Jewels of the Past: The British Music Hall Society Launches Conference

Circus News

Jewels of the Past: The British Music Hall Society Launches Conference

For Britons of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the music hall promised an evening of fun, leisure, and variety art—and now the British Music Hall Society hopes to channel that spirit into a new event that takes artists and academics alike on a walk through theatre history. Here’s what (and who!) you can expect to see at the first annual British Music Hall Society Weekend Conference: How the Music Hall Worked 1840-1918.
Make no mistake about it: there is a whole lot more to British music hall than just the music. It was a full-fledged theatre genre. Those of us who grew up outside of the UK (or were born after World War I) might not have heard of it by that term before except in theatre history classes. You might even initially, as I did, take it to mean a formal venue where people wearing fancy gowns and well-starched suits go drink red wine and listen to an orchestra play Bach or Mozart. But once you hear it described, this genre will no doubt sound familiar to any circus performer. Music halls in reality were lively gathering spaces for people of any class; places of community; venues where you could watch someone do the impossible. On its stages, you would see such staple acts as acrobats, comedians, flying trapeze… you name it, they had it. And this gathering hopes to bring the same types of people together. Since...
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Carolyn Klein

Carolyn Klein is a writer, poet, and circus fan from the Washington, D.C, area. Writing stories about the circus has been a dream of hers since getting introduced to circus fiction around 2014. She recently completed her B.A. in English and Creative Writing, magna cum laude, at George Mason University. As a new member of the Circus Talk journalism team, Carolyn looks forward to learning as much as she can about the industry and people behind circus.