Plucked straight from the 1940s, The Bailey Dolls take you on a rip-roaring ride down memory lane in a performance as jubilant as a V-Day street party.
Expect flawless harmonies and stunning vintage dresses.
We caught up with Rita, Ronnie and Kitty to talk all things Bailey Dolls, from glitz to the blitz.
For people who are new to The Bailey Dolls, how would you describe yourselves in as few words as possible?
How did the idea for The Bailey Dolls first come to you? Was it something you’d always wanted to do?
Merrilyn was brought up immersed in Swing and Jazz of the 1930s-50s as her grandfather was a Jazz trumpeter. He made sure she was surrounded by those musical styles and that she watched all the movie musicals of that era. She fell in love with the music and fashion!
Merrilyn put together the first Bailey Dolls line up in Adelaide whilst studying for a Batchelor of music in classical voice at the conservatoire of music. Our UK line up came about later when Merrilyn met Catherine at theAmerican Musical Theatre Academy of London and then fate brought Gillian along.
All the dolls have a shared love of all things vintage, and most importantly are all tiny enough to line up together!
A big part of what makes The Bailey Dolls unique is the theatrical element to your shows. Did you always intend to be a cabaret act or did the acting just develop from the wartime era songs you sang?
The cabaret show came first as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.As musical theatre performers, it was a way of combining writing and producing original theatre pieces with vintage songs and style. When Merrilyn moved over here and formed the UK Bailey Dolls, we began with a Christmas cabaret in London. We moved on to doing wartime/1940s themed festivals, fairs, weddings
and corporate events from there.
Have you ever thought of moving into acting or has it always been about the music?
We all have professional musical theatre training and acting forms part of that.We do all do individual acting work as well and have worked in theatre, short films and TV commercials. Catherine’s about to start rehearsing for a theatre production of Frankenstein in
the West Midlands this autumn.
You formed in Australia and perform annually at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. How do you find performing
in Australia as opposed to the UK?
It’s hotter and easier to sell tickets! Adelaide Fringe is the second biggest fringe festival in the world outside of Edinburgh, so it’s similar