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David Pibworth | The Blog


When It Comes To Women Comedians, Don't Forget Marie Lloyd!

The queen of the music hall ...

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Last week, we celebrated Victoria Wood as part of International Women's Day because she did a great deal for women in stand up and comedy writing ...

Marie Lloyd was the queen of the music hall at the turn of the 20th century

Marie Lloyd was the queen of the music hall at the turn of the 20th century

more info: wikipedia

But it should be noted that there were women before her who did break ground to make a difference in comedy. The late Carla Lane OBE being one of them.

"She was a great comedy writer!"

She was up there with the best from the late-60s to mid-90s, with her classic and most popular TV hits The Liver Birds, Butterflies, and Bread. Having three bestselling sitcoms was, and still is, no mean feat; especially if you consider Galton and Simpson achieved only two with Hancock and Steptoe & Son.

But you can't compare comedy writers, other than to say that it's a near impossible field to be brilliant in and anyone who achieves success has worked very hard to get it.

Unfortunately, getting into any aspect of comedy, such as writing, or stand-up, has always been harder for women. Yet, there have been inspiring waves of British female comedians who began to pave the way many years ago.

"There was a rather splendid music hall comedienne called Marie Lloyd, who I personally think led the way!"

She was born in 1870 and by 1895 was being censored for singing songs such as 'She Sits Amongst the Cabbages and Peas'. She changed the lyrics to 'She Sits Amongst the Cabbages and Leaks' to get around it, which I thought truly funny!

She was known as the Queen of the Music Hall, and famous for her songs 'My Old Man (said follow the van)', 'The boy I love is up in the Gallery' and 'Oh, Mr Porter what shall I do?' Remember those?

Taken from the 2007 BBC documentary about Marie Lloyd

Although Marie Lloyd had a somewhat turbulent life and died virtually penniless aged 52, she made ground with double-entendre and innuendo some 20 years before Max Miller.

As I always say to those who are into comedy, if you haven't heard of Marie Lloyd you should go back and revise as she was remarkable. One last interesting fact about Marie Lloyd was that she was born Matilda Alice Victoria Wood!

Brilliant, eh?

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.