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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1950 to ca. 1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on card

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Kingsway Recorders Ltd

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Fol-de-Rols were musical revues, first staged at Scarborough in 1911 as summer seaside entertainment. The mixture of comedy sketches and song was popular with holiday makers and the Fol-de-Rols became a regular summer feature. After World War I their producer, George Royle, went into partnership with Greatrex (Rex) Newman, staging Fol-de-Rols shows in Hastings, Westcliff-on-Sea, Eastbourne, Sandown and Llandudno. Royle retired in 1935 but Newman continued to present the shows, for which he wrote much of the material. During World War II the Fol-de-Rols company entertained the troops as part of ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and the popularity of the seaside shows continued throughout the 1940s and 50s, with a winter tour being added. In 1960 Newman sold the Fol-de-Rols to impresarios Jack Hylton and Hugh Charles. Charles took over the running of the shows and continued to present summer seasons and winter tours. Newman still wrote for them, providing topical material and lyrics, but, as the 1960s progressed, the Fol-de-Rols found themselves competing with other forms of entertainment. The last big seaside show was staged in 1968, though there was a tour in 1969 and attempts were made to revive the shows on a smaller scale in the 1970s.

In their heydays in the 1950s and early 1960s the Fol-de-Rols employed many of the major names in light entertainment. New costumes and scenery were created for each season by leading designers, including Alec Shanks and St John Roper. This design is one of a collection of preliminary designs and artwork for Fol-de-Rols scenery which was made for the scene painters, Alick Johnstone Ltd. Alick Johnstone ran a highly successful workshop, founded in 1921, which created the scenery for the majority of West End and touring shows for over 50 years.

The design for a drop cloth was used in a scene entitled 'Empire and the chandeliers' which featured in the Fol-de-Rols tour.

Physical description

Design showing a stamp for Scotland. The design depicts mountains and lake.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1950 to ca. 1960 (made)


Unknown (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on card


Height: 23 cm, Width: 16 cm

Object history note

One of a collection of designs made for the scene painters, Alick Johnstone Ltd, of Macklin Street, London.

Descriptive line

Design for the Fol-de-Rols musical revue, showing a stamp for Scotland, ca. 1950-1960


Watercolour; Paper; Card


Drawing (image-making); Painting


Entertainment & Leisure; Designs; Scotland


Theatre and Performance Collection

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