Welcome to Seaside Follies – the national resource and archive for pierrot troupes and concert parties.
This website is a national resource for all information relating to pierrot troupes, concert parties and minstrel troupes of the British seaside. It uses the archive, research work and practice of Tony Lidington (AKA Uncle Tacko!) as the principal resource, as well as a range of other archives and collections.
- Here you can find-out about the history of pierrot troupes, as well as archives of particular troupes, individuals and resorts.
- There are academic articles, exhibitions, broadcasts and research projects about the subject, giving a wide overview of the developments in seaside entertainments over the last 200 years.
- There are sections on contemporary community and research projects and in particular ‘The Pierrotters’ – the last fully-professional seaside pierrot troupe which performed continuously from 1983 until 2010.
Dr Tony Lidington has been researching the subject for over 35 years and this is the first time that this material has ever been collated and digitised for open access.
Coming up in 2019
125th anniversary celebrations for West Cliff Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea
THE 125 SHOW
The West Cliff Theatre
Sunday 12th May, 2019 at 6pm
featuring Anita Harris, Don Maclean and Roy Hudd
And Uncle Tacko! (Tony Lidington) & Bunny (Katie Tranter)
Barking, Booths and Bottlers: Sussex seashore entertainers between the two World Wars
This project for 2019/20 celebrates seafront entertainment of the 1920s and 1930s and will tour to museums, schools and seafronts in Sussex this summer.
Brighton seafront – Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June
Exhibition opens at Worthing Museum on Sunday 21st July
Brighton seafront – Monday 29th July
Worthing seafront – Tuesday 30th July
Brighton seafront – Monday 12th August
Worthing seafront – Tuesday 13th August
Book a Pierrot Troupe!
The New Follies are a new, professional, acoustic seaside pierrot troupe – ideal for any seaside resort, heritage or family fun day, Victorian/Edwardian or folk festival.
The only professional seaside Pierrot troupe performing in Britain today! Featuring 5 versatile professional performer/musicians. They sing, dance and act short comedy routines for all the family in the open air or for indoor cabarets. Entirely acoustic and mobile, they can perform just about anywhere – so long as it’s not raining!
Ideal for seaside promenades, festivals, heritage events and family fun days.
Book a talk!
Tony regularly presents illustrated talks and workshops about British Seaside Entertainment and the History of Pierrots & Concert Parties. He has regularly presented for history & civic societies, academia, further education & schools, WIs & Probus clubs. Dr Tony Lidington (Uncle Tacko!) is the country’s leading authority on the history of seaside Pierrot troupes & concert parties.
Recent Talks : University of Exeter; Theatre and Performance Research Association(Aberystwyth University); Resorting to the Coast Conference; Teignbridge Community School; Dawlish Community School; The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond; Arts University Bournemouth; Plymouth Art College; Bangor University.
Book an Exhibition!
Currently there are 3 available exhibitions:
1. ‘The History of Seaside Entertainment’
(20 X A3, framed panels about the evolution of seaside entertainment from the Georgian era to the present day.
2. ‘From Agincourt to Afghanistan’
(10 X unframed, double-crown panels about the use of concert party in the armed forces – ideal for Armed Forces’ Day & educational events)
3. ‘The Seaside Mutoscope’
(a hand-cranked, digital representation of the end-of-the-pier, what-the-butler-saw machine, showing 3 short films about seaside entertainment – this can be combined with either of the other exhibitions)
Archives in use:
Dr. Tony Lidington
Clacton & District Local History Society
Llandudno Museum Services
University of Exeter archives, special collections
If you have archives, photos, oral history stories then use this form to contact us; we’d love to hear from you!
A New Pierrot Troupe & Community Project Llandudno 2018
New Pierrot troupes – The Jollies and The New Follies – re-booted the art form on Sat 29th Sept 2018 in Llandudno!
In the Summer of 2018, ‘The New Follies’ & the youth group ‘The Jollies’ performed on Llandudno seafront, Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th September 2018.
Seaside Follies can run a project like this at your seaside resort!
Promenade Promotions – The Art of British Popular Entertainment
Available to book now for the Summer Season!
The Imaginarium, the mighty Dom-Tink!, the Tinglary, Uncle Tacko’s Flea Circus, The Raree Man Peepshow, Uncle Tacko! & Captain Ginger.
Illustrated Public Talks – Seaside Entertainment, Pantomime, Pre-Cinema, Victorian and Edwardian Entertainments.
Workshops – Puppetry, Street Theatre and Slapstick