Wednesday 7th February 2024 – Sarah Lenton: Lilian Baylis: All Done on Ginger Beer

Wednesday 7th February 2024

Lilian Baylis: All Done on Ginger Beer

Speaker: Sarah Lenton

We were royally entertained at the Arts Society when Sarah Lenton gave a superb talk on ‘Lilian Baylis: All Done on Ginger Beer’.  Lilian was a formidable lady in the 20s and 30s and founded three of our National treasures – The National Theatre which started life at The Old Vic; English Opera at the London Coliseum and the National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells.  Sarah took us through the developmental of all three supported with fabulous photos and music.

Lilian Baylis by Hugh Cecil, Grafton Street, W1 – The Tatler,

Lilian had a strong sense of vocation and even though her actors and dancers received little money she encouraged them and they had very good training; many went on to be very familiar names.  Why Ginger Beer – her Aunt who owned the Old Vic also owned the cafe fronting the building and this was a coffee and ginger beer house.  The ginger beer crates were saved and used as all sorts of scenery.

Sarah Lenton has spent her working life in the theatre, at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Garsington Opera. She is a cartoonist who also writes programme articles, radio and play scripts, gives lectures on the operas and ballets and broadcasts regularly for BBC Radios 3 and 4.