Sunday, 20 March 2016

LCC Inspector's report into Collins Music Hall, Islington Green, 1890

With one or two exceptions this is a place of entertainment to which I would not hesitate to take my wife and family to. The only part of the programme that I object to is the skirt dance of Miss Alice Leaman. The high pitching of the legs and the continual twirling, with the hands, of her muslin petticoats is, to say the least, suggestive. This skirt dance gave such unbounded satisfaction to the audience that she had to appear again.
    Regarding prostitutes, it is satisfactory to report that in the gallery they are not to be seen at the bar or promenade. As far as I could make out the Superintendents insisted that females must be seat – a plan which if generally adopted would in my humble opinion greatly improve the moral tone of the London Music Halls and Theatres.
    I regard that I cannot report as favourably on the area of the Hall. this part is besieged by a goodly number of unfortunates of the better-clad sort. The bar, which is at the back, is supplied with side lounges and these are the hunting grounds of these women. I observed no importuning but it is not required with such conveniences. A tipsy young man will invariably drop down beside one of these females. If the Superintendents were as exacting in this part as they are in the gallery, this blot would disappear.
    I would draw the attention of the Committee to the existing condition of the WCs in the gallery. At the back is a promenade not too well lighted – having two dim gas lights and an oil lamp. At the back of this promenade are two WCs – the one for men and the other for women, the distance between the doors being some  seven or eight  feet. The entrances to these are in full view of the promenade, the bar, and the exit, which is close to the entrance. For the observance of decency on the part of the female sex, I would suggest that a door, immediately at the top of the gallery stairs, would suit the purpose and would afford females an opportunity of availing themselves of the use of the Convenience without being so much observed.
    I must again make mention of the touting for drinks that prevails in this and other music halls and also theatres in London. I don’t see why a person after paying for admission should be continually pestered by a waiter poking his nose in yours and shouting “orders please.” These men are paid little or no salary and naturally they try to make three-fourths of an audience order drinks, whereas if they were left to enjoy the performance, the liquor would not be thought of.

No comments:

Post a Comment