In a modern cabaret format, Now Here’s A Funny Story is a wonderful, jaunty romp through the Golden Age of Music Hall, sometimes revealing its dark underbelly.
A fun sing-along evening is guaranteed for people of all ages and also a highly illuminating one for those interested in the roots of popular entertainment, the culture of the late Victorian era and The First World War. We are particularly aware of the relevance of our show to the upcoming centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War.
As performed by experienced Music Hall artists, Mr Tommy Parsons and Miss Airlie Scott we are taken on a musical journey from the very beginnings of Music Hall in the song and supper rooms of the 1840’s, with traditional songs such as The Ballad Of Sam Hall and The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter, through to its heyday of the 1890’s with the likes of Marie Lloyd and George Leybourne (Champagne Charlie). On the way we meet a whole host of characters such as the maestro of the Hackney halls, Sam Collins (On The Rocky Road To Dublin) and the cross-dressing Vesta Tilley (“Britain’s best recruiting sergeant”) before finally Music Hall suffers its relative decline at the end of The Great War with the advent of ragtime dance halls and cinema.
The show is directed by Jan Hunt of Paper Moon Theatre Company, highly experienced in Music Hall productions through her work not only with Paper Moon Theatre, but also with The Players Theatre and BBC Television’s The Good Old Days.
To a rich music hall score on the pianoforte, Tommy Parsons and Elsie Bloom (Airlie Scott) provide the lively narrative and catchy songs, while the quick-change, high-energy pace of the show has many of the ingredients of a modern cabaret. The audience are encouraged to join in the fun and sing along with the familiar choruses of more than twenty classic numbers such as Down At The Old Bull and Bush and Don’t Dilly Dally On The Way, while in between, Tommy and Elsie depict the often hard and gruesome lives of the artists beset by alcoholism, poverty and homelessness, amid the contrasting splendour and glamour of those heady days.
The Press on Now Here’s A Funny Story!
Now Here’s A Funny Story! Was originally showcased at the C.A.A. in July 2016 but has since been touring round the country including a 4 star reviewed run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
**** “a decidedly upbeat….whistlestop singalong history tour…” AllEdinburghTheatre Review. Read the full review here.
Brian Dazley of “There’ll Never Be Another!!” (Quarterly Magazine of the Max Miller Appreciation Society) wrote:
“…..this was excellent entertainment with appeal for everyone, and the fact that all age groups were represented in the audience is just what the production is designed for. Everyone heartily joined in the choruses of the 23 songs on offer – amusing, touching and rowdy. There is no doubt that the show was well received, with loud, long applause and its somewhat unique mix of educating and entertaining will no doubt deservedly see it on the circuit for a long time to come. Do see it if you can.”
The Press on previous work by Mitch Feral
STREET CRIES (2013)
“A colourful picture of grotesques, puns and songs….its crazy observations are spot on…exhilarating music.” [THE STAGE]
“Both absorbing and very funny…a roller coaster ride through all that is weird and wonderful…the songs are catchy and beautifully performed…an enchanting piece.” [WHAT’S ON]
“Intelligently acted and sweetly sung…..an unexpected delight. If only all award winners were as good as Mitch Feral.” [BROADWAY BABY]