Sunday, May 01, 2005

Dancing in the aisles...

We had a family trip to see Complete Madness at the Leeds City Varieties last night.

I've been visiting the City Varieties for a decade or so, the first time being to see one of their legendary "The Good old days" shows, albeit a long time after they stopped showing it on TV. It was a particularly strange experience, as here was that famous set I had seen on the telly so many times during my childhood. Leonard Sachs had long gone, but Johnny Dennis had taken on the gavel with gusto. I had seen Johnny Dennis previously at "The Players Theatre", that strange music-hall club under the arches of Charing Cross Station. It was a theatre technology industry event for Plasa and he was on fine form.

Looking more closely at the City Varieties back then, I noticed that the Theatre was a lot shabbier than it looked on the TV and in 2005, it is even more so. It has this rather 70s flock wallpaper on the walls and a couple of Tykes behind me described the place as looking like a "giant Indian restaurant". The plasterwork is looking very drab & any work carried out by leeds City Council has been superficial or obligatory. There are hopes to restore it, but the Grand is gobbling up a lot of money at the moment.

Apparently, before it came into the hands of the Council, the owners only decorated the right hand side of stage boxes as the others were full of cameras and never seen on the idiot's lantern!

Complete Madness brought out all of the Two Tone Tykes- there must still be a secret back--street shop churning out pork pie hats!

A great show that had us literally dancing in the aisles, young and old alike. If you get a chance to catch their tour, it is well worth it.

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