Pierrot troops in Rhyl

There was a long tradition of Pierrot Troops appearing in summer seasons in Rhyl. They were in effect a complete variety team, focussing in particular on song and dance routines and comedy sketches. Although they appeared elsewhere, the Coliseum Theatre, for most of its life alfresco, and latterly covered, was the theatre most associated with this form of entertainment.

As well as E.H. Williams, the other group most associated with Rhyl was Billie Manders and his Quaintesques who performed in the town for over twenty years. The troop had several female impersonators, of whom Billie was the foremost, although Harry Tracy from the Channel Islands was also prominent.

This amazing video from the BFI archive goes back to an earlier time in the Pierrot history in 1901, The reason we have this footage is due to the activity of Arthur Cheetham, the cinema pioneer who was based in Rhyl, set up a very early cinema here.   …

E.H. Williams Pierrot troop

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