Old Time Variety: An Illustrated History

Old Time Variety: An Illustrated History

By: Richard Baker (author)Paperback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks

Description

As one of the richest sources of diversion for the people of Britain between the end of the First World War and the 1960s, the variety theatre emerged from the embers of music hall, a vulgar and rumbustious entertainment that had held the working classes in thrall since the 1840s. Music hall bosses decided they would do better business if a man going to theatres on his own could take his wife and children with him, knowing they would see or hear nothing that would scandalise them. So, variety, a gentler, less red-blooded entertainment was gradually established. At the top of the profession were Gracie Fields, a peerless singer and comedienne, and Max Miller, a comic who was renowned for being risque, but who, in fact, never cracked a dirty joke. They were supported by acts that matched the word 'variety': ventriloquists, drag artists, animal acts, acrobats, jugglers, magicians and many more. But the variety theatre was constantly under threat, first from revue, then radio, the cinema, girlie shows, the birth of rock 'n' roll and finally television. By the end of the 1950s, the variety business seemed to have given up, but the recent and extraordinary popularity of talent shows on television has proved the public appetite is still there. Variety could be about to start all over again.

About Author

During 30 years at the BBC, Richard Anthony Baker wrote and presented music hall and variety programmes for Radios Two and Three. For Radio Five Live, he devised the world's first obituaries programme, Brief Lives, producing its first 300 editions. In 1990, he published a slim biography of Marie Lloyd to be followed in 2005 by a definitive history of music hall, British Music Hall: an Illustrated History. He contributes regularly to The Stage and the British Music Hall Society's magazine, The Call Boy.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781783400669
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9781783400669
  • ISBN10: 1783400668

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly

Close