Josephine Baker at the Prince Edward Theatre, 1933

Josephine Baker at the Prince Edward Theatre, 1933

This programme is for the first appearance of the great singer and dancer Josephine Baker in London in 1933. She had been a legend in Paris since her first appearance, wearing little more than a feather, in La Revue Nègre in 1925. The London programme's photographs show her wearing considerably more than her famous banana skirt. Here she wears male evening dress. There was always a certain androgynous (both male and female) quality to Baker. At her first performance, despite her nakedness, more than one reviewer found both male and female qualities in her. So it was not surprising that Baker dressed as a man as part of her act. It is the advertisement on the back cover that hints at her glamour image. Part of Baker's charm was that, behind the sophistication, the nudity, the cross-dressing, the feathers and glitter, she still seemed a naughty child projecting not so much sexuality, as a good time.