Gertie Miller as Pierrot in Our Miss Gibbs

Gertie Miller as Pierrot in Our Miss Gibbs

The picture shows Gertie Millar, one of the hugely popular Gaiety Girls. Our Miss Gibbs used Gertie's own Bradford background. As Mary Gibbs, she played a Yorkshire lass working at a department store called Garrods. Audiences had no trouble recognising the send up of Harrods. You see her here in the dark blue Pierrot costume she wore to sing 'Moonstruck', one of the highlights of the show. She danced like a moonbeam, and had the tiniest feet on the stage. Her voice had an infectious flirtatious giggle, which can still be heard in the recordings of the song that she made at the time. The show was written for Gertie by her husband Lionel Monckton, who wrote many of the great musical comedies for George Edwardes. In fact, it was Lionel who spotted Gertie performing in Manchester. The 40 year old bachelor was so struck by her clear, reed-like voice, strong sense of comedy and graceful dancing that he persuaded Edwardes to hire her. During her first show in London, Lionel proposed. Gertie accepted, and he wrote nearly all her numbers throughout her career. After he died in 1924, Gertie married the Earl of Dudley.