They are short-staffed at London’s Hippodrome, which is recruiting “door dwarfs” and refusing to consider applicants taller than 4 ft 10 in. Unaffected by political correctness, CEO Simon Thomas said he is continuing a grand tradition in hiring small security guards.
Metro: What makes them better?
Thomas: The objective of a door role is to welcome people and make them feel good. We don’t want a bouncer like a human eclipse that intimidates people, we want people coming in and dwarves are very welcoming.
But can they handle it if trouble starts?
We always have a full team at the club, from ladies to dwarfs, it’s a full spectrum. One of the applicants is fully licensed so he could deal with it, but of the course the point is to avoid confrontation.
Is this a club tradition?
It’s part of our history. In 1900, this was a circus and dwarfs dived from minstrel galleries into a water tank. Tom Thumb was a famous act here, and then later it became a cabaret show with variety entertainment. Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder have played here. So there is an incredibly rich heritage and now we’re taking it to the next stage with a Las Vegas style complex.
Have you had a flood of applicants, and have any ‘fake dwarves’ applied?
We can’t know from the forms – we can check the heights easily enough though. We have had more than 10, but the dwarf agency said they are slow coming because this is pantomime season, so many will be hired as actors on stage.
Are you worried about this being taken the wrong way?
It’s always a worry to try anything like this because the world is so politically correct. But I’m giving opportunities, creating employment and no one is forced to apply. We employ 600 people who do different jobs and dwarf bouncers add to the richness of the place. It’s a little extra entertainment.