Programme cover for Night Lights

Programme cover for Night Lights

Programme cover for Charles Cochran's show Night Lights
1930s
Trocadero Grillroom, London
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Trocadero Grillroom was one of the major restaurants in Piccadilly Circus. The link through the first half is the Trocadero itself. The Argyll Rooms, as it was called in the 19th century, inspired a sketch with an enticing mix of well-to-do gentlemen and ladies of the night, who frequented the masquerade balls there. The Trocadero Music Hall was an excuse to string together familiar music hall songs. It then came up to date with 'the Grillroom today', which flattered the audience by presenting them as fashionable flappers, in a number choreographed by the great Buddy Bradley. In the second half A Fragonard Picture, a ballet, was shown, choreographed by Antony Tudor, one of many young artists Cochran employed before they became famous. At first, Cochran used his famous Young Ladies at the Trocadero. They were delighted as it meant they drew two wages – one for appearances in the current revue at the London Pavilion and one from the Trocadero cabaret. Later, Cochran auditioned 300 girls to find a separate chorus for the Trocadero. Not one was suitable. So the Young Ladies at the Trocadero went on drawing two wages.