Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty the Queen

The club is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty.

A great supporter of the arts and performance generally.  Many of our members have been in her company at Royal shows. The national anthem is still sung after every Monday Show and that tradition will continue. God Save the King!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ~ MONDAY 19th SEPTEMBER

THE FUNERAL OF HER MAJESTY THE LATE QUEEN ELIZABETH II

THE CLUB WILL BE CLOSED DURING
THE DAY AND WILL OPEN AT 4.30 pm.

MEALS WILL BE AVAILABLE
BETWEEN 5.00 – 6.30 pm.
BAR OPEN FROM 5.00 – 11.00 pm.
(Last orders 10.30 pm.)

At 8.00 pm. Social Secretary Simon Bashford Presents…

AN EVENING OF MEMBER’S MEMORIES OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II and MUSIC FOR THE OCCASION.

Please see the post below for further information.

Simon Bashfords' "A Handful of Songs"

The Club for Acts & Actors

Patrons ~ Dame Judi Dench ~ Brian May CBE ARCS ~ Su Pollard

A New Book is Published!

CAA Member Tony Lidington’s book on the history of pierrot troupes and concert parties will be published by Routledge at the end of September.

This volume is the first authoritative historical textbook to look at the origins, development and evolution of seaside pierrot troupes and concert parties and their popular performance heritage.

It will provide, for the first time, a definition of the pierrot troupe and its evolution from the roots of European popular traditions such as the commedia dell’arte and minstrelsy, to links between music hall and contemporary popular culture. Tony Lidington will explore how pierrot troupes grew from a single idea into a major international cultural industry and how it boosted morale and national identity during the two World Wars, before sublimating into contemporary pop music and comedy. Tony’s continuing practice as research provides an experiential framework for the historical and ethnographic analysis of the form.

There is currently a discount for advance orders! Here’s the link where more information can also be found:

https://www.routledge.com/Dont-Forget-The-Pierrots-The-Complete-History-of-British-Pierrot/Lidington/p/book/9780367489182

Tina May 1961-2022

Top English Jazz Vocalist and CAA member Tina May passed away as a result of a brain tumour on 26th March 2022. Her bubbly personality and great humour backed up by a truly brilliant and well informed mind, meant It was always a joy to be in her company.

She was just 60 and was up there with the greatest jazz singers this country has produced. As the Observer critic Dave Gelly wrote in 2014, “Tina can sing a straight melody such as ‘I’m Through With Love’ and make it open like a flower.”

Gloucester born, she was the younger daughter of Daphne, a cosmetics company manager and Harry May, a former professional footballer, who went on to be a Manager in the engineering industry. Both parents were musical and amateur pianists and Tina’s early influence was Fat’s Waller. 

Tina attended Cheltenham Ladies College and went on to study French at University College Cardiff. The course involved Tina spending a year in Paris, where she started singing in Parisian Jazz clubs. In Paris she met Rory Bremner who became a leading impressionist and satirist.

 She formed a performing duo with Rory which saw them appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was also a founding member of the Back Door Theatre Company in Cardiff. Tina sang with a Latin American Band and played the Bath Festival in 1990. 

Tina May
Tina May 1961-2022

She moved to London and quickly became an in demand singer on the jazz scene recording for the Indie 33 Jazz label. In 1992 the first of several albums ‘Never Let Me Go’ was released and she built up a large fan base. 

She was a regular performer at Ronnie Scotts Club. At that time she worked closely with pianist Ray Bryant with whom she recorded and became an accomplished lyricist, writing witty and stylish verses to accompany his brilliant playing. 

Tina later formed a close association with pianist Nikki Iles who regularly played for her. In 2000 she made the acclaimed album ‘Tina May Live in Paris,’ followed by ‘Tina May sings Piaf.’ Tina was fluent in French and made bilingual tours of France. She always showed utmost respect for a lyric, yet interpreted songs in her own unique style to perfection. Her voice literally was another instrument.

A gifted music educator, Tina was widely respected at the Royal Academy of Music, Birmingham Consevatoire and the Royal Welsh College of Music.

In 1989 she married drummer Clark Tracey and they had a son Ben and daughter Gemma. They later divorced and, at the time of her death, Tina’s partner of nearly three years was saxophonist Simon Spillett.

by Chris Hare

Saxophonist Simon Spillett was Tina May’s partner for nearly three years. A month or so after her death he published this so poignant piece which, with his permission, we reproduce here.

Simon Spillett
Simon Spillett

Winchester Services, London-bound, the dying minutes of Friday night. I’m heading back after a lovely gig with my quartet in Poole. For two hours music made sense of things, putting all else on hold. I’m sat here eating an over chilled sandwich  accompanied by the distant noise of Beyonce piped from an overhead speaker and the up close scraping of chairs on the floor of Costa Coffee, as the bored night staff mop and sweep their way into Saturday. Save for them, I’m the only person in the place. It’s hardly ‘One For My Baby’ territory, especially as the thumping, pumping, invasive background music suddenly seems to have made a decibel leap of such exponential levels that I’m beginning to feel as if I’ve been marooned in a dystopian disco.

Time was Winchester distinguished itself by being one of the few service stops which had no canned music. Indeed not so very long ago I remember stopping on a way home from a gig with a band I was in with the late John Critchinson, Dave Green, Henry Lowther and Trevor Tomkins. One by one they appeared through the automatic sliding doors, each of us sharing the same bright idea of coffee and cake. There I sat, awed in such company, listening to jazz folklore being bandied about by those who were there. There was nothing but conversation, laughter and love around the table that night.

But now, amid the combined din of dragged furniture and droning divas, I’m sitting alone, wondering idly how many times I’ve been in this scenario. I daren’t even hazard a guess but I’d imagine it might add up to several thousand hours of killed time, an attrition rate you could measure out in unsuitable food stuffs, coffee of wildly varied quality and melancholy by the mile. I don’t think I’ve ever truly got used to it but now, feeling like I’ve been dunked into cold water after  the reassuring warmth of a genuine home life, there’s something oddly magnetic about it, the sort of ‘better the devil you know’ familiarity you might cling to when all else spirals away out of control.

I think of people like John Critch, with whom I gigged about in all sorts of places as we criss-crossed these islands for thirteen years. We’d sit in countless godforsaken spots like this and share some deep talk, with John usually being the kind of font of wisdom that trickled rather than gushed. And I think of my Dad too, of how I’d tell him the morning after a gig where I’d been and what I’d done. ‘I go to bed and think where are you tonight,’ he used to say. ‘I think of you driving through the night. I don’t know how you do it.’

And tonight, as I sit here, lukewarm coffee and strip-lit ceiling combining to keep me wide awake I think of Tina. How I wish I could go home to her again, even just once. I wouldn’t be lingering here if I could, wouldn’t waste a moment where I needn’t be. I’d know precisely where my heart lay. Still, this is all just late-night rumination, facts and fantasy formulating together to help kill yet another hour. A friend told me I should take things hour by hour, sage advice I know, but some hours are easier to handle than others. Those like tonight seem to stretch on forever. Maybe best to just crack on after all?

Frank Williams 1931-2022

English Actor and CAA member Frank John Williams passed away on 26th June 2022. He was six days short of his 91st Birthday.

Edgware born, Frank was an only child. He began his career in rep at the Watford Palace Theatre which was then being run by a young Jimmy Perry, who went on to create Dad’s Army. This was the early days of Television, a performing medium that most attracted Frank. 

He made several TV appearances in the early 1950s and landed the part of Captain Pocket in the ‘Army Game’, a show in which he made 116 appearances. 

His first film role was as an uncredited extra in ‘The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan’ in 1953. His first notable role was in 1956 in the film ‘The Extra Day.’ He went on to appear in three films with Norman Wisdom; ‘The Square Peg’ (1958); ‘The Bulldog Breed’ (1960), and ‘A Stitch in Time’ (1963). Throughout this period he appeared in films such as ‘Inn for Trouble’ (1960), ‘Just for Fun’ (1963), ‘Hide and Seek’ (1964), ‘Headline Hunters’ (1968).

Frank Williams 1931 - 2022
Frank Williams 1931 - 2022

In the 1970s he appeared in ‘One of our Dinosaurs is Missing’ (1975), ‘Jabberwocky’ (1977), ‘What’s Up Nurse?’ (1977) ‘Oh, Heavenly Dog’ (1980). He also received acclaim for a TV role in ‘Diary of a Young Man’ (1964) Directed by Ken Loach. Often cast as a member of the clergy, Frank also appeared in ‘You Rang M’Lord,’ ‘Hi De Hi,’ ‘The Worker,’ ‘All Gas and Gaiters’ and ‘Vanity Fair.’

However he became a national treasure and was best known for playing Reverend Timothy Farthing in TV’s ‘Dad’s Army’ (1969 – 1977). He appeared in the Dad’s Army feature film and also had a cameo in the remake in 2016. In 1993 he co-founded with Bill Pertwee the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society. Frank described working on Dad’s Army as the happiest time of his professional life.

Frank Williams was a lifetime Christian and a patron of Veneration, a charity established to prevent the social isolation of the elderly.

by Chris Hare

Barry Cryer 1935-2022

Barry with Kay Carman and CAA member and Tiller Girl Rosalie Kirkman

Our much loved Patron Barry Cryer passed away on 26th January 2022. He had presented his own hilarious show at the club only two months before.

Barry was born in Leeds on 23rd March 1935 to John Cryer an accountant and his wife Jean. Barry’s father died when he was just five years old. A Grammar School boy, Barry went on to study English Literature at Leeds University during which time he became a writer for Leeds based Proscenium Players.

After appearing in the university revue, Barry was offered a week’s work at the Leeds City Varieties Theatre, home of the Good Old Days and Barry left university to go into show business full time. After impressing impresario Vivian Van Damm, Barry Cryer began as the bottom billing act at the Windmill Theatre.

Barry Cryer at the CAA 2021
Barry Cryer on-stage at the CAA 2021

Barry suffered from eczema and was hospitalised eight times in twelve years. He was released from his Windmill Theatre contract and decided that a performing career was not ideal because of his skin condition, so focused on writing. Barry joined the cast of Expresso Bongo in 1957 in which he recorded the song ‘The Purple People Eater.’ Barry Cryer’s first writing credits were four sketches for the Jimmy Logan Show.

Barry became head writer with an occasional stage role for Danny La Rue’s London night club, where he was spotted by David Frost. This led to Barry joining the writing team on ‘A Degree of Frost’ which also included John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman. David Frost used Barry on several shows which established Barry as a top comedy writer by the 1970s.

Barry Cryer is shown serving wine in the iconic Four Yorkshiremen sketch in ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’ He enjoyed a long partnership with Graham Chapman. Together they wrote about 50 TV Shows including ‘Doctor In The House’ (1969-70) and several for Ronnie Corbett including ‘No, That’s Me Over Here’ (1968-70) and ‘The Prince of Denmark’ (1974). With other writers he contributed to ‘The Ronnie Corbett Show’ (1987) and ‘The Two Ronnies’ (1971-87).

Barry with Kay Carman and CAA member and Tiller Girl Rosalie Kirkman
Barry with Kay Carman and CAA member and Tiller Girl Rosalie Kirkman

Barry always preferred to write in partnership. His regular partner through the 1970s was John Junkin. Barry still enjoyed performing, appearing with Tim Brooke –Taylor and Junkin in the BBC Radio series ‘Hello Cheeky.’ He also appeared on TV in ‘The Steam Video Company’ and hosted the ITV comedy panel game ‘Joker’s Wild’ (1969-74). He went on to make cameo appearances with the Rutles and Kenny Everett.

Barry toured with Willie Rushton in ‘Two Old Farts in the Night’ and joined the popular long running BBC radio comedy programme ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue ‘ which began in 1972 and is still running today. In 1995 he toured the UK with ‘Barry Cryer-the first Farewell Tour.’ He followed that up in 2008 touring with Colin Sell in ‘Barry Cryer-Still Alive.’ He was the subject of ‘This Is Your life’ in 1995 and was awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to comedy drama.

Barry married singer and dancer Theresa Donovan (known as Terry) in 1962. They had four children, three sons and a daughter and one grandchild. His contribution to British comedy was truly outstanding and those of us in the full house at the CAA who saw what must have been one of his last performances, will cherish the memory for always.

by Chris Hare

Ruth Silvestre 1930-2022

Ruth Silvestre

We are sad to report the death of Ruth Silvestre, aged 92. An enthusiastic and active member of the CAA for many years, she served on the committee.

Born in Basingstoke, her mother, who had worked in service as a children’s nanny, would sing Ruth to sleep with a repertoire of music hall songs; Polly Wolly Doodle and Lily of Laguna being two favourites.

The fortune to find a good music teacher at secondary school inspired Ruth to sing and music became “as essential as breathing”. Moving to London to train as a teacher at Goldsmiths she joined dramatic societies and singing groups, enjoying parts in a variety of small productions and then in a professional pantomime one Christmas holiday. After graduating she continued singing lessons with the classically trained opera singer turned teacher, Catherine Rosser. The ensuing friendship continued for many years, Ruth eventually moving Catherine (and her Steinway Baby Grand) into the top floor of her house in Clapham.

An initial spot at Balsam’s restaurant in Mayfair (twenty minutes at 10pm) paved the way to a robust career as a cabaret artist with regular appearances in London at the Dorchester, the Cafe Royal and the Grosvenor House. Endlessly developing her craft and with a fine ear for accent and language she not only could sing Puccini fluently in Italian, but also had a repertoire of French, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Hungarian songs and was adept at holding an audience in the palm of her hand as she skilfully adapted her act to each occasion.

Ruth also appeared on screen and in theatre with parts in Kismet at the Stoll Theatre, Flower Drum Song at the Palace and Man of La Mancha at the Piccadilly. She took over the lead role of Aldonza from Joan Deiner, realising her ambition to see her name up in lights in London’s West End.

Away from the limelight Ruth was generous with her time and talents and she liked to keep busy. As well as singing for friends and family at parties, weddings and ceremonies, she joined Xenia Field’s ‘Old Lags’ prison entertainers, was a trustee of the Cara Trust (founded in 1988 by her cousin, Father David Randall) and also gave home schooling to a succession of troubled children who had fallen outside the educational system.

With her husband, Michael Grater, she bought and restored an old farmhouse in the South West of France where long summers were shared with an eclectic mix of family and friends and locals. Actors, artists, choreographers, directors, farmers, craftsmen, vicars and nuns would come together to share food, wine, music and good conversation. Ruth and her friends effortlessly supplied wholesome food from the tiny rustic kitchen and Mike making sure that everyone’s glasses were full. Diaries from this adventure led to the writing and publication of an acclaimed series of books; the Sunflower Trilogy.

In her later years she found comfort in music and worship at Southwark Cathedral and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Clapham, and was an enthusiastic member of MJ Parazino’s South London Choir. With a wide circle of friends she enjoyed exercise classes, French conversation meetings, book clubs and women’s groups.

In April 2020 she celebrated her 90th birthday at the CAA club with a cabaret dinner for family and friends, giving a robust performance of “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner”. Her voice was strong and clear, her love for her craft, her family and all of her friends undiminished.

Barrie Stacey 1926-2022

Barrie and Keith

BARRIE STACEY 24th October 1926–1st January 2022

In a wonderfully long life, Barrie Stacey spanned the twenties – 1920s to 2020s and in his 95 years he packed in more experiences, laughter, outrageousness and a sheer love of living life to the full, than most people would experience in dozens of lifetimes.

Broadcast LIVE on the day, a recording of Barrie Stacey’s funeral service is available to view here on the CAA website below courtesy of YouTube.

Barrie Stacey Order of Service Cover
barrie Stacey order of funeral service

Barrie left the earthly stage on New Year’s Day 2022 at the age of 95. As Barrie says in his autobiography, ’he was born at an early age and had a sheltered formative childhood, not being allowed to read the News of the World until he was three.’ Barrie was born in Boscombe, near Bournemouth.

He described his mother Phyllis Stacey, as very much in the Gladys Cooper mould. His father Edwin Stacey was a painter/decorator by trade and they met when both working at a hotel in Bournemouth.

Barrie has written that his father resembled a young Lawrence of Arabia at that time. Barrie had three brothers, John, Roy and David. Roy is still with us and has fathered two children, John and Julie.

Barrie says that his parent’s marriage became unhappy mainly because of his father’s thrifty ways. ‘Tight as a crab’s backside’ was Barrie’s description of him. However he did encourage Barrie in the arts which saw him singing in cafes and at concerts from the tender age of five.

In early 1945 Barrie was called for national service in the army. Shortly after Hitler shot himself and Germany surrendered – surely no coincidence! When stationed in Devon, Barrie first met Jessie Matthews, who was appearing at the Theatre Royal, Exeter. On demob Barrie, at 21 years of age, came to London looking to resume his fledgling career as an actor and ended up working for an agent – Catherine Billinghurst.

He enjoyed numerous jobs in theatres and the odd role. Barrie’s first play ‘Teddy Boy’ toured in the 1950s. He went on to write several others. After an accident when a lorry smashed into the taxi he was in, Barrie used the compensation to open his own coffee house in Monmouth Street. Barrie came up with the theatrical double entendre title for the café of ‘The As You Like It.’ it was described by an ‘as you like it’ regular Quinten Crisp. He says it was a delightful establishment usually called ‘the as’ by its habitués who were too lazy to utter consecutive words at any one time.

Barrie Stacey

In 1972 Barrie set up his own agency and production company and soon became well known and respected helping many artistes on their way, often to stardom. He presented star concerts such as the Jessie Matthews show at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Jim Bailey at the London Palladium. Also numerous names including John Hanson, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse, June Bronhill, Diana Dors, Russell Grant, Kathy Kirby and Ruby Murray. Barrie didn’t always get it right when it came to spotting young talent. At ‘the as’ he employed a delivery boy to take sandwiches to theatres called David Jones, who thought he could sing and write songs. Barrie auditioned him but told him that sadly he had little talent and should concentrate on another career. Undaunted, the boy persevered, even changing his name to David Bowie in the process.

Barrie presented many children’s musicals on tour and received a top children’s show producer award three times.

Barrie also produced an outrageously camp production of ‘Oh Camille’ at London’s Shaw Theatre. Barrie was awarded two coveted lifetime achievement awards by Encore Magazine and British Music Hall Society.

Barrie was so respected for helping artists to develop then releasing them to national organisations when the time was right. An act of professional kindness.

As a performer and narrator, Barrie toured his one man show ‘Life upon the very wicked stage’ and also numerous ‘Songbooks’ such as ‘West End to Broadway.’

He was also a regular producer of shows at the club for Acts and Actors. His autobiography ‘A ticket to the carnival’ written in his own inimitable non pc style, is a joy. He has also published three further books.

Barrie and Keith

Barrie and his partner Keith Hopkins moved into their Shaldon Mansions apartment on Charing Cross Road in 1977. Their parties were legendary and when Barrie tired, no offence could possibly be taken when he would announce to his guests “thank you for your company – now f off!”

Barrie continued working right up to his last hospitalisation. He is survived by his loving partner of 56 years, Keith Hopkins. A truly inspiring relationship. As Barrie’s health deteriorated over the last two years, Keith devoted himself to Barrie ensuring that he could stay in their Charing Cross Road apartment where they had been so happy for over forty years. Keith cared for him in a totally selfless way, wonderfully supported by friends.

To say we will miss Barrie is a gross understatement. Barrie was absolutely unique in a way that was truly special. The Max Miller expression ‘there will never be another,’ springs to mind. Two artistes who worked with and were great friends of Barrie come closest to capturing Barrie’s personality. Quinten Crisp said that Barrie could be trusted to tell all in a manner that will entertain everybody whilst wounding no one…unless they deserved it! At the ‘as you like it’ he would serve customers with scurrilous correctness while, at the same time, scourging them with the valour of his tongue. Russell Grant says he had never known Barrie to be depressed or down, he radiated an enthusiastic keenness in whatever he did. Barrie offered sympathy only when it was necessary, he never chastised or scolded people doing their best, but made you feel the most important person he knew, even if you were only the fifth munchkin from the left.

There are numerous Barrie Stacey stories and they will be recounted whenever and wherever show people gather.

Let’s hope there is a showbiz heaven. Barrie would be up there chatting with Jessie Matthews, Bob Monkhouse, maybe his adored Marlene Dietrich and certainly Quinten Crisp. You can imagine Barrie looking down on his wonderful funeral service on 16th February and turning to Quinten Crisp saying, “you see daughter – I told you I could pack that place for a Wednesday matinee.”

Rest in peace Barrie – although resting in peace is really not your style. And thanks for so many wonderful memories and for your extraordinary contribution to the business of show!

by Chris Hare

Chairman’s Christmas Newsletter

We hope this year we can celebrate Christmas with our loved ones! Covid permitting!

We have enjoyed three fantastic Christmas parties with excellent festive food from our caterer Peter Cliffe and his team. Socially distanced Cabaret, dancing and Santa and his Elf! Hooray!

As you know, 2022 is our 125th anniversary, the club being formed in 1897. So organising special CELEBRATORY functions is well underway. 

The First function is Friday 14th January at 7.30pm. ‘Evening All’ A tribute to our past president who we owe so much to, Jack Warner, devised and written by Gerald Glover. Technical direction is by Richard Norman. Cost is £25 members (£27 guests) which includes light refreshments after the show. 

A CAA 125th Anniversary Fund Raising Event

FRIDAY 14th JANUARY at 7.30pm

 

‘EVENING ALL’

A TRIBUTE TO JACK WARNER

 

Written by Gerald Glover

Technical Director Richard Norman

Donation £25 Members (£27 Guests)
includes light refreshments after the show
 

Celebrating the life and career of one of Britain’s best loved entertainers – Jack Warner.

Featuring movie clips from his many films – he was particularly proud of Carve Her Name With Pride (1950) – mingled with sound clips from his wireless and record career – Garrison Theatre on the BBC (Light Programme, of course!) and at the London Palladium (1940) – through to the film The Blue Lamp (1950) which was followed by his most famous incarnation, George Dixon……of Dock Green (1955-76).

To us at the CAA he is the Diamond Geezer who,   as our President, found our present premises. He persuaded J. Arthur Rank to be the guarantor for the mortgage we took out at the Midland Bank for 20 Bedford Street. Jack Warner was Rank’s biggest star at the time.

The first Monday night Club show of the New Year will be Monday 17th January. Simon Bashford is Social Secretary that evening presenting a ‘125 years Anniversary Show.’ West End Musicals through the ages performed by West End Musical Stars. Monday 24th January will be a ‘Member’s Night Show.’

A CAA 125th Anniversary Event

FRIDAY 28th JANUARY 7pm for 7.30pm
 

BURNS NIGHT

 

With a Piper, Dancing and Haggis!

 
£32 (£35 Guests) Includes Three Course Meal

The second CAA 125 Function on Friday 28th January is our traditional fun evening ‘BURNS NIGHT’ with piper and Haggis. Cost £32 Members (£35 guests) including the three course meal. This is followed by our Monday night show organised by Shannon Rewcroft as Social Secretary. 

The following Monday 7th February, Social Secretary David Power presents Star baritone Anthony Cable and Barry Stewart. Fun at the piano and in song with Laurence Payne as MD. On Monday 14th February Social Secretary Kay Carman presents a Valentine’s Night Show with Showbiz couple Vivienne McMaster a dancer and star vocalist with MD Sean Whittle from the Ritz.

A CAA 125th Anniversary Event

FRIDAY 25th FEBRUARY at 7.30pm
 
 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JAZZ

A Jazzy musical journey from 1920’s Ragtime through the ages to Miles Davis.

 
An award winning show performed by the acclaimed PAUL HIGGS QUARTET
£20 Members (£22 Guests)

On Monday 21st February we have no show as the hall is rented for a private function. Our next 125 show opens the Jazz Nights series with ‘A Brief History of Jazz.’ From 1920s Ragtime through the jazz ages to Miles Davis. This award winning show is performed by the acclaimed Paul Higgs Quartet. Cost £20 Members (£22 Guests)

PAYMENT FOR CLUB FUNCTIONS – IF POSSIBLE PLEASE PAY BY CARD OVER THE PHONE OR IN PERSON TO MALCOLM IN THE OFFICE. Cash and Cheques are still acceptable in person or by post but card payments by phone are preferable. Many Thanks.

Judith Quiney is overseeing the refurbishment of the office suites which will be completed soon together with complete internet update.

 

 

SUNDAY 13th MARCH at 5pm

 

The CAA 125th ANNIVERSARY BALL

Cabaret, Dancing & Dinner.

THE EVENT OF THE YEAR!

 

Venue: The Victory Services Club, Seymour Street, W2 2HF

Members £80 (Guests £85)

 

THE CAA 125 YEARS ANNIVERSARY BALL will be held on Sunday 13th March at the Victory Services Club, Seymour Street, W2 2HF. Please put the date in your diaries. 

Thank you to all who bought tickets for the postponed 2020 ball. Although the costs and price have increased for 2022, the CAA will make up the shortfall on all monies we have already received. If you haven’t yet booked, New Prices are Members £80 (Guests £85) Thank you.

Christmas in the CAA Bar

The Club bar looked like a welcoming Santa’s grotto during the run up to Christmas. Thank you Nick Robinson.

I hope you all have a happy holiday season. Closed from 5pm on Thursday 23rd December, the Club reopens, Covid restrictions permitting, at 12 noon on Wednesday 5th January 2020.

Finally, Thanks to the Committee and Malcolm and the Staff, also all of you Members for your support during these ‘trying’ times.

Love to you all.

Stay Safe

Kay x

A Message from Anita Dobson

Originally posted on the Home Page in August 2021

A personal message from our President Anita Dobson…

 
Anita Dobson CAA PresidentHi Gang, you wonderful members of our Fabulous Club. It has been a long hard time for us all since Covid struck and our lives were turned upside down. 
 
It’s now time for us to reclaim our world and try to embrace life again and that means gently and lovingly meeting our friends and loved ones in a safe way.
 
I have missed our get-togethers and am hoping to see you all in the not too distant future.  We have lost some members, but we will remember them and raise a glass in their memory.  Life is tough, but CAA members are made of strong stuff and the Club will survive. 
 
We will keep our traditions and love of life alive.  Showbusiness is the link that binds us and the Show must… and WILL  go on.
See you soon and stay strong and healthy till then, lotsa love your adoring President.
 
Anita  xxxxxx

Larry Parker 1929 – 2021

Larry Parker Obit image 1

Larry Parker, comedy magician, passed away peacefully in a care home in Cornwall aged 92 on 17th August, 2021.

Larry was born in Preston while his parents were appearing in a season of plays in the Lancashire town. He was the third generation of a theatrical family. His grandfather was the Edwardian actor-manager, Charles Clifford.

From the age of twelve Larry helped and appeared in his parents’ fit up company, The Kinloch Players, touring villages and towns in the Highlands of Scotland. It was here that he first performed a magic act.

Following his National Service, which he spent mainly in London, his early years were in the theatre, initially as an actor, but developing his talents to become a straight man and juvenile lead in summer shows around the coast of Britain. It was during his time, while in a summer season in Babbacombe, that he met comedienne Rowena Vincent, who he later married.

It was at this point Larry started to develop a comedy magic act which later in his career was to bring him success, not only in Britain, but also internationally. The unique act combining comedy, magic and mime was enjoyed by audiences of all ages and nationalities.

In the 1960’s and 70’s Larry was a regular on children’s television, often seen performing with his faithful friend, Theodore the rabbit. He wrote and appeared in programmes including two series of Whistle Stop, five episodes of Jackanory and was also in several other popular children’s programmes of the time, including Crackerjack, The Sooty Show, Blue Peter and Magpie. His first break through came in the late 1950’s, appearing and writing “Happy Go Lucky”, a children ‘s television series for Tyne Tees Television, which ran for six years.

Larry Parker obit 02

It was in the 1970’s that Larry became a regular on British television, with his own brand of comedy magic, making regular appearances on shows such as the Good Old Days, 321, Seaside Special and many other variety shows of the day.

When not on television he continued to work in summer shows and the clubs around Britain as well as completing a year long run in the Max Bygraves Show at the Victoria Palace in London and a short season at the London Palladium with the Two Ronnies. His proudest moment though came in 1975, when he appeared in the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium in front of Her Majesty the Queen.

In the 1980’s, as the club scene dwindled in the U.K. and summer seasons became shorter and scarcer, Larry turned his attention to the Continent where speciality acts were in high demand. Working in top night spots including Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Rome, Larry’s combination of magic and visual humour was perfect for an international audience.

Always quick to adapt to the latest trend, Larry also saw an opportunity in the increasingly popular cruising market and during the late 1980’s and 90’s became a regular on both P&O and Cunard cruise ships.

Following the death of his wife, Rowena, in 1997 Larry moved to Cornwall, where he continued to entertain at children’s parties and local fayres. His final years were spent in Mousehole, a beautiful fishing village situated between Penzance and Lands End, where he spent many happy hours taking in the harbour views.

Although throughout his career he was known as a comedy magician, Larry was interested in all forms of magic and was a member of the Inner Magic Circle. He was also a member of the theatrical club, the CAA, and served two terms as the club’s President, as well as writing a book to commemorate the club’s centenary. Larry’s other great passion was the Players Theatre, a Victorian musical theatre club based in London, where he performed on a regular basis whenever he could.

Larry will be sadly missed by his son, Robin, and his three grandchildren, Rebecca, Sophie and Ewan.