02 December 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.
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.
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
Enter your email address below to join our mailing list: