UK Variety

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This month we examine a burgeoning area of activity in the variety field, as we check out and feature a few of the producers and performers involved in the variety matinee scene. A market has been clearly identified and the crowds are taking advantage of their kind of entertainment being staged in their own local theatre.

Along with hundreds of other entertainers, I have appeared in many matinee shows, staged in theatres up and down the country. Broadly speaking such shows attract senior citizens and those looking for a show to see, without pacing the dark city streets at night.
Amongst those catering for the market are UK Cabaret magazine subscribers Andy Eastwood, Gary Birtles Susan Day and Sarah Dennis.
By checking out our splendid front magazine cover this month, this tells you a great deal about the terrific work done by promotor and star Andy Eastwood. Andy devised his Spirit of the Blitz show ten years ago and this year theatres in Clacton Felixstowe and Doncaster are just a few on the show tour list. Andy said. ‘When we began ten years ago, I never thought we would still be touring. Its great’.
Promotor and performer Gary Birtles is running a variety of afternoon events in some rather unusual venues. Gary and the team at Groovy Gazza Productions have a long record of professionalism in creating show spaces and opportunities.
Susan Day and her son, the singer Nicholas James present their own shows to matinee crowds, such as a show highlighted the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as well as a Doris Day tribute show. This star pairing is always coming up with new variety concepts.
Manchester based agent promotor and singing star Sarah Dennis has just launched a show steeped in patriotism, remembering UK military heroes of the past. Her company is Shiny Music and Entertainment and the D-Day commemoration period next month should be a bust one for Ms Dennis.
Another producer and performer Robert Craig is celebrating ten years of bringing afternoon delight to audiences in two Yorkshire theatres. Barnsley’s Academy Theatre and the Doncaster Little Theatre. Where work exists, promotion must follow and all the above have done well in keeping variety well and truly alive.
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