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William Roache wearing a mini dress for John Bowens play, "The Disorderly Women

William Roache wearing a mini dress for John Bowens play, 'The Disorderly Women


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William Roache wearing a mini dress for John Bowens play, "The Disorderly Women

William Roache wearing a mini dress for John Bowens play, " The Disorderly Women, " at the Stables Theatre Club in London, England on 3rd November 1970.
William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, the schoolteacher in Coronation Street, searched the better womens dress shops recently for a mini dress but had no luck because as he says London shops have gone almost midi and maxi and the few minis still left aren t frilly enough. So with the help of his wife, actress Anna Cropper he bought a mini costing 17 guineas and cut it up to size. He needs this mini for a scene in a new stage play called Disorderly Women. He plays Pentheus, a King with a problem. The women of his kingdom are lured by unseen force into the mountains. Any woman who goes to investigate stays there, so Pentheus is persuaded to dress himself up as a woman and go into the mountains to find out whats happening. 3rd November 1970

Charlie Ley
Daily Mirror
Mirrorpix
London
Greater London
England
DM 70 10437

Media ID 21763381

© Mirrorpix

Bill Roache Drag In Character Mini Dress Play 1970


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a moment in history when William Roache, best known for his role as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, defied fashion norms and donned a mini dress for John Bowens' play "The Disorderly Women". Taken on November 3rd, 1970 at the Stables Theatre Club in London, England, this image showcases Roache's bold choice to step outside of traditional gender roles. Intriguingly enough, Roache faced difficulty finding a suitable mini dress from women's clothing stores in London. With the assistance of his wife, actress Anna Cropper, he purchased a mini dress for £17 and tailored it to fit him perfectly. This attention to detail highlights Roache's commitment to portraying his character Pentheus convincingly. "The Disorderly Women" tells the story of Pentheus, a troubled king whose female subjects mysteriously disappear into the mountains. In an attempt to uncover the truth behind their disappearance, Pentheus disguises himself as a woman and ventures into the unknown. The scene captured in this photograph is undoubtedly one of great significance within the play. Preserved by Charlie Ley through Memory Lane Prints, this image serves as both a testament to Roache's versatility as an actor and an intriguing glimpse into fashion trends during that era. It reminds us that art has always pushed boundaries and challenged societal expectations – even on stage at small theater clubs like Stables Theatre Club back in 1970s London.

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