Friday, 16 October 2009


Rhyl Children's Theatre ClubAbove are excerpts from another of Diana Jones’ souvenir programmes. This one is dated week commencing Monday, 3rd January 1949 and the venue is Queens Theatre, West Parade (Manager: Harry Wrench).

The Rhyl Children’s Theatre Club (Director Joseph Holroyd) presented their third annual pantomime ‘Cinderella’ starring Rhona Parker in the title role and Thelma Griffiths as 'Prince Charming'. That was long before the present Little Theatre was built; the club had no theatre of its own.

The story calls for Brokers Men, and on this occasion they were 'Spotall and Grabbit’ played by John Carroll (left), and Adrian Henri who went on to be a famous artist and poet.


SUN 11th NOV 2018 UPDATE: Queens Theatre (1926-1960) was across the road from, and a privately-owned rival of,  the council-owned Pavilion. In the image below - from a card postmarked 1927 - the offering at the Queens was: Archie Pitt presents 'False Alarms' which may have been a play or revue.

Archie Pitt was a music hall performer,  agent, manager, promoter. In 1923 he became the husband and manager of singer Gracie Fields who also appeared at the Queens in 1920s.


The Queens was in essence a 'variety' theatre and the following is a typical variety show - a mixture of music, comedy and speciality acts such as ventriloquists, jugglers and magicians. It is from 1939, just before the outbreak of World War 2.

Jasper Maskelyne is a name to conjure with. He was a stage magician and illusionist whose skills were of use to the British Army during the war – or so he said.

Film-maker Peter Weir (director of Picnic At Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society) planned a film about the great man but abandoned the idea. You can find out why, and discover more about Jasper Maskelyn ein Wikipedia:

These names also appear on the poster:

Doris Cuban the dancing xylophonist, Val Vett the original rag painter, The Chinese Mandarin ( I wonder what he did), Frank & Violet O'Brien (I wonder what they did), Monica & Nesta Browne doing songs smiles and steps, Maxwell Carew character comedian, and Holmes & Edwards radio comedians.

Incidentally, the poster is a reproduction on a postcard recently auctioned on Internet. Now it resides in the collection of my pal Bill Ellis. Bill is not safe in cyberspace so – on this and many other occasions – I put in bids on his behalf. One time I found myself bidding against me.


Colin Jones / email: