1959, Manchester Palace

23rd June, 1959


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Executive Producer: Jack Hylton

Musical Director: Cyril Ornadell

Stage Director: Charles Henry

This year the Royal Variety Performance was for the first time held in Manchester and one of the features of the show was the presence of the famous Halle Orchestra conducted by the equally famous Sir John Barbirolli.

The compere for the evening which was watched with great enthusiasm by the Queen Mother, was one of the very great Royal Variety performers, Tommy Trinder.

There was rich comedy from the likes of Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss, Dickie Henderson and Arthur Askey. Askey got an immediate laugh when he came on with a hurricane lamp on top of a miniature piano. 'You've got to have a gimmick and I can't afford a candelabra!' he quipped. Perhaps a good-natured swipe at a fellow performer on the night, the extravagant Liberace? Anyway the American pianist, who had missed his Royal Variety debut in 1956 due to the Suez Crisis, was happy enough and he met the Queen Mother after his performance.

The Halle Orchestra, under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli, was appropriately included in the programme for this Manchester show. In his younger days Sir John had played in the pit of the Wood Green Empire and other theatres, where he had become a great music hall fan. Declining his private dressing room that had been put at his disposal at the Palace, he knocked on the door of the room allotted to Dickie Henderson, Arthur Askey, Roy Castle, Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss and asked if he could join them.

Somewhat bemused, they asked Sir John why when he had the comfort of a room all of his own, 'I have always admired and had an affection for stand-up comedians' he answered, 'and I'd like to share this special night with you. All I ask is a nail on the wall to hang my coat.'

 

Performers

From "The Big Show" With

Paddy Glynn

The Eight Mitchell Singers

The Twenty John Tiller Girls

Tommy Trinder (Compere)

and The Peiro Brothers

"Oh Boy" With

Marty Wilde

Cliff Richard

Harry Robinson

Lord Rockingham's Ii

and Cherry Wainer

Benny Hill

Al Read With Jimmy Clitheroe

"Dancing Time" With

The Twenty John Tiller Girls

Jean Louis Bert And Ilonka

The Dior Dancers

Belinda Wright with

Jelke Yuresha

Jimmy Jewel

and Ben Warriss

Roy Castle

BBC Northern Dance Orchestra With

Sheila Buxton

Russ Conway

Ronnie Hilton

and Jill Day

Marion Ryan

Dickie Henderson

"Palace Of Varieties" With

Dora Bryan

Aileen Cochrane

Anne Shelton

Terry Wilson

The Children's Ballet

and Tower Ballroom Blackpool

"The Army Game" With

Michael Medwin

Alfie Bass

Bill Fraser

Ted Lune

and Norman Rossington

Liberace

Arthur Askey

The Halle Orchestra Conducted By Sir John Barbirolli

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23rd June, 1959
The Palace Theatre, Manchester