Russell Crowe has seat named in his honour at Leeds City Varieties music hall

Russell Crowe at Leeds' City Varieties music hall.Russell Crowe at Leeds' City Varieties music hall.
Russell Crowe at Leeds' City Varieties music hall.
It is one of Leeds' most historic venues which has hosted audiences for more than 150 years.

But the City Varieties music hall welcomed a new visitor through its doors, as New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe visited the city centre venue.

A pronounced Leeds United supporter, the movie star, who has appeared on-screen alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

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He has now joined a limited list of celebrities who have donated money in exchange for a seat named in their honour.

Speaking about the venue, Crowe said: “I love the City Varieties. It’s fantastic. When I saw the pictures of this online I thought it’s such a beautiful venue - it’s a gem.”

The venue’s Name a Seat scheme launched in 2009, and Crowe’s seat plaque now reads: ‘Breathe in more than you breathe out’.

The Gladiator star visited the music hall last Friday, and theatre bosses said they were “humbled” to welcome him to the venue.

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Ian Sime, City Varieties general manager, said: “Given the incredible talent that has graced the City Varieties Music Hall stage over the years, it is very rare that we gift a seat to an individual but we wanted to mark this historic occasion. We recognise the stature of the Oscar-winning actor and that he could have chosen to play at any number of venues in the UK.

“We feel genuinely humbled and privileged to have hosted the Gladiator star and the very talented musicians and performers that make up Indoor Garden Party. The evening was a huge success.”

Other celebrities who have a seat named in their, or their family’s, honour, include comedian John Bishop and TV stars Barbara Windsor and Sir Ian McKellen.

Kay Mellor and Dame Judi Dench also have seats dedicated to them.

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The seat-naming initiative was launched as part of the venue’s regeneration project. To name a seat at the music hall, contact [email protected] or call the City Varieties on 0113 297 7014.