Queen Mary’s stages tea dance in refurbished art deco People’s Palace at Mile End

'Nippies' ready to serve up tea and cakes at People's Palace tea dance

'Nippies' ready to serve up tea and cakes at People's Palace tea dance - Credit: QM College

The ‘Nippies’ are “coming out of retirement” when the People’s Palace puts on the style with a traditional 1930s tea dance.

1936 King George VI reopens new People's Palace

1936 King George VI reopens new People's Palace - Credit: QM College

The refurbished theatre in London’s East End that forms the prestigious entrance to the London University’s Queen Mary campus in Mile End Road is laying on dance music from the Roaring Twenties to the 1940s Swing Era.

“We’ve refurbished the old People’s Palace back to its 1930s art deco glory,” explained a college spokesman. “So we thought it would be nice to recreate the same atmosphere with a tea dance open to everyone.”

It is being staged by the Ragroof Theatre troupe from Brighton with a team of ‘Nippies’ like the waitresses who used to serve in Lyon’s Corner House throughout most of the 20th century—they’ll be handing out the tea and cakes to those tripping the light fantastic.

The original People’s Palace opened in 1887 was destroyed by fire in 1931, but was totally rebuilt in art deco style and was reopened by King George VI in late 1936.

It got a second makeover at the beginning of this year when it staged its first Sunday tea-dance which attracted 200 afternoon revellers of all ages.

The second tea dance on September 22 starts 2pm, entry £5, concessions £4, at the door [Tube: Mile End or Stepney Green].

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