Preserving History

February 25th, 2019


Lots of chat and sharing today while working on naming, and uncovering information on folks in the archive. Fi Johnstone our production manager joined us to discuss and begin planning our May performance event for the Luminate Festival. Catherine Bromley also came to chat to us about an idea for us to contribute to the Festival Theatres 25th Anniversary event. And lots of conversation and information sharing today, including Geraldo, a dance band leader who started in the 30’s, and who also ran an agency that placed musicians on cruise ships, known as Geraldo’s Navy.

Betty would have loved to have taken her act to a cruise ship but at that time the dancers had to dance with the passengers and Betty’s husband said ‘no’! Further chats about Cormac and Sharp the singing act, and her dresses made by her non-trained father. Betty has all her contracts from her act with George. We talking about Betty’s dancing life on tour to New York, where you left your dress measurements in a tailors shop and they made dresses to order for your next show. Also, discussed the Monseigneur News Theatre on Princes Street in Edinburgh. It screened the Movietone News and had one Variety Act that performed at the end of every newsreel. It was a major way of getting the news and a real eye-opener for Katie to imagine this way of life.

And news of June, she is still in the hospital, but doing okay. Doreen went to visit; they had ice-cream and sang ‘Happy Feet’ (of course!). To know that The Audience With… book is with June at her bedside really lifts the spirits. How good that she has some of her history with her and her identity, not only for herself but for others to have a sense of her life, her purpose and her value. We are all thinking about her. And the final work of today was to take photos of our Equity cards outside Stage Door for Equity’s #ProudToBeEquity #MyCardMyUnion anniversary celebration. Thanks to Katie who spotted that Marie’s Union – The Variety Artistes Union – amalgamated with Equity!”Janice Parker


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