SHE was the highest paid girl singer of the Swinging Sixties, hailed as the golden girl of pop and Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe.
Her Saturday night BBC TV series drew regular audiences of 28 million and she filled theatres with her unique voice, trademark lip gloss and bubbly personality.
Few fans then could perhaps have predicted the extraordinary turn taken by Kathy Kirkby’s life. The woman who had legions of fans, a lavish lifestyle and money in the bank, withdrew from the spotlight and today lives what many would see as a reclusive existence. And that extraordinary voice is no longer heard.
Now, thanks to a Yorkshire based team, Kathy Kirby’s story will be retold on stage with accomplished young performer Suzi Jari recreating the singer whose life continues to fascinate many.
Suzi has already played the young Dusty Springfield on the London stage and also performs tributes to Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. She will be in Leeds in this new show, Secret Love, The Amazing Kathy Kirby Story which is at Leeds City Varieties on Friday May 9.
The show is produced and directed by Yeadon writer and journalist Graham Smith of Mediaworld and is presented by the leading showbusiness agent Johnny Mans Productions.
“It seems appropriate that the show is to premiere in Leeds,” said Graham, “Kathy’s life began to fall apart when her manager and mentor Bert Ambrose died in Leeds in 1971. At the time her boyfriend was a Leeds businessman. Now the wheel has turned full circle and her story returns to the city which was such a focal point in this amazing story.”
The company is also delighted to have the services of musical director Stuart Atkins. Stuart, who lives in Tingley and was born in Huddersfield, is arranging all the music for the show.
His name is synonymous with the high profile years of the Batley Variety Club where he was MD for many years. Stuart also directed music for top shows at Blackpool Opera House and was MD to The Bachelors for many years. He has played with most of the greats including Dame Shirley Bassey.