Biography of Bobby Drage - who has appeared on the same bill as Josef on occasion
|Born Harold Archibald Charles Stewart Drage, but known as Bobby, on
8th May 1926 in Montreal ,Canada.
1928/29.Moved to Early Haig Homes Moroon Surrey,First World War Veterans Home with Family.
1935.Dance training at the Dorothy Perfect School of Dancing Wimbledon, London. First show Wimbledon Theatre, aged 9years.
1938.Did shows for other children at local cinemas, Odeon & Gaumont theatres aged 12 years.
1941.Started in act"June & Bobby" for Delesia Whealer then put in act with 4 girls and Bobby called Delesia Five which went into the Syd Seymours "Mad Hatters Show.Touring all the cities in the U.K.
Then went into the Canadian Legendaries Entertainment Service putting on shows for the Canadian Forces in the war with an act called "Delesia Three", also in variety shows in the theatres with such stars as Max Miller, Hetty King, George Formby, Will Hay and other stars of the day.
1942.The group was then made into "Delesia 3" doing variety theatre show, then was put into a touring show called "Glamorous Desires"and also "Radio Music Hall" in small towns in U.K.
1943.At the age of 16 went with ENSA entertaining factory workers in "Workers Playtime"
1944 At 17 did my first West End Show called "Something for the Boys", a wartime musical by Bernard Delfont at the Coliseum Theatre ,starring Evelyn Doll, Jack & Daphne Barker & Bobby Write.
1945.Went off to India with an 18 concert party (ENSA Show) to entertain troops in the war against Japan touring all India and parts now known as Pakistan.
1946/47.Back to the U.K. and formed an act called "Drage Vivienne & Irene" a tap dancing act.Vivienne went to the same Dancing School as Bobby. Irene came from Newcastle on Tyne." We had Bernard Delfont as our Agent so got on all the number one cicuit Moss & Stoll theatres, working with stars like Winifred Atwell, Frankie Howard, Tommy Cooper, Bud Abbot & Lou Costello, Joy Nichols & Dorothy Squires.
"We as a trio were also in a Pantomime "Dick Whittington" once at Margate and the following year at Rotherham Yorkshire; I appeared as King Rat. We went into a show called "Mr Tower of London" a well known show that made Gracie Fields her name in 1916 with Archie Pitts, reproduced again in 1935 with Betty Driver, our show was with Tommy Fields and Ethel Manners playing the Gracie Fields part.
"Then we went on a tour of the American Zone of Germany entertaining U.S. forces stationed in their zone, then up to Denmark to play the National Scala Copenhagen.
"Back to the U.K. where Vivienne left the act and Irene and I did a summer season with Wee Alick Findlay in Gourick Scotland.
"1950.I was in my second West End show in London starring Ciceley Courtlidge in "Gay's the Word" at the Saville Theatre. It was the last Ivor Novello show before he died, which was produced by Jack Hulbert and presented by Tom Arnold.
"Whilst there the then King George and the Queen came and saw the show, the same year we were asked to perform one of our numbers in a Palladium Show for the Variety Artists Benelovent Fund, included on the bill were stars i/e Danny Kaye, Judy Garland, Laurence Olivier, Vivienne Leigh, Margeret Lockwood, Orson Wells, & Dicky Attenborough
"Joined Koragola Showboat but this show went bankrupt, then met June Wheeler, daughter of Jimmy Wheeler, well known comedian, did some T.V. shows with Jimmy Wheeler.
"1952.Got into the Blackpool Opera House in a George and Alfred Black show starring Terry-Thomas, Sam Preeney the concert pianist and Lester Ferguson, Opera star.
"The show was called "The Top of the Town" I had a featured dancing role. Jack Hilton came up to see the show and brought all the production back to the Victoria Palace London.
"1953.Opened up with the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace in Jack Hilton's Coronation show "Ring out the Bells" which lasted two years.Then joined the famous Chuchill's Night Club starring Renny Houston in the show called "Time on your Hands" Went into a pantomime in Manchester called "Old King Cole" with Vic Oliver.Then joined Jimmy Smiddle act miming to records then did dancing act with Wendy (Bobby Drage & Wendy) and after playing a few Moss & Stoll with Dorothy Squires went to the American Zone Germany and there into a show called "Mambo Jambo" then into a good show called "Lady be Good" with Sonny Hale playing Jeff the bellhop; back to a West End show at the Adelphie Theatre in the Strand called "United Notions" with Tommy Trinder & Pinky Lee.
"Then into a short show "Las Vegas after Dark" 1957.Left for my birth country and the city Montreal Canada and joined an all Canadian tour of Canada Production in a show called "My Fur Lady" all about Canadian way of life and a laugh at Canadian politics and getting a new flag for Canada.
"Toured 9 out of the 10 provinces. Stayed in Canada for about 4 years.
"1961.Left Vancouver Canada for New Zealand and stayed until 1964.
"1964.Went to Australia for 4 years doing T.V. shows and also Arts Council Autralian Theatre for young people. "1968.Went back to Auckland N.Z. and did small amount of T.V. and part in a show called "Peat & Po Terry Show". "1997Moved to Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast which is north of Wellington.
"1998.Compered for the "Ronnie Ronalde" show Now retired at 75 Years -2001.