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Variety bill at the Derby Castle, Douglas

Date(s): July 1913

Creator(s): various

Scope & Content: The bill lists acts appearing at the Derby Castle entertainment complex which was situated at the far end of Douglas promenade underneath Onchan Head. Florrie Forde is at the bottom of the bill but she had star billing and was booked for most of the season, returning year after year to entertain visiting holiday makers.

Thanks to the research of Maurice Powell we have learned that it was at the Derby Castle that she first sang 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary', before it became universally popular. Florrie sang it as her act finale on 21 July 1913 and the song was retained thereafter due to its success with the audience. It was adopted by British troops in the First World War.

Administration / Biographical History: Florrie Forde (1875-1940) was one of the biggest names in music hall before and after the First World War, and her career certainly had some Manx connections - one of her most famous songs was ‘Kelly from the Isle of Man’, a ballad about a Manx woman trying to find her lost husband in London. Florrie was born in Australia and found some fame there, ending up as a big hit in London - performing for the King in 1912 and later touring the Western Front throughout the First World War. She died after performing for patients at a hospital in Aberdeen in 1940.

Language: eng

Extent: 64 x 25 cm

Item name: variety bill

Collection: Print & Poster Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: P.6620/1/3

Record class: Business

Subject tags : #MM100

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