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Vesta Tilley posted 1909

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vesta Tilley

 

Matilda Alice Powles (13 May 1864 – 16 September 1952) was an English music hall performer. She adopted the stage name Vesta Tilley and became one of the best-known male impersonators of her era. Her career lasted from 1869 until 1920. Starting in provincial theatres with her father as manager, she performed her first season in London in 1874. She typically performed as a dandy or fop, also playing other roles. She found additional success as a principal boy in pantomime.

By the 1890s, Tilley was England’s highest earning woman. She was also a star in the vaudeville circuit in the United States, touring a total of six times. She married Walter de Frece, a theatre impresario who became her new manager and songwriter. At a Royal Command Performance in 1912, she scandalised Queen Mary because she was wearing trousers. During the First World War she was known as “England’s greatest recruiting sergeant” since she sang patriotic songs dressed in khaki fatigues like a soldier and promoted enlistment drives.

Becoming Lady de Frece in 1919, she decided to retire and made a year-long farewell tour from which all profits went to children’s hospitals. Her last performance was in 1920 at the Coliseum Theatre, London. She then supported her husband when he became a Member of Parliament and later retired with him to Monte Carlo. She died in 1952 on a visit to London and is buried at Putney Vale Cemetery. Her life story was commemorated in the 1957 film After the Ball.

 

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vesta Tilley (Rotary 175 A)

July 19, 2020 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vesta Tilley (B. B. London)

July 19, 2020 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vesta Tilley (Philco 6)

Vesta Tilley (Philco 6)

April 3, 2016 Posted by | Deltiology, Risqué, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vesta Tilley (Rotary 175 V)

Vesta Tilley (Rotary 175 V) 1906

 

Matilda Alice Powles (13 May 1864 – 16 September 1952), was an English music hall performer who adopted, at age 11, the stage name Vesta Tilley and who became one of the most famous male impersonators of her era. She was a star in both Britain and the United States for over thirty years.

January 21, 2015 Posted by | Deltiology, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment