From the stages of Subiaco to international acclaim, The Perfect Boy is the story of Effie who became a world-famous male impersonator. She’s was known as A Merry Masquerader, EFFIE the Nifty Entertainer, the Merry Madcap!, the Laughter specialist, the Whistler dancer, singer, and humourist.
Gita believes that “Effie was Perth’s first big star, who enjoyed tricking people with a change in identity which was very fluid and unusual for the time.” Effie Fellows began a colourful theatrical life masquerading as boy soprano Master Freddy Manners and in this disguise played Perth’s Melrose and Shaftesbury Theatres. In top hat and tails she went onto a long and adventurous career as a appearing in vaudeville theatres all over the world, sharing the bill with names like Al Jolson and Sophie Tucker. After leaving her first husband, whose stage persona was Piquo the Clown, Effie spent several years touring the English variety circuit as “Bobby Folson”. While her second husband Sammy Chapman, a boxing promoter who coached the New Zealand team, she attended the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. She returned to Perth several times to see her family and died at the age of 84 in the Subiaco Home of Peace in 1977.