An avid variety fan
I remember both The Grand and The Hippodrome theatres as a lad. I was an avid variety theatre fan during the early 1950s. I saw great artists such as Max Miller, Billy Cotton, Winifred Atwell, Eddie Calvert, Nat Gonella and many, many more. This was how I spent my pocket money in those days, a seat in the theatre cost me around 2 shillings and threepence.
A show to remember
I remember one show at the Grand, I think it was, when the orchestra starting to play the ‘Dream of Olwen’. The curtain slowly lifted and there were all the chorus girls standing there completely naked. Of course in those days they had to remain perfectly still…that was the law. As a lad of 15 tender years I was dumbstruck. When I returned home my mum asked me if I was OK. I suppose the red face and bulging eyes were a giveaway.
Hero for a day
Of course I didn’t dare tell my mum what I saw otherwise I would probably have been banned from visiting the theatre ever again. But when I went to school the next day I did happen to mention it to my school mates. Thinking about it, ’mention’ is probably a bit of an understatement, I most likely went on about it forever. But it is great to be the ‘hero’ if only for one day ’nuff said.
Do you remember any great variety or star shows? What was the show and who was in it? How much did it cost for your seat? Please share your memories with us by posting a comment below.