photographs courtesy of the Jeff Escabar collection
Miss West didn't need a Passport until 1947 when she signed to take a revival of her famous play, “Diamond Lil”, to the UK.  Until then she had never left the USA.  She sailed to England on board the Queen Mary and arrived at Southampton on 11 September 1947.  Her arrival caused a media storm and she was the toast of London, greeting the gentlemen of the press both at the quayside and once more at the Savoy Hotel where she resided during her London engagement at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
The tour opened at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, then travelled to Blackpool and then to Glasgow in Scotland where she stayed at the city's Central Hotel and played “Lil” at the now demolished Alhambra Theatre.  The tour then moved to Birmingham and finally settled in at the Prince of Wales theatre in London until the run ended
Whist the tour was not a unanimous critical success, it was most certainly a great personal success for Miss West.  When, in May 1948, she waved farewell to Great Britain from the deck of the Queen Mary, her status as "living legend" had begun to ferment and in consequence, her star shone more brightly than ever.

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