Happy Hour finally came to fruition after an intensive rehearsal weekend with Gil Wright (now famous as Jean Slater in Eastenders), who bashed the Rotters and our set of sketches into some semblance of thespianic order.

The De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill on Sea booked us as a resident pierrot troupe for their al fresco sun lounge with Happy Hour. We had a set made for us by Brian of the Seaside Hair and plied our routines along the promenade during the day and advertised the Happy hour show at 5PM as the families were leaving the beach.

We played a wide array of festivals, resorts and events and I commissioned ‘Yorkshire’s Best’ At Wakefield Theatre Royal & Opera House – a celebration of the best street acts in Yorkshire, headlined of course by The Pierrotters. We also had the great privilege to play at Blackpool Tower Ballroom, to 1800 blue-rinsed ladies, with the Wurlitzer organ rising up behind us as we sang ‘I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’. We had free rein of the whole building after the public left and I remember entering a silent Tower Circus and then wandering through the aquarium, where the ghostly giant white turtles gazed-out from their aquamarine tanks at me in full pierrot costume and make-up.

We played for the Queen at Hastings and in her royal car, with the window down, she passed within 4 feet of the Rotters, whilst we sang furiously ‘The Queen Has Got Her Hat On’…  McFacko was nearly shot as he pulled-out a swanee whistle, which the undercover police thought was a pistol. I wrote to Buckingham Palace to ask permission to use the Royal Warrant and thereby officially be able to call ourselves ‘The Royal Pierrots’, as the first pierrot troupe had done century earlier… sadly she refused, so ever after we referred to ourselves as ‘By Royal Disappointment’.

With the help of Dawn Gelshinan, we made our first large bid for public funding to the Foundation for Sports and Arts – sadly, it proved unsuccessful.

Gacko married the lovely Georgina and Macko announced his engagement to Lady Lucy. Squacko’s futures and investments had increased by so much that he decided to move to the Isle of Man as a tax exile. This was my final year as artistic director at Wakefield Theatre Royal & Opera House, which I had decided to leave in order to pursue impecunious freelance opportunities, (including a new project with Gacko – Poppets Puppets, which came to fruition the following year).


El Señor
Don McFacko

Saxophone, Bits’n’pieces & Vocals


Uncle Tacko!

Banjo & Vocals


Mister Macko

Washboard & Vocals

1997-Boy Gacko

Boy Gacko

Drums & Vocals

1997-Sir Squacko

Sir Squacko

Guitar & Vocals

1997 Blackpool Tower Ballroom (5)


Photographs of the Pierrotters

1997-07-01 Refusal of Royal Warrant by Warrant Office

Letters, Fanmail & Rotternews

Letters, fanmail & "Rotternews".

1997 Place setting for Gacko's wedding


Badges, stickers, objects; notes, lyrics, contracts, sketches, ideas, oddments.

1997.07.25 'Happy Hour' poster for Filey Sun lounge

Publicity & Brochures

Collections of publicity material & brochures

The Pierrotters, Wakefield (1997)

The Pierrotters at Wakefield Theatre Royal & Opera House centenary show 1997.

Photographs or "Rottergraphs" 😉

Bexhill-on-sea Edwardian Festival

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Gacko’s Wedding

Hastings and the Queen

Folk Club

A4E Express



Letters, Fanmail & Rotternews


Publicity & Brochures


Scripts & Material

2 thoughts on “1997”

  1. Maggie, Molly, Ruby and I came and saw you two days in a row at Bexhill-on-Sea, driving over from Brighton. Despite only hearing it twice, I can still sing ‘The Mayor Of Planet Funny’. And I do. Very loudly indeed.

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