The story of the dancing cross-dressing marquis

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

THE story of the flamboyant cross-dressing 5th Marquis of Anglesey who gained notoriety for his unusual antics is coming to Bangor and Caernarfon.

“How to Win Against History” is a musical about the eccentric aristocrat Henry Cyril Paget. The ‘dancing’ marquis inherited his formal Anglesey title in 1898, at the age of twenty-one, and was declared bankrupt just six years later.

He spent his fortune on bejewelled dresses, poodles dyed lilac, a fleet of cars modified to give out rose-scented exhaust fumes and touring Germany with an enigmatic show called “The Famous Electric Butterfly Dance.”

The musical is written by and performed by Seiriol Davies, who was inspired to write the show by his upbringing in Anglesey and his childhood visits to Plas Neywdd.

Seiriol Davies said: “I grew up on Anglesey, the island on top of Wales, and as a kid I'd visit Plas Newydd the ancestral seat of the Marquises of Anglesey.

”There were busts and paintings honouring the 1st Marquis, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th. Then of the 5th… there was a laminated printout of a handful of pictures in the back porch above the doormat. Because this guy was ‘different’

“He looks like Freddie Mercury having gone for a run through Elizabeth Duke's wearing a sellotape suit. But this isn’t some ‘poor little rich boy’ story, it’s about wanting to be part of the world, and the feeling not necessarily being mutual.”

A huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festiva, the show will be touring England and Wales before a Young Vic run over Christmas. 

The show has received rave reviews, including four stars from the Sunday Times and Guardian and five stars from Time Out and Telegraph.

The show is being held at Pontio, Bangor, at 8pm, on October 5-6. Tickets | £12 (£10 concs) Contact:  www.pontio.co.uk 01248 382828. (The Bangor performances are in collaboration with Pontio, October 5-6.)

The UK tour runs from October 5 – November 25, the Young Vic:  November 30 – December 30. The Welsh Tour runs from November 1 – November 25.

The show is written and composed by Seiriol Davies and Directed by Alex Swift. It is presented by Áine Flanagan Productions, Seiriol Davies and The Young Vic.

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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