Q940462

List of Music Hall Bands and Artists : Vote for your favorites.

List of Music Hall Bands and Artists   : Vote for your favorites.

Music hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment that was popular from the early Victorian era circa 1850 and lasting until 1960. It involved a mixture of popular songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. The term is derived from a type of theatre or venue in which such entertainment took place. British music hall was similar to American vaudeville, featuring rousing songs and comic acts, while in the United Kingdom the term "vaudeville"' referred to more working-class types of entertainment that would have been termed "burlesque" in America.

Originating in saloon bars within public houses during the 1830s, music hall entertainment became increasingly popular with audiences, so much so, that during the 1850s, some public houses were demolished and specialised music hall theatres developed in their place. These theatres were designed chiefly so people could consume food and alcohol and smoke tobacco in the auditorium while the entertainment took place. This differed somewhat from the conventional type of theatre, which until then seated the audience in stalls with a separate bar-room. Major music halls were based around London and included early music halls like the Canterbury Music Hall in Lambeth, Wilton's Music Hall in Tower Hamlets, and The Middlesex in Drury Lane, otherwise known as the Old Mo.

By the mid-19th century, the halls cried out for many new and catchy songs. As a result, professional songwriters were enlisted to provide the music for a plethora of star performers, such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Little Tich, and George Leybourne. Music hall did not adopt its own unique style. Instead all forms of entertainment were performed: male and female impersonators, lions comiques, mime artists and impressionists, trampoline acts, and comic pianists such as John Orlando Parry and George Grossmith were just a few of the many types of entertainments the audiences could expect to find over the next forty years.

Music halls in London were the scene of important industrial conflict in 1907 with a dispute between artists and stage hands on the one hand and theatre managers on the other, which ended in a strike. The halls had recovered by the start of the First World War and were used to stage charity events in aid of the war effort. Music hall entertainment continued after the war, but became less popular due to upcoming jazz, swing, and big-band dance music acts. Licensing restrictions had also changed, and drinking was banned from the auditorium. A new type of music hall entertainment had arrived, in the form of variety, and many music hall performers failed to make the transition. Deemed old-fashioned and with the closure of many halls, music hall entertainment ceased and the modern-day variety began.

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