Another prisoner / actor / female impersonators to take part in one of the Theatre Programs

Unsure if this also is Willis Toogood, well known female impersonator, but there were a number of P.O.W’s who could look ‘the part’.

‘If there was one example of humor and keeping up morale in Changi it was the Changi concert party.

The Changi concert party was formed only two days after the POW’s arrived at Selarang barracks. The first show was a simple variety show in which anyone who wanted could get up and perform.


Female impersonators were an important part of the concert parties. At first the men felt self-conscious about playing women, but as time went on they became more adept at making themselves up. They had permission to grow their hair long and some of them could be very convincing.’


‘The standard of the acting is really high and even the female parts are most convincing in their ‘femininity’. There is nothing amateur about these entertainments, and we have been amazed at the finish in dress and stage furnishings. Ingenuity has reached unbelievable heights. The facts are I suppose, that we have her behind the wire, men who comprise this civilian army who everyday jobs are those which are now used in the multitudinous activities that make up this prison life.’

Source: Down To Bedrock (the diary & secret notes of a Far East prisoner of war Chaplain) by Eric Cordingly, Pg 70; permission by Louis Reynolds, daughter.