Dorothy Ward as Principal Boy
Early 20th century
Black and white photograph
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Dorothy Ward was one of the most famous principal boys of the 20th century, who made the role far more feminine than it had been before. She first appeared in a pantomime in 1905 and she first appeared as a boy in 1910. She was still playing the role 47 years later. Her husband, Shaun Glenville, was also a performer and the couple were often in the same pantomime with Shaun playing the Dame. Dorothy Ward's last appearance as Principal Boy was at the Prince of Wales' Theatre, Liverpool, in 1957. Dorothy Ward also worked on the Variety stage singing popular songs such as 'Take me back to Dear Old Blighty', and 'The Sheik of Araby' and she performed with a group of children known as 'Dorothy's Dots'. During the war, she worked with ENSA who organised entertainment for the troops.