If Venice morphed with a Nick Cave song, you might end up with Wilton’s Music Hall.
The building’s historic integrity cannot be faulted, altho’ the same could not be said of its structural integrity. An ornate doorway, and entrance hall paved with enormous flag stones, lead into a bar staffed by bowler-hatted waiters with a vaudeville air about them. However, you might want to wear a hard hat yourself, in case the dangerously bowed ceiling caves in.
The night I went, many people in the audience had dressed up to see the opera - the Marriage of Figaro. The dress code veered more towards burlesque than dinner jackets, altho’ both would have looked very good against the incredibly restrained - and sexy - 19th century schmaltz.
The production itself was impressive, with a touring company of both seasoned and newly professional singers. All were fantastic - and good actors. The set design was inspired, and worked well with the venue itself. A nice touch was the serving of champagne to everyone in the audience during a necessary scene change in the middle of the second half. So we got to toast the happy couples - and ourselves, for being so clever as to find ourselves there.
This is a great place to come to share the bonhomie of a life well-lived, to support a marvellous community site. Wilton’s will not survive much longer without support (it’s got mine) and the loss of this artistic jewel would be a very sad one for East London.