Eddie Childs, married to Jack McNaughton’s sister Betty, was a dancer and panto dame and appeared in musical comedies, revue and panto. Here are a few highlights of his career.
From January 1925 Eddie was in the revue By the Way at the Apollo Theatre in London. Dance routines from By the Way were filmed by Pathé. In this clip Jack Hulbert and Eddie Childs (on the right in the clip) do a tap dance routine. Dancing Marionettes seem to be puppet bodies with real women’s faces on top. Perhaps the women have their heads poking through holes in the stage curtain – difficult to tell. Highly bizarre! Chorus girls do a high kick routine.
Eddie appeared in Sunny at the Prince’s Theatre, Bristol between 1926 and 1927.
During the Blitz Eddie was still entertaining the London crowds. Not long after his Brother-in-law Jack McNaughton had appeared in The Gate Revue Eddie was appearing in the first revival of White Horse Inn at the Coliseum in London. He played Sigismund in the show, which ran twice daily for its first nine weeks from 20 March. Shows were cancelled on Monday 9 September due to a heavy weekend blitz and resumed for matinees only due to nightly bombing raids and eventually closed.
This caricature from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection shows Eddie Childs as Admiral Travers in Sally at the Oxford New Theatre on 29 November 1952. It was drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976), a rehearsal pianist and orchestral violinist at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 1932 until 1936, and at the Oxford New Theatre from 1936 for over forty years. Sommerlad sketched the stars on stage when he wasn’t needed in the orchestra pit, compiling the sketches in a series of albums.
This revival of Sally, a musical comedy by Guy Bolton with music by Jerome Kern, opened in Oxford on 24 November 1952 and toured up and down the UK. It was originally produced in London at the Winter Gardens in 1921, and featured the song Look for the Silver Lining.
In 1954 Eddie was the dame in panto at the Brighton Hippodrome then in The Belle of New York at the Bristol Hippodrome between 1954 and 1955.