New Years Honours: Music hall genius made an MBE

13:49 29 December 2012

Vincent Hayes runs the Brick lane Music Hall in an old Silvertown church in London’s Docklands, and is breaking the news of his MBE to his family today while on holiday with them in Barbados.

“It was all a complete shock—I’ve been in showbusiness since I was five and this is the first recognition,” said the entrepreneur.

“The award is in confidence until it’s officially announced. So I banned myself from talking about it.

“But I couldn’t keep a secret—I’ll tell the family over dinner.”

The Irish-born showbiz entrepreneur from Galway originally set up his Brick Lane Music Hall in the old Truman Brewery in Spitalfields in 1996, bringing vaudeville and slapstick back to the East End.

But rents rocketed and parking was impossible, so in 2003 he renovated the empty St Mark’s Church in North Woolwich Road, which was on the ‘endangered buildings’ register, and moved in with his diet of musical comedy, song, food and drink—and is fully booked months ahead.

Vincent gets no funding, yet manages a community outreach programme in schools like Beckton’s Tollgate Primary with his paid staff and no volunteers, while making it all pay.

His secret? “I’m an Irish grafter,” he tells you. “I put on musicals people want—panto for grown-ups.”

The father-of-two dared put eldest daughter on the stage—now Erin Hayes, 24, has two Hollywood movies under her belt. His youngest, Lucy, 16, is still at school.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more