Britannia Panopticon
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Springing Back into Life

Britannia Panopticon

At last, it seems that life is returning to normal, and it’s a good thing too as in February I celebrated 25 years since I started campaigning, fundraising and awareness raising for our beloved little music hall. It is no secret that it was love at first sight when I first managed to sneak a peek above a false ceiling (now long gone) to gaze into the balcony which was completely intact, though covered with pigeon poo. Since then, a lot has changed, the false ceiling is gone, the roof was repaired, the façade and west elevation restored, and the stage brought back into working condition. I felt that we were just starting to get somewhere, when suddenly Covid-19 happened, and we had to close the old music hall again. We have been closed for so long, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to afford to open again, and I can’t say that we are out of the woods yet. Visitor numbers are still low and attendance to our shows is not yet what it was pre-pandemic, so if you do have a pound to spare, please donate it to our Go-Fund-Me campaign.

But I am so pleased to announce that we are back open for shows and as a visitor attraction. It seems such a long time since we were able to open for our full program and we are excited to see our audiences slowly coming back in. We have just finished the Glasgow International Comedy Festival which included the return of Silent films with resident live band, Gladstone’s Bag, lead by our very own Chairman of the board, Lawrence Dunn. It was a glorious sunny day and many of our supporters left the sunshine to join us for Buster Keaton’s incredible classic “The General”. Lawrence and Gladstone’s Bag will return on May 4th with Fritz Lang’s immortal science fiction classic “Metropolis”. May the 4th be with you!

Laurel and Hardy fans returned last night for the first screening in two and a half years of Laurel and Hardy films. Laughter rang through the music hall as fans from four Tents* of the Sons of the Desert joined us and there were a few new faces in the audience too! And a member of the James Finlayson society. If you missed it, don’t worry, the “Sons” will be back in June with another hilarious collection of films from the two and only, Laurel and Hardy.
*The Sons of the Desert are the official Laurel and Hardy fan club, and each club is called a Tent.

Sean White, one of our regular show volunteers has done a special drawing to celebrate the return of Laurel and Hardy to our screen. If you would like a print, pop down and visit us. They are £7 per print with some of the proceeds going to our fund. Thank you, Sean, it really is a spectacular montage of the “Boys”.

We are so sad to say goodbye to our regular Drag-Opticon host and producer, Alana Duvey. She has done a great job of running the show that was started by John Celestus in 2016 and we will miss her, and her other half, Dharma Geddon. Thank you both for all your hard work and we look forward to you both making guest appearances at future Drag-Opticons. Meanwhile we look forward to seeing our Drag-Opticon audience in May with a new host (who will be revealed soon) and a special ticket price of £12, £10 if you buy before the 18th of April.

Music Hall Memories will be returning to the stage at the end of May and we are looking for new talent to join the Saturday afternoon line-up. If you have a novelty act, magic act or any other kind of performing talent or simply wish to join the chorus, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

For more information about our coming shows and events, please check out our What’s On page.