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Variety is (expensive) spice of life; pounds 290 is top price for royal show seat Happy Birthday Liverpool.

Byline: By MARY MURTAGH

TICKETS for the Royal Variety Performance at the Liverpool Empire have gone on sale - but you will need deep pockets to afford one.

The star-studded show takes place on December 3 in front of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Seat prices start at pounds 80 for the rear of the balcony, rising to pounds 290 for the front of the circle and stalls.

Organisers say funds raised are for a good cause, with all proceeds going to the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.

The popular show, which will be televised, attracts some of the country's biggest entertainment names and is leaving its usual London West End venue to come to the city as part of Liverpool's 800th birthday.

Tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

Lawrie Mansfield, honorary life president of the EABF, said: "The fund helps entertainers who have fallen on hard times.

"Without the funds raised at the Royal Variety Performance, which is our main source of income, the charity would grind to a halt."

It is 27 years since Liverpool staged a Royal Gala performance when the Queen came to the city to officially name the newly-opened Kingsway tunnel.

The first Royal Show was held in July, 1912, at the Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

King George V and Queen Mary pledged to attend a once-yearly variety show as long as the profits went to the Variety Artistes Benevolent Fund as the EABF was then known.

The 2007 show will be the 79th Royal Variety Performance - for 16 years it was not presented owing to world conflict and royal family mourning.

The Royal Variety Performance provides most of the funding to maintain Brinsworth House, the fund's home for retired members of the entertainment profession and their dependants.

To buy tickets log on to www.eabf.org.uk
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 16, 2007
Words:306
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