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Music Hall and Variety DVD Set Available in May


In May Renown Films will be issuing a box set celebrating music hall and variety with a selection of films, shorts and interviews.

The box set includes the following:

A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU FANCY (1968) Directors: Robert D. Webb & Michael Winner. Writer: Ray Mackender. Filmed in the 1960’s, A Little of  What You Fancy is a loving tribute to British Music Hall and the likes of Lily Morris, Gus Elen and Ella Shields. Helen Shapiro sings ‘The Boy I Love is up in The Gallery’. Featuring original archive film of the stars, plus rare prints, portraits and photographs.

HIGHLIGHTS OF VARIETY (1938) Highlights from the acts of Bell & Howell Music Hall. Includes singing trio The Radio Three, xylophonist Teddy Brown and a sketch from Harry Tate Jnr.

MUSIC HALL (1934)  Musical. Director: John Baxter. Stars George Carney,  Ben Field, Mark Daly & Helena Pickard. A rare film by Twickenham Film Studios which includes many original music hall acts. A group of theatre workers and artistes come together to organize a Variety Benefit evening for an ailing Music Hall. Also features Olive Sloan, G.H. Elliott, Raymond Newall, Debroy Somers Band, and Macari and his Dutch Serenaders.

CAVALCADE OF VARIETY (1940) Director: Thomas Bentley. Stars: Billy Cotton, Eve Becke, The Four Air Aces. Peter Brough and Archie Andrews present a variety bill that includes Billy Cotton and his Band, Eve Becke, The Australian Air Aces, Bobbie ‘Uke’ Henshaw and Sam Barton. Also featured are: The Sherman Fisher Girls , The Radio Three,  The Arnaut Brothers and The Empire Girls.

SARAH REMEMBERS (1952) Filmed by Wilf Watters in the 1950s, we listen to stories of living in Hoxton during the bombing and how Hoxton will change soon with Supermarkets and Flats. Memories of The Hoxton Music Hall and endearing personal accounts by one elderly resident ‘Sarah’.

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS (1934) Director: John Baxter. Stars: Mary Clare, Ben Field, George Carney. When a London market worker and his flower-seller wife fall on hard times, their friends in the market get together to raise money for them via a benefit concert. The stars of the concert are music-hall greats – Charles Coborn (“The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo”), Florrie Forde (“Has anybody here seen Kelly?”) and the superb musical comedy star Marie Kendall, grandmother of the lovely but short-lived Kay Kendall.

CLIMB UP THE WALL (1960) Director: Michael Winner (His first feature film in fact).  Stars: Jack Jackson, Glen Mason, Russ Conway, Craig Douglas (only 19!) and Libby Morris performing the musical interludes. It also includes uncredited appearances by Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe.

LONDON ENTERTAINS (1951) Director: E.J. Fancey.  Stars: Eamonn Andrews, Christine Forrest, Sonia Clark, Gloria Swanson appears making an escorted tour of the Festival of Britain construction site before its official opening. Bobby Breen, Paul Adam (as Paul Adam and His Mayfair Music), Diana Coupland, Tony Fayne, David Evans, Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Ray Ellington, Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan, The Eastbourne Girls Choir, Harold Smart (as Harold Smart at the Hammond Organ) and Les Girls des Folies-Bergère.

THE FINAL FINALE (1968) Shot in 1968 by Wilf  Watters we follow the demolition of one of London’s Greatest Music Halls, The Bedford Theatre, 93-95 Camden High Road, London. The Iconic Music hall was host to many of Britain’s Greatest stars and acts and we have unprecedented access around the site as we say a final farewell and watch the demolition.

THEATRE ROYAL (1943) Director: John Baxter.  Writers: Bud Flanagan Austin Melford. Stars: Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Peggy Dexter, Finlay Currie. Though the manager from a famed theatrical family is broke and wants to close his theatre, his staff loyally stands by him, and put together their own show to keep it from falling into a rival producer’s hands. Filmed at National Studios Elstree a nice little British Comedy that was previously ‘lost’.

STARS ON PARADE (1936) Directors: Oswald Mitchell, Challis Sanderson. Stars: Syd Harrison, Max Harrison, Pat O’Brien. Starring Sam Barton, Mabel Constanduros, Horace Goldin and many more. Some of the best British Music Hall ( Vaudeville ) acts get a chance to perform in this nostalgic trip down memory lane.

VARIETY JUBILEE  (1943) Director: Maclean Rogers. Writers: Kathleen Butler, Mabel Constanduros. Stars: Reginald Purdell, Ellis Irving, Lesley Brook. In the early 1900s, two variety stars, Kit Burns and Joe Swann, are staunch friends even when Kit marries Joe’s dancing partner Evelyn. Joe fights in the Boer War where a bullet puts an end to his dancing days. He goes to work on the staff at Burns’ Music Hall where Kit Jr. soon finds a place in his affections. Kit and Joe purchase the music hall and soon become a success. When WWI erupts, the popularity of the music halls decline, and the Burns and Swann music hall falls into disrepair.

MUSIC HALL GREATS – TELL ME ANOTHER NO.1 Stars Norman Wisdom, Charlie Drake, Roy Castle, Tommy Trinder, Clive Dunn, Dickie Henderson, Max Wall, Billy Dainty and Reg Varney. Dick Hills invites the stars to share stories of how their careers began and their early work on the variety music halls. Find out exactly what can go wrong, when you’re the back end of a pantomime horse or why helping a homeless woman on New Year’s Day, wasn’t a gift for Dickie Henderson! (Contains outdated racial terms which may cause offense).

MUSIC HALL GREATS – TELL ME ANOTHER NO.2 Stars Max Wall, Charlie Drake, Roy Castle, Norman Wisdom, Billy Dainty, Dickie Henderson, Clive Dunn, Tommy Trinder and Reg Varney. Before an invited audience, the stars share memories of the jobs they did before they were famous and their early beginnings in showbusiness. From Norman Wisdom discovering his talents for comedy to Charlie Drake trying to catch a mouse, you will be chuckling along with the audience and host Dick Hills. (Contains outdated racial terms which may cause offense).

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