 

Facilitators of Enterprise
Directresses of Thespian Expertis Candida Wright & Marian Carter
Doyen of Harmony & Composition Roger Dean
Terpsichorean Instructress Suzanna Mace
Electrical Illuminations & Verisimilitudinous Audio Effects Don Hanson
Assistants to Mr. Hanson Helen Baxter, Maggie Lawley, Lee Walker
Dramaturgical Manageress & Prestidigitator Sofia Crabb
Assistants to Mrs. Crabb Dave Henderson, Lynne Martin, Mike Wadsworth
Raiment and Accoutrements Specialist Janet Walker
Bespoke Millinery & Bagatelles Kaye Stubley
Exececutor of Pictorial Representation Andy Crabb
Master Carpenters Robin Baxter, Mike Wadsworth, Colin Worrall
Purveyor of Beverages Helen Wadsworth
Assistants to Mrs. Wadsworth Andy Headford Lord, Gill Ward
Manageress of Memorabilia Sellers & Usherettes Jenny Hart
Assistants to Mrs. Hart Anna Cameron, Keith Hart , Derek Martyr, Alison McInnes, Patricia Taylor, Ken Ward, David Williams
Purveyor of Iced Delicacies Ann Martyr
Admissions Vouchers Manageress Debbie Connelly
Publicization & Reportage Sylvia Johnston, Brenda Taylor, Helen Wadsworth
Daguerreotypist Scott Hamer
Affiche Candida Wright
Annotated & Graphically Illustrated Memorabilia Marian Carter, Sonia Crabb
HISTORY OF OLD TIME MUSIC HALL

Duggie ChapmanMusic Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. It involved a mixture of popular song, comedy, speciality acts and variety entertainment. Originating in saloon bars within public houses during the 1830s, music hall entertainment became increasingly popular with audiences, so much so, that during the l850s, the public houses were demolished and music hall theatres developed in their place. These theatres were designed chiefly so people could consume food and alcohol and smoke tobacco in the auditorium while the entertainment took place. Early music halls included the Canterbury Music Hall in Lambeth and The Middlesex, in Drury Lane, otherwise known as the Old Mo.

By the mid-nineteenth century, the halls created a demand for new and catchy popular songs. As a result, professional songwriters were enlisted to provide the music for a plethora of star performers including, more notably Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Little Tich and George Leyboume. Music hall did not adopt its own unique style. Instead all forms of entertainment were performed: male and female impersonators, lions comiques, a parody of upper-class toffs or “swells” by artistes whose stage appearance, resplendent in evening dress, contrasted with the cloth-cap image of most of their music-hall contemporaries. Their songs were “hymns of praise to the virtues of idleness. womanising and drinking”, perhaps the most well known of which is George Leybourne’s Champagne Charlie. Mime artists and impressionists, trampoline acts, and comic pianists such as John Orlando Parry and George Grossmith were just a few of the many types of entertainments the audiences could expect to find over the next forty years.

During the First World War the halls were used to stage charity events in aid of the war effort. Music hall entertainment continued after the war, but became less popular due to upcoming Jazz, Swing, and Big Band dance music acts. Licensing restrictions had also changed, and drinking was banned from the auditorium. A new type of music hall entertainment had arrived, in the form of variety, and many music hall performers failed to make the transition. Deemed old fashioned and with the closure of many halls, music hall entertainment ceased and the modern day variety shows began. The final demise was competition from television, which grew very popular after the Queen’s coronation was televised. In 1957, the playwright John Osborne delivered this elegy: “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.”

 

THE PEARLY KINGS AND QUEENS

Beryl JohnsonThe London tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens began in 1875, by a orphan named Henry Croft. His first job was as a Municipal Road Sweeper in the market of Somers Town, and he was particularly drawn to the London Costermongers (Street traders) who were caring and looked after each other if they were sick or in need.

Henry was fascinated by this way of life and decided he would like to help those who were more unfortunate than himself, including the children back at the orphanage where he had spent his early life.

The Costermongers were in the habit of wearing trousers decorated at the seams with pearl buttons and Henry adapted this to create a pearly suit to draw attention to himself and aid his fund-raising activities. As he swept the market streets he started to collect all the pearl buttons he found that had fallen off of the clothes of people visiting the market, and when he had enough he started to sew them on his cap and then continued until his entire suit was filled. Because Henry was an orphan he had no one to help him with his suit so he had to learn how to sew. It was this that started the tradition, which is still carried on by descendants of original Pearly Families, that it is the Pearly Kings who do all the designs and sewing and not the Queens.

Each pearly outfit can hold many tens of thousands of buttons on it and can weigh as much as 30 kilograms or more. There are two types of suit -  a Smother Suit, totally covered in buttons and a Skeleton Suit with far fewer buttons.
 
Henry Croft was in so much demand for his charity work, as many of London’s hospitals, workhouses and orphanages needed help, that he turned to his friends the Costermongers and they did not let him down. Many of the Costermongers became the first Pearly Families.

Croft died in January 1930 (aged 68) and it is estimated that he had raised £5,000 (approximately £200.000 in today's values) for those suffering in London. His funeral s as a spectacular affair, and as filmed by Pathe News. All of the Pearlies attended (roughly 400) and they followed the coffin to where Henry was buried.

The Pearly tradition has survived for over 125years and hopefully it will continue for many more to come. A parade of real-life Pearly Kings and Queens was featured at the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Music Hall Characters

Bessie Bellwood (1856 1896) xs as a popular music hail performer for her singing of Coster songs, including “What Cheer Ria.”. Her on stage persona was that of an abrasive but loveable character performer noted for her ‘saucy’ stage manner and her ability to argue down even the toughest of hecklers. Her vo1atile, unpredictable nature waa such that she was once arrested in the Tottenham Court Road for knocking a down a cabman she believed had insulted the man she loved.

Off-stage. she became a popular figure in London for her many charitable donations to the poor. In later life, Bellwood suffered from alcoholism as a result of her financial troubles and bankruptcy. With her health in decline, she died at her home in London aged 40.

Pete LindupHerbert Campbell (1844 - 1904) was an English comedian and actor vwho appeared in music hall, Victorian burlesques and musical comedies.

Born in Lambeth, Campbell started his performing career appearing in amateur productions touring London’s music halls during the early 1860s. He decided to “go professional” after a few years and adopted the stage name Herbert Campbell. He joined the minstrel performers Harman and Elston and the trio became known as Harmon. Campbell and Elston. How ever 1868, Campbell decided to pursue a solo career as a comic vocalist and quickly established himself as a popular music hall comedian.

In 1882, he formed a successful association with the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where he appeared in the annual Christmas pantomime, predominantly as a dame, every year until his death in 1904 at age 61.

Pete LindupMarie Lloyd (1870 - 1922) was an English music hall singer, comedienne and musical theatre actress She was best known for her performances of songs such as “The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery”, “My Old Man (Said Follow the Van)” and “Oh Mr Porter What Shall I Do”. She received both criticism and praise for her use of innuendo and double entendre during her performances and was in frequent dispute with Britain’s theatre censors due to the risqué content of her songs. Despite this she enjoyed a long and prosperous career, during which she was affectionately called the Queen of the Music Hall.

She suffered from bouts of ill-health and became alcohol-dependent. which imposed restrictions on her performing career by the 1920s. In 1922, she gave her final performance at the Alhambra Theatre, London, during which she became ill on stage. She died a few days later at the age of 52.

Pete LindupMatilda Alice Powles (1864 - 1952), was an English drag king (male impersonator). At the age of 11, she adopted the stage name Vesta Tilley becoming the most famous and well paid music hall male impersonator of her day. She was a star in both Britain and the United States for over thirty years.

As she got older, undertook portraying young men behaving either embarrassingly or badly. Among these characters would feature the character Burlington Bertie as well as clerks on holiday at the seaside (The Seaside Sultan). These were intended to be comical, and allowed the audience to laugh at the inflated egos of these characters. She was wildly popular among women as well as men. who viewed her as a symbol of independence.

When she gave up the stage, one of the main reasons was that her husband wanted to become an MP, and her profession was not really respectable enough for such a milieu.

 

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