In Praise of Trailblazers in Petticoats – By Fintan O’Toole

Culture Shock : The late Danny La Rue was one of the best known, but Ireland has produced its fair share of cross-dressers who corssed boundaries

Before he became Danny La Rue, Danny Carroll made his debut as a female impersonator in a skit of the now-forgotten melodrama White Cargo. He was 18 at the time, and serving in the Royal Navy. John Gielgud saw his performance and urged him to become a professional entertainer, which, after the end of the second World War, he did. What is interesting, though, is that in that burlesque of White Cargo, he played, not just a woman, but a black woman.