This film is part of Free

How Percy Won the Beauty Competition

Percy drags up to scoop the top prize in this Edwardian short - but will he be found out?

Comedy 1909 7 mins Silent


This Edwardian short is a simple but frantic farce which sees Percy entering a female beauty contest in order to win the prize of £100. He immediately heads for Charles Fox, theatrical wig-maker and costumier (still to be found in Covent Garden). The contest itself is a rather hurried affair featuring an array of women wearing very large hats and furs - it turns out that Percy is not the only female impersonator in this bunch! But can Percy be crowned the winner?

Men in women's clothing was something of a staple of English music hall and translated very quickly onto film, where the possibilities for mayhem gave delighted audiences a comic frisson.