World Theatre Day 2020

The Allisons (James & Lucy) and Eadie & Ramsden performed in some of the most outstanding theatres around the world. On this World Theatre Day I have chosen to celebrate one of the most famous, if not the most famous of all the music hall theatres – the London Pavilion, Piccadily. In July 1912 Eadie & Ramsden performed at the Pavilion as a comic duo along with others including celebrated comic performers Little Tich and Harry Tate.

The London Pavilion – was always filled with a gay laughing crowd and a bill completely star studded. It was the spiritual home of Dan Leno when not engaged in Drury Lane pantomime.

W. MacQueen-Pope. “Ghosts & Greasepaint” 1951

The London Pavilion was rebuilt a number of times. The original music hall was built in 1859 on the site of a stable and inn. As Shaftesbury Avenue was developed so too the building was pushed through and expanded and the new music hall was opened to much fanfare in 1889. At one stage the Pavilion could seat an audience of 3,000. The London Pavilion as we know it stands on the corner of Shaftsbury Avenue and Coventry Street. In the 1930s it was redeveloped as a cinema by Frank Matcham, and in the 1980s it was gutted with only the 1889 façade remaining and reborn as a shopping and leisure precinct. By the 2000s it was rebranded as the London Trocadero.

Back to 1912….On Monday July 15th 1912 the Pavilion hosted a programme of comedians, a cyclist, juggler, a coster impersonator, Lasso thrower, and of course a myriad of artistes who could sing and dance. Eadie & Ramsden performed their well honed comedy skit Charlie’s Visit that they would later take over to France and America.

According to the critic at The Stage newspaper who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the programme, Eadie and Ramsden were enthusiastically received by the audiences at the Pavilion and Little Tich was making a great success.

The Stage 11 July 1912 © The Stage Media Company Limited [British Newspaper Archive]

Under the London Pavilion was a beer hall – the Spaten -where the best lager beer to be drunk in London -almost as good as could be got in Germany – was in constant demand.

W. Macqueen -Pope “Ghosts and Greasepaint” 1951

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