The Golden Days of Music Hall
Day 8 Productions
Whitley Bay Playhouse
9th September 2010
The Golden Days of Music Hall is the second outing for Whitley Bay’s own Day 8 Productions.Produced to coincide with the centenary of the opening of Spanish City-a 1400 capacity theatre with its prominent white dome as it centrepiece. The theatre as we know it is sadly no more, but the dome can still be seen from miles around. Music Hall entertainment was all the rage at the turn of the last century, with thousands flocking to reap the local and national acts at every performance.
On offer tonight to a packed audience were many of the acts that wouldn’t have looked out of place a hundred years ago.
An escapologist, a magician, a dame dolly, can can girls, a unicyclist, a theatre drama play, three Egyptian sand dancers and chorus line singers all graced the stage with authenticity and poise.
The chairman, wielding his hammer introduced each act with masses of slapstick humour- sometimes risqué - cheesy at all times - but the crowd loved it.
Favourites’ such as spectacular card tricks and the sawing of the magicians assistant, along with rousing versions of music hall sing-alongs kept the audience captivated. The participating members shouted out all the ‘oohs and the aahs’ and met the obligatory ‘booing and the hissing’ when the drama play villain entered the stage.
I think a lot of the audience would have loved to have been transported back to the opening day of Spanish City, but if Day 8 keep up the brilliant work of bringing home what the audience need then Whitley Bay could well be back on the variety map.
There was a lot going on tonight, and it mustn’t have been an easy job in putting it all together, the production team have done a tremendous job and ticked all the right boxes in my opinion.
The stage scenery was very apt for the era and the costume department deserves a pat on the back for getting the period dress spot on.
I used to watch ‘The good old days’ on television with my grandparents and loved the differing scenes of talent on the stage, I wish they were around for me to bring them to something like this, it would have warmed the cockles of their hearts.
The Golden Days of Music Hall is performing at Whitley Bay from the 9th until the 11th September at 7.15pm with an afternoon matinee performance on Sat at 2.15pm