Variety poster Shepherds Bush Empire

Variety poster Shepherds Bush Empire

Variety poster
Shepherds Bush Empire, London
22 October, 1951
Printed by Tribe Brothers Ltd
Museum no. S.118-2002
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This is typical of the style of variety posters of the 1950s, with red and black lettering and the names of the performers separated in boxes. The size of the box for performers’ names depended on their fame. This twice-nightly show which was to be broadcast live on the radio on the Tuesday night. Lee Lawrence, billed as 'Britain's outstanding singing star', gets the biggest box, with a 26-year old comic, 'Radio's Peter Sellers', a close second. By October 1951 Peter Sellers had made his name in several BBC radio shows including Show Time, It's Fine to be Young, and Ray's a Laugh. In May 1951 he first appeared in another radio show called Crazy People with Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. By the second series in 1952 the title was changed to The Goon Show. The performers who get one of the two smallest boxes on the bottom of the bill are Morecambe & Wise, later to become hugely successful on British television with The Morecambe and Wise Show.