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Thursday, 17 March 2011


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My sister has recently retired, at the age of 76, after being a professional dancer for something like 60 years.
Although she was a trained ballet dancer she tried vaudeville and loved it so spent her life (or vaudeville's life) in that field and then worked in television.
She did one show that toured Australia and New Zealand and ran for something like 6 months or more.
On the opening night, just before the first number, two of the ballet boys came and picked my sister up, one of either side. They carried her to the backstage toilet, sat her on the seat the flushed the toilet.
She was wearing her costume, which consisted of a red two piece outfit with lots of spangles and a tail of ostrich feathers.
And so she staggered on stage with the other 16 or so dancers and had the only dripping bottom and sagging feathrs.
This was a great joke and happened every single night of the run of that show.
Robin (the sister) would get ready, sit quietly until the boys came to pick her up, take her drenching like a trouper, and then splash through the opening number.
She was always in trouble with the wardrobe ladies due to missing sequins and tatty feathers.
She is a good sport, my sister, but things might have been easier if she'd stuck to ballet.
I just thought you'd like to know that.

Yes, I can't see Dame Margot Fonteyn putting up with that!

Indeed BBC Four has become one of the best cultural TV channels in the world. It is a privilege to have access (for free) to their programs and maybe they only need a better publicity to inform the audience about the upcoming schedule.

Armando, welcome to D&N, and, yes, they need all the publicity they can get - and they deserve it, too.

Sack the Director - even amateur theatre wouldn't stand for a director who hadn't blocked moves 2 weeks before the show - never mind 2 hours.

Carol, yes, I did wonder briefly why they seemed to be under quite such severe time pressure but I was so awe-struck with the dancers' determination and guts that I didn't dwell on it.

It has been a great program to watch,I have worked in the theatre for many years and this is really what it is like. They work you so hard and the pay is not that good, you do it for love not money. I teach now but I would not change a thing.

Hello, Polly and welcome to D&N. I share your enthusiasm from my very amateur, or perhaps I should say, amateurish, background in theatre but perhaps my later post is not quite so warm towards the ENB:

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