Variety Acts and Turns

A comprehensive three hours plus celebration of a glorious age of British variety featuring the very best performers and singers from radio, music hall and the theatre! Performances rarely seen since they were shown in the Pathé cinema newsreels of the day. From British Pathé TV's Arts Collection.


Episode 1: Variety Acts of the Mid 1930s

A nostalgic celebration of a rich diversity of variety entertainers.
There are balancing acts, jugglers, dance bands, jazz bands, organists, strongmen, comedians,
musicians, dancers – modern and ballet, roller-skaters, actors, singers and even a Bird Circus.


Episode 2: Variety Acts and Turns of the Late 1930s

By the late 1930s, Pathé had refined its way of filming performers by mixing in evocative
filmed locations such as London, Port Talbot, Ireland, Scotland and even the Queen Mary.
Pathé also filmed real workers who became professional singers and miners who trained to be a team
of high-wire walkers! Sit back and enjoy this time capsule celebration of a long-lost classic era of British variety!


Episode 3: Variety Acts and Turns of the Pre War Years 1938 - 1939

This programme includes performances by The Peters Sisters, Leslie Henson, The Hillbillies,
Douglas Byng, Issy Bonn, Lorenzi, The Four Aces, Sydney Burchall, Mr Penny, Eric Woodburn, Billie Hale,
Ronald Frankau and many, many more. Come 1939, war with Germany was looming, but,
as the famous phrase goes, "The show must go on!" - and it did!


Episode 4: Variety Acts and Turns of the Second World War 1939-1945

A programme full of performances by the morale-boosting variety acts and singers of the Second World War.
Artists who helped frontline troops and home front civilians alike to keep smiling through the dark days of war.
Including Flanagan & Allen, Gracie Fields, Robb Wilton, Sydney Burchall, Tommy Trinder, Peter Sinclair,
Vera Lynn, Cyril Fletcher, Tommy Handley and Mantovani, among many more!


Episode 5: Variety Acts and Turns of the Post War Years 1946-1949

Musical and comic turns include The Beverley Sisters, Flanagan & Allen, Gracie Fields,
Tommy Trinder, The Crazy Gang, Arthur Askey, Laurel & Hardy, Bob Hope, Richard Hearne (Mr Pastry),
Max Miller, Anna Neagle, Richard Murdoch, Wilfred Pickles, Vera Lynn and many, many more.
The 1940s American film star and comedian, Danny Kaye, is seen here in
rehearsal for his 1948 Royal Command Performance.

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