A little bit of Marie Lloyd does you plenty of good
MARIE LLOYD was known as the Queen of British Music Hall and a show depicting her life comes to Maidenhead
MARIE LLOYD was known as the Queen of British Music Hall and a show depicting her life comes to Maidenhead for one night tomorrow, writes Lesley Potter.
Marie — The Story Of Marie Lloyd won an Olivier award nomination for leading lady Elizabeth Mansfield while the show was playing in the West End. Now the actress, who lives near Staines, appears for the first time at the Norden Farm Centre For The Arts.
She said: “I’m thrilled to be bringing Marie to a new, local venue. Her stories and songs are so engaging, funny and poignant. It will be a joy to share them with the audience in such an intimate performance space as the Norden Farm Studio.”
The real Marie Lloyd was born in 1870, but by the time she was 16 she had rocketed to stardom with her signature hit song, The Boy I Love Is Up In Gallery. She is widely credited as being the very first great female stand-up comedian and became the darling of a loyal and devoted British public, and was known as an “entertainer with a heart the size of Waterloo station”.
This musical takes the audience on a journey through her extraordinary life, rediscovering the rich narratives in her songs and weaving them through her story. The show gives an insight into the late Victorian and Edwardian music hall, as Lloyd’s saucy and up-front material challenged the hypocrisy of the “middle-class toffs” who tried to bar her from the halls.
The show features some of her most memorable songs, including Don’t Dilly Dally On The Way, Oh! Mr Porter, and A Little Of What You Fancy Does You Good. As well as being a character on stage, Lloyd also raised eyebrows off-stage. She kept two houseboats on the Thames during Edwardian times — Sunbeam for daytime and Moonbeam for sleeping on. Legend has it that she often fell “in the drink” while clambering between the two.
lThe musical plays at the Norden Farm Centre For The Arts on Saturday, April 6 at 8pm. Box office 01628 788997.