A production created to commemorate Remembrance Day takes to a Leeds stage this weekend – exactly 99 years since the end of WW1.

Those Were The Days is at City Varieties Music Hall this Saturday November 11; it will shine a spotlight on Leeds during the War, its people and their stories, as well as the role the theatre itself played during this time.

Leeds-born Liz Coggins is the writer and director of the piece: “Those Were The Days celebrates the city, its culture and, importantly, its theatres,” she explains. “City Varieties is the oldest running music hall in the country – it’s a delight to be telling a history of Leeds theatres on stage at Leeds’ most historic theatre.”

The City Varieties began its life in 1865 as a room above a pub and went on to entertain the people of Leeds through two world wars before becoming world-famous for hosting the BBC programme The Good Old Days, which ran every weekend for 30 years from 1953. As other such venues closed, the City Varieties continued and today is the longest running music hall in the country.

With a cast aged six to 60, the is a celebration of the music hall entertainment that ran alongside WW1; introducing the audience to  the stars of the time;  Marie Lloyd, Vesta Tilley, Florrie Ford, Charlie Chaplin and Leeds lass Vesta Victoria each make an appearance, buoyed by the songs and comedy sketches of the era.  Live music supports the cast and songs include the famous Marrow Song, Yes! We Have No Bananas,It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and many more.

The younger cast members are students at On Stage Academy, a drama class based in Leeds city centre. They work with Liz and her team to learn every aspect of theatre and stagecraft.

It is such a delight to see young people performing pieces from 100 plus years ago,” says Liz. “Children are never too young to experience live professional theatre and its many genres. The history of thisprofession is as important as the craft itself.  I would encourage families to come together for an old-fashioned, fun evening at the theatre.”

Those Were The Days is at City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds City Centre on Saturday November 11th at 7pm

Book online at or call Box Office on 0113 243 0808

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