The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on August 9, 1959 · Page 18
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August 9, 1959

The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 18

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Racine, Wisconsin
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Sunday, August 9, 1959
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Page 18
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London Finonciol Center Invaded by Chorus Girls HACINE SUNDAY BVLIETIN AuRuni 9, 1959 Sec. 1, Page IS LONDON — (N£A) — The City, famed citadel of British high finaiice,'has been invaded by leggy chorus girls and the bankers love it. In fact, some of London's oldest and mo$t staid banking houses have put up the $200,000 for a theater to house the lovelies and are providing the theater site rent free. The American equivalent would be for the Chase Manhattan Bank and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith to put up the money for a music hall on the comer of Wall and Broad streets in downtown Manhattan. But London's new Mermaid Theater has a claim to its seemingly incongruous site. The City, as the oldest part of London is known, has not always been devoted to the counting of pounds and shillings. It was an entertainment center in Elizabethan England. Located on Thames The Mermaid, which has just opened its doors, is the strangest marriage of big business and the seven lively arts on record. Located at Puddle Dock on the Thames, the Mermaid is playing to packed houses with its opening offering, a rowdy musical titled "Lock Up Your Daughters." And the front rows gleam with the bald heads of the banking fraternity. The Mermaid marks the end of a .300-year-old fetid between London's merchant bankers and its actors. At one time a strolling player could not show his nose inside the City without being given the bum's rush. Mayor's Blessing Even Shakespeare was forced to move his famed Globe Theater to Southwark on the opposite bank of the Thames. Now all is peace on the thea­ trical front. The present lord mayor of London, Sir Harold Giliett, has given the Mermaid his blessing. His Worship even turned up opening night to accept delivery of a live mermaid in the shape of a tiny, blonde starlet, aged 4. Credit for^ London's most novel theatrical venture goes to 5 J-year-old comedian Bernard Miles, who looks more like a schoolmaster than a television, stage and .screen star. Having decided to locate a theater in the heart of Lon- don'.-j financial district. Miles persuaded the lord mayor and city aldermen to give him rent free a blitzed warehou.se on the riverfront. He then set about to collect the $200,000 to build his theater. The list of contributors to the Mermaid is a strange combination of business and culture. It includes the Royal Stock Exchange and the Anti- Trombone League, the duke of Devonshire and DeBeers Diamond Mines, the Gulbenkian Foundation and Shell-Mex and five dramatic critics. Hi-Jacktid Donation American contributors include U.S. Amba.ssador John Hay Whitney and the late actor Tyrone Power. Miles managed to hi-Jack a sizeable donation from a tonic manufacturer by mailing them an appeal for funds in an an cient tonic bottle which had been dredged from the Thames at the theater site. In locating his theater among the money temples, the comedian is .seeking to restore Eng lish drama to its rightful cradle. The Mermaid is directly opposite the site of Shake speare's Globe Theater and not far from the tavern where Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in a drunken brawl. Hititorical Associations The river Thames near the theater site reeks with historical associations. It was here that Queen Elizabeth knighted Sir Francis Drake aboard the latter's ship. It was here, too, that Sir Christoplier Wren watched the magnificent dome of St. Paul's Cathedral being erected. The Mermaid Theater is not far from Pilgrim's Steps, where the Pilgrims set out on the first stage of their voyage to America aboard the Mayflower. Mindful of the site's historical links, comedian Miles plans to present English clas;;- ics as well as modern plays, grand opera as well as jazz. "Lock Up Your Daughters" is a bawdy musical of which the, Elizabethans would have ap-' London Lord Mayor Sir Harold Giliett was greeted by this 4 -year-old "mermaid" on the opening night of the Mermaid Theater in the heart of the city. proved, according to Miles. i people should have a thunder"The theater is a place where ling good time," he says. DOWNTOWN MOST STORES OPEN til 9 P. M SPECIAH 10-in-One PAINT DECORATOR'S KIT Everything You Need To Point a Room! Simplify your room pointing rpquircments once and <or oil! Lool<; vshot you get; Pointer 's Cop, roller, roller troy, paint 3.50 VALUE paddle, wipe cloth, sandpaper, point con opener, spocVIe, paint brush end 9'xl2.' ^ ^VmJ drop cloth. Get yours tnmonow'. We Are Your Headquarters for DUTCH BOY & DEVOE PAINTS Servi^a ROC'^.Q Since ':?• PAINT DIPT. • ME 2-2724 • 315 SIXTH ST. 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