The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall The World's Oldest Surviving Music Hall in the heart of Glasgow. To find out when we are open please see our website www.britanniapanopticon.org
(194)

The Friends of the Britannia Panopticon received charitable recognition in 1999 and has been established to assist the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall trust in its campaign to raise public awareness and ultimately restore this unique and valuable little auditorium.

The Friends of the Britannia Panopticon received charitable recognition in 1999 and has been established to assist the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall trust in its campaign to raise public awareness and ultimately restore this unique and valuable little auditorium.

Operating as usual

Thank You to everyone who joined us for The Panopticon Pond Race . The results for those who missed it are below . If yo...
18/04/2021
Get your very own PayPal.Me link

Thank You to everyone who joined us for The Panopticon Pond Race . The results for those who missed it are below .

If you would like to donate to the campaign you can at paypal.me/panopticonstage

1st Adley
2nd Jacqueline Kidd
3rd emma &Francis
4th In Memory of Betty Andrew
5th Bella
6th Brian Kavanagh
7th Judith McLay
8th Brian Kavanagh
9th Diane Ferguson
10th Brian Kavanagh
11th Andrew Unic
12th Brian Kavanagh
13th Pamela Ross
14th James Williamson
15th Gracie
16th in Memory of Eric
17th Wyatt McRae
18th Wyatt McRae
19th Melanie Houghgton
20th Gracie
21st Kenny ( Pam)
22nd Charles McDonald
23rd Leigha
24th emma &Francis
25th Pamela Ross
26th Christine
27th Andrew Unic
28th emma &Francis
29th Diane Ferguson
30th Charles McDonald
31st Wyatt McRae
32nd Jacqueline Kidd
33rd James Williamson
34th Leigha
35th In Memory of Betty Andrew
36th Stuart McRae
37th Diane Ferguson
38th Wyatt McRae
39th emma &Francis
40th Sarah Remnant
41st Jacqueline Kidd
42nd Melanie Houghgton
43rd Archie
44th emma &Francis
45th Adley
46th Judith McLay
47th Wyatt McRae
48th emma &Francis
49th Wyatt McRae
50th Andrew Unic
51st Brian Kavanagh
52nd Brian Kavanagh
53rd Sarah Remnant
54th Helen McDonald
55th Helen McDonald
56th emma &Francis
57th Bella
58th emma &Francis
59th in Memory of Eric
60th emma &Francis
61st Helen McDonald
62nd Wyatt McRae
63rd Tilly
64th emma &Francis
65th Stuart McRae
66th Brian Kavanagh
67th Christine

Post it. Text it. Tag it. Share it. Shout it. And let your friends pay you back in a tap or two. Grab your PayPal.Me link today.

18/04/2021
Panopticon Pond Race

Panopticon pond race in aid of the IN PANOPTICON WE (wanna) TRUSS CAMPAIGN

You would be quakers to miss it 🐣🦆🐥🐤

03/04/2021

Lawrence Dunn (Gladstone's Bag band leader and Chairman of the Friends of Britannia Panopticon) demonstrates some wonderful instruments from Asia. Enjoy! Please donate to our campaign to ensure the future of the Panopticon. Thank you. Stay safe and we hope to see you again soon.

01/04/2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Today is our fabulous project director and founders birthday . Judith Bowers started the campaign 24 years ago and if you believe the press releases she is delighted to still be 28 😜

All the best from all the team at The Panopticon 🎉🎉🎉

This Easter weekend we will begin our series of talks, walks and stories for all ages via the wonder of the internet. La...
30/03/2021

This Easter weekend we will begin our series of talks, walks and stories for all ages via the wonder of the internet. Lawrence Dunn (Gladstone's Bag band leader and Chairman of the Friends of Britannia Panopticon) begins the series with unusual instruments from Asia. And he will be playing each one! See you on Saturday 3rd April. The video will be put up on our page at 11am. Please share with your friends and family and help us spread the joy (not the virus). Stay safe and stay well.

This Easter weekend we will begin our series of talks, walks and stories for all ages via the wonder of the internet. Lawrence Dunn (Gladstone's Bag band leader and Chairman of the Friends of Britannia Panopticon) begins the series with unusual instruments from Asia. And he will be playing each one! See you on Saturday 3rd April. The video will be put up on our page at 11am. Please share with your friends and family and help us spread the joy (not the virus). Stay safe and stay well.

29/03/2021

PANOPTICON POND RACE - Saturday 17th April at 730pm

As part of our fundraising for the “ IN PANOPTICON WE (WANNA) TRUSS” campaign we will be holding a virtual duck race on Saturday 17th April at 730 pm .

Ducks are only £5 each and if your duck wins you will recieve a cash prize ( Cash prize will dictated by number of ducks racing )

To purchase a duck or ducks please message the Britannia panopticon page , comment on this post or email [email protected]

You can also donate directly to the campaign at PayPal.me/panopticonstage

YOU WOULD BE QUACKERS TO MISS IT ! 🐥

IN THE PANOPTICON WE (wanna) TRUSS This is our stage and thank you to everyone who helped us a few years ago to bring it...
27/03/2021

IN THE PANOPTICON WE (wanna) TRUSS

This is our stage and thank you to everyone who helped us a few years ago to bring it back into use by purchasing planks and donating and to all the fabulous acts who have performed on her .

But doesn’t she look a little bare - well have no fear because last year our resident dame ( Auntie Effie) recieved a little birthday present of some sensational curtains but we need your help to get them up . ( Effie’s at the age she has difficulty getting stuff up ) so is organising some little fundraising events in order to get a truss for the stage - this will allow the curtains to be hung along with additional lighting .

If you would like to donate to our Truss fund you can at PayPal.me/panopticonstage

Auntie Effie will also be donating 20% of her own merch sales to this fund from sales of signed postcards (£5) and Bonnie Bairn pens (£2.50)

We will also be having a Duck race where you can buy a Dino for £5 and if your Dino wins receive a cash prize and Panopticon Truss goody bag . - Details of our Duck Race will be released later this week .

Take care . Stay safe and we hope to welcome you when it is safe to do so ( hopefully with some new curtains on our stage )

IN THE PANOPTICON WE (wanna) TRUSS

This is our stage and thank you to everyone who helped us a few years ago to bring it back into use by purchasing planks and donating and to all the fabulous acts who have performed on her .

But doesn’t she look a little bare - well have no fear because last year our resident dame ( Auntie Effie) recieved a little birthday present of some sensational curtains but we need your help to get them up . ( Effie’s at the age she has difficulty getting stuff up ) so is organising some little fundraising events in order to get a truss for the stage - this will allow the curtains to be hung along with additional lighting .

If you would like to donate to our Truss fund you can at PayPal.me/panopticonstage

Auntie Effie will also be donating 20% of her own merch sales to this fund from sales of signed postcards (£5) and Bonnie Bairn pens (£2.50)

We will also be having a Duck race where you can buy a Dino for £5 and if your Dino wins receive a cash prize and Panopticon Truss goody bag . - Details of our Duck Race will be released later this week .

Take care . Stay safe and we hope to welcome you when it is safe to do so ( hopefully with some new curtains on our stage )

CASTING OPPERTUNITY Casting has started for our The Britannia Panopticon 2021 Panto ( rescheduled from 2020) . - Jack An...
08/03/2021
Panto 2021 for Worlds Oldest Surviving Music Hall

CASTING OPPERTUNITY

Casting has started for our The Britannia Panopticon 2021 Panto ( rescheduled from 2020) . - Jack And The Beanstalk

Casting currently for the roles of :

Jack - Principal Boy
Jill - Principal Girl
Willie - Comic Lead

King Caracacus - This role will also be U/S Dame

Dancers / Ensemble - who will also Understudy the roles of Fairy / Demon / Jack / Jill / Willie / King

PLEASE NOTE THIS PRODUCTION IS UNPAID AND OFFERED AS A FUNDRAISER FOR The Friends of The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust ( SCIO)

Actors - Multiple roles - Glasgow, United Kingdom

03/03/2021
A.E Pickard

Here's a moving image of Glasgow's very own greatest and most eccentric showman, A.E Pickard. Born in Bradford in 1874, he moved to Glasgow in 1904. In 1906 he gained ownership of the Britannia Panopticon, which went on to thrive through its variety of amusements, until its closure in 1938.

In 1906, he gave Stan Laurel his stage debut in this very music hall.

Last December this little article was in the Evening Times. If you missed it, here it is for your edification. Tony Gee,...
03/03/2021
Glasgow memories: Who was the pub boss and wrestler who brought boxing big names to the city?

Last December this little article was in the Evening Times. If you missed it, here it is for your edification.
Tony Gee, Boxing Historian, is writing a book about Charles Donaldson, a Glasgow wrestler, publican and sports journalist. In the book Tony will be including a chapter about Britannia Panopticon and the music hall's place in the history of pugilists and wrestlers. Sadly the book is yet to be finished, the article is very interesting though. https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18926666.glasgow-memories-pub-boss-wrestler-brought-boxing-big-names-city/

TIMES Past readers love a mystery – can you help track down details of a well-kent Glasgow wrestler and publican?

Check out this wonderful podcast which includes Joe Black talking about meeting Glen Close in the venue . https://podcas...
28/01/2021

Check out this wonderful podcast which includes Joe Black talking about meeting Glen Close in the venue .

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/united-queendom-podcast/id1482277960#episodeGuid=tag%3Asoundcloud%2C2010%3Atracks%2F973167199

If you don't have iTunes you can download it for free from the interweb.

Check out this wonderful podcast which includes Joe Black talking about meeting Glen Close in the venue .

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/united-queendom-podcast/id1482277960#episodeGuid=tag%3Asoundcloud%2C2010%3Atracks%2F973167199

If you don't have iTunes you can download it for free from the interweb.

25/01/2021
Auld Lang Syne

Hope you're all having a brilliant evening! Don't forget to make a toast to the bard and belt out Auld Lang Syne!
Here's a short video from 'Burns Night at the Panopticon' from 2019! What a fantastic evening we all had! We hope to see you soon for a live show.

Tonight is Burn's Night and we had hoped to bring to you a live show from the Panopticon over the wonder of the internet...
25/01/2021
Burns Night Variety

Tonight is Burn's Night and we had hoped to bring to you a live show from the Panopticon over the wonder of the internet, however, with the lock down restrictions still in place, this has not been possible, so instead, here's some footage from a Burn's Night long ago before we became the land of Covid-19, with additional fiddle playing by the Chairman of the Friends, Lawrence Dunn. We hope you enjoy it. Stay safe and stay well. https://youtu.be/ohdJqFRnasg

As we are unable to put on our annual Burns Night show we have decided to edit some of the brilliant acts from 'Burns Night at the Panopticon 2019 day 1'.Enj...

Bernie showing us how to dress for the Panopticon. Maybe we should have our own mittens! 😄🥶#berniesanders
22/01/2021

Bernie showing us how to dress for the Panopticon. Maybe we should have our own mittens! 😄🥶
#berniesanders

Bernie showing us how to dress for the Panopticon. Maybe we should have our own mittens! 😄🥶
#berniesanders

01/01/2021

#HappyNewYear2021 we hope you all stay safe and have a wonderful 2021. Thankyou for supporting us through 2020. Your sharing, posting, donating and comments have helped keep us going and we hope to welcome you back to Britannia Panopticon Music Hall soon. With love from the Britannia Panopticon team and trustees.

Happy New Year everyone, hopefully we'll get to see you soon!!!! 🥳🎉Here's to 2021!🥂Have a good one and stay safe!
01/01/2021

Happy New Year everyone, hopefully we'll get to see you soon!!!! 🥳🎉
Here's to 2021!🥂
Have a good one and stay safe!

25/12/2020
Auntie Effie

Our Resident dame Auntie Effie with an alternative Christmas message .

Please if your able this Christmas consider donating at the link below so we can work towards reopening once permitted

Merry Christmas to our friends and followers. Thank you so much for sharing and caring throughout this difficult year. M...
23/12/2020

Merry Christmas to our friends and followers. Thank you so much for sharing and caring throughout this difficult year. May you Christmas be merry and bright and we hope that we will see you in a happier 2021.
From all of us at Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

https://youtu.be/PdGnl6sxTYo

23/12/2020

Thank you to everyone who donated to our #virtualbucketshaker with #saveourtheatres. You helped us raise another £1190 to help ensure the future reopening of Britannia Panopticon post pandemic.

20/12/2020
Judith, Kavita and Maya make Christmas baubles out of paper in this challenging festive Origami make

In the 3rd and final of Judith's Christmas makes comedian, Kavita Bhardwaj, and her daughter Maya try the hardest origami challenge yet, the BAUBLE. Are you up to the challenge? If you want to have a go you will need 2 x 3" squares of stiff paper or thin card and a tube of UHU glue. Gift bags are really good for this make. And to add to the festive atmosphere, why not download and play the Britannia Panopticon's charming, heart-warming, nostalgic Christmas single from 1915, "Here Comes Old Father Christmas" from https://www.britanniapanopticon.org/digital/christmas only 99p. All proceeds go the keeping the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall alive. And don't forget our Christmas show "Christmas Cracker!" is now available to stream free on the Britannia Panopticon YouTube channel (check our FaceBook event "Christmas Cracker"). Merry Christmas!

Christmas Crackers
20/12/2020
Christmas Crackers

Christmas Crackers

Join us and our dashing volunteers as we present a variety of festive music and poems to help you get into the Christmas spirit. This is a free event but do ...

Join our dashing volunteers as they Sing songs, read poems and much more to get you into the Christmas spirit this year....
19/12/2020
Christmas Crackers

Join our dashing volunteers as they Sing songs, read poems and much more to get you into the Christmas spirit this year. 'Christmas Crackers' is now available on our YouTube page for you to enjoy.
Please leave a donation if you can to our CrowdFunder Page, we're getting close to reaching our target, every penny counts!
For now stay safe!

Join us and our dashing volunteers as we present a variety of festive music and poems to help you get into the Christmas spirit. This is a free event but do ...

Join our dashing volunteers as they Sing songs, read poems and much more to get you into the Christmas spirit this year....
19/12/2020
Christmas Crackers

Join our dashing volunteers as they Sing songs, read poems and much more to get you into the Christmas spirit this year. 'Christmas Crackers' is now available on our YouTube page for you to enjoy.
Please leave a donation if you can to our CrowdFunder Page, we're getting close to reaching our target, every penny counts!
For now stay safe!

Join us and our dashing volunteers as we present a variety of festive music and poems to help you get into the Christmas spirit. This is a free event but do ...

19/12/2020
Judith, Kavita and Maya make Christmas baubles out of paper in this challenging festive Origami make

In the 3rd and final of Judith's Christmas makes comedian, Kavita Bhardwaj, and her daughter Maya try the hardest origami challenge yet, the BAUBLE. Are you up to the challenge? If you want to have a go you will need 2 x 3" squares of stiff paper or thin card and a tube of UHU glue. Gift bags are really good for this make. And to add to the festive atmosphere, why not download and play the Britannia Panopticon's charming, heart-warming, nostalgic Christmas single from 1915, "Here Comes Old Father Christmas" from https://www.britanniapanopticon.org/digital/christmas only 99p. All proceeds go the keeping the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall alive. And don't forget our Christmas show "Christmas Cracker!" is now available to stream free on the Britannia Panopticon YouTube channel (check our FaceBook event "Christmas Cracker"). Merry Christmas!

CINE - CINDERELLA unfortunately we have to cancel our planned Cine-Cinderella show . Due to the ongoing restrictions inc...
16/12/2020

CINE - CINDERELLA

unfortunately we have to cancel our planned Cine-Cinderella show . Due to the ongoing restrictions including entering tier 4 and cast availability after tier 4 ( having already isolated and bubbled for initial filming ) on review of the footage we do have we do not feel confident that the film would be of the quality we expect of a Panto-opticon show . Some small snippets will be posted on the Britannia panopticon and The Vesta Girls social media pages so keep a look out for them and we apologise for the inconvenience caused ​.

Merry Christmas and we can’t wait to welcome you back properly in 2021.

Join Judith and Auntie Effie making Santa and Rudolph paper chains this Sunday at 3pm right here on this page. Great fun...
11/12/2020

Join Judith and Auntie Effie making Santa and Rudolph paper chains this Sunday at 3pm right here on this page. Great fun to make with your children.

Address

113-117 Trongate
Glasgow
G1 5HD

113-117 Trongate Glasgow G1 5HD Remember that entrance to most of our shows is via the New Wynd, the small lane between T.J.Hughes and Mitchell's Amusement Arcade. Nearest train stations are Argyle Street and High Street, but if you don't mind a 10 minute walk, Central Station & Queen Street Station are also conveniently close by. Buses: First Bus 62, 61 & 64 stop right outside Britannia Panopticon. Car parking is also available at the St. Enoch Centre, Kings Street, Glasshouse on Glassford Street and the NCP carpark on Albion Street. Subway - The nearest Subway station is St. Enoch. When you come out of the St Enoch Underground station onto Argyle Street, turn right and walk in a straight line towards Glasgow Cross. We are just beyond T.J.Hughes

General information

The Britannia Music Hall (The Panopticon) in Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland is the oldest surviving music hall in the world. Built in 1857 by Thomas Gildard and H. M. McFarlane, it has hosted some of the biggest names on the Music hall circuit. In 1906 Stan Laurel made his first stage appearance there on amateur night. In that same year A. E. Pickard bought the building and changed its name to the Panopticon. He also undertook some major works, installing a freak show, a roof top carnival and a waxworks. He also excavated the basement and installed an indoor zoo. The Panopticon was one of the first buildings in Glasgow become powered by electricity and one of the first cinemas in Scotland. It closed in 1938 when it was sold to a tailors and converted to a workshop. It is currently being conserved by a trust who regularly perform traditional shows in the auditorium. It is now protected as a category A listed building.

Telephone

01415530840

Products

Variety shows, silent films, drag shows, Laurel and Hardy film screenings, marts, function hire

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall:

Videos

Our Story

Britannia Panopticon began life in the late 1850s when Glasgow was bursting at the seams with humanity. Thousands of workers had flocked to the city to work in the mills, factories, foundries, shipyards and collieries. They lived in the worst conditions imaginable; single ends* housed one third of the population, lodging houses where they crammed eight to a bed were available for those who couldn’t afford a single end and if you couldn’t afford a sliver of bed space then the penny line** was a slightly better option than the poorhouses and workhouses.

The social and working conditions of the workers of this industrial empire were not so much intangible as unimaginable to us today; men, women and children toiled in the most atrocious and dangerous conditions, the stench of the sewers, the thick smoke that belched from the factories and mills and made the air thick and foul to breathe, the lack of indoor and outdoor plumbing etc. would be insufferable to our modern and delicate dispositions – only the strongest survived.

The audience of the Britannia Music Hall (as it was originally known) comprised 1500 of these people, who would cram into the small auditorium four times a day, squeezing up cheek to cheek (so to speak) on the rough wooden benches that served as seating for those who could afford it. Those who couldn’t got to stand at the sides and back of the hall. Where-ever they sat and whoever they were, they all came for the same reason, to be entertained, blow off steam, have a laugh (usually at the expense of the act on stage if they weren’t up to muster) and escape from their difficult lives. But this was an audience that had for generations cut its teeth on the barbarous practice of public punishments and executions, which in Glasgow had been the only form of legitimate entertainment from the 1550s to the 1750s. Consequently the Glasgow audience evolved over the generations into a merciless mob who literally left no turn un-stoned. In Britannia Music Hall the turns (acts) could find themselves pelted with Shipyard rivets, nails, rancid turnips and horse manure, whilst urine might rain down on them from the balcony. However, if the turn appealed to the Britannia’s audience, they would be rewarded with thunderous applause and foot-stamping instead.

Nearby museums


Other Community Museums in Glasgow

Show All

Comments

Pleasantly surprised to hear the Panopticon getting a wee namecheck on BBC Doctors today. 🥰🥰
Did anyone else notice Paul Merton's t-shirt on Have I Got News For You this week? https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000pzgr/have-i-got-news-for-you-series-60-episode-9
They used to be held indoors!
Facebook just suggested I friend Jonathan Ducarr😢, which is ever so sad. Is anyone managing his online accounts?
wonderful
My latest inspiration 🌹
Can you please confirm that Stan and Ollie is still being shown on Wednesday? Thanks
Kirstie Gavin Nicol this page
Is there anyone here that recognises a song with the lyrics (or title) 'We rock away on the billows gay'? It's possibly a music hall or old drinking song.
are u showing rupaul uk tomorow night how much get in ###
STV production Dramarama from 1987 tells the story of Stan Laurels first stage appearance at the Panopticon Theatre Glasgow 1906.