About Phyllis Constance Haddie Dones
Phyllis was three and a half years younger than her sister, Zena. Both adopted the stage name of ‘Dare’ when they were contracted to appear in an 1899 Christmas pantomime, Babes in the Wood. At the time, Phyllis was nine years old.
A few months later, shortly before her tenth birthday, she played Little Christina in Ib and Little Christina from May 15 to July 13, 1900. The following Christmas, she was given the title role in Red Riding Hood at Manchester’s Theatre Royal. A few months later, she played one of the two children in Haddon Chambers’ The Wilderness. For the 1901 Christmas season, Seymour Hicks cast her as Mab in his production of Bluebell in Fairyland that starred him and his wife, Ellaline Terriss. The following Christmas, she played Sesame in The Forty Thieves.
For the next few years, she concentrated on her studies until, in the Autumn of 1905, just after her fifteenth birthday, she took over the lead part of Angela in Seymour Hicks.