Lili La Scala performs songs of yesteryear at Barking’s Broadway Theatre

Lili la Scala

Lili la Scala - Credit: Archant

»Wartime classics and show tunes will fill the Broadway in Barking as popular singer Lili La Scala hits the stage.

Lili, accompanied by pianist Dickie Healey, will perform songs by a variety of artists, from American composers Irving Berlin and Cole Porter to British legends Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and George Formby.

“They’re all classic vintage songs that I love from the 1920s to the ’50s,” she explained. “There will be stuff people recognise but also a lot of songs many won’t have heard before.”

Asked what drew her to the genre, she replied: “It all started when I was a child. I used to watch old movies with my great aunt Frida. First it was The Sound of Music, but then the VHS tape of that broke because I’d used it so many times, so we watched lots of other films and I thought they were fantastic.

“It got me into the music from that period too, which has some wonderful lyrics – some quite risqué.”

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Lili believes there “is something about the era” that today’s audiences find so attractive.

“I think it’s partly to do with glamour that existed then, especially in the way people dressed. And there was also such a great sense of community. It’s fun to hark back to that time.”

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She said the show can be enjoyed by people of all ages but many bring along their elderly relatives.

“It’s great when families bring older generations to the show as it creates conversations,” she explained. “The older people will hear the music and it will bring back memories which they share with their families.”

Lili, who has toured as far as New Zealand, is known by some as the Songbird of Trafalgar Square.


“I started out as a busker,” she explained, “and for a couple of years regularly performed in Trafalgar Square. One day I found out about a group set up on Flikr [the photo sharing website] where they called me the Songbird of Trafalgar Square as no-one knew my name.

“In the end I had to stop singing there as the police moved me on. But the name has stuck.”

n Lili La Scala – Songs to Make You Smile is at the Broadway in Barking from 3pm on September 20. Tickets cost £8 (concessions £6). Call 020 8507 5607 or go to

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