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Ceri Dupree

Ceri was born Ceri Jones in Llansamlet, Swansea. After a year his parents moved to Cwmdu in Fforestfach (and he thought he’d go with them!).He attended Gendros Primary School. His parents had met at a show in the Grand Theatre, and early happy memories for Ceri were of his visits to The Grand to see the annual pantomimes starring Ryan and Ronnie in the 1970’s. During one of These Pantomimes Ceri’s father Malcolm, who knew Ryan as he had also performed around the clubs of Wales, went backstage and mentioned to Ryan that it was Ceri’s birthday. At one point in the show Ryan mentioned Ceri’s name and that it was his birthday. Ceri lit up like a Christmas tree and it made his day. He particularly remembers the summer variety seasons at The Grand, put on by John Chilvers and he delighted in seeing the likes of Frankie Howard, Larry Grayson, Ken Dodd and Bob Monkhouse. The shows nurtured in him a desire to perform. Ceri first performed with the Y.M.C.A Players at The Llewellyn Hall, and also did a youth pantomime there as well. After some time studying the likes of Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery and Danny La Rue he developed “his” act. Next he needed a stage name so in true lottery style he pulled the name “Dupree” out of a hat, and Ceri Dupree was born. Ceri’s first professional performance was at The Palace Theatre in Swansea High Street on September 9th 1983. His costumes are legendary, with attention to detail in his impersonations a high priority. Ceri has a great love for all the ladies he Mimics, eager not to be too harsh as he sends them up, almost caricature like. The costs of his various stage costumes, run into many thousands of pounds and become more elaborate as he adds new characters to his act, in fact his Dolly Parton outfit cost upwards of £6000 pounds alone as it is encrusted in Rhinestone and Swarofski Crystals. Ceri admits that he is not at all nervous at performing, although he did feel some nerves the first time he performed at The Grand in Swansea. Coming home in a sense as he had lived in London for 12 years. He had nothing to worry about though as he went down a storm. He has appeared there many times since, and each time is always extremely well received - Swansea Theatregoers certainly love their own and offer unparalleled support. Internationally Ceri has appeared in Greece, France, Holland, Spain, Germany, South Africa and the Seychelles. Ceri has also appeared in many West End nightclubs, The Café de Paris, Talk of London, Stork Club, Le Beat Route, Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza on the Park and For two years he appeared twice nightly, six nights a week at the world famous Madam Jo Jo’s, followed by three years at “Minsky’s” music hall in Cardiff. His list of impersonations is a who’s who in the history of iconic Women and goes from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, Shirley Bassey to Barbara Cartland, Tina Turner to the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher!! He has also sent up Cruella De Ville, Snow White, the Wicked Queen, and Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) during his "Dupree's Disney Diva's".Ceri has also “done” The Queen of England, and Jordan (not a sentence I’d thought I’d ever write!). And his newest addition in 2008, Amy Winehouse!He is disappointed at not having the chance to perform in Pantomime at The Grand in Swansea but is still hopeful that it may happen one day – as one of Swansea’s success stories, it would be a travesty if this does not happen.

Click to visit Ceri’s site