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Chapel on the Green: The rise and fall of Collins’ Music Hall

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Islington Museum

245 St John Street

London

EC1V 4NB

United Kingdom

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Mark Aston takes us back to the golden age of music hall and to tell the story of one of London’s most loved and famous halls – Collins’ on Islington Green. For nearly 100 years, the venue’ played host to all the music-hall greats and some not so great!

In 1862 Sam Collins (born Vagg), chimney sweep-turned-Irish performer, converted the Lansdowne Arms public house on Islington Green into a 600-seat music hall. During the following decade, it became known as ‘The Chapel on the Green’ thanks to unusually good behaviour witnessed at the venue.

Despite later gaining a reputation as a flea-pit, the hall showcased all the big names in variety, including Marie Lloyd, Harry Champion, George Robey, Kate Carney, George Leybourne and Dan Leno. It grew so popular that, in 1897, it was entirely rebuilt in just four months to accommodate an audience of 1800. Its interior was lit by the first electric lights of any music hall in Islington, and it also boasted 10 bars!

So, take your seats for a nostalgic trip to a time when Islington was London’s undisputed ‘Parish of Pleasure’!

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Islington Museum

245 St John Street

London

EC1V 4NB

United Kingdom

View Map

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