Books

Vaudeville & Music Hall Books

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  • BK8 - Laughter in the Roar

    by Brian O'Gorman Paperback, 246mm x 170mm, 82pp, black & white illustrations. Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) In this quite brief biography the author talks about artistes in the Variety theatre, particularly his father and uncle, Dave & Joe O'Gorman. There is a fascinating section covering full weeks at London and provincial halls in the 1930s and 1940s, when Brian travelled with his relations while still a schoolboy. Other topics covered are pantomime and experiences in ENSA during WW2. Illustrations include Max Miller, Gaston Palmer, Edna Powell, Bebe Daniels as well as a selection of Dave & Joe working audiences. Learn More
  • BK4 - Coventry's Forgotten Theatre

    by Ted Bottle Paperback, 245mm x 167mm, 184pp, black & white illustrations. Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) In this very well researched work the author covers a lot of ground in the history of this forgotten theatre. The Theatre Royal, Smithford Street eventually became the Empire Theatre of Varieties. The book includes glimpses of other Coventry venues of entertainment and the workings of the English Provincial Theatre during the nineteenth century. It is told in straightforward language supported by numerous plans and illustrations of this and other contemporary theatres and music halls. Learn More
  • BK30 - Variety at Night is Good for You

    by J.O. Blake Compiled and Illustrated by Nicholas Charlesworth Foreword by John Earl Edited by David F Cheshire Paperback, 273mm x 210mm, 528pp including 48pp in full-colour. 20pp detailed Indices: Artistes, Theatres, Managements, Productions and Architects Price above includes post and packing in UK only Postage to Europe (incl. Eire): please add extra £10 Sterling to our PayPal account Postage to Rest of World: please add extra £18 Sterling to our PayPal account A journey around 92 London Variety Theatres inspired by J.O. Blake's visits to Variety houses in the capital. This book brings together for the first time details and images from myriad sources of the 92 theatres used to stage Variety in London. There are over 400 line-and-wash drawings of exteriors and interiors of these theatres by Nicholas Charlesworth and a wonderful array of programmes and posters from each hall. In addition there are photographs of artistes, pictures of some of the old-time chairmen and illustrations showing details of the theatre circuits that covered the London area. There are even ticket stubs to prove that these lost theatres really existed. Many of the West End theatres covered are still standing, although mostly now operating as homes for musical shows. However, the former Variety theatres North and South of the Thames have mostly been demolished before their useful and decorative qualities were properly appreciated. Theatres such as The Metropolitan or The Queen's Theatre in Poplar were gems and, had they survived a few more years would surely have been renovated and kept in use. A big, well-equipped house like The Finsbury Park Empire (originally built for £45,000) would surely be cherished as a state theatre in many a continental town. This book is a 'must' for theatre buffs and researchers. Learn More
  • BK3 - Glossary of Terms Used in Variety

    by Valantyne Napier Paperback, 215mm x 150mm, 66pp, black & white illustrations. Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) This book is a valuable source of reference and information about Popular Theatre before television. Many once-familiar terms are explained in a straightforward way to those who know only television and rock shows. A wonderful array of photographs - many not published before - depicts Risley, Aerial, Dental and Balancing acts from the great days of big-time Variety. Included is 'Napier's Guide to Theatre Before Television', which clearly defines Burlesque, Music Hall, Variety and other forms. Learn More
  • BK29 - Roundabout Paramount

    by Brian O'Gorman Paperback, 215mm x 148mm, 135pp, no illustrations Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) A fascinating novella charting Dave and Joe O'Gorman's tour of the Paramount Theatres in the USA during the 1930s. Though warmly received by audiences and fellow artistes, the Variety comedians face problems with trade unions and threats of murder and arson. A gripping tale, based on actual experiences. Learn More
  • BK24 - Tug's Tales

    (Tug Wilson) as told to Christopher Brinson Paperback, 207mm x 173mm, 99pp, black & white and colour illustrations Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) Trouping with an Illusion show in the Far East and the UK from the 1940s to the 1980s. Delightful posters from the Peter Lane Collection. Learn More
  • BK21 - Old Time Variety - An Illustrated History

    by Richard Anthony Baker Hardback with dust jacket, 240mm x 163mm, 256pp, 12-page index, black & white illustrations of artistes Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) 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. 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. Learn More
  • BK2 - The Lost Theatres of Dublin

    by Philip B Ryan Paperback, 247mm x 170mm, 240pp, black & white illustrations, 13-page index plus indices of Songs, Theatres and Cinemas Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) In The Lost Theatres of Dublin, Richard Brinsley Sheridan jostles with Cecil Sheridan, as the author takes us on a fascinating and eclectic journey from the licensing of the first Theatre Royal, in Smock Alley in 1662, through to the restoration of the Olympia in 1977. The book covers the three Theatres Royal, The Queen's, The Tivoli, The Abbey, The Coliseum, The Capitol, The Torch and Dan Lowrey's Music Hall. Over 2000 copies sold. Learn More
  • BK18 - Edward Elgar

    by Michael Messenger Paperback, 210mm x 150mm, 64pp, black & white and colour illustrations. Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) The son of a modest piano-tuner, Elgar, was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Protestant England, was denied the benefits of wealth, university education and formal music training, but overcame those disadvantages to become the most famous British composer of his generation, receiving many of the highest honours that the nation could bestow upon him. Learn More
  • BK17 - Guide to British Theatres, 1750-1950

    by John Earl and Michael Sell Paperback, 217mm x 142mm, 290pp, numerous black & white illustrations. Price includes post & packing in UK only (Please enquire for Europe/Rest of World prices) Profusely illustrated, this book covers all surviving theatres built before 1950. The writers make authoritative and realistic assessments of their quality ..... and in the case of 'sleepers' separate the hopeless cases from those who have real potential and those whose reopening as theatres should be a top priority. More than 650 theatres are detailed, as well as hundreds of lost theatres and biographical notes on the principal theatre architects. Learn More

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