British music hall singer Marie Lloyd, new play


This video from Britain says about itself:

The Little Bit The Boys Admire – The Marie Lloyd Story

26 October 2016

Broad Horizons presents its stunning new play by John Mangan. The life of the Queen Of The Music Hall as told by Marie herself, assisted by her greatest rival, Vesta Tilley.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Much to admire in diva’s biodrama

Thursday 23rd March 2017

The Little Bit the Boys Admire

Harborough Theatre, Market Harborough/Touring

4/5

IT’S 95 years since Marie Lloyd, the greatest music hall star ever, collapsed on stage. A week later, aged just 52, she was dead.

Her fame and her reputation still live on and her latest incarnation is this fascinating two-woman show touring small regional theatres, with Judy Daykin as Lloyd and Karen Hill as Vesta Tilley.

Through the use of plenty of singalong songs to help drive the narrative, we learn of Lloyd’s strong socialist working-class principles that led to her leading role in the 1907 music-hall strike.

In the process, we meet Belle Elmore, second-rate performer but first-class strike breaker who, sadly, found real fame as the murdered wife of Dr Crippen. Despite her own success and good wages Lloyd always supported other performers and along with the second of three husbands Alec Hurley founded the union that is still alive in today’s Equity.

Lloyd always remained true to her principles both in Britain and the US, where she fought censorship and hypocrisy and suffered for it. Her left-wing anti-establishment views saw her excluded from the first 1912 Royal Command Performance.

She hired a nearby theatre where placards proclaimed: “Every performance by Marie Lloyd is a command performance — by command of the British public.”

We also witness the abuse Lloyd received from two of her three husbands. Despite her huge popularity, it drove her to depression, poverty, drink and eventually premature death.

This is a really enjoyable show telling the story of an amazing woman. How often do you get to celebrate a great working-class hero as well as to sit back and join Lloyd in a music hall sing-a-long?

All together now: “My old man said follow the van…”

Tour details: broadhorizonstheatre.co.uk.

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