Ten things you MUST see in London

Samantha PillingEntertainment

Visiting London

Grim’s Dyke hotel is conveniently situated in Harrow Weald, just outside the main hustle and bustle of London. However, it’s also near three train stations and, with the M1 just under 3 miles away, you can easily visit London in as little as 13 minutes by train or under an hour, if travelling by car. If you’re looking to spend … Read More

Murder Mystery at The Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingEntertainment

Murder Mystery

  Grim’s Dyke has often been used as a film and TV location, providing the perfect backdrop for everything from comedy and romance, through to murder and intrigue. Its dramatic architecture and typically English interior provide the perfect environment for the ever-popular murder mystery. The Grim’s Dyke as a film location In the late 60’s, Grim’s Dyke was used as … Read More

MGM musicals

Samantha PillingEntertainment

GIGI

Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) dominated the box office in the 1930’s. They were one of the largest, most glamorous and revered film studios in Hollywood and credited for inventing the Hollywood stable of stars’ system; developing budding stars and making them appealing to audiences. Their motto was Ars Gratia Artis – meaning art for art’s sake and their goal was … Read More

Astaire and Rogers: Hollywood’s golden dance couple

Samantha PillingEntertainment

Astaire and Rogers revolutionised the genre of musical film. First paired together in supporting roles for the film ‘Flying Down to Rio’ in 1933, they went on to pair in 10 Hollywood musical films during the golden age of Hollywood. By 1936 Astaire and Rogers were top box office names – and is it any wonder! Their second film The … Read More

William Gilbert – an early influence on W.S. Gilbert?

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Pen Nib

In 1861, a 26-year-old W.S. Gilbert began supplementing his income by writing illustrated stories, poems and articles of his own. During this period, his series of illustrated poems, the ‘Bab Ballads’ became increasingly popular. However, W.S. Gilbert also illustrated the poems and short stories for others during this period – including those of his father, William Gilbert. Although William Gilbert … Read More

W.S. Gilbert – Stage Director

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Theatre sign

W.S. Gilbert wrote several plays and burlesques in his early years, especially whilst with the German Reed’s. It allowed him to develop his personal style and to control all aspects of production. However, it was in the following years that he honed his knowledge of stage direction, by following the likes of James Planché and Tom Robertson. James Planché A … Read More

Thespis – the first collaboration of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

inside an old theatre

Thespis was a Christmas entertainment operatic extravaganza, produced by John Hollingshead. He bought together W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan for their first collaboration. John Hollingshead has been the lessee of the Gaiety Theatre since 1868, successfully producing several musical burlesques and operettas. It was also the largest of five London theatres known to show the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, … Read More

The Gaiety Theatre

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety Theatre was built in 1864, on the former site of the Lyceum Theatre. Originally established as the Strand Musick Hall, it took four years to become known as the Gaiety Theatre. John Hollingshead Under the management of John Hollingshead, the Gaiety Theatre was known for musical burlesque, pantomime and operetta performances. It was also synonymous with being a … Read More

The Savoy Theatre – home of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Savoy Theatre

Built by Richard D’Oyly Carte, the Savoy Theatre opened on 10th October 1881. Originally, the theatre was going to be called the ‘Beaufort Theatre’, but Carte chose to honour the original Savoy Manor theatre, previously on the site. The Savoy Theatre was purpose-built as the showcase for Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas and the partnership subsequently becoming known as the ‘Savoy Operas’. Plans afoot Although … Read More

The cultural influences of Gilbert & Sullivan

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

muppets

Gilbert & Sullivan were well-known for their comedy operas, with the likes of ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and ‘Iolanthe’. They appealed to the audiences of their time, due in part, to the successful partnership of Gilbert’s lyrical genius & the musical composition of Sullivan. However, their operas were more than great shows – they also influenced our culture, from politics through to advertising. Gilbert & … Read More