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'A Couple of Swells - Vesta and Hetty' by Sarah Archer

Vesta Tilley and Hetty King were international superstars and rivals who wowed audiences around the globe with their male impersonator acts over 100 years ago.

In this show, Vesta and Hetty are brought to life again, and thrown together, (not that they're happy about it!) ... to share their stories with you, and to determine once and for all, which of them was Queen of the original Drag Kings.

The show will include a number of classic music hall songs, including ‘Following in Father’s Footsteps’, ‘Burlington Bertie from Bow’, and lots more.

And ... at the end of the show you will decide which woman wins the title of the best male impersonator in the world.

If you love old time music hall, then this will be right up your alley!

This is the latest ★★★★ sell-out production from Lemon Squeeze.

Age suitability: 12 +
 60 mins
Ideal Venue Capacity: 50+

If you would like us to bring A Couple of Swells - Vesta and Hetty to your venue, please get in touch. (Email [email protected])

Our tour pack will be available soon... 

Audience reviews....

"Absolutely obsessed with how good the show was!"

"All of it was fantastic!"

"Loved the sing along"

"Thoroughly enjoyed it, loved it"

"Archer plays Tilley with such decorum and class that not only showcases the privileged lifestyle she had, but by claiming she was one of the originals that started the trend of dressing as a man alongside Marie Lloyd and Nelly Power. Whilst this is true, Archer plays to the crowd, using this as an anchor to creatively 'shade' the newcomer of King to keep her in her place through comedy.

Hopkins on the other hand fights back well by channelling King's comedic feistiness, but takes a more serious route when personally attacked by Tilley.

She calls out how Tilley encouraged young men to sign up for their own death in battle. Archer and Hopkins cleverly use the rivalry to their advantage though, as they create magic in their set, engaging with the audience and clearly enjoying the experience.

Using both different styles of comedy of Tilley and King not only gives a fantastic celebration of music hall, but an interesting exploration of life itself using entertainment as a platform..."

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Sascha Cooper, Broadway Baby

Original cast...

Sarah Archer
Vesta Tilley

Playwright, Actor, Comedian


Sarah Archer - Headshot

Emma Hopkins
Hetty King

Emma Hopkins - Headshot


My Charleston Dance

Production Gallery

📸 Photo credit: Fred Stonell [www.fredstonell.com]

Interview with Vicky Pattison @recollectionsofvestatilley

Vicky is a descendant of Vesta's and she has been researching and celebrating her life for the last few years, we were understandably excited to connect with her on instagram [click here]
- you can hear Sarah's interview with her below -

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