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RESEARCH ARTICLE - Florrie Forde at the Derby Castle

Thu, 29 Jun 2017


‘Let’s have a song about the Isle of Man’ 
Florrie Forde at the Derby Castle: 1900-1939
Maurice Powell
 
Florrie Forde was the best loved and most enduring variety artiste who ever appeared in Douglas, and the variety artiste that the Manx truly took to their hearts. She made her debut at the Derby Castle on 10th September, 1900, at the beginning of a two-week engagement, billed as ‘The charming and popular comedienne’, supported by Zanfretti and Napio, the ‘continental grotesques and musical knife grinders’, and Bedini and Arthur, a comedy juggling act.
 
Variety artistes - ‘all of them very good ones’ - appeared during the intervals in the very full dance programmes during which the ‘believers in the poetry of motion’, and ‘lovers of the terpsichorean art’, jostled around the magnificent ballroom of the ‘Palace by the Sea’, to the enchanting music from Harry Wood’s excellent band. 
 
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