May 16th 1975 (II)

… continued from last post…

John, Paul George, Ring0… and Bert” Programme from 1975

What do you think a “movement consultant” does? I wonder if that is the equivalent of a stage director? It sounds awfully vulgar… “Hello, what do you do?”…. “Oh, I consult people on their movements”…. “Ewwwwwww!” (The Gillian McKeith of his era perhaps? *heh-heh*)

Willy Russell’s play started life at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre in May 1974 before moving to London’s West End a few months later.

The chairmen and managing director of the Lyric Theatre were all well-known entertainment impresarios.

Sir Lew Grade (real name: Lev Winogradsky) had been involved in the inception of ITV (Independent Television), was part owner of Associated Television and ran ITC, a hugely succesful television corporation responsible for bringing such hits as “Thunderbirds”, “The Saint”, “The  Persuaders” and “The Prisoner” to our small screens.

Toby Rowland had produced plays in London since 1955 and was a highly influential theatre owner whose biggest ‘public’ claim to fame was that he discovered treasured Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett

Louis Benjamin was also managing Director of the famous London Palladium and had brought the Royal Variety Performance to that stage for years. He was also the chairman of the succesful Pye Record label and was instrumental in developing the careers of singers such as Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield.

That “Robert Stigwood” is the same Robert Stigwood who kickstarted the recording career of Cream and was later responsible for a couple of movie musicals you may have heard of: “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease”. He IS the “R.S. in RSO Records.

The Lyric Theatre sits on London’s prestigious Shaftsbury Avenue in London’s West End district and still retains many of its original features. It first opened in 1888. It is the oldest existing theatre on the street. It was built behind an original 1767 house facade, and backs onto Great Windmill Street. The building was Grade II listed by English Heritage as early as 1960, showing its importance to the city of London. It seats a modest 967 on four levels and still uses an electric pump to operate its iron curtain. Yes, iron.

More “John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert” programme nonsense tomorrow…

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1 Comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

One response to “May 16th 1975 (II)

  1. I can’t remember if I went this time – I think there were trips to this two years running – I have a very vague recollection of sitting in a very small theatre compared to the Gaumont (as it was then) with various people – inc. Paul D and Sarah H.

    Was it then?

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