Fred Barnes

Birmingham-born light comedian Fred Barnes was a popular star of British music halls in the early 1900s and he made a total of five appearances at the Hippodrome between 1912 and 1932. He was known as the ‘Adonis of the Halls’, due to his blue eyes, wavy hair and tendency to dress as a debonair man-about-town. Fred was openly gay and he wrote a song entitled ‘The Black Sheep of the Family’, which became his theme song. Two weeks before his 1913 performance at the Hippodrome, his father committed suicide due to shame and Fred wrote in his autobiography that the Hippodrome was “a place full of memories of my father. To this day, I don’t know how I got through that week.”