The first cabaret show to be presented by Harry Foster and Major E.O. Leadlay at the Piccadilly Hotel in Piccadilly, London was called Dolly’s Revels. It was staged by Edward Dolly, the brother of the famous Dolly Sisters in February 1924 and had costumes designed by Dolly Tree.
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Favours and Carnival Novelties
At special events throughout history there has always been the desire to augment festivities with novelties of all kinds, especially at special occasions like New Year and weddings. Toward the end of the 19th century as dances, balls, galas and the new concept of the smart restaurant proliferated on both sides of the Atlantic, special nights were introduced where a wide range of gifts or carnival novelties were given away as souvenirs to make the night special and stand out. Later, these ‘favours’ became indicative of the madcap nocturnal fun and frolics of the Jazz Age and the 1920s.
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The Lorraine Sisters
The Lorraine Sisters (Edna and Della) were a glamorous American sister act in the Jazz Age, who started off in vaudeville in America but swiftly found fame in Europe in the 1920s.
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Cafe de Paris, London
The Cafe de Paris was one of the most fashionable dining haunts in London in 1920s. Intimate and elegant it was described by Vogue magazine as ‘delightfully comfortable’ and by Dancing Times as ‘the smartest dance restaurant in London…’
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Fowler and Tamara
Addison Fowler and Florenz Tamara were undoubtedly one of America’s leading exponents of ballroom dancing in the mid 1920s through the early 1930s. Although they had an extensive repertoire it was Spanish themed dances that made their name and the fact that they looked good and had a great knack of wearing deliciously evocative costumes.
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Shrouding herself with an exotic sounding name and persona, Gypsy Rhoumaje struck the big time in London and Paris from 1926 and delighted fashionable continental audiences with her exotic style of dancing and her own personal beauty. Of course nobody, least of all journalists, could spell her name right with several attempts that included Gypsy Rohoumage, Gypsy Roumahje, Gypsy Rhouma-je and Gypsy Rhouma (all with Gipsy variants).
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Who was Edward Dolly?
Eddie Dolly was ostensibly the brother of the legendary Dolly Sisters. A talented dancer like his sisters, he became a prolific choreographer for both his sisters and major London theatrical producers and found a particular niche staging cabaret shows in the 1920s.
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