Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Edward Alleyn | London Historians’ Blog

We cannot allow Shakespeare 400 completely to overshadow the anniversary of another giant of Elizabethan theatre. Edward Alleyn (1566 – 1626) was born 450 years go this day in Bishopsgate to … Continue reading

09/01/2016 · Leave a comment

Elsie in the movies | The Library Time Machine

This week’s post is based on another recent donation, relating to a former resident of the Borough. We were given a small collection of film stills and publicity photos together … Continue reading

08/10/2016 · Leave a comment

Review: ‘Poor Cow’ | Writing Suzanne

British director Ken Loach is probably best known for his second feature film, Kes (1969). Loach also directed the famous TV drama, Cathy Come Home (1966) staring Carol White. Less … Continue reading

07/25/2016 · Leave a comment

Branagh’s Romeo & Juliet, my review – The View From Sari’s World

Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth … Continue reading

07/15/2016 · Leave a comment

At The Curtain Theatre | Spitalfields Life

When the Chorus addresses the audience from the stage at the opening of Shakespeare’s Henry V, he refers to ‘this wooden O’ – a phrase that is commonly understood as … Continue reading

06/14/2016 · Leave a comment

Digging Down the Curtain

Last week, as guests of Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), we visited one of their current explorations, that of the old Elizabethan playhouse, the Curtain Theatre. The opportunity for access … Continue reading

05/23/2016 · 1 Comment

At Shakespeare’s Theatre In Shoreditch | Spitalfields Life

Over in Shoreditch, just a few minutes walk from Spitalfields, is the site of a seventeenth century playhouse called ‘The Theatre’ built by James Burbage in 1576, where William Shakespeare’s … Continue reading

05/01/2016 · 3 Comments

Archive Review • ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR • Garrick Theatre • 2007

Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn It is 35 years since this play was originally presented and, like many of Ayckbourn’s successful plays, has had numerous productions. In all that … Continue reading

04/27/2016 · Leave a comment

Archive Review • OTHELLO • Shakespeare’s Globe • 2007

What do you go and see Othello for? Because you are doing your A’levels and it’s a set text? Because you are visiting England and seeing some Shakespeare would seem … Continue reading

04/01/2016 · Leave a comment

Actor David Benson: ‘As a gay Corbynite, it’s interesting to play Boris Johnson on stage’

He’s played Kenneth Williams, Noel Coward and Frankie Howerd, but David Benson has taken on his biggest challenge yet – London Mayor Boris Johnson. Source: Actor David Benson: ‘As a … Continue reading

03/24/2016 · 4 Comments

Archive Feature • LEO McKERN • Not Just Another Pretty Face

Americans call it ‘synergy’ – others fate. That John Mortimer and Leo McKern should find in each other the perfect marriage of words to action is remarkable enough, but that … Continue reading

03/16/2016 · 2 Comments

Archive Interview • MARCIA WARREN • Arsenic and Old Lace • 2003

Interviewing Marcia Warren proves to be a treat. We speak during rehearsals for the revival at the Strand Theatre of Joseph Kesselring’s comedy thriller, Arsenic and Old Lace, in which … Continue reading

03/14/2016 · Leave a comment

Disaster at Drury Lane | London Historians’ Blog

On this day in 1809, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane was destroyed by fire. Theatres were always burning down, so nothing really unusual in fact. What made this conflagration different, is the … Continue reading

02/24/2016 · Leave a comment

First Night Design | The Criterion Theatre #Vintage Programme

This is an adaptation of an original 1890s Criterion Theatre programme in my collection. I confess to being potty about it. The original image is the central strip which I copied, … Continue reading

01/16/2016 · 4 Comments

The Baby Grand in Belgravia

This unique house tucked away in Belgravia was nicknamed The Baby Grand by none other than playwright, singer, and composer, Noel Coward. A baby grand in both the sense of a … Continue reading

11/27/2015 · 1 Comment


British stage actress, Cissy Grahame is the subject of this portrait by the famed London photographic studio W. & D. Downey. She looks quite beautiful in her lace scarf and … Continue reading

11/25/2015 · 1 Comment


This vintage real photo postcard captures a scene from the stage production of “Havana” which appeared in 1908 at the Gaiety Theatre in London. The play ran for 221 performances … Continue reading

11/13/2015 · 1 Comment

Benedict Cumberbatch stuns theatregoers with anti-government speech

I can hear them now: “Lock him in the Tower!” Good for Cumberbatch. I applaud him. However, he now needs to do the same for the people of Britain whose … Continue reading

10/30/2015 · Leave a comment

vintage everyday: Hendrix Hits London – How Nine Months in London Made Him a Star

Born in 1942, James Marshall Hendrix grew up in Seattle and honed his craft as a guitar slinger in the South and New York City, but he became star in … Continue reading

10/08/2015 · 2 Comments

Happy 90th Birthday Peter Sellers

Originally posted on Waldina:
Today is the 90th birthday of the comedic actor Peter Sellers.  You know him from the hilarious Pink Panther films and Dr. Strangelove, but if you…

09/08/2015 · 3 Comments

Archive Review • NIGHTINGALE • New End Theatre • 2006

One-person shows are notoriously tricky. It is some feat for an actor alone on stage to keep an audience engaged for an hour or so, let alone longer. The common … Continue reading

07/30/2015 · 2 Comments

Can’t Afford The Edinburgh Fringe? Go To Balham Instead | Londonist

Originally posted on the Londonist. If the train fare to Edinburgh, plus accommodation once you get there is too steep (and it is), despair ye not. Instead, get your summer comedy … Continue reading

07/19/2015 · Leave a comment

Archive Interview • LIZA SADOVY • Alice in Wonderland • 2002

Liza Sadovy and I were at drama school together in the mid-to-late 1970s and it was evident then that she was a gifted musical actress. This was one of the … Continue reading

06/27/2015 · Leave a comment

London’s lost rivers: The Who, Lillie Langtry, and Pont Street | thestreetnames

Originally posted on London’s Street Names. The Who song ‘Pictures of Lily’ was being played on the radio the other day, so naturally I thought of Lily (or Lillie) Langtry as … Continue reading

05/30/2015 · Leave a comment

Archive Interview • ELIZABETH BERRINGTON • Abigail’s Party • 2002

When Elizabeth Berrington opened in Abigail’s Party at Hampstead Theatre in July, she was following a hard act. Alison Steadman made Beverley so entirely her own in 1977 that we … Continue reading

05/26/2015 · 1 Comment

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

05/08/2015 · Leave a comment

Miss Julie is the debut production from The Bread and Roses Theatre Company

Originally posted on 17percent:
Miss Julie photo by Tessa Hart Miss Julie, by August Strindberg, adapted by Tessa Hart. Review by Joanna Lally.   The life of Miss Julie, the…

05/05/2015 · Leave a comment

Archive Review • FROST/NIXON • Donmar Theatre • 2006

  I always believed that there were two famous people called David Frost. The first, active in the 60s and 70s before I was born, seemed to have been by … Continue reading

05/02/2015 · Leave a comment

Heather Jeffery Q and A

Originally posted on 17percent:
Heather with cast member Joey Bartram (Sam Mellish Photography) Heather Jeffery’s play FACE TO FACE is at the Drayton Arms Theatre from tomorrow. We asked her…

04/27/2015 · Leave a comment

Children from Hoxton Visit Charlie Chaplin at the Ritz in 1921 « Another Nickel In The Machine

Originally posted on Another Nickel in the Machine Charlie Chaplin was woken up on the morning 17 September 1921 while in his bed at the Ritz Hotel on Piccadilly. “Visitors … Continue reading

04/26/2015 · Leave a comment