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Nothing is likely to inject a little sunshine and gaudiness into someone’s day more effectively than Nothing Like a Dame Day.

This celebration of big, brash, smiling-through-the-pain ladies of the theatre, gives even those of a straight-laced nature the opportunity to grab a boa, glue on some spidery lashes, and sashay like Carol Channing, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, or Ethel Merman.

Those people who aren’t the dressing up type might mark Nothing Like a Dame Day in a more private way, by digging out Rogers and Hammerstein’s brashest work and having a singalong to those big numbers from South Pacific, which gave us the unsubtle joys of There Is Nothing a Dame.

In Great Britain, where there is less of a theatre tradition of brassy, ballsy dames, Nothing Like Dame Day is more likely to celebrate their pantomime dame. These men, dressed very unconvincingly as women, are a comical staple of their family shows at Christmas time.

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