Photograph of Marie Lloyd

Click onto this link to watch: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b016fn23/

The VV has discovered The Story of Music Hall, a BBC Four documentary presented by Michael Grade which really is a wonderful history of the music halls. You can watch it on iplayer for a limited period -  for another six days from today. It really is recommended. Quite a lot about Wilton's and Champagne Charlie with the wonderful Christopher Beeching impersonating George Leybourne. Christopher has an enormous wealth of information about the music halls and has written The Heaviest of Swells: A Life and Times in the Music Halls.

And thanks to Christopher, the VV now knows what Picadilly Weepers are...can you guess?


  1. Very good too - really enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks for posting about this otherwise I would not have seen it. There used to be a time when I would eagerly anticipate the day the new Radio Times came out. Now I no longer even read it until months later. Nor do I watch much TV except News At Ten and Eastenders on Sundays. I think Norwood Cemetery have published a booklet of their numerous 'residents' associated with the Music Hall which I have. 'Champagne Charlie' lies in Abney Park.

    Marie Lloyd is buried at Hampstead - I thought the recent BBC adaptation of her life with Jessie Wallace was superb. If you missed it, here is the trailer.

  3. Thank you, Rehan - I did miss the Marie Lloyd. Will check that trailer out...

    Actually, I'm like you and watch hardly any tv these days, and was reminded of the music halls programme while on twitter. Very glad not to have missed.

  4. I do talks on 19th & 20th Century Breweries and am preparing a talk on Brewers and the Theatre licence. Up until the 1843 Theatre Act, copious amounts of beer, brandy, etc. were consumed in pubs, theatres and music halls, which put on entertainment. This made them very important to the brewers of the day. The 1843, Theatres Act forced Theatres, Music Halls, and pubs to choose between offering solo artistes who sang while the public drank, or becoming serious theatres with no drinking allowed. This did not stop serious theatres selling beer, just not at the same time and in the main auditorium as the performances were taking place. This story was well captured in the film, Champagne Charlie, starring Tommy Trinder, about the great George Leybourne

    It is my believe that even after the 1843 Theatre Act even for serious theatres a special situation existed for the sale of alcohol in Theatres, Music Halls etc that meant they did not need a standard magistrates retail liquor licence to sell beers.

    I am contacting yourself as someone with knowledge of theatres as I am unable to uncover if there really was a different arrangement for theatres etc. and I wonder if you might be able to point me in the direction of anyone, or organisation that could enlighten me on this subject. Unfortunately all the people at the official licensing offices dealing with licence issues now, only know current licensing regulations

    Regards Alan Greenwood - beertalks@hotmail.co.uk www.beertalks.co.uk 020-8397-4763

  5. I'm sorry Alan, I don't really know about this area in great depth - but hopefully someone who reads the blog may have more information and will be able to contact you in the near future.

  6. I don't suppose anyone actually has a copy of this or know where I can get a copy? I recorded it last year but the recording has been deleted. I had recorded it as I do Victorian Music Hall as a topic with yr 6 primary children.