4 Jul 2016

Saving the Brighton Hippodrome

Brighton Hippodrome

The Brighton Hippodrome was, or should we say is, a lavish full size theatre venue which was constructed in 1897 and hosted ice rinks, circus acts, variety theatre, vaudeville shows and even world renowned bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Since it's hay day the beautiful venue has fallen into disrepair. It was used a bingo hall for 40 years, which eventually shit down and since 2007 has been completely empty.

In recent years, 2 local groups have rose up to champion the Brighton Hippodrome in an effort to restore it to pasts glories and open it up to the public, if not at full then at least some capacity. These groups are the Our Brighton Hippodrome and Brighton Hippodrome CIC. With the help of local and national trusts, the public and private investors they hope to re-open the hippodrome as a public venue, potentially, given enough investment, as early as 2018. 

There are three possible options for restoration:
  • The £8 million basic restoration of the interior.
  •  The £13 million creation of flexible 900-seat capacity “Theatre of Varieties” 
  • The £30 million 1,500 capacity lyric theatre capable of hosting large-scale touring productions.
These options are entirely dependant on how much investment the charities manage to raise in the 6 months given to them by current owners of the theatre, Academy Music Group.

We wish everyone involved the best of look with the restoration plans of this magnificent building, and would welcome to present our own circus productions at the venue come 2018.

10 Jun 2016

An updates from our chosen charity - Pattaya Street Kids


As the die hard Lady Boys of Bangkok fan that we know you are, you will have undoubtedly heard of of our chosen charity the Pattaya Street Kids and the amazing work they do for impoverished children in Thailand. You may also know that the collections we hold go directly to the charity and that over the years, with the help of you our audiences, we've raised tens of thousands of pounds for this great cause. So today we have a quick update on the amazing work that has recently been done by Pattaya Steet Kids with the help of you kind donations. These are direct quotes from Don Ford, the treasurer and trustee of Pattaya Street Kids, in his recent newsletter.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok

The Gala Fund Raising Evening on June 11th at the Lady Boys of Bangkok show in Brighton raised £1,658 and our thanks go to all of our helpers who turned out to sell the Prize Draw tickets. It was particularly good to see both Phil Marten and Jim Tourle, both founder members of the PSK charity, able to attend. It was Jim and Phil who convinced us to turn the Project into a registered charity.

Phil Gandey the M.D. of the Lady Boys of Bangkok show paid a visit to the Pak Ping Kum Pai
Children’s Home in mid-June during a short visit to Pattaya. This was Philip’s third visit to the home and he was able to see for himself how some of the money raised by the shows has been used.

Food Programme

We have recently increased our food deliveries for students living in the slums and this has come about because of the number of new students that we took on this year. We have also increased out support for the food programme that Kate’s Project Trust operates for their students.

Muay Thai Boxing

During my trip to Pattaya over the New Year I met a few of our students who were taking part in Muay Thai boxing matches to supplement their families’ income. Four boys ages 11-14 years and one girl age 13 years were training at a local boxing camp at weekends and after school, as Muay Thai can be a brutal sport where serious injuries are frequent we asked Khun Noi to look into this for us.

We have asked Khun Noi to ascertain if there is any way that PSK can assist the families to remove the need for the kids to fight but one problem is that a successful fighter can take the winners’ purse which can be many thousands of Baht and that is often to much of an attraction for kids to stop boxing.

More updates on this to follow.

I'm sure you'll all agree that Pattaya Street Kids is a worthy cause and thank you once again for your kind donations.

29 Apr 2016

The Thai Shack...

Everyone knows that the Lady Boys of Bangkok's purpose built venue The Sabai Pavilion is your one stop shop for exotic Thailand cabaret, but did you know it's also a destination of delicious culinary delights? In this blog we're going to explore the authentic Thai dishes on offer to our audiences from our Thai Shack and amazing chefs who prepare them.

Head Chef - Natawat Purephamee (left) & Sou Chef - Phaiboon Champathong

As you enter the foyer of the Sabai Pavilion your senses are greeted with the authentic smell of delicious Thai food wafting through the air, as if you were working down a busy street in Bangkok itself. As you follow the smell, belly grumbling, you are greeted by our Head Chef - Mr Natawat Purephamee and Sou Chef - Mr Phaibook Champathong of the Thai Shack. 

Natawat has been with the Lady Boys of Bangkok cabaret show for 13 years having previously worked at The Emerald - a prestigious luxury hotel in Bangkok. Phaibook, on the other hand, has only been part of the family for 4 years, but before that worked as a chef at the Mambo Club in Bangkok - the club where our very own glamorous cast perform in Thailand.

These two talented chefs have had a passion for the culinary arts from a young age and a career as a chef was always on the forefront of their minds when they were growing up in Bangkok. Phaibook described his career cooking for audiences of The Lady Boys of Bangkok as "his dream job". Having travelled extensively throughout the UK during their with the show, we asked the chef's what their favourite thing about the UK was, Natawat rather surprisingly replied with "The weather - Thailand is very hot, so I enjoy the cold weather when I visit". Phaibook added "The people, in the UK the people are very friendly."

From the array of mouth watering, freshly cooked dishes available from the Thai Shack - including Chicken Curry, Stir Fried Pork and a Street Food Platter - we asked the chef's what their favourite dish was. "A difficult choice, but I like the Chicken Satay the best." Natawat said, but Phaibook had to go with the traditional Thai meal of Stir Fried Pork and Cashew Nuts, "audiences really seem to love that one - and I do too!". We also asked the chef's what their favourite English delicacy was, to which the unanimous decision was Fish and Chips!

In their downtime, Natawat enjoys watching movies from Thailand and Phaibook enjoys reading, but we asked them both, when they are touring with the show, what their favourite town was. Natawat loves the hustle, bustle and the seaside of Brighton - he also enjoys "visiting all of the local restaurants, which there are many in Brighton." Phaibooks heart lies much further north in the land of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he "loves the accent and people."

Working as a chef at the UK's favourite touring cabaret show is busy work, but when they do get a chance to watch the show we asked what their favourite number was. After some thinking and a quick powwow both decided on the Lady Boys of Bangkok classic finale, which our fans will know, I AM WHAT I AAAAAM - by the amazing Gloria Gaynor.

That's it! A quick look into the lives of our amazing resident chef's who prepare all of the authentic food of Thailand for our audiences in the UK. The Thai Shack can be found in the foyer of the Sabai Pavilion at every one of our shows with meals starting at £6.50. Scroll down below for our full menu and kŏr hâi jà-rern aahăan.


11 Mar 2016

Gandeys Circus and the Philip Astley Project...

Gandey World Class Productions is pleased to announce that Gandeys Circus has had another successful run in Liverpool this year with a brand new production for 2016 - 'Gandeys...Your Circus Awakens'. This years production takes you on a journey through the origins of circus and the Gandey family's influence on the entertainment world. Gandeys...Your Circus Awakens has had a very positive response from audiences in Liverpool and Knutsford - head over the Gandeys Circus Facebook to read the comments for yourself. Due to popular demand this years tour has also been expanded and now included Knutsford, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Birmingham in the ever growing list of venues.

Gandeys Circus is also happy to be lending our support to the Philip Astley Project The Philip Astley Committee with local celebrity Andrew Van Buren during our stay in Newcastle-under-Lyme from the 11th - 20th March. We are holding a special tribute gala evening for the project at the show on Friday 11th March. Philip Astley is  a Newcastle born man who is dubbed the "father of modern circus" for his incremental role in the design of the first 40ft circus ring in 1768, which is still the standard used around the world and here at Gandeys.

Philip Astley was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme on 8th January 1742, the son of a cabinet maker who went on to become a war hero, a pioneer and showman. He is written about in the works of Charles Dickens & Jane Austen, and his influence has shaped not only the world of entertainment but also his legacy is still popular in art & literature worldwide.

In 1759 Philip joined Colonel Elliot’s 15th Light Dragoons - the first Light Cavalry Regiment of the British Army. Under the direction of Lord Pembroke’s trainer he learnt a new method of horse riding, going on to excel in the art of horse training & becoming a master of equestrianism.

Philip saw active service & was quite the war time hero, being promoted to Sergeant Major during the “Seven Years War”. In 1766 he left the army - in 1768 at Halfpenny Hatch (now the White Hart pub, Cornwall Road, London) he created the first 42ft diameter “circus ring” – still the standard size used in circus around the world.

He went on to open Astley’s riding school and by 1773 he opened his first Amphitheatre building in London. He introduced for the first time the Merryman (clowns) into the circus ring, as well as jugglers, rope walkers and acrobats. In 1783 Astley built an amphitheatre building in Paris, where he died on 20th October 1814, aged 72.

Philip Astley is buried in the Paris Cemetery of Pere Lachaise. His grave is no longer visible.

The Philip Astley Project has been in the making for over 35 years and now is truly gaining a solid form with the Philip Astley committee.

The committee are a gathering of individuals who collectively bring their experience within education, historic studies & conservation, the arts, entertainment & politics together. All have the goal & purpose of gaining recognition for Philip Astley - a pioneer son of Newcastle under Lyme, giving recognition to him & reflecting his achievements in a series of events and projects not only designed to keep his amazing legacy alive, but also to enrich a town that they are all proud of – Newcastle under Lyme.

We are proud to be helping promote the life of this circus legend during our stay in Newcastle and long into the future with productions to come.