Wilton’s Music Hall

02 December 2011

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Wilton's Music Hall. Copyright © James Perry 2011Wilton's Music Hall. Copyright © James Perry 2011

Each Monday evening, people come from far and near to join a tour and see what the gem of the East End, Wilton’s Music Hall is all about. There’s been a pub here since the middle of the 18th century which is still our theatre bar today. A concert room was added in 1839 and licensed as a saloon theatre in 1843. John Wilton opened his music hall behind the 18th century houses in 1859, where the Lucelle Sisters danced the can-can and George Leybourne (Champagne Charlie) topped the bill. When the Methodists took over in 1888, religion and social service took centre stage, the pub became a coffee palace and, during the 1889 Dockers’ strike, a soup kitchen. Cinema has been a constant theme, from the magic lantern shows of the music hall and mission days to our monthly free cinema club.

Mahogany Bar, Wilton's Music Hall. Copyright © James Perry 2011

Today Wilton’s is a theatre, concert hall and contemporary arts venue. For the Christmas season, we have a varied program of one-off events for every taste including evenings of lindyhop, ping-pong, Victorian music hall and 1920s dance music, chamber music from the Kreutzer Quartet, a celebration of the novelist W.G. Sebald, concerts by Duke Special, The Destroyers and cabaret by Sian Phillips and John Standing. So join a tour, see a show and have a drink in our Mahogany Bar. We’re a short walk from Tower Hill or Aldgate East tube, Tower Gateway or Shadwell DLR.

Wilton's Music Hall. Copyright © Mike Twigg 2011

2012 will be an inspirational year for London and for Wilton’s – watch our website to see what’s happening here and be part of Wilton’s living heritage. 

Posted by Carole Zeidman, Historian and Tour Guide, Wilton’s Music Hall

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