The Dolly Sisters: Paris

‘Now established Parisian institutions, and, as such, may be be said to rate with the Comedie-Francaise, the Bank of France, and the incomparable Mistinguett!’ The Sketch 13 July 1927.

The Dolly Sisters in Paris, 1925

The Dollies achieved their greatest success in France. In the spring of 1923 they became an instant hit in the Cannes Casino and this started their fascination with the Riviera. They swiftly moved to Paris and appeared in a series of spectacular revues with Paris Sans Viole (1923, Ambassadors), Oh Les Belles Filles (1923, Palace), Paris En Fleurs (1925, Casino de Paris), A Vol D’Oiseau (1926, Edouard VII Theatre) and Paris – New York (1927, Casino de Paris). They were at their peak of notoriety and fortune.

After appearing at the Casino in Deauville, another of their favourite haunts, in the height of the August 1924 season, they returned to America to appear in The Greenwich Village Follies and Sitting Pretty. They also became embroiled in the discord surrounding the antics of David, Prince of Wales, later to become Edward V111 that erupted during his visit to America in late 1924.

During their run at the salubrious Kit Kat Club in London in the summer of 1926 a public row erupted with Mistinguett. They had planned to star in a show at the Moulin Rouge. However, after reading the script, they felt misled since Mistinguett had muscled in and took their place. They sued the management for 550,000 francs (worth over $222,000 today) and then the management countersued for breach of contract. The Dolly Sisters won their case and generated public sympathy by donating the entire sum to the Actor’s Benevolent Fund.

DS cover 3D copy LR

Check out the webpage for the biography of the Dolly Sisters here

The new book The Dolly Sisters in Pictures

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All images are under licence to the Mary Evans Picture library for commercial re-use.

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