Billy Girls Play Musical Statues with Pavlova???
Date: 27 June 2006
The ballet girls in the multi award-winning musical Billy Elliot helped erect a statue of prima ballerina Anna Pavlova on the roof of the Victoria Palace this afternoon (27 June 2006), to replace the original statue of the dancer (who was born in St Petersburg in 1881), which was part of the original design when the theatre was built in 1911. In 1910 Alfred Butt took over what at the time was the oldest music hall in London and demolished it to build the Victoria Palace, which was designed by Frank Matcham and built by Henry Lovatt Ltd and opened on 6th November 1911. As homage to the dancer that Butt introduced to the London stage with such success the same year, a statue of Anna Pavlova was erected on top of the theatre. The statue was taken down in 1939 to avoid being damaged in the Blitz and has not been seen since. A replica has been made to complete the building once again, 95 years after it was first constructed. The replica statue has been created by Harry Franchetti. Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, who took over the reins at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1991, said: We are delighted to be able to put Pavlova back on top of the Victoria Palace, while we are hosting Billy Elliot, in which a boy achieves his dream of becoming a dancer.
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