“50 Years of Seaside Entertaining”
A Talk by Brian Freeland
Seaside holidays started with King George III: seaside entertainment started with donkey rides and Punch & Judy, developed through the Minstrels and the Pierrots to the Concert Parties, and ended with cheap foreign holidays and colour television.
Was any holiday complete without a visit to the summer show or concert party? The very names conjure up the period – Sandy Powell’s Startime; Cyril Fletcher’s Summer Masquerade; Hedley Claxton’s Gaytime; The Fol-de-Rols and Clarkson Rose’s Twinkle. Clarkie and his partner Olive Fox presented their first Twinkle on Ryde Pier in 1921. Over the following 47 years Twinkle had resident summer seasons, with tours in the spring and autumn. In the winter months Clarkie was one of our busiest and best-loved pantomime dames.
THE STORY OF TWINKLE IS VERY MUCH THE STORY OF BRITISH SEASIDE ENTERTAINMENT DURING THAT PERIOD. Clarkson Rose joined his first Pierrot show in Sussex in 1914, and staged his last TWINKLE season in Devon in 1967.
50 YEARS OF SEASIDE ENTERTAINMENT is a ‘solo performance’ with costumes and props, some songs and a dance.
Brian Freeland is a Speaker, Playwright and Author. Brian’s theatre career started in 1959, direct from National Service, and has taken him to forty-three different countries including three residencies in the Middle East, eight tours of the Indian sub-continent and two circumnavigations of the globe. He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Scottish Opera, Sadler’s Wells and London Festival Ballet Companies, Nottingham Playhouse, Manchester Library Theatre and Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop Company. Approaching retirement he started to ‘branch out’ – directing, writing scripts and giving Talks.