Ashley Banjo and Diversity may be the headliners of this year's Southend pantomime, but back in 1922, these folk were the stars of the show.

And not surprisingly there was a lot less diversity around then when it came to stage actors in the Roaring Twenties.

The images in our vintage gallery show the cast of 'Dick Whittington and his Cat' which ran for one week only in December 1922, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Southend.


On the bill was Sybil Gray as the Principal Girl,Claire Williamson as Joe Spinnaker , Elsie Endia as Polly Flanders and and Frank Victor as the baddie, Rodentus.

Chas Falla provided the slapstick on stage as 'the shrinkable comedian while keeping with panto tradition, the title role was played by a woman. Victoria Carmen, a popular stage actress of the day stepped into Dick Whittington's boots to played the lead.


The Southend Pictorial newspaper reported how the show was 'drawing huge crowds' during its run and that performances were often sold out.

One of the highlights of the show was Dick Whittington's 'amazing Diamond Ship', made up of a myriad of crystals.


The Hippodrome in Southchurch Road, had been built by the renowned theatre architect Bertie Crew in 1909. In 1928 the curtain would close on the theatrical chapter of the building's life and it would be turned into the Gaumont Cinema.


Meanwhile Southend theatre-goers could look forward to another pantomime starting in late December 1922. This time it was 'Mother Goose who Lived in a Shoe' and was due to play at the Ambassador's Theatre in nearby Tyler's Avenue.