It’s a sad day for all of us here, with the news that Yvonne Marsh has passed away aged 85.
Yvonne starred in our Christmas pantomimes and played a part in a number of Sunday night variety shows.
One of the country’s leading principal boys, she portrayed the likes of Prince Charming and Aladdin, opposite stars like John Inman (Mr Humphries in the much-loved Are You Being Served) and Crossroads and Last of The Summer Wine favourite Kathy Staff.
As well as starring in them, Yvonne directed a string of Theatre Royal pantomimes, after she made such an impression with her first performance here. That was in 1975, when she played the titular role in Aladdin.
She also had an extensive career outside of pantomime, starring alongside dance legend Margot Fonteyn in the 1948 drama film The Little Ballerina. She would go on to perform in places as far afield as Cyprus, Singapore and Johannesburg, and from 1988-93, played Madge Cartwright in the BBC comedy You Rang, M’Lord?.
Her sister, Jean Marsh, played Sara Kingdom in Doctor Who and starred in the BBC’s Upstairs, Downstairs, as well as its 2010 revival.
Jane Walsh, Pantomime Executive Producer at the Theatre Royal, said:
“Yvonne Marsh was a key part of the panto team on-stage and off through the late Seventies and into the early Eighties.
“Her stunning voice and incredible on-stage presence made her a must-see and a mainstay of the show for many years.
“In addition, she directed the pantomime for four years helping to bring together a host of top stars and helped make the festive spectacular a key part of the theatregoing calendar.
“Her legacy at helping to build up the Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime into such a success with stunning production values and a talented cast is still evident today, and she has played a big part in leaving thousands of theatregoers with lots of happy panto memories.”
Yvonne is fondly remembered by all of us who worked with her.
1976’s Dick Whittington
1978’s Babes In The Wood
1980’s Robinson Crusoe
1982’s Mother Goose