charters part one
1945-1969 page 10
Paul recounts a little known incident from this time when he thinks his father could have created, or influenced, this motif as passed on by Stanley: "I was down from London for the weekend and Stanley was visiting to get advice on steps from my father; Stanley was in rehearsal for La Fille. Father of course, new all the tricks of the trade when it came to music-hall hoofing. Holding on to the breakfast counter which separated the kitchen from the sitting area the floor had Italianate tiles - very noisy. With the high-pitched squawking of Happy (the infamous cockatoo!) at his worst, the noise was deafening, but mostly hilarious. This cacophony went on for ages, Mama as usual, interjecting but fascinated, whilst everyone shouted at Happy. Then without warning, my father had keeled over twisting his ankle - the 'gin and it' may have contributed but it took a long time for his ankle to heal. I've often wondered whether Stanley took one of those steps back to Sir Fred and the rehearsal studio, immortalising my father in a ballet - a type of dance he didn't especially like!"
In 1956 John Field was appointed director of Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, to be renamed Royal Ballet Touring Company four years later. Among the young dancers he acquired was Doreen Wells about whom he is quoted as saying, "She had a text-book technique and the widest range of any dancer I have ever known." The groundwork for this technique and her developing artistry had been provided by Marjorie and her team at Romford where Doreen trained until she was accepted at the Sadler's Wells School in 1954, aged 17. Noreen had a hand in her early successes in arranging and coaching dances, amongst others, for her Solo Seal and the Adeline Genée Gold Medal. Her range of talent was broad and it was not until she retired from company work in 1974 that she was able to indulge her other passion for musical theatre. She appeared in a number of West End shows, notably, 'On Your Toes' and '42nd Street'.