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  • Place of origin:

    Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    mid 20th century (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed card

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Gwendoline Playle

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Typographical posters such as this were typical of the advertisements for variety theatres in Great Britain in the first half of the 20th century. Variety developed out of music hall and, like its predecessor, provided a number of entertainers on one programme. As small music halls gave way to the large variety theatres built by profitable concerns such as Moss Empires, the type of entertainment on offer became more ambitious. Variety shows typically took place twice-nightly, and the star performer whose spot was the culmination of the show, had their name at the top of the poster, literally 'topping the bill'.

Before the days of television and radio, Variety was tremendously popular. Every town in Britain would have boasted a variety theatre and its stars could command fabulous salaries. As cinema and television became the mass means of entertainment, a host of variety theatres were converted to cinemas or were closed. Seaside Variety shows fared better than most and kept their patrons in the 1950s and 1960s by engaging stars who made their name on the radio, in the burgeoning rock and pop industry, or in television.

Physical description

Typographic hanging card with metal tag for hanging affixed at the top, printed in red and blue, advertising the show Starlights commencing on Saturday 9 June, n.y. and running for the season; venue: Central Pier, Concert Pavilion, (town: Morecambe?); produced by, presented by and featuring Eddie Morrell; also featuring Arthur Jackson; Horace Mashford; Patrick Colbert; The Two Silhouettes; Vera Jessop; The Graham-Nelson Dancers; Bryan O’Brien; The Five Marney Brothers. Decorated with starred stripes printed in red and blue at the top and bottom edges of the card.

Place of Origin

Britain (printed)


mid 20th century (printed)



Materials and Techniques

Printed card

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed recto in blue ink, top right.

'No seats until Saturday'.
Inscribed verso in black ink (marker pen), in capital letters.


Height: 31.9 cm, Width: 25.5 cm

Descriptive line

Hanging card advertising the show Starlights commencing on Saturday 9 June, n.y., and running for the season, produced by, presented by and featuring Eddie Morrell; Central Pier, Concert Pavilion, possibly Morecambe.




Entertainment & Leisure; Advertising


Theatre and Performance Collection

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