Return To The Hippodrome
Yesterday, I went to the newly-reopened Hippodrome Casino to see Kate Dimbleby perform in a musical entertainment written in collaboration with Amy Rosenthal, called Beware of Young Girls: The Dory Previn Story.
I must be one of the few people of my age, who have memories of the old Hippodrome Theatre, that previously stood on the site. I didn’t actually go, but in the early 1950s, I regularly had to go to the Royal Dental Hospital in Leicester Square. My mother, who had been to the theatre before the war, and I used to come up from North London on the Tube and get off at Leicester Square, where we exited the station at Hippodrome Corner. It was then a short walk to the actual square and the dental hospital. One day the builders were in and you could see right through the windows, which told how what was happening was the talk of the town. I can’t remember it actually opening as the nightclub called, The Talk of the Town, as we finished going to the dental hospital. It’s since had a bit of a chequered history, with good and bad times and now it has been turned into a casino.
I think they’ve made a good job of it on the construction and furnishing side. As to the gambling side, I don’t gamble in a casino. I would though, if someone was fool enough to set up Canfield. But after my stroke, I doubt I still have the prowess I used to have. I do bet on horses, but only when the odds are longer than they should be. I once had Terimon at 500/1 each way for the Derby. He came second.
But I do, see shows in a casino and once saw Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas several times and I’ve never gambled on anything there, which must be some sort of record.
So how was last night’s show?
I enjoyed the show and it brought back memories of Dory Previn’s show at the Donmar Warehouse in the last 1980s, where I saw her with C. The set was similar too and I wonder if Amy’s mother, Maureen Lipman, who is thanked on the program, saw that show at the Donmar too!
I don’t think there are any original videos of Dory Previn singing, although there is this video on YouTube. It was taken on a toy camera, when she opened an Arts Centre in Springfield a couple of years ago. The songs are Jesus Had A Baby Sister and Twenty Mile Zone. Her last recording incidentally was Planet Blue, which can be downloaded free from here.
I should also say that I liked the venue too Acoustics were good and from where I sat, I had a good view.
I didn’t actually eat, but the food seemed to be reasonably priced and as a coeliac, some of the snacks were gluten-free.
I’ll probably go again, when an artist I like is appearing. Top class style it definitely has, but the prices aren’t out of the range of a sensible fan.
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