Old Time Music Hall
at a Club near you
Vaudeville in the US or Music Hall in the UK was a variety show for the common man popular in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. It contained humorous, musical, dramatic and novelty items. Bawdy and suggestive items were commonplace. I‘aven’t ‘ad it up in a long while (of an umbrella). I’ve never seen one as big as that before (a marrow), By Jove Holmes, I can see Uranus. etc etc. In a well-known UK version each act was introduced by an MC who uses exaggerated language and hyperbole. Music Hall lasted until after the second world war, but died out with the advent of easy access to mass entertainment in the cinema and on TV.
Our Music Hall is set in 1917 – ish (although not rigidly so). The opening chorus will be songs of the First World War (Pack up your troubles, It’s a long way to Tipperary, Keep the home fires burning etc etc.), and the closing chorus set in London around the same period (Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, Any old iron, Lambeth Walk, Let’s all go down the Strand, Daisy Daisy, Down at the old Bull and Bush etc.) Audience participation is encouraged especially by the MC who will both flatter and abuse the orchestra, the cast and the audience in equal measure.
If you want to learn more about this entertainment medium and its history check out www.musicals101.com/musichall.htm