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Poster for entertainment at the Royal Music Hall

Poster for entertainment at the Royal Music Hall

Medium: Print on paper

Shelfmark: Evan.715

Item number: 715

Length: 22.2

Width: 14.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Poster

Opened on 16 November 1857, the Royal Music Hall was originally called Weston's Music Hall, after its owner Charles Weston. He was already something of a theatre magnate, having transformed the former Holborn National Schoolrooms into a music hall several years before.

The theatre was renamed the Royal Music Hall in 1868, and then changed names again in 1892, becoming the Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties. So successful was it in that decade it began to rival Charles Morton's Canterbury Theatre, which was the most popular and profitable in London.

The hall's formative and most influential years were presided over by an exacting chairman and master of ceremonies, WB Fair. He chose the acts, warmed the audience up for each succeeding performance, and encouraged them at all times to interact with the performers throughout the evening. Fair was thus responsible for introducing to the London stage some of the most famous music hall acts, including Bessie Bellwood and JH Stead.

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