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Pub plans musical tribute to Bud Flanagan

PUBLISHED: 20:56 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

SHOWBIZ performers are being invited to reinterpret’ the stage act by the popular wartime entertainer Bud Flanagan to mark the 40th anniversary of his death. The special one-off musical tribute Underneath the Arches is being staged in a pub in London's East End pub, the Palm Tree at Mile End, on November 26

SHOWBIZ performers are being invited to reinterpret’ the stage act by the popular wartime entertainer Bud Flanagan to mark the 40th anniversary of his death.

But the musicians, singers and comedians won’t have to perform in the cold underneath the arches’ of London’s East End.

The special one-off musical tribute Underneath the Arches is being staged in an East End pub, the Palm Tree at Mile End.

It is part of The Street art project by the Whitechapel Gallery, a year-long series of artist commissions on or around the East End’s Petticoat Lane.

Bud Flanagan is remembered most for the song Underneath the Arches, his signature tune performed as part of the comedy duo Flanagan and Allen.

His solo recording of Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler? later became the theme to the BBC’s long-running sitcom Dad's Army, maintaining the familiarity of his name to this day.

Flanagan was born Chaim Reuben Weintrop in Whitechapel on October 14, 1896, to Jewish immigrants from Poland. He went to school in Petticoat Lane’s Wentworth Street and performed conjuring tricks at the age of 12 at the London Music Hall in Shoreditch.

He took the Irish-American sounding stage name in his 20s and went on to become a popular singer and entertainer, later teaming up with Chesney Allen to create the successful comedy duo.

Flanagan, who went solo when Allen’s ill health forced him to retire in 1945, died at Sydenham in south London on October 20, 1968.

Artists Gilbert and George, who live a block away from Wentworth Street, performed Underneath the Arches in one of their first artworks, The Singing Sculpture, in 1969.

The Bud Flanagan musical tribute on November 26 at Mile End’s Palm Tree pub by the Regent’s Canal at Haverfield Road, off Grove Road, starts at 7.30pm. Entry is free.

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