HOXTON Hall is one of four remaining music halls that are still operating in the UK. It was the history of the building and the artists who have performed there over the centuries in Hoxton Street, which inspired composer, Stuart Wood, to write his musical Frank’s Closet.

“I work in the studio next door; and just being so close to all this musical history inspired me to write this piece.”

This Lincolnshire-born, 43-year-old, explains his desire for writing about modern issues, but in the style of an old-fashioned musical.

“Music speaks to us in a kind of way that is unseen. You can’t see it but it exists and has a positive effect.

“Through the medium of British Music Hall, I wanted to play with the extraordinary and ordinary and I also wanted to explore what gay culture has lost now it has become more mainstream.

“The narrative is based on the eve of Frank’s wedding; he clears out his closet, home to his rare collection of costumes. Riddled with pre-nuptial jitters, Frank asks himself, ‘what needs to be ditched in order to get hitched?’ “Help is on hand from the Gaiety Girls and a wardrobe full of divas. To help the magic of the narrative, I chose Marie Lloyd (she was the queen of Hoxton’s Music Hall and was born in here in 1880), Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, Karen Carpenter, Judy Garland and Agnetha Fältskog from ABBA.”

This a veritable musical gem which matches anything in the West End this Christmas.

Gary Amers plays the role of Frank, and Russell Whitehead plays The Divas. Audiences attending will be greeted by Sheila Blige, the Hoxton Pearly Queen.

Frank’s Closet, Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street. Thursday, December 3 until Sunday, January 10. Tickets £21.50. Box office: 0844 209 1866.

Rachel Wakefield