Charles Morton (15 August 1819–18 October 1904) was a music hall and theatre manager. Born in Hackney, east London, he built the first purpose-built Tavern Music hall, the Canterbury Music Hall, and became known as the Father of the Halls.
Morton and Frederick Stanley, his brother in law, purchased the Canterbury Arms, in Upper Marsh, Lambeth, south London, in 1849. Morton had been impressed with the entertainments at Evans Music-and-Supper Rooms in Covent Garden and decided to offer a harmonic meeting, held on Saturdays, in the back room of the public house. Soon, a Thursday evening programme was added to accommodate the crowds and admit women, giving the venue wider appeal than the old-time song and supper rooms, which were male preserves.  Entry was free, but the profits from the sale of food and drink allowed the construction in 1852 of a 700-seat hall on the site of an adjacent skittle alley. This made sufficient profit to fund the building of a 1,500 seat hall, around the old hall.
The old building was demolished in one weekend and the New Canterbury opened in December 1856. In 1855, and again in 1856, Morton was prosecuted under the Theatres Act 1843 for the presentation of 'legitimate drama' in sketches – this still being reserved to a small number of licensed theatres. Even this setback was turned to advantage by taking advertisements in The Times – the first such for this type of behaviour. 
Their success at the Canterbury allowed Stanley and Morton to build The Oxford, in Holborn, as a competitor to the nearby Weston's Music Hall, opening on 26 March 1861. The pair managed both the Canterbury & Oxford halls, with acts moving between the halls in coaches.  With their interests now established in the West End, on Boxing Night 1867, Morton relinquished management of the Canterbury to William Holland.
Acts included Vesta Tilley and Harry Champion.
In 1877, Morton became the manager of the Alhambra Theatre, in Leicester Square. The theatre fell into financial difficulties following the decision by the Middlesex Magistrates not to grant a Music and Dancing Licence in October 1870. It was destroyed by fire in December 1882.  Morton took it over and made a success, presenting a programme of variety. The theatre reopened on 18 October 1884, with Morton in charge.
Morton announced his retirement in 1891, but in 1893, at the invitation of Sir Augustus Harris he took over the management of the Palace Theatre of Varieties, which he ran successfully with a programme of variety theatre, until his retirement shortly before his death in 1904.   He is buried in a family grave on the eastern side of Highgate Cemetery.
His biography, Sixty Years Stage Service, was published in 1905 by his brother and Henry Chance Newton, and did much to establish his reputation as The Father of the Halls. Morton appears to have been the first to coin the term "music hall" and popularised the concept through aggressive advertising in The Times .
Many aspects of the entertainment had already been tried elsewhere, especially in the northern provinces and by the 1840s, the artistes themselves had already formed a benevolent society. Morton was able to combine these ideas into a package of entertainments and make them widely popular with many imitators. He went on to anticipate the move from the halls to the large variety theatres of the Edwardian era and to manage some of the most profitable and notable. 
Morton was a non-smoker and vegetarian. 
The Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster in London. Its red-brick facade dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus behind a small plaza near the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. The Palace Theatre seats 1,400.
Music hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment that was popular from the early Victorian era, beginning around 1850. It faded away after 1918 as the halls rebranded their entertainment as variety. Perceptions of a distinction in Britain between bold and scandalous Music Hall and subsequent, more respectable Variety differ. Music hall involved a mixture of popular songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. The term is derived from a type of theatre or venue in which such entertainment took place. In North America vaudeville was in some ways analogous to British music hall, featuring rousing songs and comic acts.
The Opera Comique was a 19th-century theatre constructed in Westminster, London, between Wych Street, Holywell Street and the Strand. It opened in 1870 and was demolished in 1902, to make way for the construction of the Aldwych and Kingsway.
The Lyric Theatre is a West End theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster. It was built for the producer Henry Leslie, who financed it from the profits of the light opera hit, Dorothy, which he transferred from its original venue to open the new theatre on 17 December 1888.
The Scala Theatre was a theatre in Charlotte Street, London, off Tottenham Court Road. The first theatre on the site opened in 1772, and the theatre was demolished in 1969, after being destroyed by fire. From 1865 to 1882, the theatre was known as the Prince of Wales's Theatre.
The Sans Souci Theatre was a 500-seat theatre located on Leicester Place, just off Leicester Square in the City of Westminster. It was built in 1796 by Charles Dibdin, and replaced eponymous former music rooms he had leased for performances, off the Strand.
Weston's Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened on 16 November 1857 at 242-245 High Holborn in London, England. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire.
Toole's Theatre, was a 19th-century West End building in William IV Street, near Charing Cross, in the City of Westminster. A succession of auditoria had occupied the site since 1832, serving a variety of functions, including religious and leisure activities. The theatre at its largest, after reconstruction in 1881–82, had a capacity of between 650 and 700.
The Canterbury Music Hall was established in 1852 by Charles Morton on the site of a former skittle alley adjacent to the Canterbury Tavern at 143 Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth. It was one of the first purpose-built music halls in London, and "probably the largest and grandest concert-room ever attached to a public house" in London. Morton came to be dubbed the Father of the Halls as hundreds of imitators were built within the next several years. The theatre was rebuilt three times, and the last theatre on the site was destroyed by bombing in 1942.
The Royal Aquarium and Winter Garden was a place of amusement in Westminster, London. It opened in 1876, and the building was demolished in 1903. The attraction was located northwest of Westminster Abbey on Tothill Street. The building was designed by Alfred Bedborough in an ornamental style faced with Portland stone. The Aquarium Theatre was located in the west end of the building and was renamed the Imperial Theatre in 1879. Methodist Central Hall now occupies the site.
Oxford Music Hall was a music hall located in Westminster, London at the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. It was established on the site of a former public house, the Boar and Castle, by Charles Morton, in 1861. In 1917 the music hall was converted into a legitimate theatre, and in 1921 it was renamed the New Oxford Theatre. In May 1926 it closed and was demolished.
Jenny Hill, born Elizabeth Jane Thompson, was an English music hall performer of the Victorian era known as "The Vital Spark" and "the Queen of the Halls". Her repertoire of songs included "'Arry", "The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery", "The Little Vagabond Boy", "I've Been a Good Woman to You" and "If I Only Bossed the Show".
Victoria Regina is a 1934 play by Laurence Housman about Queen Victoria, staged privately in London in 1935, produced on Broadway in 1935, and given its British public premiere in 1937.
The Metropolitan Theatre was a London music hall and theatre in Edgware Road, Paddington. Its origins were in an old inn on the site where entertainments became increasingly prominent by the early 19th century. A new theatre was built there in 1836, replaced in 1897 by a new building designed by the theatre architect Frank Matcham. The Metropolitan was a leading theatre for music hall and variety, but with the decline of the latter in the mid-20th century it struggled to survive, and was demolished in 1964 to make way for a road-widening scheme.
Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson were theatre historians and joint founders of a large collection of theatrical memorabilia.
This is a list of works and appearances by the English playwright, actor, singer and songwriter Noël Coward.
Edmund William Mackney was an English blackface entertainer in early music halls, described as "The Great Mackney" and "The Negro Delineator".
Harry Sydney was an English music hall singer and songwriter.
Sarsfield Patrick Beauchamp, known professionally as George Beauchamp, was an English music hall singer and comedian.