Unusual footage of auditions for a revue show at the Windmill Theatre in 1932.
No story title at start. Introductory intertitle reads: "It would need Einstein to calculate the number of girls who at one time or another have secretly longed to "go on the Stage". To a beginner, the cold atmosphere of a critical audition is the hardest initial test."
Another intertitle reads: "SCENE - Inside any prospective Theatre. TIME - Morning. PERSONNEL - Dancers, prospective and no-prospective. Singers. Funny men and general mix-up of Producers. Stage hands, Agents, Photographers, etc." Then another "So - On with the audition! Filmed at the Windmill Theatre, London."
M/S of a director sitting on the stage pointing at a group of girls and telling them to come up to the stage. Shot from the stage of the auditorium. Several people sit in the theatre seats, others stand at the back.
M/S of the director as the hopefuls file past him. He tells them not to sit down: "I can't spend a minute with you." he says. He makes most of the girls pass by him. One girl is asked where she has danced before, she replies "The Lyceum" and is told to pass along. A saucy looking brunette is told: "I said blondes!" She does a cheeky salute. He asks one of the girls where she has been, she says "Chelsea Follies".
M/S of some of the girls undressing backstage. They take off their skirts. M/S of group of men - probably comedians or other acts. The girls walk out onto the stage in their dancing outfits - little shorts and vest tops. "Dancers, Singers, would-be (and won't-be) Actors and Actresses - all sorts and all sizes, pass before the watchful eyes of the critics - " Short shot of the director smoking a cigarette in a long holder talking to two chorus girls. High angle shot of group of girls standing on stage. Panning shot of their legs from a low angle.
View of those sitting and standing in the auditorium - director and another man look at the girls. More shots of the girls' legs and of them standing on stage. One of the girls does a cartwheel, the splits and a little bit of tap dancing. Sequence featuring a girl in shiny black outfit doing a tap dance.
Comedy sketch is performed for the director. One comedian is dressed as a cowboy, the other a Canadian Mountie I think. (Sound missing for next shot.) Exterior shot - man in a military uniform and director (?) leave a pub (?) and then walk into the Windmill Theatre. Back on stage with the Mountie and cowboy. Man in military uniform enters stage right. It is very hard to work out exactly what is going on here. Someone has the "wrong boots" on.
"And so the hours pass by - auditions - rehearsals - and the thousand and one items of the show's preparation - " We hear the director shout "OK girls, now start your pony trot!" Low angle shot of chorus girls dressed in little pony outfits trotting along with other girls holding on to their reins! Only a short shot - alas!
Note: sound is a little poor on this story as it has been recorded in situ. I think that the shows at the Windmill Theatre at this time were called "REVUDEVILLE" - check spelling.
Safety print exists.