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PRIMROSE 1924
George Grossmith then partnered with George Edwardes's former associate, Pat Malone, to produce a series of mostly adaptations of imported shows at the Winter Garden between 1920 and 1926:
In their joint memoir Bring on the Girls!, P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton relate the story of Sylvia Hawkes' audition for George Grossmith Jr. for the 1924 musical Primrose:
"Must I sing, Mr Grossmith?"
"Yes, Sylvia, you must. All of you have to sing if you want jobs as showgirls in Primrose. The Gershwin score demands it."
"Oh very well," she replied petulantly, and handed over a piece of music to the pianist in the pit. The piano struck a chord.
"God save our gracious King,
Long live our noble King,
God save the King."
Grossmith, a strict observer of ritual, rose and stood at attention. His minions rose and stood at attention. Guy, on his way to announce his arrival, stood at attention. As the anthem came to the normal stopping point, after 3 stanzas, George started to sit down, but there is more, much more of the fine old choral than is generally known. The pianist stopped playing, but that didn't stop Sylvia. They wanted her to sing, did they? Well, sing she would. Of course no one dared to call a halt. The national anthem is sacrosanct – especially if you're an actor-manager clinging to the hope of a belated knighthood.
Sylvia Hawkes sang all five stanzas.