His great-grandfather was one of the best-known pantomime dames – more than a century ago!
And now, Fenton Gray is continuing the family tradition by appearing as Widow Twankey in the Marina Theatre’s annual pantomime Aladdin.
Fenton’s great-grandfather was Dan Crawley (real name Daniel Crowley) who was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1872.
At the age of 16, he was already appearing as a dancer on stage and soon branched out as a comedian.
For several seasons, at about the age of 20, Dan was a regular performer at “Chappell’s Ring” on the sands at Great Yarmouth.
He was also particularly successful as a pantomime dame along with his infamous music hall act.
Dan appeared in many theatre productions across the country, notably playing Widow Twankey in Aladdin at The Royal Theatre in Glasgow, Tyne Theatre in Newcastle and at the Royal Theatre in Edinburgh in the early 1900’s.
Now, more than a century on from those famous exploits, Fenton Gray is returning to the Marina Theatre for a second consecutive year.
And Fenton is set to play the same fictional washer woman as his great-grandfather did – all those years ago.
Aladdin runs at the Marina for 32 performances – from December 13 until January 1.
The show also stars former politician and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Ann Widdecombe, and A1 boyband singer Mark Read.
Along with his esteemed acting career, Fenton is also a singer, director and teacher.
He directed Julian Clary in his pantomime debut as Dandini at the Theatre Royal Brighton in 2000 and the success of this led to him working on Julian’s one-man touring shows.
Book now to see Fenton in action by calling 01502 533200 or by visiting the website!
Picture shows Dan Crawley (pictured left) with the legendary Harry Lauder. Fenton Gray is pictured right.