A balancing act: Renee Houston - a career in film and the variety stage

Gates, S. (2019) A balancing act: Renee Houston - a career in film and the variety stage. Visual Culture in Britain, 20(3), pp. 239-260. (doi: 10.1080/14714787.2019.1686417)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Between the two great wars the British variety theatre and film developed a complex interrelationship in which performers negotiated new challenges: emerging technologies, strong management structures and fierce competition. Taking the career of Renee Houston (1902–80) as a case study, this article details her comedy double act with her sister (Billie) in drag. The Houston Sisters worked their way from local cine-variety to national fame on radio, the live stage and film, while Renee’s subsequent solo career mapped the trajectory of popular entertainment in a period which introduced modernism, talking pictures, radio broadcasting and greater freedom of expression for women.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gates, Sam
Authors: Gates, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Visual Culture in Britain
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1941-8361
Published Online:19 December 2019

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record