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The Old Vic presents the second of its VARIETY NIGHTS

Mark Watson hosting 2015’s Variety Night at The Old Vic
Mark Watson hosting 2015’s Variety Night at The Old Vic (photo credit: Manuel Harlan)

Following the success of the first Variety Night in November 2015, The Old Vic has announced the second of its Variety Nights which will take place on Sunday 6th March 2016.

An integral part of Matthew Warchus’ vision for an eclectic inaugural season, the Old Vic Variety Nights embrace the theatre’s history and its roots in music, dance and vaudeville.

The Old Vic Variety Nights aim to reinvigorate a much cherished and nostalgic format with a contemporary twist, combining established names in music, magic and comedy with the very best of the current generation. Tickets went on general sale on Tuesday 16th February.

The Old Vic welcomes back comedian Mark Watson as host for the evening that will feature a range of talent including world renowned magicians Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger, DJ and musician MckNasty and sensational all-male vocal group, Only Men Aloud, winners of BBC One’s Last Choir Standing. Further acts will be announced in due course.

Artistic Director Matthew Warchus commented: “Following the enormous success of our debut event last November, I’m delighted to announce the next date in this hugely popular series of Old Vic Variety Nights. I’m very happy to say that comic genius Mark Watson will return as host to lead us, in his inimitable style, through a fun-filled evening of the best in Comedy, Music and Magic. We’re looking forward to another wonderful evening in this wonderful theatre.

Jeff McBride, from Las Vegas, is considered to be one of the most influential magicians of the last 25 years. He has been named Magician of the Year by his peers at The Magic Castle, Hollywood, and has set three Guinness World Records for his remarkable sleight of hand. His unique (and much imitated) performance style has led to him appearing on TV shows around the world and headlining in Las Vegas at venues including Caesar’s Palace and the Golden Nugget. Eugene Burger, originally from Chicago and a close collaborator of Jeff, is a leading and influential exponent of close-up sleight of hand, specialising in ‘Bizarre Magick’.  McBride is the Founder and Burger the Dean of the ‘McBride Magic & Mystery School’ in Las Vegas – one of the leading magical teaching institutions in the world.

Joshua ‘MckNasty’ McKenzie is one of the most exciting creative figures working in music today. After landing his first professional drumming gig at 16 years old with Daniel Bedingfield, MckNasty has gone on to play drums with some of pop’s biggest stars. He has gone on to Musical Direct Tinie Tempah, changing the traditional live set-up expected from a Hip Hop artist. MckNasty’s next stage in his solo evolution was to incorporate DJing into his set.

Adding trigger pads to his set-up, McKenzie created a system that allowed him to play drums and also mix at the same time, and not only switch between records, but add in beat cuts, stutters and special effects. It’s a dazzling display that needs to be watched live to be fully appreciated, suffice to say everyone from I-D to Diesel, Britain’s Got Talent and RWD have asked MckNasty to create bespoke sets. Recently picked up by talent scouts on Britain’s Got Talent, Josh saw an opportunity to take his DJing and drumming to the masses.

Needless to say, he sailed through to the semi-finals. Mcknasty is currently working on material, which will demonstrate not only his instrumental abilities, but also his singing and composing talents too.

Only Men Aloud was formed in 2000, with the aim of injecting new blood into the Welsh choir tradition. September 2013 saw a complete reinvention of the group as the choir became a honed and toned vocal ensemble. The men bring both a new sound and a more varied and eclectic repertoire to the mix, from Welsh folksongs and hymns to music theatre and opera, barbershop and swing to pop. Following their shake-up, the Classical Brit Award winners who came to prominence as BBC One’s Last Choir Standing have embarked on many extensive tours, all around the world. They now have worldwide record sales of over 300,000. The choir were honoured to be asked to sing in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony at the very moment the Olympic Flame was lit. In December 2015, they headed back out on to the road for their sixth UK Christmas Tour, which has become a much-anticipated part of people’s festive schedule.

Mark Watson is a multi-award-winning comedian and the author of five novels – plus the graphic novel ‘Dan and Sam’, written with Oliver Harud, published in October 2015. He is currently writing a commissioned work for the Old Vic. He has appeared regularly on TV and recorded four series of his own hugely popular Radio 4 show.

He’s performed at every major comedy festival worldwide and is noted for a series of 24-hour-long shows, the last two for Comic Relief. His proudest achievement is winning the celebrity versions of both Mastermind and Pointless.

Box Office 0844 871 7628 | oldvictheatre.com
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The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8NB
The Old Vic Variety Night

Sun 6 March, 7pm


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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