Teach, Talk & Watch

June 11th, 2018


“A terrific first-class with actor Adam Tompa – Marie took him under her wing for a one-on-one tap lesson. They went on for over an hour! Adam is going to continue coming for a few weeks to get the basics under his wings. Later, we were joined over lunch by a PhD student that we met at the book launch in February. She got in touch to ask if she could come and talk to us, pick our brains for information on children performing in Variety Theatre. Some of the things we talked about were: Eileen Brock’s little girl, Madame Bohena’s Juvenile Jollities, Little Annette and Madame Luscome. We weren’t that much help as most of the child performers seemed to be earlier than the women’s careers. But it was a fascinating conversation, touching on exploitation and who made the money in Variety Theatre. Following lunch, we all watched the BBC documentary about The Collins Family who made a massive contribution to Scottish Variety Theatre and Pantomime from 1893 to 1957 (see collinsvariety.co.uk). It was fabulous to see it and it would be fascinating to get a hold of it somehow. There were many folks in the film that Marie and Doreen knew. So much to follow up on!”Janice Parker


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