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Stately Barrett Manor

Miss Hetty King

I found this while going through a cache of old sheet music that had belonged to my grandmother:

Miss Hetty King

So who was Miss Hetty King, what was she doing dressed as a man, and why did this piece of sheet music end up in the posession of my straight-laced grandmother?

It seems that Hetty King was the stage name of Winifred Emms, daughter of music hall star Will King (stage name of William Emms). Hetty was a maile impersonator, a straight woman who played male roles to the delight of music hall audiences.

Back when I first put this page together, there was little online about Hetty King other than a piece written by a family member. It had lots of intersting material, but it is now gone. Instead, here's a piece from a site called Voices of Variety, that contains an interview with Miss Hetty King along with a sound recording and footage from British Pathe'. There are also bits of a documentary filmed when she was 87 years old, in what may have been one of her last performances. I hope I have that much energy should I live to be that age.