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1939-1945 Work page 3

In another programme organised by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing at the London Palladium, in 1936, one can see how significant a role Marjorie was now playing at The Noreen Bush School. Item 12 lists her with Victor in arranging and producing 'Contrasts' performed by their pupils. And in Item 10 Noreen has arranged and produced 'Adage & Enchainements' for more pupils of the school. Of passing interest, also listed is a short work by the young Frederic Ashton and two by Michael Fokine. The reason for this diversion is to relate an anecdote which Noreen, against herself and better judgement, was often keen to recall with much laughter. One of her students is listed in the programme as Glynis Johns. Her father, Mervyn, was one of the most recognised British film actors of his day. On one occasion he visited Noreen for an assessment on his daughter's progress and potential. Noreen, thinking he was referring to her ballet, said that she had none. "Don't worry about that, Miss Bush," he replied, "she is going to be an actress." "But," Noreen replied, rather too quickly perhaps, "she'll never make an actress with a voice like that!" For those who cannot remember Glynis Johns, she became famous as a film and stage actress on both sides of the Atlantic and her main characteristic, which certainly enhanced her career, was her broken and husky childlike voice. Noreen ate humble-pie!

To see a programme of an ISTD 'All Star' matinée click here
- and here to see 'Contrasts' and 'Adage & Enchainements'.

With the growth of the school there was need for efficient day-to-day management. Victor was the man. He was not a teacher, though he would naturally spend hours coaching, creating and demonstrating steps and movements, and generally encouraging the students. Victor became the man 'to go to talk to'. This increasingly, though no less crucial, back-seat role lasted for about forty years until son Paul assumed responsibility for the school's management in 1969. Noreen had started to take a few classes at Doreen Austin's school, in North Audley Street. She was well-known as a 'tap specialist', and many young students of Victor and Marjorie, including those from her Romford school, were sent here for extra tuition. Daughter Jane recalls visiting her as does Betty Laine, who received all her training at the Romford school before embarking on a performing and teaching career and establishing her own influential school, now Laine Theatre Arts.


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