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  • Writer's pictureLinda Jane Holmes

Baddie to Baroness & An Electrifying Corset! | Baroness Bolsover

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

As the Victorian Baroness, I'm delighted to be entertaining audiences around the country with my Afternoon Tea Etiquette Talk along with my historical Town Tours of Bolsover.

Having worked in professional theatre for over 35 years and with a fascination for Victorian history I’m delighted to combine my two passions with the creation of the one and only Baroness of Bolsover... a far cry from my early acting roles!

Princess to Principal Boy

After leaving drama school in 1984 I secured my first professional acting job in pantomime that year playing Princess Rose Petal but soon got promoted to playing the more exciting thigh-slapping Principal Boy roles of Dick Whittington and Aladdin (seen here wearing the traditionally short Principal Boy tunic in Derby Theatre's 1992 Production of Aladdin).

It wasn’t long before I was playing a variety of roles in repertory theatre at both Manchester Library Theatre Co. and Oldham Coliseum. Follies, Blood Brothers and Chicago were amongst my favourite shows.

You Gotta Get A Gimmick

Playing vaudeville stripper Miss Electra in the musical Gypsy, directed by the magnificent Paul Kerryson MBE, was a highlight of my early acting career.

As a gimmick for her act, Electra’s corset lights up in various strategic places on her torso... I recall it being most uncomfortable!

I wasn't aware back then that electric corsets had been all the rage at the end of the 19th century!

They didn’t light up as Miss Electra's, but they did promise to cure just about everything from rheumatism to hysteria and a bargain at only 5/6d.

These days I'll settle with wearing my gorgeous and oh so comfy Afternoon Tea Gown, which I had specially made for the Baroness.

It's a rather elaborate dressing gown and a corset is definitely not required!

Life on Tour

Touring life is tough, spending long weeks away from home, so it’s important to get on well with everyone.

It was whilst playing brash Northerner, Rita, in the National Tour of Billy Liar in the 1980’s where I met the lovely Nigel Ellacott who played my long suffering boyfriend Arthur.

Nigel is most famous for being one of Britain’s best-loved Pantomime Dames on the pantomime circuit for over 40 years. Being undoubtedly amongst the most glamorous, he’s designed hundreds of his own dresses for his numerous roles.

I was thrilled therefore when Nigel (seen here sporting a truly amazing Picnic Dress) shared his expertise with me to help create a new outfit for the Baroness along with a fabulous new Flower Pot Hat.

Baddie to Baroness

Sadly one can’t play the dashing Principal Boy roles for ever, it’s exhausting for one thing, and as a maturing actress it's a natural progression to move on to playing the panto Goody or Baddie roles. Queen Rat in Dick Whittington... what fun, walking out onto the stage to receive an almighty Boo from the audience. You just don’t have to take it personally.

My last theatre role was playing a rather eccentric and utterly frivolous Baroness Hard-up in Cinderella. Maybe this is no co-incidence, for there are certainly elements of pantomime in my Victorian Baroness Bolsover, as witnessed in an outing to Old Bolsover Yard.

Panto is fun, light-hearted, colourful and always with a happy ending, something we all need in our lives, especially in the dark gloomy days of winter, the traditional season of Pantomime

Do’s & Don’ts of Afternoon Tea Etiquette

But the wonderful thing about Baroness Bolsover’s Afternoon Tea Talk is that it’s available all year round. Afternoon Tea is enjoyed throughout the seasons and, like the Pantomime, has been one of Britain’s favourite traditions since Victorian times.

Baroness Bolsover's Town Tour with Afternoon Tea

In the summer months you can also join her ladyship for a fascinating tour of Bolsover Town followed by a delicious Afternoon Tea. In true theatrical style, the Baroness reveals scandals, secrets, historical facts and of course throws in a dollop of gossip for good measure! A unique experience not to be missed!

'The Baroness is a wonderful ambassador for the town and I can't recommend this tour highly enough.' - TripAdvisor

So all in all, I think its fair to say my panto days are not over yet and I’ve finally found a role that I'll never grow out of... at least not for a long time!


Do get in touch and let Baroness Bolsover make your event Truly Special

Call 07930 258399

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It's been my pleasure to entertain you.


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