The extravaganza opens on Saturday 1 June with A Night of Variety starring one of Britain’s greatest-ever soul singers Beverley Knight. Also on stage will be top comedian Sarah Millican, Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, and Escala the ground-breaking electric string quartet.
The following day, Sunday 2 June, The People’s Music Hall event gives everyone the chance to celebrate the reopening of the magnificent St George’s Hall at 1853 prices! Featuring some of Bradford’s best local groups and performers, The People’s Music Hall event will showcase the city’s unique home grown talent in a wonderful evening of music, dance and song. More details to be announced in due course.
The gala weekend celebrates the re-opening of St George’s Hall in Bradford, following a stunning renovation. The historic Grade ll listed Concert Hall re-opened in February 2019 after an extensive refurbishment which included major works to the roof, windows, electrics and stone work. The front-of-house areas have been increased, and seating has been upgraded to improve sight lines and comfort, whilst ensuring the world class acoustics are unaffected.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, says:
“We want this reopening celebration to be hugely memorable and I’m delighted that we have secured such a fantastic line-up of talented performers.
The magnificent restoration of St George’s Hall is truly first rate and brings facilities right up to date. It is only fitting that we mark this significant milestone with two unique events.”
Headlining A Night of Variety is multi-award-winning recording artist, radio presenter and musical theatre actress, Beverley Knight, MBE, who celebrates an incredible 25 years as a major performing and recording artist this year.
Beverley Knight has been one of the UK's most consistent artists for two decades, selling over a million albums in the UK. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to British music and charity, has won three MOBO Awards, and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.
In recent years, the ‘Queen of Soul’ has forged a formidable parallel career in theatre, starring in The Bodyguard in 2013. The following year she received an Olivier Award Nomination as Best Actress in a Musical for her much praised role, of Felicia Farrell in the Tony winning hit show Memphis The Musical.
Since then she has also hosted four series of the BBC Radio 2 show Beverley's Gospel Nights, which explores the origins and impact of gospel music.
There will also be entertainment from the amazingly talented comedian Sarah Millican, who Bradford audiences know well from her multiple sold-out appearances here over the years. Sarah most recently brought her fifth tour, Control Enthusiast to the Alhambra Theatre in November, marking ten years since she established herself as one of the leading lights of the British Comedy scene by winning the Best Newcomer Award at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe.
In the subsequent years, Sarah has gone on to host three series of her critically acclaimed BBC2 series The Sarah Millican Television Programme, for which she received two BAFTA nominations and has become a familiar face on primetime shows such as QI, Live at the Apollo and The Royal Variety Performance.
In October 2017 she released her first book, How To Be Champion, which is part autobiography, part self-help, part confession, part celebration of being a common-or-garden woman.
The world’s most successful Musical Theatre group and Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro are also in the line-up for A Night of Variety. In the four years since the competition, Collabro have released a Number 1 debut album Stars, followed by Act Two and Home. Notably, they have performed for over 30 million people on Japanese TV – receiving a Gold Disc for Best International Artist alongside Sam Smith and Meghan Trainor. They have also completed two tours of America and signed a major US record deal.
A Summer Tour supporting the legendary Cliff Richard preceded their own sell-out 29 date Headline Tour of the UK at the end of 2017, a sell-out tour of Asia; a Special Guest slot on Barry Manilow’s UK Tour, and a Top 10 fourth album, further affirms Collabro’s position as the most successful Musical Theatre recording group in the world.
Also performing at A Night of Variety are Escala, the ground-breaking electric string quartet who arrange and record new material, constantly pushing the boundaries of contemporary repertoire. Escala have played all over the world and performed with many artists including Katherine Jenkins, Brian May, Richard Ashcroft and Pink Floyd.
St George’s Hall major refurbishment has been made possible by funding from Bradford Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.