National Festival of Music Hall and Variety
20th - 23rd September, while the Britannia Panopticon volunteers were meeting and greeting new visitors during Doors Open Day Weekend (see article below for more information), three of our volunteers, Linda C Wood and Janet and Hugh Muir, headed down to Wilton's Music Hall in London to represent Britannia Panopticon at the National Festival of Music Hall and Variety. They did a fantastic job of promoting our beloved Glasgow music hall and schmoozing with celebs. Linda C Wood has written an article about the event which will be published in the next edition of our newsletter "And Chiefly Yourselves" which is sent out to our subscribing members (click on the Friends tab at the top of this page for information about how to become a member). But to give you a little taste of the event I have included these pictures...
From Left - Right: Linda C Wood (our very own answer to Ella Shields), Roy Hudd (President of the British Music Hall Society) and Janet Muir.
Behind the lens is Hugh Muir.
From left to right: Linda C Wood, Sir John Major and Janet Muir
Hugh Muir is once again the photographer
Books Coming Soon!
Some of you will already be familiar with the book about Britannia Panopticon called "Stan Laurel and Other Stars of the Panopticon - The Story of the Britannia Music Hall" by Judith Bowers, which sold out earlier this year. After much discussion with Birlinn, the publisher, it was decided to relaunch the book in May of 2014 with an additional chapter about WW1 and the music hall, 60 extra photographs and a foreword by Lord Michael Grade. It will also be re-titled "The Panopticon - Glasgow's Lost Music Hall Re-found" and in a new larger format. It will be available in book shops, our shop at 49 High Street, at the merchandise counter in the music hall and also a digital version available for download.
But this is not the only publication we are proud to announce, as Janet Muir, one of the fantastic Britannia Panopticon volunteers has written a book about her own uncle, Harry Braham, who was a music hall star in his day and performed in Britannia Music Hall. It will be called "Masks and Faces the life and career of Harry Braham", and published by Chaplin Books, Gosport next March.
"The book covers his early life in the slums of London, becoming a minstrel with his uncle Frederick Burgess's troupe before starting his music hall career in the UK and travelling out to Australia. His meeting Lizzie Watson (another music hall star who would become his wife) and going to America, before returning to UK. Performing in Britannia, his split with Lizzie and starting his legitimate theatre career back in America, then going on to silent film and his death in Staten Island.
"By the way there are also two near ship disasters, and performances before Royalty and Gold Rush miners in Australia !" Explained Janet.
We will of course alert all our members when both books are launched next year.
Doors Open Day & Built Heritage Week 2013
This year we started our Built Heritage Week before everyone else on the 14th September. To give people a little bit something different, this year we decided to host a season of talks from special guest speakers and we kicked off on the 14th September with a talk from Dr Paul Maloney about the History of Pantomime in Scotland entitled "Hullo Chinas!" (Paul is also offering classes on the subject for three Saturdays from 14th November - check out www.glasgow.ac.uk/centreforopenstudies for more information) and finished the season with an amazing talk from Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Head of Engagement at the University of Sheffield, who talked about some of the popular side show and novelty entertainments of the Edwardian era, complete with some very rare film footage. Check out our events archive page which is a tab on our What's On page for more information about the talks you missed.
In addition to the talks we also had a fantastic exhibition of costume, courtesy of Graham Hunter, and a DVD of old Glasgow film rarely seen and provided by Scottish Screen.
As usual, Britannia Panopticon proved to be a popular part of the Doors Open Day programme and over the week from the 14th - 22nd September we clicked over 2,782 people through the building and raised £1,093.77 in donations - thank you everyone that came to visit and came to help.
But the year isn't over yet. We still have, general viewing days, music hall shows, a haunted cabaret, silent horror films and a comic mart before the year is over - so click on our events page and find out when we are open.
Last Weekend at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall
Every year since September 2003 we have had a monthly show called Music Hall Memories from May til October and last weekend (25th & 26th May) saw the first of the season for 2013. I can't believe it but this year will be the 10th anniversary of our Music Hall Memories and this years cast is bigger and better than ever, with special guest stars appearing every month.
Last weekend our billing included Sarasvati Tribal in a wonderful belly dancing routine, Phoebe and Katie Sparrow with their own little song "I Don't Want to Play in Your Backyard", the vocal talents of Bruce DeWinters and the Banjo playing and singing sensation Mr Sandy Thompson.
Saturday proved popular with our audience and both shows were well attended, Sunday's crowd was smaller but not surprisingly due to a marathon, a cup final match and the glorious weather - however they were in good voice and generous with their donations (as we always say, admission is free, we charge to get out) and the weekends total figures are as follows:
Lucky Dip (with a chance to win £50 in High Street Vouchers) £53.50
Merchandise Stand £59.29
So that's a total of £579.86
So a massive thank you to our audience and all of those who volunteered there time and talents.
I hope to see you all again soon.
J B M XXX
Next Month our Star Artistes will include special guests - The Grumpy Magicians!
Sad news for all our fans at Britannia Panopticon.
It is with deep regret that I must inform you that Margaret Thompson (our hammer dulcimer and fiddle player) has recently passed away. Everyone who volunteer for our music hall shows and our regular customers will, I am sure, agree that Margaret was a colourful, wonderful, kind, talented and gorgeous lady who lived a wonderful and interesting life. Her larger than life personality couldn't fail to impress and endear all who met her and she always added sparkle to our lives.
She was and will always be an inspiration to me and the many others who had the true privilege of knowing her.
Darling Margaret, you will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Britannia Joins Licence Campaign (14/02/2012 Posted by Dav)
Britannia Panopticon has shown its support to the ongoing campaign against Glasgow City Council's new entertainment licensing laws, which come into force this April.
For more information on this please visit our campaign page. Please sign the petition, come to the meetings and pledge your support to such a worthwhile lobby. It is so important to us because the council, to date, have never granted us a license due to health and safety and accessibility requirements that we simply cannot meet due to the costs involved and the very nature of the building.
News Archive (14/02/2012 Posted by Dav)
As you can probably tell, the site's going through a bit of a redesign.
All the old news is still here and can be viewed on the news archive.