ONE of the world’s best-loved dame’s most extravagant costumes is now on display in a special exhibition at the Wyvern Theatre.
Danny La Rue, who today would have celebrated his 87th birthday, frequented the town’s theatre during his heyday, and even had a dressing room named after him after performing two sell-out shows.
Now, one of his most fabulous sequined dresses is back at the Wyvern until 6pm on Monday after a special loan from Qdos Enter-tainments, which bought the gown at auction in 2010.
Linda Tyson was one of the first people to visit the exhibition.
The 66-year-old from West Swindon said: “I’m of an age where I can remember Danny La Rue on the television.
“I never got to see him on the stage but I remember watching him on the TV and all the fantastic costumes he wore.
“I think this one is just beautiful. I felt it and felt the weight of it and I don’t know how he managed to wear it without bending in two.
“He’s such a legend and it’s wonderful to be able to come along and see it, I just wish there were more. You don’t get showmanship like his these days.”
The free exhibition is part of a revamp of the theatre’s accessible entrance to the rear of the building, which now includes a photograph of the entertainer from when he visited the town to unveil the Danny La Rue Dressing Room.
Wyvern marketing manager Richard Loftus said: “When we found the photograph of Danny La Rue opening the dressing room in our archive we decided to put it up in one of our doors to make it as attractive and inviting as the main entrance.
“Before it was just a bit of glass but now it is a little bit more appealing, and we also have the costume on display.
“It’s just beautiful but it’s so heavy, because it’s not just a dress it’s a cloak as well, I can’t imagine how he got out on stage in it under the lights and heat to do a show. It’s from an era that we just don’t have any more.”
Danny La Rue was best known for his female impersonations, including Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and Margaret Thatcher.
He also played Dolly in Hello, Dolly, alongside Pollyann Tanner, principal at Tanwood School for Performing Arts.
Wyvern Theatre director Derek Aldridge said: “I hope as many people as possible can join us for this theatrical treat.
“I am delighted that, once again, the Wyvern Theatre is creating new and exciting events alongside our popular stage productions.”