Friday, June 11, 2010


Link courtesy of Michael Karp

The 7 Ashtons learned their Risley act from their maternal cousins, the Warrens (AKA The Martinettis) who went to Europe in the 1930s and returned with the outbreak of World War II.

The Ashtons left Australia in 1946 and sailed to South Africa and Europe where they performed 10 times at the London Palladium and a Royal Command Performance.

They finally ended up in the America where they appeared in New York at the Latin Quarter. Managed by Sir Lew & Leslie Grade, they were rumored to be amongst the most highly paid variety performers of their time.

The comedian of the act is, of course, Dougie Ashton. When the act broke up Dougie was prominently featured for several seasons in the Clown Alley of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus where he was widely regarded as one of the very best circus comics of the mid 20th century.

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