Went with Katie to Sloane Square to interview Lady Scott Hopkins for Tender Souls and had a very jolly couple of hours in her twinkling company.
As Geraldine Hargreaves, a young dancer straight out of Arts Ed, she made her debut at Richmond in 1941, performing twice daily in Aladdin. Often the company would play through the air raids - interrupted only by the house manager who felt it his duty to inform the audience that the bombs were imminent, but hoped that they'd stay and enjoy the show nonetheless. The Dame would then step forward and to cheers announce that Widow Twankey's laundry would never closed. Although Geraldine had digs close to the venue, many of the company preferred to sleep in the dressing rooms hunkered up like mice. It was apparently warm, cosy and the management gave them blankets.
After the war she continued to dance with the touring Anglo-Polish ballet and even had an opportunity to go to Monte Carlo to join the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas where later Nureyev defected, before marrying a Conservative politician and settling down.
'My husband used to laugh whenever we were on the road because I'd always say 'oh I've played here.' Then once we were in Paris and he took me to The Moulin Rouge and said 'well here's one theatre you haven't played in.' 'No' I replied 'but I've danced with her and her and her.'
The most moving moment of the interview came when she described the joy of dancing.
'I only really managed to get it right three or form times in my whole career, when the music and my movement and the audience's understanding and appreciation all came together. But when it did - oh it was ectasy!'