VE in the news


23 October 2019 - by Jo Gravett

It’s curtain up for ‘the greatest charity show’!

The cast and crew of Variety Express

Kind-hearted Dunstable thespians are proud to be part of ‘The Greatest Show’ to help raise money for cancer and homelessness charities.

Vickie Wood, 57, and her partner Gary Pollard, 53, are taking part in a Variety Express production, with the group hoping to raise as much as it can for Feed Up, Warm Up and Above and Beyond Cancer Foundation.

Loosely based on ‘The Greatest Showman’ and containing songs from the hit film, ‘The Greatest Show’ will take the audience on a journey through Variety Express rehearsals to show time, promising a “cracking performance“ with magic, comedy and dance troupes.

Vickie said: “Variety Express puts on a show once every year for local charities, which our group nominates.

“Join our cast on their journey through rehearsals to show time. But will it be all smooth sailing? Will a rival group, a corrupt committee, and cast members not sure of who or where they are put the show in jeopardy - or will the show go on?“

Feed Up, Warm Up helps the homeless by holding drop-in sessions and supporting people when they move into accommodation, while the Above and Beyond Cancer Foundation provides one to one support and therapies for cancer patients.

Vickie said: “It’s important to give back to the community; you never know when you might be in need yourself.”

Last year, Variety Express raised £1,500 for charity with a Disney-themed performance, while this week, Vickie will be playing a Bearded Lady, and Gary a Strong Man. She added: “A lady called Rachel Harris from Dunstable is also playing The Painted Lady and there’s a 12-year-old magician who is brilliant!

“Our producers, Lee and Dawn Perrott, have worked tirelessly to produce a toe-tapping, breathtaking show with our talented cast and group of musicians, led by our wonderfully accomplished musical director, Geoff Page.

“The show also features Style Dance School and great props, scenery and costumes.”

Tickets: £9/£7. Dates: October 24-27 at St Francis’ College Theatre, Letchworth. Evening and matinee shows, 2pm and 7.30pm. Variety Express rehearse in St Mary’s Church, Hall Baldock.


22 October 2019

Get set for The Greatest Show

The cast of Variety Express’ The Greatest Show, which can be seen in Letchworth
Roll up, roll up for the hottest tickets in town!

A fundraising variety show produced by a north Hertfordshire amateur dramatic society opens in
Letchworth tonight.

Variety Express’ annual charity show can be seen at St Francis’ College Theatre from Thursday, October 24 to Sunday, October 27.

Entitled The Greatest Show, this year’s spectacular extravaganza will benefit Feed Up Warm Up and Above & Beyond Cancer Foundation. A spokeswoman said: “It promises to be everything you know and love about Variety
Express with added glitter, glamour and lots of sparkle.

“If you are new to our productions, then wow! What a year to join us!”

Producers Lee and Dawn Perrott have worked tirelessly to produce a toe-tapping, breathtaking show.

Join the cast on their journey through rehearsals to showtime. But will it be all smooth sailing?

With a rival group, a corrupt committee, and cast members not sure of who or where they are, will the show go on?

The Greatest Show includes all the songs featured in The Greatest Showman and more, performed by a talented cast and a group of musicians, led by accomplished musical director Geoff Page.

It also features guest stars and dancers, young and a little bit older, from Style Dance School.

Since its inception back in 1980, Variety Express has donated over £116,000 to charities including nursing homes, Lister Hospital and dozens of specialist organisations.

Proceeds this year will go to Feed Up Warm Up, which provides hot food, food parcels, warm clothes, a haircut, foot-care, and counselling for the less fortunate people of north Hertfordshire, and Above & Beyond Cancer Foundation.

Curtain up at 7.30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.


13 November 2015

Variety Express aces take a deserved bow after their smash hit show brings in £3,000 box office bonus for two North Herts charities

The cast of North Herts entertainment group, Variety Express, who performed at St Francis College in Letchworth in aid of two local charities

A blockbuster bonus for two good causes has been handed over thanks to a North Herts performance group’s latest success.

This year’s annual Variety Express charity show at St Francis’ College Theatre, Letchworth, took the theme At The Movies

Spokesman Diane Humberstone said: “Many audience members said that it had been the best show ever. The cast and crew thoroughly enjoyed every minute and are sorry it’s all over for another year.”

At The Movies, featuring a unique mix of song, dance and comedy, was dedicated to Ron Keech who passed away after a short illness not long after last year’s show.

Diane said: “Ron was our sound engineer for more than 30 years, a loving husband to costume mistress Glynis and a great friend and support to everyone. He was greatly missed. We would like to thank Ron’s friends and colleagues, Paul and Michelle Harlock, for stepping in and providing the sound this year, a job very well done.”

Thanks to bumper box office takings the group has been able to donate £1,500 each to two local charities – Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North and the Letchworth-based Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Centre.

Terry Gray Review

Email received from Terry Gray (previous producer of Variety Express) on 30/10/2014

Congratulations on a good show tonight.

Once again you ALL did very well and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.

There were many good items, but my personal favourite was the singing of Scarborough Fair - it could not have been done better!

As the person who played a part in the birth of Variety Express and as its first Producer for 18 years, I am personally proud that the group is still going strong after 33 years and that so much money has been donated to charities.

When we started the group we could not have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would be still going.

Keep up the good work
Kind regards,
Terry Gray