“On With The Dance”

Ernest Thesiger as Violet Banks,

Curate, and other characters

Palace Theatre, Manchester

March 17, 1925

London Pavilion

229 perf


"You will also see Thesiger, who made a wonderful success as the Dauphin in St Joan, and now gets a much bigger salary for pretending to be a lady undressing for bed."

Bernard Shaw, letter to Siegfried Trebitsch

Even Clergymen Are Naughty Now And Then

by Noel Coward

Vicar - Douglas Byng

Curate - Ernest Thesiger

Verse I

People have a wrong idea of Members of the Cloth;

It’s really an enjoyable profession.

And though we don’t indulge in much frivolity and froth

We really haven’t cause for much depression.

Our lives are full of jollity and gaiety and fun,

With christenings and funerals and such,

There’s not a week goes by

In which someone doesn’t die,

So we really mustn’t grumble very much.

Refrain I

When we wake up in the morning and the birds are trilling

There is something thrilling

In the air;

CURATE:I can feel my pulses starting

As I struggle with my parting,

And my thoughts go gaily darting

Here and there.

When we visit village invalids on New Year’s Day

We’re really just as gay

As other men;

VICAR:Mrs Jones whom I was chaffing

Had a fit and died from laughing.

BOTH:Even clergymen are naughty

Now and then.

Verse 2

VICAR: The villagers will never disregard a festive cause

To join in any humble sale or raffle,

And every Christmas evening I appear as Santa Claus,

A good disguise which never fails to baffle.

A whist drive in the Parish Room

Could only be described

As a positively brilliant affair.

And when old Mrs Meyer

Gives a picnic for the choir

It’s really almost more than we can bear.

Refrain 2

BOTH:When we wake up in the morning and the weather’s bad

We’re really always glad

To be alive.

VICAR:With a faithful repetition

Of our family tradition

Every year a new addition

Will arrive.

BOTH:Though we fill the cup of duty to the very brim

Ideas may sometimes swim

Into our ken.

CURATE:When our thoughts are most volcanic

We remember in our panic

Even clergymen are naughty

Now and then.

The Illustrated London News, June 6, 1925

“The most comical thing in the revue is the Vicarage Garden Party on the lines of a musical comedy, with Miss Hermione Baddeley giving a clever and cruel burlesque of Nellie, the heroine, and Mr. Ernest Thesiger and Mr. Douglas Byng, as two clergymen, singing the funniest number of the evening.”

The Era, May 9, 1925

The Tatler, April 22, 1925

The Sphere, April 25, 1925