Sheila Van Damm 1956

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  • Description

    Great M/Ss and C/U of Sheila Van Damm driving along streets in the West End of London in an open top car, an Alpine Sunbeam. She drives into Windmill Street; we see good shot of exterior of The Windmill Theatre in daylight taken from the car as Sheila pulls up outside. A doorman opens the car door for her.

    C/U of a man fixing a name plate for Sheila to a door, then opening the door for Sheila to walk through into her office. Commentator explains that prize-winning racing driver Sheila is retiring to concentrate on a career in show business, preparing for the time when she will take over the running of the Windmill from her father Vivian Van Damm. On the desk in her office Sheila picks up some red roses with an 'L' plate attached; C/U as she turns the plate over to read the inscription 'Rally to Ballet / Snow to Shows / Good Luck / Mummy'.

    M/Ss as Sheila arranges various trophies and racing souvenirs on her desk and window sill; Mr Van Damm enters the office and speaks to Sheila; C/Us of pictures and souvenirs of Sheila's motoring career alongside portraits of Windmill girls on the wall; Sheila and her father walk out of the office. M/S as they start to walk up a stairway (a sign points to the roof); they stop to let some Windmill girls in scanty costumes come down the stairs.

    Sheila and Vivian enter the wardrobe department; lots of fittings and sewing taking place; Carole Logan is having a gold and green ballet costume fitted. Vivian points out features of the dress to Sheila; C/U of Mary Hall, wardrobe mistress for 15 years, as she discusses the costume.

    M/Ss of the rehearsal room where a bevy of glamorous girls in tight sweaters and dancing knickers (of the most glam variety, naturally) are practising a samba routine and shaking maracas (if only I'd been around then!). Other girls and some men stand and sit around the room watching; choreographer Maisie Cryer, former Folies Bergere and Ziegfeld Girl, sits with Sheila to discuss the number.

    M/S of Sheila in the prompt corner of the wings of the theatre, talking with Stage Director Johnny Gale; an electrician moves a spotlight from the wings to the stage and various girls in 'Old King Cole' costumes walk move onto stage under Johnny's direction. Johnny points out features of the stage to Sheila.

    Other Windmill girls seen in passing are Kathleen Cooper, Rosemary Phillips, Rae Berry, Sadie Comben, Marianne Hatton (all in staircase scene); Doris Deal, Jill Turner, Yvette Davies, Vicki Darnell (in 'Old King Cole' costumes).

    Note: there is an inter-organisation memo on file from the Windmill press office about the filming of this story, plus general PR info about the theatre and stars discovered there.

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  • Data

    Archive
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    09/01/1956
    Sound:
    Sound
    Media URN:
    3110
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    203.06
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration
    00:03:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    01:13:00:00 / 01:16:27:00
    Canister:
    CP 054
    Sort Number:
    CP 054
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    Jill Millard Windmill tour of theatre City Secret LONDON City Walk 2
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Comments (1)

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  • "Alpine Sunbeam" should read Sunbeam Alpine.

    "Windmill Street" should read Great Windmill Street.

    jamied 28th Aug 2012

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