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29 December 2008

David Raven (193? - ) master grocer, performer & James Court (194? - ) performer.

David was adopted by a couple in pub and hotel management. He trained as a master grocer. He married a woman at the age of 19, and at 21 was manager of the Norwich Co-op. At 29 he was assistant manager at Selfridges food hall in London, when he realized that he was really gay.

He got up and sang at the Cricketers pub in Battersea, and found that he had a natural talent. With James Court he won a talent competition and they became The Trollettes, David adopting the name Maisie Trollette, and James as Jimmy Trollette. They appeared regularly at the Union Tavern in Camberwell.

David was the first to revive own-voice singing in drag acts. He was in the London stage version of Boys in the Band, and has also played dames in pantomimes many times, especially Widow Twanky and The Ugly Sisters. He won £12,000 on the football pools and bought a hotel in Brighton which he ran with his boyfriend for 18 years.

He has a successful one-man show, and has played around the world. He was a founder member of Brighton Cares, the HIV charity.

Although he never went to Pattaya, Thailand, until 2003, he has become enthusiastic and now visits there at least twice a year.

James (Jimmy Trollette) has also done dame parts, especially the Ugly Sisters with David, and likewise has done lots of charity work.

The Trollettes were the model for Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough when they played on television as Ada and Cissie.

*Not the footballer, nor the drummer.

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