Danny La Rue OBE

26th July 1927 - 31st May 2009

 

Truly a legend in the world of pantomime, Danny La Rue appeared in over forty–five pantomimes over a fifty year panto career.- a career approaching sixty years in “Show-Biz”.

 

His first appearance in “Cinderella” in 1956 was to lead to the starring role in “The Sleeping Beauty”, ten years later, with pantomimes created especially to fit the persona of a man who describes himself as “A Comic In A Frock”.

 

Danny has been a panto star as “Fabrina”, The Ugly Sister, as “Queen Passionella”, and “Queen Danniella”, and “Queen Charmaine”,  and as “The Baroness Voluptua.” His “Widow Twankey” was a “Merry Widow”, and stepped from the Pool Of Beauty as “Mother Goose” on many occasions and he has waved a magic wand as” Fairy Godmother” over several transformation scenes.

 

His career has encompassed starring in cabaret, opening his own West End Club, West End shows, Television,  Film, Recordings, and thirty Royal Command performances. He has toured Australia and Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has written his autobiography “From Drags To Riches”, has been the subject of “This Is Your Life”, and has been the Bon Vivier of numerous chat shows.

 

Danny at the Brick Lane Music Hall

 

Between the appearances in West End Clubs, pantomime, appearances on Television and West End Theatres Danny has appeared frequently in Summer Seasons in all the major resorts- Blackpool, Bournemouth, Scarborough and Great Yarmouth especially. He has toured with his own Music Hall companies, and has made several appearances at the Brick Lane Music Hall in both Curtain Row and Silvertown in London.

 

DANNY LA RUE Performing Red Riding Hood

From YouTube

 

For a great many years Danny’s career was looked after by his Manager and partner, Jack Hanson (Jack died in 1986) and for the past twenty years his costumier and great friend Anne Galbraith accompanied him on his tours, pantomimes and personal appearances both in the UK and abroad. She was with him when he died after a long battle with Cancer aged 81.

 

Danny with Anne Galbraith - we are very grateful to David Rumelle for supplying the picture and the following 1999 article

Click to enlarge

 

This Spotlight on Danny can only gloss over his lengthy career, and has many omissions - do let us know if we’ve missed any of Danny’s highlights, and have missed any pantos in our attempts to catalogue (possibly for the first time) every one of his pantomimes.

 

Yours Magazine - 1998

 

More galleries and information can be found on www.dannylarue.com

 

THE EARLY YEARS     THE CLUBS    THE WEST END   PANTOMIMES    TELEVISION   FILM

 

The Early Years

Daniel Carroll was born in Cork on July 26th, 1927. He was the fifth of six children. The family moved first to London, when Danny was nine years old, and then were evacuated to Kennford in Devon during the war. He left school aged fifteen, and worked in a fashion store in Exeter.

 

In 1944 He joined the Royal Navy for three years, and graduated into concert party, entertaining troops in the Far East. After leaving the navy aged 20, he returned to Devon, and worked in the local fashion store, and for a while he worked backstage at the old Theatre Royal Exeter, which had a resident rep company, before returning to London.

 

“Forces Showboat”

During the late 1940’s there was a vogue for “All male revue”- made popular by the troop entertainments and concert parties of wartime. Touring shows had titles like “Soldiers In Skirts” and “Forces Showboat”.

 

 

In the late 1940’s  Danny Carroll joined a revue company and toured The Empire Theatres in “Forces Showboat”, starring Bartlett & Ross (Premier Ugly Sisters in Panto at that time) and Billy Wells, who was to become a veteran pantomime Dame. The show toured for several years playing most of the variety venues each week- theatres like The Portsmouth Royal, Manchester Hippodrome,  and Huddersfield Palace. Whilst playing Finsbury Park Empire in 1949 –“An amusing dance by Danny Caroll”, The veteran comedian Max Miller was playing just down the road.

 

Kingston Empire Programme - 1948

“Soldiers In Skirts”

By early1953 Danny was still touring weekly with “Soldiers In Skirts” alongside Eric Lloyd, Eric Knight, Fred Sloane (performing a whistling act) and Louise Hayden. The long running tour was presented by Sydney Myers. When Danny was at the Wood Green Empire with “Soldiers”, Betty Driver (still appearing in “Coronation Street”) was starring in her show in the next theatre. Danny had his first speaking role” in “Misleading Ladies” on tour, and was to appear on the variety circuit with Harry Secombe and Ted Gatty.

 

1952-53 a change of name.

This was the year his name would change, thanks to Ted Gatty, and he would appear in London’s West End.

 

The Clubs

The Major nightclubs in London during the late 1950’s and 1960’s  included Churchills, Winstons, L’Hirondelle in Swallow Street, The Pigalle, The Stork, and The Embassy Club

 

This glittering world of midnight cabaret has all but vanished today, but the club circuit in the West End during the 1950’s was a thriving industry. Artistes would often be dashing from one club to another on the same evening. West End stars and the chorus would dash straight from curtain down to arrive at the club where they would be appearing in cabaret that night, often with minutes to spare.

 

It was Ted Gatty, the comedian and producer who renamed the Cork born performer Danny La Rue. Briefly out of work from his lengthy variety tours, Danny was at that time working in one of the West End Fashion Stores, and had been concerned that if he was billed on a poster, the store might not be too happy, and end his employment.

 

Churchill’s Nightclub- Bond Street

Ted was responsible for bringing Danny into the West End. He leased the small “Irving Theatre” (it seated 75) off Leicester Square, and presented a revue named “Men Only”. This was a showcase for the newly christened Danny La Rue, and when the producer Cecil Landeau visited the show he offered Ted and  Danny the opportunity to work at Churchill’s Club in Bond Street. Danny was to spend the next three years at Churchills, the club was run by Harry Meadows at this time.

 

 

Whilst at Churchill’s Danny appeared in the once nightly revues, some of them presented by Ted Gatty. One of the last revues featuring Danny was  presented by Gatty- “Dames & Dolls” (April 1956) and starred Ted Gatty (his 3rd engagement) with Ravic & Babs, Anne Hart, Patricia and Neil Delrina, Danny La Rue and Michael O’Connor.

 

Ted continued to stage and appear in Churchill’s revues after Danny finished his residency there.

 

1956 Winston’s Nightclub

After leaving Churchills,, Danny accepted a residency from Bruce Brace at Winstons Club,in Clifford Street, where he was to remain as the main attraction for the next seven years, fitting in his pantomime seasons with Alan Haynes.

 

The revues at Winstons  were highly topical, and ran for three months before changing over to the next show.

 

Great Yarmouth Summer Season - 1981

 

The artistes who appeared onstage at Winstons each night were regulars, and were often appearing in West End theatre at the same time. The “regulars” included Barbara Windsor, and Ronnie Corbett, who frequently performed in routines with Danny, as did Toni Palmer, Maggie Fitzgibbon, Victor Spinetti, Barry Cryer, Linda Baron, Anne Hart (later to marry Ronnie Corbett) and Terry Donavan (later to marry Barry Cryer) and regular appearances by Sandra Caron (Sister of Alma Cogan), Johhny Webb, Barbara Ferris, Paddy Edwards and Janet Howse.

 

Danny was the star of the midnight cabarets, and later producer of the floor shows at Winstons.

 

In 1959 Bryan Blackburn wrote the revue “So This Is London” starring Danny La Rue for Winston’s Nightclub. The show featured Victor Spinetti, Toni Palmer, Johnny Webb, Paddy Edwards and Janet Howse..

 

Other revue titles included “Life Begins In Mayfair” (1960) . Joining Danny were Ronnie Corbett, Ann Hart, Linda Baron, Laura Dana, Johhny Webb and “The Eight Mayfair Models”. In 1961 the revues included “Winston’s Merry Go Round” starring Danny with Sandra Caron, Toni Palmer, and Terry Donovan, “This Is Your Night Life”, with Barry Cryer and Ted Dicks joining Danny, and “Meet Me In Mayfair” saw Danny with Victor Spinetti, Barbara Ferris and Maria Pavlou.

 

1964 - After ten years of experience in clubland, in 1964 Danny La Rue opened his own club (in partnership with David Lowes)  called “Danny La Rue’s” in 17 Hanover Square London.

 

DANNY BOY OWN BOSS! (The Stage January 30th 1964)

La Rue leaves Winstons Club.

“Danny La Rue for six years the star of Winstons club revue, is launching out on his own.

 

Danny has bought the Bal Tabarin, just off Hanover Square, which until its closure last summer, was run on playboy club lines by Paul Raymond. It is expected there will be a resident show, headed, of course, by Danny himself. The name of the room will be changed to “Danny La Rue’s”.

 

The First night’s audience included Paul McCartney, Lionel Bart, Jack Hylton, Jill Bennett, Willis Hall, Lita Rosa, Frankie Howerd, Leslie Crowther, and Alma Cogan.

The costumes were created by Cynthia Tingey (of Palladium fame) and staged by Pamela Devis.

The show featured many West End  performers who left their theatres each night, and started work at Danny’s club an hour later. These included Barry Cryer, Sheila O’Neill and David Teguri, Clovissa Newcombe, Mike Billington, Janet House and Valerie Walsh.

 

Written By Barry Cryer, additional material by Bill Solly, Musical arranger Brian Ashe, Music by Ian Cameron Quartet

Featuring Danny La Rue, Toni Palmer, Jenny Logan, Mary Preston, Valerie Walsh, David Ellen and George Giles.

Devised and Produced by Danny La Rue.

 

Extract   One (3 mins)  Two (4 mins 22 secs)  Three (7 mins 50 secs)  Four (14 mins 44 secs)

These are MP3 files

 

Danny La Rue’s had long residencies for performers like Ronnie Corbett  and Ann Hart, and the club featured a regular company that included Toni Palmer, Jenny Logan, Clovissa Newcombe, Valerie Walsh, Rod McLennan and George Giles. Danny’s costumes were created by Mark Canter. David Toguri was principal dancer, and later Peter Gordeno, dancing with Sheila O’Neill replaced him at the club.

 

The club swiftly became a Mecca of late night entertainment, and attracted an audience that included  the top stars appearing in London, family groups celebrating, and Dukes and Duchesses by the score!

 

As the club played to capacity each evening, it was rare for Danny to get away on holiday- a problem he solved by inviting Larry Grayson to hold the fort for two weeks, and take over the star spot.

 

“Danny La Rue’s” finally closed its doors in 1972.

 

The West End Shows:

 

In 1966 Danny starred in “Come Spy With Me” at the Whitehall Theatre London. It was written for him by Bryan Blackburn, with Danny starring alongside Barbara Windsor, as Mavis, with Gary Miller, Richard Wattis, Valerie Walsh and Barrie Gosney. The show was directed by Ned Sherrin.

 

Come Spy With Me - Danny and Barbara Windsor

 

“Come Spy With Me” toured before coming into the West End, opening at the Oxford New Theatre, then the Theatre Royal Brighton, and the Golders Green Hippodrome. Gary Miller, playing a James Bond type character suffered a heart attack during the Oxford run, and was replaced by his understudy, Craig Hunter, until his return a few months later. The show ran for Fifteen months at the Whitehall. The cast change saw June Hunt (before changing her name to Jan Hunt!) replacing Barbara Windsor, and Alan Curtis replacing Alfred Marks. At the same time Danny was appearing each night at his club in Hanover Square, leaving the theatre at 10pm and appearing on stage at his club each evening at midnight.

Come Spy With Me - Cast Change Programme

 

The business for “Come Spy With Me” received an extra boost when Danny La Rue became the unwitting star of television’s “This Is Your Life” as the production opened.

 

A Television version was produced by LWT a decade later.

 

In 1969 Danny was honoured by The Variety Club as “Show business Personality Of The Year”, presented by Lord Delfont.

 

In 1970 Danny bought “The Swan Hotel” in Streatley, a beautiful riverside property on the Thames in Berkshire.

 

1971 “Danny La Rue At The Palace” starring Danny La Rue and Roy Hudd, at London’s Palace Theatre.

Bernard Delfont and Emile Littler presented the show, which also featured Toni Palmer, David Ellen, and Jackie Sands. Directed by Freddie Carpenter, the dances were staged by Lionel Blair.The show was written by Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh, with additional material by Bryan Blackburn.

 

Danny At The Palace

 

Sketches included a “Mrs.World” competition 1970 (with Danny as Mrs. UK) and Danny’s “Ladies” included Lady Cynthia Grope, and a Wild West scene where he appeared as Fanny Oakley, opposite Roy Hudd as Wild Bill Hickock!

 

Roy Hudd and Danny La Rue

 

“Danny La Rue At The Palace” ran for two years, grossing over one and a half million pounds. The costume budget for Danny’s costumes was ten thousand pounds- an enormous amount at that time.

 

Danny At The Palace

 

1982 “Hello Dolly” at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre starring Danny La Rue as Dolly Levi was later presented in London’s “Prince Of Wales” Theatre. Produced by Duncan C. Weldon and Richard M. Mills for Bernard Delfont. It opened in the West End on January 3rd 1984 for a four month season, with a cast including Lionel Jeffries, Lorna Dallas, Michael Sadler, Jeremy Hawk, Mark Haddigan, Pollyann Turner, Carole Kaye, Sue Latimer, Brendan Barry, David Ellen and Christopher Marlowe. It was directed by Peter Coe.

 

Peter Robbins, Britt Eckland, Danny La Rue and Nigel Ellacott

Picture taken at Brick Lane Gala 2001

 

In the 1990's he played Albin in La Cage aux Folles at Barry Young's Star Light Rooms and also at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds. We are very grateful to Michael Fordred for this information

 

2007- “Hello Danny” at The Benidorm Palace in Spain. Danny took part in a show that celebrated his life and career, alongside Jerry Lane.

 

Television:

 

BBC TV’s long running show, “The Good Old Days” from the City Varieties, Leeds featured Danny La Rue on several occasions. In the 1970 appearance he sang his hit number “On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep”, first recorded in 1968.

 

Extract from MY OLD MAN SAID FOLLOW THE VAN

From YouTube

 

ON MOTHER KELLY'S DOORSTEP

Not from The Good Old Days but taken from TV Quiz Show 3-2-1

From YouTube

 

THE MARROW SONG (OH! WHAT A BEAUTY!)

From YouTube

 

Danny La Rue also appeared in The Royal Variety Shows of 1969, in which he appeared with Ginger Rogers, Tom Jones, Cilla Black and Des O’Connor among others, and the 1972 Variety Show, and the 1978 Command performance with Liberace.

 

1968 “An Evening With Danny La Rue” London Weekend Television.

 

1969  “Charley’s Aunt”-“From Brazil- Where The Nuts Come From!”

Danny played Lord Fancourt Babberley , aka “Charley’s Aunt” for the BBC.

This was a colour production, and saw Danny as a more alluring and outrageous version of this Edwardian classic. The cast included Coral Browne, Ronnie Barker, Dinsdale Landen, John Standing and Robert Coote.

 

Danny and Arthur Askey - Production Unknown

1972 “Danny La Rue At The Palace” highlights of the West End Show on Television.

 

Extract from DANNY AT THE PALACE

From YouTube

 

1973 “The Queen Of Hearts”- a television pantomime recorded at the Oxford New, and broadcast on Christmas Day. It also featured Peggy Mount and Alan Haynes.

 

Danny in 1973

1974 A Christmas Television Special.

 

LWT presented a version of “Come Spy With Me” in 1977. In this version Danny La Rue revised his role as “Danny Rhodes”, secret Agent, as did Barbara Windsor as “Mavis”, and Alfred Marks as Dr.Fink Irene Handl played Momma Fink, and Patrick Carghill played Gribble, head of MI6. The television version also featured Clovissa Newcombe, Jacqui Toye, David Moreton and Isobel Hurll.

 

EXTRACT FROM COME SPY WITH ME

Link Opens in YouTube 

Danny La Rue- “The Ladies I Love”.

 

1981 Danny is once again performing in the Royal Variety Performance in a sequence entitled 'A Grand Cavalcade of Blackpool Entertainment' alongside Jacquie Toye and The Lavelle Twins in a section entitled 'Showbusiness'.

 

 

1986 “Cinderella” (The Shoe Must Go On) television pantomime with Danny as the glamorous Stepmother. This Television Panto also featured Brian Conley as Dandini, Cheryl Baker as Cinderella, Roy Hudd and Brian Murphy (The Sisters) with Faith Brown as Fairy Godmother, and Jimmy Cricket as Baron.

 

FILM:

 

1970 “Dear Sir Or Madam”.

 

1972 “Our Miss Fred”- Danny starred in the feature film as Fred Wimbush. The film featured Lance Percival, Alfred Marks, Lally Bowers, Frances De La Tour and Walter Gotell.

 

 

The plot revolves around sea-side entertainer, Fred Wimbush who is called up to join the army, and finds himself in France. When the German army invades the camp, Fred is dressed as a lady in mid concert party, and is forced to hide away in disguise. Alfred Marks played General Brincker, Lally Bowers played Miss Fodden, and Frances De La Tour played Miss Lockhart. Many of Danny’s scenes involved Lance Percival as RAF Officer Smallpiece!

 

Extract from OUR MISS FRED

From YouTube

 

1973 Danny returned to the West End with “The Danny La Rue” Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre. This £150,000  spectacular was presented by Bernard Delfont, and featured Mike Goddard, Johhny Hart, David Ellen, Clovissa Newcombe, Jenny Layland, Jimmy Hunt and the Tommy Shaw Dancers. Danny’s “team” of director Freddie Carpenter, writer Bryan Blackburn and Mark Canto and Berkley Sutcliffe were on hand.

 

This was the year that Danny made public his intention to “give up the frocks” for good, and retire his portfolio of “Ladies” concentrating on other aspects of his career. Thankfully eighteen months later, he was persuaded otherwise.

 

That same year he appeared in a Summer Season at the Opera House Blackpool, with Toni Palmer and Mike Goddard entitled “Danny La Rue’s International Spectacular”, presented by Bernard Delfont.

 

In 1976 Danny had sold “The Swan”, and bought the stately Walton Hall Hotel in Stratford Upon Avon (a 69 bedroom hotel) which he owned until it was sold in 1982.

 

1987 Danny published his autobiography “From Drags To Riches”.

 

2004- Danny toured in “A Night At The Music Hall” for Derek Grant. “Bless ‘Em All”, and appearances in his own shows at the Pleasance Theatre, London, Brick Lane Music Hall.

 

2007 “Hello Danny” at The Benidorm Palace, Spain.

 

Danny as Marlene

THE PANTOMIMES

 

Danny began his pantomime career playing Ugly Sister in 1956, partnering the more experienced “Sister”, Alan Haynes. Within a year they were working for the top management Tom Arnold, an association that lasted for fourteen years. When they ended their partnership (both working as solo Dames) they had become the highest paid “Sisters” in the country.

 

1956

“Cinderella” at the New Regal Cinema, Gloucester. This was Danny’s first pantomime as Ugly Sister with his partner Alan Haynes. Presented by Davy Kaye, who starred as Buttons, it boasted a “Cast Of 40” and featured Edna Savage, Donald B. Stuart, , Pat Edwards, Danny La Rue & Alan Haynes, Eddie Black, Derek Dixon and Lorrae Desmond.

Cinderella at the New Regal Cinema, Gloucester

1957

“Cinderella” at the Finsbury Park Empire for Moss Empires/Tom Arnold. This was the start of a fourteen year association with Tom Arnold. Starring Dave King, Carol Eric, Jimmy Lee, Carol Payne and Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue.

 

“Alan Haynes and Danny La Rue bring modernity to the part of “Ugly Sisters”. Their striking wardrobe pokes fun at present fashions” (The Stage).

 

Danny La Rue and Alan Haynes as Ugly Sisters

1958

“Cinderella” at the Manchester Palace. Presented by Julian Wylie & Tom Arnold it starred Bob Monkhouse in his first pantomime, with his Television partner Dennis Goodwin, Danny La Rue & Alan Haynes, The 3 Monarchs (as Brokers Men), Margaret Mitchell, Sally Bazely, Ann Banbury, Grace Rich, Walter Kavan and George Arnett.

 

1959

“Cinderella” at The Empire, Newcastle. Starring Glenn Melvyn, Danny Ross with the 3 Monarchs, Margo Henderson, Bobby Thompson, Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue and Dawn Chappie.

 

1960       

“Cinderella” at Nottingham Theatre Royal starring Lonnie Donegan, Audrey Jeans, The 3 Monarchs, Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue, Terry Donovan, Jill Westlake and George Arnett. Terry Donovan worked with Danny at Winstons, and is Mrs. Barry Cryer.

 

1961

“Cinderella” at The Birmingham Hippodrome. Presented by Emile Littler and Tom Arnold. Again this pantomime starred Lonnie Donegan (Singing his hit “My Old Man’s A Dustman”) the Three Monarchs, Audrey Jeans and Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue.

 

1962

“Cinderella” at the Leeds Grand. For the third year Lonnie Donegan starred as “Buttons” with the 3 Monarchs, Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue, Pat Lancaster, Jill Westlake and Betty Emery.

 

1963

“Cinderella” at the Bournemouth Pavilion. Presented by Emile Littler Tom Arnold, and Howard & Wyndham. “Buttons” was the Welsh star Stan Stennett (Stan recently celebrated his 83rd birthday,and is currently touring in “Bless ‘Em All”) Elizabeth Larner, Hope and Keen, Alan Haynes & Danny La Rue, Wendy Wayne, Jill Westlake and George Arnett.

 

*Danny opened his club “Danny La Rue’s” in Hanover Square in March 1964. He appeared on stage each evening at midnight.

1964

“Cinderella” at the New Theatre, Oxford. Starring Des O’Connor,Yana, Alan Haynes and Danny La Rue, Erica Yorke and Jack Douglas, George Arnett, Wendy Cameron and Camilla Powell.

 

1965

“Cinderella” at the Golders Green Hippodrome. Starring Dickie Henderson with Danny La Rue as” Fabrina” and Alan Haynes as “Marlene,” with Erica Yorke, Camilla Powell, Lionel Murton, Patricia Kilgarif and Alan Barnes. 

Danny La Rue and Alan Haynes… in a quick succession of completely outrageous costumes from Op Art to Belisha Beacons to Fruit Baskets, they posture and prance across the stage in accents and mannerisms reminiscent of two lovable vulgar raddled old trollops riveting the attention to every syllable uttered, and movement made” (The Stage).

In 1966 Danny La Rue did not appear in pantomime. He was starring in the musical “Come Spy With Me” at the Whitehall Theatre London. Alan Haynes played Solo Dame in “Robinson Crusoe”. The “Carry On” stars were Sid James and Kenneth Connor with Daily and Wayne and Erica Yorke.

 

That same year, Danny became a member of the Grand Order Of Water Rats. He was eventually to become King Rat.

1967

“Sleeping Beauty” at the Golders Green Hippodrome. Danny La Rue had star billing in this pantomime as the Queen. Alan Haynes appeared  as “The Queen Mother”. The show also featured Ray Fell, Kevin Scott ,Pamela Gale, Derek Royle, Dorothy Dampier (as “Carabosse”) with Moya Donnelly, (Principal Girl)  Pamela Gale, George Giles, Barry Wade and John Perrin. Danny’s costumes were designed (as always) by Mark Cantor, the scenery by Tod Kingman and the script by Danny’s writer, Bryan Blackburn. Danny and Alan impersonated some current pop stars including Lulu, Sandie Shaw and Julie Felix. 

This was the last pantomime at the Golders Green Hippodrome. At the close of the run the Theatre was converted into a BBC television Studio. On February 18th 1968 Danny took part in the “Au Revoir” show along with Alan Haynes, Vera Lynn, Renee Houston, Joan Regan, Bud Flanagan and “The Kinks”.

1968

“Queen Passionella & The Sleeping Beauty” at the Saville Theatre London. This pantomime was a more lavish version of the previous year, and starred Danny as Queen Passionella, with Alan Haynes as “Mavis, The Queen Mother”. Written by Bryan Blackburn and directed by Freddie Carpenter, with scenic designs by Berkley Sutcliffe. It featured  Ray Fell (“Presto The jester”), Dorothy Dampier, Moya Donnelly, Kevin Scott (as Prince Michael), David Ellen, Jackie Sands, William Redmond, and Paul & Peta Pages Puppets.

 

The show ran until June 1968, taking over £250,000, and achieved the longest run in the history of West End Pantomime.

 

1969

No Information

 

1970

Danny was appearing in “Danny La Rue at the Palace” Theatre.

 

1971

No Information

 

1972

“Queen Of Hearts” at the Palace Manchester. Presented by Bernard Delfont.

 

1973

No Pantomime: Danny in “The Danny La Rue” Show at the Prince Of Wales theatre. 16 Months season.

 

1974

No Pantomime:  A Television Panto presented on Christmas Day Starring Danny La Rue.

 

1975

“The Exciting Adventures of Queen Danniella, at the Casino Theatre (now the Prince Edward Theatre). Presented by Bernard Delfont. The same team of Blackburn, Sutcliffe, Mark Cantor and Freddie Carpenter created this pantomime especially for Danny La Rue. It featured Moyra Fraser, Sheila White, Alan Haynes, David Ellen, Fred Evans, Jenny Layland and Paul and Peta Pages puppets.

 

1976

“Queen Danniella” at the Coventry Theatre.

 

1977

No pantomime: Danny La Rue & Company  played a season at the Wakefield Theatre Club.

 

1978

“Aladdin” at the London Palladium. Presented by Louis Benjamin. Danny La Rue starring as “The Merry Widow Twankey” with Alfred Marks, Wayne Sleep as the Genii, Wei Wei Wong, Dilys Watling, Bryan Marshall, David Ellen, Johhny Hutch and The Halfwits, Chris Connah, Paul Foulds and Robert Clifton. The director and choreographer was Dougie Squires.

 

1979

Danny spent the year touring Australia with his show.

 

1980

“Aladdin” at The Bristol Hippodrome. Danny La Rue as “The Merry Widow Twankey” Presented by Louis Benjamin, with Brian Marshall (Wishee Washee) David Ellen, Geraldine Gardner, Jane Danielle (Princess), Michael Kilgariff, Julieanne White and Johnny Hutch and the Half-Wits.

 

1981

“Aladdin” at The Birmingham Hippodrome. Danny La Rue with Dilys Watling (as Aladdin), Brian Marshall, Leon Green (Abanazar) Guy Gregory (Slave of the Lamp), David Ellen and Johhny Hutch and the Halfwits. This run was extended by several weeks due to high demand.

 

Click on Image to Enlarge

 

1982

Unknown

 

1983

No Pantomime this year. Danny La Rue appearing in “Hello Dolly” at the Prince Of Wales Theatre, London.

 

1984

Click on Images to Enlarge

“Mother Goose” at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. Danny as Mother Goose with Patricia Michael (as Colin), Pollyanne Tanner, Billy Boyle, Kay Lyell, David Ellen, Aubrey Woods, Charles West and the Simmons Brothers. This Pantomime had Peggy Mount co-starring as The Fairy, but due to ill health  Patsy Rowlands replaced Peggy Mount for the season.

 

1985

Click on Image to Enlarge

“Mother Goose” at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham. Danny La Rue, Lionel Jeffries, Isla St. Clair, Kay Lyell, Robert Aldous, The Simmons Brothers and David Ellen.

 

1986

“Mother Goose” at the Theatre Royal Bath. Presented by Duncan C.Weldon and Jerome Minskof, produced by Peter Elliott. It starred Danny as Mother Goose with The Simmons Brothers, Joe Church, Jenny Logan (as “Colin”), Kay Lyell (as “Priscilla”) and Robert Aldous. It was written and directed by Brian Blackburn.

 

1987

“Mother Goose “ at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Produced by Peter Elliott. Danny with the Simmons Brothers, Jenny Logan, Robert Aldous, Leon Greene, David Ellen, Kay Lyell,, Lisa Mulidore. It was directed by John Chilvers.

 

In 1987 Danny was made King Rat, presiding over the G.O.W.R- The Grand Order Of Water Rats,

1988

“Aladdin” at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool. Presented By John Farrow. Danny starring as “The Merry Widow Twankey” with Ken Platt (Emperor), Billy Pearce (Wishee Washee), Robert Aldous, David Ellen, Julie Fox, Sue Cotter, David Bell, The Lavelle Twins and Dorothy Brome. Written by Bryan Blackburn..

 

1989

“Aladdin” at the Civic, Halifax. Presented by John Farrow, directed by Mike Goddard. The pantomime starred Danny with Aiden J. Harvey, Peter Alexander, Robert Aldous, Jim & John Lavelle, Julie Fox, Sue Cotter, David Ellen, Dorothy Brome and the speciality act “Sherazade”.

 

1990

'Aladdin' at the Davenport Theatre, Stockport. The pantomime starred Danny with Rachel Friend, Mark Stevens, Robert Aldous and Peter Piper We are very grateful to Michael Butcher for this information.

 

1991

“Aladdin” at The Mayflower Southampton. Presented by Paul Elliott. Danny La Rue with Stefan Dennis, Michael Elphick and Allan Stewart, with Helen Way and Michael Ducarel.

 

1992

“Aladdin” at the Hippodrome Birmingham presented by Paul Elliott. Danny with Britt Ekland, Michael Elphick,Ray Conley, Alison Young, Dawson Chance, Rodney Charles and the Halfwits. Directed by Carole Todd.

 

1993

“Aladdin” at New Victoria, Woking. Presented by Paul Elliott Danny starred with Britt Ekland, Ray Meagher, Dawson Chance, Graham Bickley, Alison Young, Michael Ducarel, Lewis MacLeod and the Halfwits. Directed by Kim Gavin.

 

1994

“Aladdin” at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Produced by Paul Elliott for E&B/NTE. Danny starred with Gerald Harper and Karl Howman , Vicki Michelle and Allan Stewart with Dawson Chance and The Halfwits.The director was Roger Hannah.

 

1995

“Aladdin” at the Wimbledon Theatre, presented by Paul Elliott. With Karl Howman, Derek Griffiths, Amanda Reddington, Allan Stewart, Dawson Chance and Trojan.

 

1996

“Aladdin” at The Lyceum Sheffield. Produced by Paul Elliott for E&B/AMG. Danny starred alongside Les Dennis (as “Aladdin”) with Powys & Jones, Amanda Holden, Robert Aldous, Wilmot Mulley, Felicity Uhoda, Basil Soper and Aiden Slater.

 

1997

Click on Image to Enlarge

“Cinderella”, The Mayflower Southampton, presented by Paul Elliott. Starring Danny La Rue (As The Baroness Voluptua) and Brian Conley (Buttons), Miquel Brown, Dawson Chance, Brian Godfrey & David Moreton.

This pantomime was originally to star Dudley Moore as Buttons. Due to ill health shortly before rehearsals Brian Conley stepped in to play the role.

 

1998

“Cinderella” at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Produced by Paul Elliott. Danny La Rue co-starred with Brian Conley, Miquel Brown, Dawson Chance, Brian Godfrey & David Moreton (The Ugly Sisters).

 

1999

“Cinderella” at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth Presented by Paul Elliott Danny La Rue and Brian Conley. Dawson Chance, Miquel Brown, Catherine Debenham-Taylor, David Moreton & Brian Godfrey.

 

2000

Handbill

“Cinderella” at Woking. Produced by Paul Elliott. The Pantomime starred Danny, Bobby Davro and Melinda Messenger with Russ Kane. Brian Godfrey & David Moreton.

 

2001

“Snow White” at Theatre Royal Plymouth. A Qdos Production. Danny La Rue as “Danniella” with Britt Ekland (as “Wicked Queen”), Dave Benson Phillips (as “Muddles”) and Rhodri Williams (as Prince) with Emily Trebicki.

 

2002

Handbill

“Cinderella” at The Swan, Wycombe. Presented by Qdos. Danny La Rue as The Baroness Voluptua, Dave Benson Phillips( as “Buttons”) and Kevin Woodford with David Moreton and Simon Butteriss (As “The Ugly Sisters”).

 

Danny La Rue received the OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list in 2002 for his services to theatre and for his charity work.

2003

“Cinderella” at the Theatre Royal Nottingham. Presented by Qdos. Danny played The Fairy Godmother this year, alongside Bobby Davro, Alex Lovell and David Moreton and Brian Godfrey (as “The Ugly Sisters”).

 

Danny, Alex Lovell and Bobby Davro

2004

Click on Image to Enlarge

“Cinderella” New Theatre Cardiff, Presented by Qdos. Starring Danny La Rue as Fairy Godmother. with Dave Benson Phillips, Brian Godfrey & Tony Wright (The Ugly Sisters) and Powys & Jones.

 

2005

Handbill

“Cinderella” at The Ashcroft Theatre,Croydon. For Duo Entertainment. Danny La Rue as Fairy Godmother with Stephen Mulhern (“Buttons”), Carly Hillman (“Cinderella”), Des Coleman (as “Dandini”) and Simon Bashford and Mark Two (as “The Ugly Sisters”). The director was Richard Cadell.

 

In early 2006  Danny suffered a mild stroke, and his theatre work for that year was cancelled on the advice of his doctors. In 2007 Danny made appearances in a show created about his life and career called “Hello Danny” at the Benidorm Palace in Spain, and has recently made several radio broadcasts, as well as attending theatre functions and charity events. On the 31st May 2009 Danny died peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer.

 

On the 12th March 2010 a selection of Danny's outfits went under the hammer at an auction at the Brick Lane Music Hall - read our report.

 

BBC NEWS STORY including tribute from Barbara Windsor

BBC NEWS - Further article

BBC - Danny La Rue in Pictures

The Stage Obituary

The Telegraph Obituary

The Independent Obituary

The Times Obituary

Article from The Times - Danny La Rue, Charmer in a Frock by Nicholas Parsons

Times Online Obituary

Guardian Obituary

Article from The Guardian - Danny La Rue Glittered, and was Gold by Michael Billington

Article from WhatsOnStage - Wotcher Mates: Danny Departs by Michael Coveney

 

 

This page was last updated 13th June 2010

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