1996 Autumn Tour
Dates and Locations
|November 7 – 9||Crewe Lyceum Theatre||
|November 11 – 13||Grimsby Auditorium|
|November 14 – 16||Rotherham Civic Theatre|
|November 18 – 19||Swansea Grand Theatre|
|November 21 – 23||Darlington Civic Theatre|
|November 26 – 30||Wolverhampton Grand Theatre|
Matt Monro Jnr
Van Buren Jnr
The Vernons Girls
Cannon and Ball
Hinge and Bracket
Cannon and Ball appear at Crewe, Grimsby and Wolverhampton only
Hinge and Bracket appear at Rotherham, Swansea, Darlington only
Cannon and Ball
Tommy Cannon and Ball are Britain’s funniest and most successful double act. In a career spanning over 25 years they have achieved a string of honours that puts them among the all-time greats of showbusiness.
On television they have starred in their own series practically every year since 1979; they have also ‘guested’ on all the major shows including Wogan, Parkinson, Des O’Connor, Sunday Night at the Palladium, several Royal Variety Shows and been featured in a BBC Documentary Funny Business based on double acts, which also included footage on Martin and Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, and Morecambe and Wise.
To add to their pedigree, they remain the only act to have won three separate National Club Awards and have been named as Variety Club Personalities of the Year. Their feature film The Boys in Blue, in addition to its cinema success, has gone on to become a video bestseller. The boys have also been the subject of This is Your Life!
As the undisputed Kings of Live Entertainment Cannon & Ball have set standards that will never be equalle
During the 1970’s they built a strong reputation around the UK cabaret club circuit for being a great live act. They also toured extensively in the hotel circuits of Australia and South Africa.
In 1980 they ‘topped the bill’ for the very first time at the North Pier, Blackpool, where they played to capacity business for 22 weeks; a feat they surpassed in 1991 when they returned to the Pier and celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a 25 week sell-out season.
Blackpool is a ‘happy hunting ground’ for the Lancashire born twosome, who played the 3,000 seat Opera House during the summer of 1994. This was their third season at the theatre, following their enormously successful seasons in 1985 and 1987.
In addition to Blackpool, Tommy and Bobby have broken records in theatres all over the UK, including London. In 1981 they played a 6-week season at the Dominion Theatre when every seat was sold before the show opened, and in 1988 their pantomime Babes in the Wood broke all previous pantomime records at the world famous London Palladium, where Cannon and Ball created the record for the largest box office amount taken in one week in British Theatre History.
During 1993 they were offered the chance to play a season in the USA. Orlando, Florida was the location. Their three month season was such a success that they were immediately re-booked for April, May and June 1994, starring at King Henry’s Feast, Orlando and making several US television appearances.
In 1995 they appeared on many major UK TV shows including The Des O’Connor show, Noel Edmonds’ House Party and Talking Telephone Numbers.
After a month long Gospel Tour and another trip to the USA, it was on to Glasgow for Babes in the Wood!
Rock With Laughter ’96 fulfills Tommy and Bobby’s ambition to star in their own Rock Y Roll spectacular, in this their first Summer Season for Producer Nick Thomas. After an extensive Autumn Tour and a trip to Israel, the boys play The Chinese Policemen in Aladdin for Nick at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.
Even after nearly 30 years of making people laugh, Tommy and Bobby are still enjoying every minute and are looking forward to entertaining for many years to come.
Dame Hilda Bracket and Dr Evadne Hinge
Dame Hilda herself was born, the eldest daughter of Sir Osbert and Lady Veronica Bracket in the lovely stately home, Bracket Towers in Bracket Basing in Kent.
Having discovered from a very early age that by opening her mouth very wide and letting rip with a Top C that she could command attention, it was decided that she would train for an operatic career, and so at the age of nineteen she left for Italy where she studied under the legendary Signor Ernesto Bona Voce. When war broke out in 1939, just as she was giving her Tosca to Mussolini, she was smuggled back to England amid much confusion and lot a paper work, and later after the war was over awarded her title of Dame for services to her country, beyond the call of duty, and to the world of Opera.
For many years she toured Britain with her then colleague Dr Evadne Hinge presenting nights of nostalgia to enrapt audiences. Together they toured Australia and Canada and even conquered the Far East at a time when it was thought too risky for a white woman to be out alone without some form of protection. In 1974 An Evening with Hinge and Bracket was the hit of the Edinburgh Festival. Seasons in London’s West End followed and by 1980 they had played no less than twelve London theatres.
Dame Hilda has performed before Her Majesty the Queen (Her Majesty always preferring to go on first), The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra and several others members of the Royal Family. She has toured with all but one of the Guards Bands,
has sung at Covent Garden, lists among her friends Dame Joan Sutherland and Claire Rayner, has sung with the London Symphony, Liverpool Symphony and many more famous Orchestras. In fact her theatre biography is even larger than that of Dame Barbara Cartland’s and Dame Barbara’s is in the Guinness Book of Records for having so many entries!
During the nineteen eighties, audiences were entertained to three years of Dear Ladies on BBC TV. Thirteen years of broadcasting for Radio Two and Radio Four have held audiences enrapt with the antics of the ladies and their home help Maud.
The dear ladies are now preparing to bring their brand of amusing musical sophistication to all four corners of the globe.
This year, Bobby Crush celebrates his 24th Anniversary in showbusiness and few entertainers can claim to have had as varied a working life – from pianist, songwriter, broadcaster, performer to host of Sounds Like Musk, the popular television quiz show that ran for two series on the ITV network.
Bobby become nationally known through six winning appearances on TV’s Opportunity Knocks, receiving along the way the Variety Club of Great Britain’s Award for Best Artiste of 1972. This was presented to him by the late Lord Mountbatten of Burma and heralded many appearances before members of the Royal Family.
West End successes include three seasons at the London Palladium co-starring along side Jack Jones, Vic Damone and Julie Andrews; a year with Max Bygraves in SwingalongaMax at the Victoria Palace and an appearance in The Royal Variety Performance.
Bobby’s work abroad has been extensive – a tour of Canada with Sir Harry Secombe, concerts in Australia and New Zealand (where he also co-hosted a television awards show and received a gold disc for sales of his Piano Party album), and he is a regular guest on board the QE2, where his cabaret shows invariably receive standing ovations.
Recording successes include the top 20 album Bobby Crush, chart singles Borsalino and The Sting and The Double Decker Party Album, which sold 100,000 copies and brought Bobby two more gold discs. In all, he has made fourteen albums – the latest being Keel Music, a collection of standard and contemporary movie themes. He is also featured on the Songs of Gershwin album on MCI performing Rhapsody in Blue and he has recently made his vocal debut on record playing the role of Pharaoh on the new all-star recording of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for the Carlton label. Bobby is also featured vocally on the new Songs from The Musical Hair album for the same label.
Bobby’s TV appearances have been many and varied. They includes Noel’s House Party, Through the Keyhole, Celebrity Squares, Give Us A Clue, Live From Her Majesty’s, This Morning, Viva Cabaret, Pebble Mill and he has been a guest judge on Sky television’s talent show Star Search and Carlton’s Pot of Gold with Des O’Connor.
Bobby’s broadcasting career has included his own week of shows on BBC Radio 2 and many guest slots including The Gloria Hunniford Show, John Inman and Friends, The Judi Spiers Show, Maestro and three acclaimed appearances on Loose Ends with Ned Sherrin for Radio 4. Bobby’s 40th Birthday Concerto, recently aired by BBC Radio 2 was nominated for the Monte Carlo Radio Prize and such was its success that a follow-up show, Bobby Crush – Centre Stage was immediately commissioned.
As a composer, he has written two complete pantomime scores, one full-scale musical, a huge hit for Keith Harris & Orville, (Orville’s Song reached NO. 4 in the UK charts with one quarter million sales and was awarded a silver disc) and he has also written comedy material for Russ Abbot and Les Dennis.
In recent years, Bobby has successfully made the difficult transition to musical theatre and has starred as Dr. Frank N. Furter in the UK National Tour of The Rocky Horror Show and has portrayed the characters of Vernon Gersch in They’re Playing Our Song, L.M. in Pump Boys and Dinettes and Billy Flynn in Chicago at top theatres around the country.
To coincide with the release of his new album, Bobby toured lost year with the 60’s singing star Gene Pitney playing a total of 42 dotes together. Later this year, Bobby will be one of the stars of Back to Bacharach a celebration of the work of the legendary Burt Bacharach, which will be touring number one theatres throughout the UK.
Ted Rogers has carved a unique place for himself in showbusiness. He is one of a handful of domestic comedians who has cracked it in America, where he is very much in demand for appearances.
Fast-talking Ted has established himself, in no uncertain terms, as the slickest comedian in the business, whose material is as bang up-to-date as the morning newspapers and on many occasions a lot more topical.
‘It’s a great challenge to me and I do pride myself on my reputation,’ says Ted. ‘If I am appearing in a club or theatre and a major news story breaks just before I’m due to go out on stage, I can always come up with the right material to fit the situation. It’s all a question of doing your homework really, and having good writers to help you out. I’m convinced that’s why I have been accepted in America.’
Ted was born in Kensington, London, a few hundred years from the birth place of the great Charlie Chaplin. At fifteen, he left school to become a clerk and in his spare time entered talent contests, which he invariably won. After a BBC radio talent series, in which he had done particularly well, he received several offers to turn professional, but at that stage decided against it. National Service in the Royal Air Force proved to be the turning point, and he left the RAF with his sights set on a showbusiness career.
Now firmly established as one of the most successful and in demand entertainers in the country today, Ted Rogers regularly appears in cabaret all over Britain and travels many thousands of miles each year, completing a hectic schedule of commitments which have also included Summer tours with his own family game show.
From 1977, Ted was the host and question master on Yorkshire Television’s outstandingly successful show 3-2-1 plus a TV special and Christmas shows.
Early in 1986, Ted was the subject of This Is Your Life on Thames Television.
Between 1990-93, Ted appeared in The Ted Rogers Show at the Wellington Pier, Great Yarmouth, at various holiday centres, Sunday concerts and music halls as well as appearing at private functions and after dinner speaking engagements.
In 1994 he appeared on various television shows Surprise Surprise, The Big Breakfast and Celebrity Squares. He topped the bill at The Walt Disney Charity Show in the West End of London as well as appearing in various music halls up and down the country and after dinner speaking engagements.
Ted starred in the production of The Minstrels at the Princess Theatre, Torquay, for 27 weeks. Last year Ted starred in pantomime at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne. He also hosted various one night cabarets across the country. He then embarked on a 27 week tour of Doctor In The House with a 10 week Summer Season in Bournemouth.
Ted starred with his famous Digital Dexterity in his 3-2-1 show in Whitby and Filey in the Summer of 1996.
The Vernons Girls
The Vernons Girls exploded on to the rock and roll scene via an appearance on the BBC television show 6.5 Special. These appearances were followed by more long running residencies on the sensational TV rock and roll shows Oh Boy!, Wham and Boy Meets Girl, all of which were produced by the legendary Jack Good and successfully launched stars like Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Joe Brown, Jess Conrad, Dickie Pride and Vince Eager, thus establishing the British rock Y roll scene and introducing such American stars as Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Johnny Cash to British audiences.
Following those years of television success, Les Girls- Maggie Stredder, Penny Lister and Sheila Bruce all pursued separate careers before meeting up again five years ago.
Maggie Stredder had formed the successful vocal backing group The Ladybirds, who featured on Top of the Pops for BBC Television for no less than 19 years. Maggie and her Ladybirds also featured on a multitude of TV shows for both BBC and ITV, including series with Benny Hill, Mike Yarwood, Des O’Connor and many, many more.
Penny Lister was also a Ladybird, although at times took leave to sing with Petula Clark and Val Doonican, as well as undertaking solo broadcasts for BBC Radio 2, and recording covers of hits by such artists as Karen Carpenter.
Sheila Bruce decided upon a solo career and successfully travelled the world with her cabaret act. Such was Sheila’s success, that she won ITV’s New Faces and appeared at the London Palladium.
One of the few all-female star attractions, The Vernons continued to fill theatres with their own very individual, entertaining and slick fun show of sixties music, close harmonies, dance and colourful costumes.
In 1992 and 1993, The Vernons Girls enjoyed two highly successful six month summer seasons for Pontins, covering the South West and East Anglian coasts, which entailed them travelling to no less than five different holiday camp venues each week. The Girls also proved extremely popular with Butlin’s and Haven Warner’s SO’s and 60s weekends.
In July 1993, The Vernons were delighted to join the Canberra for a two week Oh Boy! cruise, along with Craig Douglas, Jess Conrad and Lord Rockingham.
The Vernon Girls have been privileged to appear on two Royal Variety Shows, and feel equally privileged to have been invited to appear at Wembley Stadium in The Event – a concert staged to celebrate Cliff Richard’s 30 years in showbusiness.
In 1994, another major highlight of the Girls’ career came about when they were invited to appear on the Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show along with co-stars Marty Wilde & The Wildcats, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers, Eden Kane and John Leyton. The tour played 51 dates throughout Great Britain, including one night at the Royal Albert Hall in London, when another legendary name from the rock Y roll era, Little Miss Dynamite herself, Brenda Lee joined the show.
In March 1995, The Vernons were invited to join Clodagh Rogers, John Layton, Kenny Lynch, Dave Kaye and Roger Kilter for a pilot television production for a new nostalgia series.
The highlight of 1996 was another major spring tour of the Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show, a sell-out all over Britain, culminating at the London Palladium.
Summer will be spent delighting audiences at Butlin’s and Warner Centres all over England and Wales; and also numerous theatre performances.
Matt Monro Jnr
The music and artistry of one of Britain’s finest-ever song stylists, the late Matt Monro who died eleven years ago in February 1985, lives on with the release of a new album, Matt Sings Monro which teams the singer’s voice with that of his 31-year-old son Matt Monro Jnr…
For Matt Jnr, the release of the EMI album Matt Sings Monro was the culmination of a six -year personal ambition to ‘duet’ with his father on record. Modern recording techniques enabled father and son’s singing voices to be teamed up, after Mart’s vocals were dubbed from the original recordings made for EMI Records in the 60’s and 70s and then set to new musical arrangements.
Matt Jnr whose singing style has been likened to that of his late father’s – has now been a professional singer for seven years. Born in 1964, the third and youngest child of Matt, he recalls: “I guess I was about 11 or 12 years old when I began to realize just how famous Dad was… of course I knew that he was a singer, and it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary to see him working on stage, but it was only when I moved on to senior school that I began to realize that all my schoolmates seemed to know who my father was”.
Matt’s original ambition was to be a professional golfer and he had already built a successful golfing career for himself before deciding to become a singer.
Father and son became friendly rivals on the golf course. “Dad was a keen golfer, I say ‘keen’ because he had more enthusiasm than actual golfing skills, but we became great pals on the course. Our relationship was really cemented there, and playing golf was one thing in life that I knew I could actually do better than Dad. Quite often, if you have a parent who is famous, it can be very difficult living up to their and other people’s expectations, and that is why doing well at golf became so very important to me,” Matt Jnr. explains.
Matt Monro died leaving behind a saddened
family, thousands of mourning fans and a rich legacy of recordings for future generations to enjoy. “When Dad died, my heart just went out of the golfing … I think it was because I had so many memories of him which were very closely linked to the sport. In 1987 a tribute was held at the Grosvenor House, which was attended by many of Dad’s fans and showbusiness friends and it was there that fate played a hand in my future career” Matt Jnr. continues.
“I’d never had any ambitions to be a professional singer but that evening, when there was a break in the proceedings, I jumped on-stage and sang along with the 24-piece orchestra to My Kind of Girl, which had been one of Dad’s biggest hits. David Jacobs (the TV and radio presenter) was in the audience and he refused at first to believe that it was me singing! He thought it was a tape of my Dad’s voice. Afterwards David told me that I should try and make a career in showbusiness”.
Matt Jnr. appeared successfully on TV’s Opportunity Knocks – billed as Matthew Monro. Several months later he started doing regular concert appearances around the country, usually including a couple of his father’s songs in his act. “It was inevitable that people would want to hear me doing them and certainly a lot of Dad’s fans came along out of curiosity, but I’m glad to say that I’m now getting fans in my own right.
It was actually at one of my gigs that the first stages towards my recording career started -unbeknown to me, EMI A&R Manager, Tristram Penna was in the audience – he was impressed with the show and it all went from there. Since singing professionally six years ago, I have had an ambition to record a ‘duets’ album using Dad’s voice from his older recordings. In fact for a while now I have been closing my stage act with a ‘duet’ of Softly As I Leave You using a tape of Dad’s voice.”
Matt Jnr. recorded his new album with
producers Bradley and Stewart James at their studio in London’s East End. “I’d mentioned the idea some time ago and Bradley and Stewart were keen to be involved. I listened to many songs recorded by my father before making a short-list of around 20 titles. However I didn’t want to do the obvious hits like Portrait of My Love or Born Free but instead focus on some of the other great songs that he recorded during his long association with EMI Records.”
Matt Jnr. continues: “It was a moving experience recording the album but perhaps the most poignant moment was when we were playing through one of the EMI tapes of Dad singing On Days Like These. There was a bit of chat after the original studio take and then Dad’s voice came as large as life over the monitor, saying ‘Well, I think we’ll break for a cup of tea now’. For one moment it was almost as though Dad was there in the studios with us. It was quite an emotional moment.”
He plans to do live shows later in the year to support his new album. “Dad never encouraged any of his kids to follow him into showbusiness, although he did once pull me on-stage at a concert, when I was 13, and got me to sing Yesterday with him. After that, I had always wanted to sing with Dad again, but unfortunately he died and that was the only time we ever sang together on-stage. That is why this album is so special and means so much to me, the fact that we are featured together on record. It is a great keepsake for me and for many of his fans.”
He adds: “I’m sure that if he could hear the new album he would nod his head in approval and say, ‘Not bad’. However Dad had come up the hard way in the business and he would certainly have expected me to pay my own dues before having success. I believe that I have done exactly that during the last seven years and now I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be an equally long and successful career as a singer and entertainer.”
In a career of over 20 years in show business, Tony Peers has covered most aspects of the light entertainment field, as a comedian, actor, writer and director. He has appeared in summer season, pantomime, television, radio and films and is also a much sought after dinner speaker.
He first came to prominence in Esther Rantzen’s series The Big Time in which he featured along with Morecambe and Wise, Bob Monkhouse, Ken Dodd, Arthur Askey, Roy Hudd and Spike Milligan.
Over the years, Tony has been a prolific broadcaster with such shows as Start the Week, Wits ini, Bernie Clifton’s Comedy Shop as well as hosting three series of his own On Cue.
Tony is a regular face on television and in addition to 12 commercials including the award – winning Ageing Man for the Health Education Council, he has been seen on Coronation Street, Crocker, Emmerdale, AllCreatures Great and Small, Widows, Rik Mayall Presents and many, many more.
Tony has made two feature films, the latest Funny Bones premiered in 1995 starring legendary American comedian Jerry Lewis. In this Tony plays a reporter.
Tony has established himself as one of the country’s leading dames, an accolade bestowed on him by the Sunday Times in recent years. Tony has directed pantomimes starring Stan Boardrnan, Anne Nolan, Rod, Jane & Freddie, Tony Scannel of The Bill,
Gladiators Trojan and Lightning, Melissa Bell from neighbours and Jean Fergusson from Last of the Summer Wine.
Tony has played summer season in every major resort in the country (and a few of the not so major one’s as well). He has featured with almost every major star (and a few of the smaller one’s as well) but has always considered Scarborough to be his favourite; so much so that in 1983, he made his home there. Since 1990 when Tony did his last appearance at the Spas in Scarborough, he has returned every year and says he looks forward to each season more than the last.
Since last Summer, Tony has been busy directing two pantomimes, Snow White at Mansfield and Jack & The Beanstalk in Scarborough. In October he appeared in a Charity Gala in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret as Caolue Mourend and in addition to live appearances all over the country has just completed an episode of BBC TV’s Last of the Summer Wine.
>Away from show business Tony lists football and golf as his hobbies. He is an Ex-Director of Scarborough Football Club and President of West Pier Football Club, a local side. In 1990, Tony was installed as a Freeman of the City of London in a ceremony at the Guildhall and is still trying to find some sheep to take across London Bridge. Tony is also Vice President of Scarborough Beaujolais Runners, a charity organisation.
Van Buren and Kim
Andrew Van Buren Jnr was born into a showbusiness family, his father being the illusionist Fred Van Buren.
As a youngster, Andrew travelled with his parents helping them in their act and learning the business. Fred is constantly inventing and building new props and effects for himself and Andrew, his most famous being the Vanishing Motorbike & Rider! Over the years Fred has been involved in the David Nixon Show, Jhe MuppetShow and numerous feature films, as well as working in various venues in England and abroad.
Whilst in Circus, Andrew learnt the skills of unicyling and juggling, combining these skills with the illusions of his father to create the acts that Andrew now presents.
Over the past few years Andrew has performed in front of Royalty, represented Great Britain at Expo ’92 in Seville, Spain, worked in the likes of the Royal Albert Hall, City Varieties in Leeds, Blackpool Tower Circus, over 80 Theatres in Great Britain and some of London’s Plushest Hotels. He has also made appearances on television, films and even on a record sleeve.
Andrew has worked with acts and celebrities like Geraldine Chaplin, Bucks Fizz, Jeremy Beadle, Paul Shane, Lulu, John Inman, Leslie Crowther, Erasure, Toyah, Sarah Brightman, Carter and Des O’Connor to name but a few.
Recent filming was completed on an Ariston Dishwashers advert which was filmed for use at trade shows, in this Andrew played the part of Harry Stone, the Worlds Greatest Platespinner.
Andrew and his partner Kim (an accomplished dancer) have just completed four sell – out tours with Danny La Rue and the Good Old Days, also a tour of Germany, and Pantomime in Rotherham playing the parts of Billy and Bailiff and Major Domo as well as presenting one of his acts in Cinderella. This year they will be in Aladdin playing the parts of Genie and Slave of the Ring as well as presenting their Oriental Illusions.
Put simply, Van Buren Jnr and Kim are one of the most versatile quality acts around.
Johnny has been playing the role^ of Music Hall Chairman for over twenty one years now. He started at the famous Players’ Theatre in London and still bangs the gavel there occasionally.
His work has taken him from Australia to Alaska. He has cracked those terrible jokes for gala nights at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and The Metropolitan Opera in New York – and survived!
As an actor he has played in Whitehall farce with Lord Rix and Shakespeare with Sir Anthony Hopkins at Chichester Festival Theatre. His most enjoyable television appearances have been with Ken Dodd in Dr. Who, as a manic compere in Surgical Spirit (type casting?) and the flower loving PC. Yates in The Bill. He loves filming – who wouldn’t with Elizabeth Taylor in The Young Joscanini directed by Franco Zeffirelli or with Christopher Reeve in ffie Great Escape – Jhe Final Chapter in the former Yugoslavia?!
Johnny says two of his greatest honours have been to appear in The Royal Variety Performance, with Danny La Rue in 1978, and to be asked by the late Barney Colehan to be Chairman at The Leeds City Varieties. From June he will be hosting a regular Radio 2 Show from there. A mad cricketer – you should see him play! And a proud member of The Lord’s Taverners.