Britannia Panopticon
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Here comes old Father Christmas

Britannia Panopticon

"Here Comes Old Father Christmas" is one of the first commercial Christmas songs, written and performed by music hall star, Harry Champion in 1915 who is more known for his songs, "Any old Iron", "Boiled beef and carrots" and " I'm Henery the eighth I am". He also performed at this very Music Hall in 1893!

Buy our charity Christmas single!
"Here Comes Old Father Christmas"
Sung by the Panopticon Warblers accompanied by Gladstone's Bag.
Only 99p!

BUY IT NOW

Baby it's cold inside!

Britannia Panopticon

Panopticon winter survival guide.

Well the cold weather is here and we still haven't got any heating. So, if you are joining us over the coming winter months for Panto, Burns night, comedy clubs, Dragopticon or any of our other events, please:

1. Wrap up warmly
2. Bring a blanket
3. Bring a hot water bottle
4. Bring hand warmers

We do have blankets and a limited supply of hot water bottles but do come prepared.

New date for Ghost Stories show Added!

Britannia Panopticon

Ghost stories from around the world returns on November the 8th at 7.30pm for another evening of ghostly tales. The 26th of October show sold out in two weeks and due to popular demand another was added. Expect lots of tales of terror perfect for this spooky season! There will be a mixture of plays, storytelling and music to get you the Halloween mood even in November! And what better place to have ghostly tales than in the Panopticon where ghosts dwell in the darkened corners of the victorian Music Hall.

Prepared to be scared!

Grab your tickets HERE

Doors Open Day Festival!

Britannia Panopticon

16-22 September 2019

Every year Glasgow opens its doors so that everyone can discover Glasgow's wonderful architecture and culture.

Come explore the World's Oldest Surviving Music hall. We will be open as usual 12-5pm where our volunteers will regale you with the history and tales of the Panoptiocon. There will also be new merchandise available at our shop and on Friday 20th you can watch Stan and Ollie at 7pm! tickets available at: Universe.com

Hello!

Britannia Panopticon

My name is Alana Duvey and I produce, host and perform at ‘The Drag-Opticon Show’ here in the beautiful Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

It’s such a joy creating this show every month and always something our guest performers, our audiences and I really look forward to.

Part of what makes our show a little different from other drag shows in and around the city is the stunning setting that the Panopticon provides. You can tell the building was once a sight to behold back in the day and although it has been through a lot since its opening way back in the 1850s to the present day from fires to neglect I feel it is still a sight to behold even now. There’s just something about being able to see the charred remains etc. that I love so much. There’s a certain beauty in destruction. It’s certainly a far cry from the pubs and clubs of the usual drag shows with its lovely big stage providing us with a platform where we are able to bring performances to our audiences you wouldn’t see elsewhere.

I always feel it is such an honour to perform on the same stage as the many iconic stars of the Panopticon past and present from the original dancing girls and singers to Stan Laurel of ‘Laurel and Hardy’ fame to the likes of Tony Roper and local drag legend Sally Starshine. I like to think that my little event is now a part of Panopticon history and one day its stars will be mentioned in the same sentences as these amazing performers and the rest. I always get a special feeling in my heart whenever I’m performing here and imagine anyone else who is lucky enough to perform here also gets that same fuzzy feeling that I do.

The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall – a majestic attraction in the heart of Glasgow

Britannia Panopticon

We recently did a collaboration with myhotelbreak on why their guests should visit us here at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. Find out what they discovered below:

When looking for the perfect hotel break it’s always great having notable and interesting attractions nearby. For guests looking for hotels in Glasgow we recommend taking an afternoon or evening out and discovering the Britannia Panopticon, the world’ oldest surviving music hall.

Let’s find out more…

Situated in the historic Trongate area in Glasgow, this music hall is worth a visit and more. The Britannia was established centuries ago around the 1850’s. In its early day’s it was the centre of entertainnt for Glasgow’s working class. Glaswegians would flock to the then called Britannia Music Hall to be entertained. It was a place where they could forget about their harsh living conditions and enjoy the moment. In those times, the entertainers would get booed off stage, laughed at or even worse if they didn’t live up to their billing.

As time changed, the Music Hall moved on to become more than just an entertainment centre for Glasgow’s working class. Under the management of Mr & Mrs Rossborough, gone were the Show Girl shows and the venue flourished into one of the most popular venues in the city of Glasgow.

The music hall was transformed with a facelift and it breathed new life into Britannia. Acts including Dan Leno, George Leybourne, The Great Vance, Jenny Hill, Bessie Bellwood, Harry Champion, WF Frame, Marie Lloyd and more all graced their presence here.

The Panopticon was strong and survived both world wars and the depression of the 1930’s but by the latter part of that decade, a new form of entertainment became popular, the art deco cinema. At this point the Britannia found it hard to compete with so much competition.

Today, the music hall is run by a charitable trust who endeavour to preserve the Britannia Panopitcon Music Hall.

Please click here to learn more of the history on this magical venue.

There are several events held here throughout the year. Check out what events are taking place over the next few months.

By visiting here you learn not only what the venue used to be like but visitors can have an understanding of Glasgow culture and why it’s important that an attraction like this stays open.

Enjoy something different on your next visit to Glasgow at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall.

Panopticon Trust

Britannia Panopticon

Raising funds to purchase and restore the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow

Our vision is to fully restore the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall as a public building owned by the Panopticon Trust, operating sustainably as a venue for live performance, arts and the community with music hall at its heart, telling the story of Glasgow’s working-class social and entertainment history.

We area new building preservation trust formed in December 2018. Over the next five years have a target to raise £1m through a new capital appeal to build a Panopticon Capital Restoration Fund to help us purchase the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. We will announce details of how to donate to the Restoration Fund soon.

Playing Stan Laurel in the Glasgow Panopticon

Britannia Panopticon

It all started back in march when I first received the call from Colin MacGregor about playing Stan Laurel and Performing “trail of the lonesome pine” and “at the ball, That’s all” as pre show entertainment to “Two on the Roof” by Shug the dug productions in the Britannia panopticon. At first I was excited but extremely nervous because I had never performed on stage prior to this as I usually do more Film/TV work.

I was given a brief about the history of the panopticon and the iconic characters to tread the boards and immediately realised it was a opportunity I couldn’t miss out on. I began reading more about laurel and hardy as well as watching some of the old movies and the recent “Stan and Ollie” movie as I wanted to be able to portray Stan laurel as best I could. Especially after reading he had his debut on stage in the panopticon.

I felt so honoured not only to have been given the opportunity to portray such an iconic character, and tred the same boards he once did, but also to perform in the famous britannia panopticon. I had an amazing experience and I’m so truly grateful to have been given this massive opportunity.

Chris J W Healy, Actor/Model

Journey of a Trustee by Deepika Bhardwaj

Britannia Panopticon

The Britannia Panopticon Musical Hall (BPMH) is a unique venue which combines a vintage vibe with an almost ethereal quality. You can almost hear the old age echo of laughter from frivolity of ages past. This is one of the reasons I decided to volunteer in the first place along with encouragement from other volunteers who were convinced I would enjoy it and they were not wrong. 5 years later, I have got involved in a range of events and shows that the BPMH put on. The annual Halloween shows being one of my favourites where I get involved in performance, script writing and supporting other volunteers during rehearsals and show nights. It is a fabulous show with a variety of acts and always sells out. The buzz of the night, chatter of the public as they arrive and step back in time to experience a show in the oldest music hall in the world.

After years of volunteering, I decided to become a Trustee and sit on the board for the Friends of Panopticon Musical Hall Trust as I wanted to be part of helping shape the future direction of the BPMH. It has given me an opportunity to make suggestions and offer ideas that further promote and advertise the BPMH to the public. For example, I helped organise a Robert Burns themed event over two nights to celebrate our national Bard. We had a strong advertising campaign in which we partnered with a neighbouring restaurant to offer a show ticket and Burn’s supper deal which sold out. We has also had some air time on BBC Scotland which gave us the opportunity to advertise the BMPH and the Burn’s event. The nights comprised whiskey tasting, a variety of Burn’s inspired acts and raffles prizes. Both nights were a roaring success so we now plan to run this event annually. Increasing awareness of the cultural and historical significance of the BPMH is crucial to its survival and lasting legacy.

I have so far enjoyed my time as a Trustee and currently involved in a range of other projects. I look forward to the future and hope the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall continues to stand the test of time for another 100 years and beyond!

Friends of Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust

Britannia Panopticon

20th Anniversary

In 1997 Judith Bowers started a campaign to raise awareness to the plight of the world’s oldest, and at that time mostly forgotten, music hall, Britannia Panopticon. Within a year more people had joined the cause and in 1999 this little group had formed into the Friends of Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust, receiving its charitable status on May 15th 1999.

The initial board included Judith Bowers, Graham Hunter (who is still a trustee), David Carter Fergusson, Robin Cuthbertson, Finlay Mclay (who is now Judith’s husband), and Robin Cameron - who was the first chairman; a position that he held until August 2015.

Debbie

Gladstone's Bag

Britannia Panopticon

Gladstone’s Bag is our in-house orchestra and has performed and produced fundraising events for us numerous times.

Gladstone’s Bag was originally formed in 1993, by Lawrence Dunn, to play popular light classical music from the Victorian era, and their first engagement was to play at an event celebrating the 125th anniversary of the building of Crieff Hydro. Since then, they have performed throughout Scotland with their Victorian programmes and have also ventured into the 20th-century with their programmes of "music from the wireless". They have performed several times at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow, as part of their Music Hall afternoons, giving concerts.

They also specialise in playing scores for silent films and have played regularly during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at the Panopticon and during the Bo'ness Silent Film Festival. Much of the music they use was composed in the 1910s and 1920s specifically for performance with silent films. Where possible they use the original cue-sheets. They have played for short films by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Fatty Arbuckle as well as feature films including "Metropolis", "Nosferatu", "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and Hitchcock's "The Lodger".

Debbie