Brick Lane Music Hall
Template:Tone Brick Lane Music Hall is a music hall entertainment based in the former St Mark's Church, Silvertown, in the London Borough of Newham. Music hall was popular throughout the British Isles in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Although a handful of purpose built music hall theatres remain, this is the only venue presenting traditional music hall on a nightly basis.
Past and present
The brainchild of Vincent Hayes, Brick Lane Music Hall was inspired by the popularity of the Lord Hood, where he was landlord in the 80s and regularly performed with his band of talented artists on an impromptu stage made from beer crates.
Vincent resolved to bring music hall-style entertainment to a wider audience and in 1992 opened Brick Lane Music Hall in the former Truman’s Brewery building in Brick Lane, from where it takes its name. After a move to larger premises in Shoreditch, the Music Hall has finally settled in Silvertown, in the Royal Docks, next to London City Airport.
The building where the Music Hall is now housed is the former church of St Mark’s, built in the 1870s by Samuel Sanders Teulon. The building is of historic interest for its unique Gothic brick exterior and the grace of its interior design. Having been deconsecrated in the 1980s the building could have been destroyed by fire had it not been for the weight of pigeon-muck on the roof which fell and quickly extinguished the flames! The building remained empty for many years before being offered as a distinguished home for Brick Lane Music Hall. A Grade II * listed building, the exterior remains largely unchanged, while the interior has been tastefully refurbished to retain all of its former character, whilst housing a full stage, lighting and sound, a bar, offices and kitchen and all the conveniences of a modern-day theatre.
Audiences are seated at tables in a cabaret-style arrangement. Evening audiences are treated to a three-course dinner before the show, afternoon audiences are served a full afternoon tea during the interval. Vincent leads most of the shows, with many of the artists who appeared at The Lord Hood, together with new performers, some from local colleges, and other experienced performers who come to enjoy the special atmosphere of Brick Lane Music Hall, where every show is unique and laughter is always top of the bill.
Brick Lane Music Hall is involved in workshops for schools, as well as taking shows to community centres, care homes and hospices throughout the East End. The theatre has a license to hold weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.
Since October 2006 the theatre has branched out on its shows, now offering produced shows, rather than the traditional "turn" shows that were offered in the earlier two theatres, as well as a new lighting and sound rig. The theatre has many new architectural features including a painted mural and many new designed sets.