Monday, November 22, 2010

Fred Astaire in Cardiff

In 1928, Fred Astaire, along with his sister Adele, spent two weeks at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff. They were starring in Funny Face at the Empire Theatre. Music for the show had been written by George and Ira Gershwin. It had already been a hit on Broadway and before its London run the people of south Wales had a fortnight to enjoy it. Tickets sold well and the Astaires played to packed and enthusiastic houses. Fred, talking to local press in Cardiff, said he was thinking of making a movie. Not long afterwards he did a screen test for Paramount but was not considered suitable for films. At another audition for RKO it was said of him: "Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little." Soon afterwards, together with Ginger Rogers, he would become a massive screen star.