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The Beatles’ Christmas Show was a variety stage production featuring the Beatles. It ran at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London for 16 nights, ending on 11 January 1964. It was conceived by Brian Epstein, who himself had had theatrical aspirations.

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The first act, with five minutes on stage, were the Barron Knights and Duke D’Mond. Next came short sets from Tommy Quickly and The Fourmost, and Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas closed the first half. Following the interval there was a return from the Barron Knights and Duke D’Mond, then Cilla Black, and the now disgraced Rolf Harris. The Beatles were each evening’s final act, with performances lasting 25 minutes.

The group’s repertoire consisted of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘This Boy’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Till There Was You’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.

In between the support acts The Beatles took to the stage for a number of light-hearted skits, giving the night a pantomime feel. Although their delivery was reportedly fairly wooden and they lacked much rehearsal time, the performances were greeted with uncontrolled hysteria by The Beatles’ fans. The show’s director was Peter Yolland.

After this evening’s performance The Beatles and the northern members of the cast and crew – essentially all but Rolf Harris and the Barron Knights – flew to Liverpool to spend Christmas Day with their families, in a private Viking aircraft chartered for £400 by Brian Epstein. They returned to London on the morning of Boxing Day.

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