OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

©  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 20, 2017.
Webpage updated: September 12, 2017

        

NEW PALACE THEATRE OF VARIETIES

PALACE PANTOMIMES 1941 to 1959

1941 - 1942 "Robinson Crusoe"
Commencing Boxing Day, December 26th 1941.  Admission: Balcony 1s, children 6d; Pit 1s 6d, children 1s; Circle 2s, children 1s 6d; Grand Circle 2s 6d, children 1s 9d; Orchestra Stalls 3s, children 2s.

A George Young production.

Cast:

  • George Hirste
  • Helen Binnie
  • Nita Grey
  • Wendy Maye
  • Fred Sanger
  • Pat Nash & Fred Fields
  • Daniel Dare
  • The Seven Gridneffs
  • Izna Roselli

1942 - 1943  "Aladdin"
Commencing Boxing Day, December 26th 1942 for two weeks; Three Times Daily, at 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.45pm.

Endsleigh Productions Ltd.

Cast:

  • Francis Whitmer as Aladdin, 'A merry scamp who lights on fortune through a lamp’.

  • Paddie Cullen as Princess Baldroulbadour

  • Harry Tate junior as Abanazar

  • Billy Snaith as Emperor Tay-Kall

  • Speedy as Wishee Washee

  • Joe Nicholls as Peelah one of the Policemen

  • Terry Doogan as Koppah the other Policeman

  • Joan Rowan as Pekoe

  • Jean Rayner as Soo Choo

  • Marianne as the Fairy of the Ring

  • Frank Leslie as the Slave of the Lamp

  • Ken Douglas as Widow Twankey, ‘a rare piece of old China’.

  • Babette’s Plymouth Babes

  • The Seymour Beauties

  • Welding’s Comedy Horse

  • The Rothwells (speciality act)

  • Johnny Maguire (speciality act)

1943 - 1944  "Cinderella"
Commencing Monday December 27th 1943 for four weeks; Three Times Daily, at 2.15pm, 5.15pm and 7.15pm.

Endsleigh Productions Ltd.

Cast:

  • Cora Craven as Cinderella

  • Mari Kenealy as Prince Charming

  • Ernie Kenealy as Dandini

  • John Powe and Maude Cowderry as the Ugly Sisters, Arabella and Clorinda

  • Jimmy Scott and Paul Robeani as the Broker's Men, Pip and Pop

  • Kitty Keir as the Fairy Godmother

  • Betty Allen as Bonzo

  • Kirk and Wilson as the Cow, Clarisa

  • Kirk and Wilson as the Horse, Thunder

  • Ballerina as Manuela

  • Key Kench as Goldstick

  • Harry Seltzer as Buttons

  • The Sixteen Spangled Beauties

  • Babette's 12 Plymouth Babes

  • Jim Della's famous Dogs (speciality act)

  • Jimmy Scott with the Babes and Harry Seltzer (speciality act)

  • Messrs R Fossets and Roberts Team of Real Live Ponies

1945 - 1946 "Babes in the Wood"
Commencing Xmas Eve for a short season.

Lew and Leslie Grade.

  • Fai Robina as Robin Hood

  • Rosalie Allen as Maid Marion

  • Rio and Santos as The Robbers

  • Hal Miller as Simon

  • Billy Curtis as Dame Trot

  • George Lavoie as Baron Hardup

  • Delores Rio as Will Scarlet

  • Elanda as The Fairy

  • Pat Norris and Jeanne Webb as the Two Babes

  • Gwen Evans as Margery Daw

  • Sultana Read as Phyllis

  • William Jones as The Sheriff

  • Barbara Allen Babettes

  • The De Vere Dancers

  • Ben Kador Trio (speciality act)

  • Chris Sands (speciality act)

1946 - 1947 "Aladdin"
Twice Daily at 2.15pm and 7pm.  Admission: 2s 6d; 4s; 6s; and 7s 6d.

'Emile Littler Presents Plymouth's First Big City Pantomime'.

Cast:

  • Frank Alcock as The Emperor of China

  • Betty Morton as Prince Pekoe

  • Hal Bryan as Widow Twankey

  • Bert Randall as Wishee Washee

  • Claude Chandler as Abanazar

  • Betty Paul as Aladdin

  • Laurie Mellin as Cat

  • Ruby Riggs as Princess Balroulbadour

  • Doreen  Esworthy as Sing-So

  • Kay Livingston as Moonbeam

  • Elstree's Three Stooges as Bend-Hi, Bend-Lo and Bend-To, the Chinese Policemen

  • The Pagolas

  • The 24 Tlller Girls

  • The Terry Juveniles

1947 - 1948 "Babes in the Wood"
Commences December 24th 1947 at 7pm.  Then at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 24th 1948 and at 7pm from January 26th 1948 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Final performance due on February 7th 1948.  Admission: 2s 6d; 4s; 6s; 7s 6d.

Emile Littler (2nd) Palace panto.

Cast:

  • Ben George as Sir Diddlum Dumpling

  • Joe O'Gorman as Simple Simon

  • Dave O'Gorman as Whilhelmina Whackster

  • Con Kenna as Kind Heart, a good robber

  • Frank Pettitt as Pie Face, a bad robber

  • Elfreda Hayes as Fairy Sunbeam

  • Edna Swift as Jack, one of the Babes

  • Sheila Pratt as Jill, the other Babe

  • Kathryn Frances as Robin Hood

  • Frances Leak as Maid Marion

  • Etcetera as himself, a rabbit

  • William Shearer as Trousers

  • Eugene's Flying Ballet (speciality act)

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

  • The augmented Palace Theatre Orchestra

1948 - 1949 "Mother Goose"
Commences December 24th 1948 at 7pm.  Then at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 15th 1949 and at 7pm from January 17th 1949 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Final performance due February 12th 1949.  Admission: Balcony unreserved, 2s 6d; Pit 4s; Back Circle 6s; Orchestra Stalls and Front Circle 7s 6d; Boxes £1 15s.

Emile Littler's 3rd Palace panto.

Cast:

  • Tommy Fields as Mother Goose

  • Doreen Duke as Colin (principal boy)

  • Madelaine Hearn as the principal girl

  • Kay Livingstone as the dainty fairy

  • Margot Field as the Wicked Witch

  • Dorothy Elliston as The Goose

  • Jean as Gretchen, acrobat

  • Charles Warren as The Squire

  • Freddy King as PC Poodles (comedian musician)

  • Paul King (comedian musician)

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

Review:

'There  can be no doubt that Emile Littler has scored another success in Plymouth with his third pantomime, for as a show this year's Mother Goose, which opened at the Palace  Theatre on Christmas Eve and continues until February 12th, is excellent.  One is left with the impression, however, that this is a pantomime for adults rather than children.

'The younger audiences are not catered for as well as usual, and while elder children might get a considerable amount of enjoyment out of the show, the fare for the tiny tots seems strictly limited.

'Tommy Fields, in the name role, is a polished artiste and his transformation from the ugly old Mother Goose to a beautiful woman caused amazement.  This was probably the most eagerly anticipated climax for the audience, and the striking change was a tribute to the excellent make-up skill noticeable throughout the cast.

'In such a competent cast of performers, it would be invidious to make comparisons or to pick out what is most memorable.

'There are the sweetness and charm of the principle boy, Colin (Doreen Dukes), the attractiveness of the principle girl (Madeleine Hearn (sic)), the dainty fairy (Kay Livingston) (sic), the wickedness of the witch (Margot Field), and the lovable old goose which lays the golden egg ((Dorothy Elliston).

'Then, too, there is the acrobatic, rubber-faced and body Gretchen (Jean), who pairs in an attractive turn with Charles Warren, the villainous squire.

'Comedians Freddy (as PC Poodles) and Paul King, probably gained the most applause and held the greatest appeal for the children.  This hard-working pair fully deserved their reception and to cap their efforts they displayed fine technique on various musical instruments, including a duet on four, each playing a clarinet and saxophone at the same time.

'Others to give valuable support included the Tiller Girls and the Barbara Allen babes.  They, like all the cast, provide extra colour and beauty to the lovely settings which are a feature of the show.'

1949 - 1950 "Goody Two Shoes"
Commencing Christmas Eve at 7pm; then twice daily at 2.30pm  and 7.pm.  Orchestra Stalls 7s 6d; Back Stalls 6s; Pit 4s; Dress Circle 8s 6d and 7s 6d; Balcony 2s 6d (unreserved).  Evening performance on Boxing Night and all Saturdays now Sold Out.

Emile Littler production.

Cast:

  • Sonny Jenks and Joy Hayden

  • Sid Plummer

  • Vic Marlowe

  • Robbie Medlock

  • Drummond and  Mares

  • Betty Dayne

  • Sheila Bennett

  • Stuart Pearce

  • and Terrific Company.

1950 - 1951 "Humpty Dumpty"
Commencing Saturday December 23rd 1950 at 7pm, Twice Daily at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 13th 1951; then evenings at 7pm with Matinees on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm.  Last performance February 24th 1951.

Emile Littler's All Star Laughter Pantomime

Cast:

  • Billy Danvers as King Yolk of Eggville

  • Bert Brownbill as Agatha Applepip

  • Johnny Lockwood as Simple Simon

  • Roberta Huby as Prince Ruper

  • Moran and Elof as Count Nine and Count Ninety

  • Jean Brown as Princess Marigold

  • Ellis Carlyle as The Wicked Witch

  • Pamela Grant as Humpty Dumpty

  • The Famous Tiller Girls

  • The Betty Hobbs Girls

Review:

'Two features of Emile Littler's "Humpty Dumpty", which opened at the Palace Theatre, Plymouth, on Saturday, are particularly outstanding.  They are the strength of the comedy team and the pantomime's excellent dressing.

'Bert Brownbill, as  Agatha Applepip, a burly dame, is involved in what are probably the two most enjoyable comic scenes.

'In one he plays Juliet to the Romeo of Billy Danvers, otherwise King Yolk of Eggville.  The latter, with 38 pantomime appearances behind him, has an easy, pleasant way of getting the laughs, and he has an admirable partner.

'In the other scene Bert Brownbill is "One of the Oldest Hens in the Wrens", and his portrayal of a Wren officer of mature vintage is amusing.

'Fun is provided, particularly for the children, by an energetic comedian, Johnny Lockwood, in the part of Simple Simon, while Moran and Elof, as the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chamberlain, complete the comedy team.

'Roberta Huby is an accomplished Principal Boy.  In all her scenes the stage is hers, and she has a pleasing voice.  Opposite is Jean Brown, a charming Princess Marigold.

'Fifteen-year-old Pamela Grant has the stage assurance of a veteran, and portrays the perky Humpty Dumpty in fine style.

'One would have liked to see more of the graceful dancing of Virginia Courtney (Fairy Starlight).  The Witch was played by Ellis Carlyle, and the chorus provided by the Tiller Girls and Betty Hobbs Girls.

'True to tradition, there are plenty of local gags, and the show is good fun throughout its 13 changes of scene.'

1951 - 1952 "Jack and Jill"
x

Emile Littler's (6th) Palace panto.

Cast:

  • Jean Telfer as Jack

  • Elsie Monk as Jill

  • Roy Barbour as Simple Simon

  • Henry Lytton as Dame Horner

  • Donald Stewart as Twist the pedagogue

  • Frank Rydon as the Wicker Witch

  • Frances Pidgeon as the Good Fairy

  • Arthur Bell as the Landlord of the Inn and King of Sylvanta

  • Molly Osborne as Mary Mary Quite Contrary

  • De Haven and Page

  • Two Vagabonds (a tramp and a dog)

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

1952 - 1953 "Little Miss Muffet"
Twice Daily at 2.30pm and 7pm until January10th 1953 then from January 12th Once Nightly at 7pm.  Matinees Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm.  Admission: 8s 6, 7s 6d, 6s, 4s, Unreserved 2s 6d.

Emile Littler's Seventh Great Plymouth Laughter Pantomime

Cast:

  • Charlie Cairoli and Paul

  • Fay Lenore

  • Henry Lytton

  • Norman Caley

  • Yvonne Marsh

  • Elaine Howells

  • Jimmy Green

  • Edmond Bennett

  • Ross Harvey

  • The Three Cottas

  • The Famous Tiller Girls

  • Barbara Allen Babes

Review:

'We have been fortunate in Plymouth for many years with the quality of the pantomimes staged at the Palace Theatre, but I would class this year's production, "Little Miss Muffet", as one of the best ever, with a charming and competent cast and an outstanding clown in Charlie Cairoli.

'Charlie is delightfully humorous and so very funny that at the opening performance on Christmas Eve he had an appreciative audience in tears at his clowning and clamouring for more.

'It is his first visit to the city, but it is hoped to be not his last.

'The usual schoolroom scene and the subsequent party are uproariously funny and left the patrons on Wednesday completely helpless.

'He also revealed himself as an outstanding musician in a turn with Paul Cairoli, playing the violin and a variety of wind instruments with ability - even getting a tune out of a stirrup pump.

'If there were no attraction other than Charlie this show would be worth seeing, but there is plenty for everybody.

'The children will be delighted - mine certainly were - while adults will also get plenty of fun and entertainment in the colourful scenes and dresses by Physhe, the tuneful music and clever lyrics by Hastings Mann, the attractive dances arranged by Sylvia Blake, all welded together in admirable style by producer Walter Swash.

'But Mr Swash had a fine collection of artists to put over this Emile Littler show.

'Fay Lenore is an attractive principal "boy", Tommy Tucker, and is the possessor of a lovely voice which gives full value to the many popular songs.  Henry Lytton, as Queen Hysteria, is an ever-popular favourite with Plymouth   pantomime audiences.

'Then there are Yvonne Marsh as Little  Miss Muffet, Norman Caley as Lord D'Arcy Decay, Edmond Bennett as the Spider, Penny Lock as the Cat, Paul and Jimmy Cairoli as the Queen's councillors, Jimmy Green as the oldest inhabitant, and Elaine Howells as the fairy.  They are all worthy of praise for their performances.

'We must not forget, though, The Tiller Girls and The Barbara Allen Babes for a number of attractive routines, and Leslie Howe and the Palace Theatre Orchestra for their usual competent accompaniment.

'Lastly, but by no means minor contributors to the successful show, are two novelty variety turns.

'Ross Harvey's clever birds thrill the children particularly, and The Three Cottas perform a number of difficult and breathtaking acrobatic feats efficiently.

'Altogether a good show which should not be missed.  G. I.'

1953 - 1954 "Aladdin"
Commences at 2.30pm on December 26th 1953, then at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 16th 1954 and at 7pm from January 18th 1954 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Admission: Upper Circle 3s; Pit Stalls 4s; Back Stalls 6s; Side Circle 7s 6d; Orchestra Stalls and Centre Circle 8s 6d.

Emile Littler's 8th Palace panto.

Cast:

  • Nat Jackley as Widow Twankey

  • Betty Leslie as Aladdin

  • Jimmy Clitheroe

  • Gloria George

  • Martin Lawrence

  • David Davenport

  • Authors and Swinson

  • Margaret Madison

  • Rosalind Rowlands

  • Fred Owen

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

  • The Chy Bao Guy Chinese Troop

1954 - 1955 "Cinderella"
Commences at 7pm Christmas Eve, December 24th 1954, then at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 15th 1955 and at 7pm from January 17th 1954 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Admission: 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s 6d and 8s 6d.

Emile Littler's 9th Plymouth panto.

Cast:

  • Tommy Fields as Buttons

  • Desmond and Marks as The Ugly Sisters

  • Jean Telfer as Prince Charming

  • Helen Jutsen as Cinderella

  • Billy Nelson, Chuch O'Neil and Billy Morris as The Brokers' Men

  • Barbara Evans as Dandini

  • John Marquand as Baron Hardup

  • Sylvia Morgan as the Fairy Godmother

  • Harry Esterl

  • Frank Crane

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

  • Miniature Ponies and Coach

  • Orchestra conducted by Mr Leslie Howe

1955 - 1956 "Puss in Boots"
Commences at 7pm on  December 24th 1955, then at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 7th 1956 and 7pm from January 9th 1956 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Final performance on February 18th 1956.  Admission: 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s 6d and 8s 6d.

Emile Littler's 10th Plymouth panto.

Cast:

  • The Laughter Boys - Syd and Max Harrison

  • Aydrey Freeman

  • Barbara Evans

  • Margaret and Charles

  • Les and Len Rogers

  • The Tiller Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

  • Freddie Frinton

1956 - 1957 "Mother Goose"
Commences at 7pm on Saturday December 22nd 1956, then at 2.30pm and 7pm daily until January 12th 1957 and at 7pm from January 14th 1957 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Admission: Upper Circle 3s; Pit Stalls 4s; Back Stalls 6s; Side Circle 7s 6d; Orchestra Stalls and Centre Circle 8s 6d.

Emile Littler's 11th Plymouth panto.

Cast:

  • Ethel Revnel as Mother Goose

  • Pamela Beesley as Prince Colin

  • Jack Desmonde as The Squire

  • Bobby Been as Bruiser

  • Joan Manning as Jill

  • Benita Lydal as The Witch

  • Stella Carlisle as The Fairy

  • The Cox Twins as Poodles and Noodles

  • Norman McGlen as The Goose

  • Eugene's Flying Ballet

  • The Palace Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

  • Billy Dainty as Sammy

1957 - 1958 "Babes in the Wood"
Commencing Thursday December 26th 1957 and at 2.30pm and 7pm until January 11th 1958.  Then at 7pm from January 13th 1958 with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Admission: Upper Circle 3s; Pit Stalls 4s; Back Stalls 6s; Side Circle 7s 6d; Orchestra Stalls and Centre Circle 8s 6d.
Emile Littler's 12th Plymouth panto.

Cast:

  • Reg Varney as Wilhelmina Whackster, the Babe's Governess

  • Jill Manners as Robin Hood

  • Billy Burden as Simple Simon

  • Hackford and Doyle as The Robbers

  • Wally Thomas

  • Jane Bolton

  • Angela Handby

  • Carole Keith

  • Roy Murray

  • Eugene's Flying Ballet

  • The Palace Girls

  • The Barbara Allen Babes

 1958 - 1959 "Little Miss Muffet"
Emile Littler's 13th Plymouth panto.

Cast:

  • Charlie Cairoli with Paul and Jimmy Cairoli
  • Henry Lytton as Queen Hysteria
  • Sylvia Norman as the Principal Boy
  • Jean Tyler as Miss Muffet
  • Norman Caley as Sir D'Arcy Decay
  • Clive Drummond as The Spider
  • Sylvia Wooldridge as Fairy Moonbeam
  • Johnny Clayton as Gingerpop
  • Dorothy Dixon as Buttonhole the cat
  • The Palace Girls with principal dancer Jane Watkyn
  • Normandy Singers