Those Variety Days at the Queen’s Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:25 05 October 2010 | UPDATED: 13:21 05 October 2010




Original performers from TV’s famous Black and White Minstrel Show will star in Those Variety Days, a glitzy show of song, dance, music and comedy, at the Queen’s Theatre on Saturday 16 October at 2.30pm, part of the Magical Matinees series.

Audiences can relive entertainment’s golden age when two original Minstrels of the 1957 Black and White Minstrel Show, return to the stage. As well as many hundreds of appearances with George Mitchell, who set up the original series, they have also performed on long-running radio shows Friday Night is Music Night and Sing Something Simple.

Currently touring the UK, Those Variety Days is packed with 60 uplifting tunes, vibrant choreography, side-splitting jokes and stupendous sleight-of-hand – with singers Bob Hunter and Peter Chapman, the lively Minstrel Maids and The Illusionistics Magic Act. Also joining the cast is the Michael Wooldridge Showband on organ and drums.

Melodies range from Music Hall and wartime, to American and show favourites, including Long Way to Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles, Old Man River, Dear Ole Mammy, We’ll Meet Again, Polly Wolly Doodle, Oh Susannah and Midnight Choo Choo.

Inspired by the hugely popular, award-winning Black and White Minstrel Show, which played on BBC for 20 years and launched the career of Lenny Henry and many other comedians, Those Variety Days also features the original glittering television costumes, complete with tailcoats and top hats covered with thousands of sparkling sequins – which were rescued from years in a shed!

The show has been playing to packed houses for six years and this exciting Hornchurch debut forms part of a 2010 autumn national tour.

Director Chris Gidney said: “From the evergreen musical popularity of Al Jolson to the stunning compositions of Irvine Berlin, our audiences still love the musical approach, pace, variety and spectacle of the Minstrel Medleys.”

Those Variety Days comes to the Queen’s Theatre Foyer, Billet Lane, Hornchurch on Saturday 16 October at 2.30pm. Tickets cost 12.50 or £10 if you book 3 or more Magical Matinees. For more details and to book your tickets, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or go to

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Romford Recorder