Time for the good old days

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THE spirit of music hall is brought back to life with the return of The Good Old Days to Leeds City 

The show, which was aired on the BBC for 30 years saw the audience dress in Victorian garb and have a good old-fashioned knees-up, saw stars like Les Dawson, Barbara Windsor, Jimmy Tarbuck, Val Doonican and Barry Cryer tread the boards of the Swan Street theatre.

The City Varieties still hosts the show, which is on every weekend throughout this month, bringing a host of acts who make it the legendary music hall experience it is famous for, and fancy dress is still encouraged – with a prize for the best costume.

Londoner Johnny Dennis, the long-standing chairman who has introduced every show since 1988, said: “Leeds is my second home. It continues to be a real privilege to perform at the City Varieties and keep the flame of music hall alive.

“We have put together a wonderful group of people are are excellent at what they do – we have some real talent on that stage.”

Johnny took part in several of the BBC programmes as one of Barney’s Players who performed at the beginning and end of every show.

He added: “We still have Barney’s Players. Today they are performing arts students at SLP College in Garforth, Leeds, which is wonderful; such a marvellous opportunity for young people to perform on a world-class stage.”

The Good Old Days is at the City Varieties every Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm and 7pm throughout October. On the bill on October 12 and 13 are virtuoso violinist Gary Lovini, kingpin of comedy Don Reid, star of Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, Linda Watts, droll comedian Don Reid and contrived convolutions from Serenity.

October 19 and 20 sees music hall comedian Peter John, chorus singer Lorain Hart, tribute to the 1920s Dolly Sisters, The Todd Sisters, playing the ukulele is Andy Eastwood and musical entertainer Robert Meadwell from The Players’ Theatre in London.

The final week, on October 26 and 27 sees comedian, opera singer and musical theatre star Richard Gauntlet, comedienne and Duchess of Dudley Lizzie Wiggins, Fred Astaire-alike Maurice Kachuc, magician Tony Parx and soprano Jane Webster.

For more information and to book tickets visit cityvarieties.co.uk or call box office on 0113 243 0808.