Leeds theatre remembers the Good Old Days on 150th anniversary

By October 4, 2015



Images courtesy of City Varieties

That’s right. It is a century and a half since the City Varieties Music Hall opened its famous doors for the first time and what better way to celebrate than a series of shows featuring the cream of the variety circuit both old and new?

Throughout October, weekends at the Varieties will see a bill packed with music, comedy, and speciality acts, all watched over by a classic headliner. We kicked off last weekend on the 2nd and 3rd with an array of musical talent headed up by the inimitable Bernie Clifton. Still to come are more unique shows featuring established headliners, Freddie ‘Parrotface’ Davies, The Krankies and Don MacLean. Giving the shows a musical twist will be Mr Johnny Dennis with The Good Old Days Orchestra.

Here’s what’s coming up:


Bernie Clifton 2


Fri 2 & Sat 3 October
Mr Bernie Clifton
Veteran, comic entertainer Bernie Clifton is best remembered for his stints on Crackerjack and “riding” his enormous ostrich.

Fri 9 & Sat 10 October
Freddie “Parrot Face” Davies
The much loved Freddie “Parrot Face” Davies, who shot to fame in 1964 via Opportunity Knocks and became a nation TV favourite with his character, Samuel Tweet. Freddie also appeared in the movies Funny Bones (with Lee Evans & Jerry Lewis) and Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.


Freddie Davies


Fri 16 & Sat 17 October
The Krankies
Scottish comedy duo Ian & “Wee Jimmy” Krankie, stars of several of their own TV shows from the 1970s and 80s as well as regular panto appearances and guest spots on French & Saunders.




Fri 23 & Sat 24 October
Don MacLean
All round entertainer Don MacLean is probably best remembered for his anarchic Crackerjack antics with Peter Glaze and Good Old Days’ regular Jan Hunt… a quality comedian and presenter in the classic British tradition.


Don DJ-4


The performances take place at Leeds City Varieties at 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm.

Over the weekends, singers Jan Hunt, Judith Hibbert, The Todd Sisters, Ross Tomlinson, Julia Sutton, and musicians Andy Eastwood, John Barker and Mark Walsh will be performing.

There will also be comedy performances from Ben Stock, Mickie Driver and Peter John. And if that’s not enough, for those looking for something a little different, there will also be performances from magicians John Styles, Andrew VanBuren, Romany and variety acts from Ian Marchant, Donald Grant and Jay Rawlings.

Paul Barrow