Saturday, 12 January 2019

"He Was Exactly the Right Size for the Venue" and Other Audience Reactions

  These have been collected at theatres and forwarded on:

  He was exactly the right size for the venue.
  I forgot to ask how the goats delayed his tutu beading.
  He does like his carrots!
  His writing is like very dark Jilly Cooper.
  I suppose at his age he has no choice.
  There is actually a direct bus here from Abergavenny, should he be told?
  What an interesting racial mix he is - we thought half maori, half jewish.
  Does the Virgin Mary really wear espadrilles?
  I think I might have seen something a bit like him once.
  He'll either have to sort the accent, or move that Marine from Manchester.
  I'm so pleased we stuck to our guns and wouldn't give him the keys to the CD player.
  He coped very well against the sounds of Margaret in the kitchen with her doings.
  This was a risk for new committee members. We'll decide at the next meeting if it paid off.
  He coped brilliantly with the corrugated iron having been peeled away just above the performing area. Local kids trying to steal net balls again. Disenfranchisement be buggered.
  Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John, I thought, for a bit of it.
  I should think after him now we'll go back to having absolutely classical string quartets and piano recitals - maybe harp, folksong or possibly low-impact brass.
  I thought it showed lovely manners when he gave back his raffle prize of the glitter-sprayed antlers.    
  They were real. Val thought, on the other hand, as he mentions living in a bedsit, he'd have had nowhere apt to display them.
  Where on earth was all that talcum powder emanating from underneath?
  Clearly the love child of Lars Tharp - off the Antiques Roadshow - and Anne Widdecombe.





Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Drag Act's on the Table...my new show

  I didn't mean to write a new show, it morphed. 

  I was trying to do a book talk for My Tutu Went AWOL.  In a suit and tie. Or was it a Primark shirt and chinos?  Can't remember. Whichever, it wasn't in a tutu. And there was no singing.
  But then, it/there was. I gave the talk in Brighton and in the feedback read, 'I couldn't picture the shock to the drag aspect of what he did in Iraq. A visual might help.'  If they can't compute drag in Brighton, what hope for Lichfield?  I travel to gigs on public transport, so can't tote equipment. The helpful visual had to be me dressing in the tutu.
  Then high ranking military sent Stacks, the Royal Marine, to watch the now tutu'd talk. He was meant to not forewarn me that he would be there, to sneak in as the lights were going down, keep shtum.  The reason being that forewarned, I would cut material that was a security risk or exploitative.
  Within two minutes, Stacks had piped up: 'Princess, you flew to Iraq and Afghanistan by Tristar.  Remember - you didn't want to go on it?  Said you wanted something at least as flash as Thunderbird Three, and not that old flying knacker looking like Orville, the cartoon albatross.  You did not fly to Iraq and Afghanistan by Trident.  And why aren't you singing?'
  'It's a talk, Stacks.'
  'But you want to hear him sing, don't you, ladies and gentlemen?'
  They did.  My Tutu Went AWOL, the book talk became a musical review.
  Then Bex, at Henry Bonas Events, misspoke 'The pudding's on the table, where's the drag act?' - which I expect to hear as my cue at a corporate - as 'The drag act's on the table, where's the pudding?'

  Hoping the rest will be history.  The first Drag Act's on the Table shows are trundling out.
  At an official WI Talk this week a member said, 'I shall get your book from the shop in Halesworth - she'll order anything!'

  

Monday, 3 December 2018

Barney is My Darling

 



  This is Barney.  He has to be kept on a lead on the beach because A: He thinks all cars are sheep and hurls himself at them from fifty yards away.  B:  Last winter, he ran into the sea, set off swimming and only ran out again at Sizewell.  Meanwhile, his owner walked along the surf line coaxing and cajoling the whole three miles.

Friday, 23 November 2018

The Unkown Unknowns of Social Media

   

He said, 'What you do is in the real world.  Social Media isn't at all that. It doesn't work.'


  I can't convince him to share posts, retweet, and so on - even though we have a joint product on sale: the audiobook of My Tutu Went AWOL
  I've told him today that we co-own the dog in this fight, thanks. 
  And I asked how he can possibly know if Social Media is working or not.  'A tweet about My Tutu Went AWOL is like a poster blue-tacked up in the ether.'
  'Okay,' he said. 'Good analogy.  But still...'
  He'd already fallen into my trap. I said, 'So, following my good analogy let's take the twenty-two posters that I used to put up for my early shows in Aldeburgh. I wasn't able to sit with even one of those twenty-two posters in view day and night for as long as it was on display, making a note of how many people looked at it. Get it?  So, retweet, already.'

  #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialmediamarketingtips #audiobook #selling #sellmethispen 
  


50 Over 50 - Sorcha Ra Investigates

    Thrilled to be included in this, thank you Sorcha Ra. Pretty sure, by the by, that even Fonteyn had stopped fouettes by this age...

 


What did you want to be when you were a kid, Iestyn?
  ME.  Wonder Woman, the doll in the music box from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and estranged from my psychotic parents...

  Click here for the full interview

#drag #event #ballerina #performance #theatre #variety #cabaret #gay #biography #iraq #afghanistan #remembrance

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday


This Remembrance Day I’ll skype my Royal Marine mate, Stacks, and he’ll ask me to sing, as always.

  He especially will remember Harrison, I’ll remember Luke McCulloch. We’ll cry. 

  I’ll I tell him what I saw last Sunday, on my way back to Suffolk. 


  Walking through Liverpool Street station I was a girl in a red dress, her shoes on the floor at her feet, clutch-bag on the Kindertransport memorial.  She was staring post-muntedly in the direction of the Bishopsgate exit, echoing the girl statue in the memorial staring across at platform six. 
  Two women in their sixties walked towards the memorial.  They had greying finger-primped hair and were wearing virtually identical blue anoraks, woolen trousers and hiking boots.  

  ‘We’ll just wait for her to go from in front of it, actually,' one of them whispered. 'You’ll have noticed that her dress is dyed?  The filigree work hasn’t got any light or shade to its colour.’  

  They walked exactly parallel with each other in the direction of the Barbican.

  A few minutes later a boy hurried up to the girl in the red dress.  Out of breath he opened a carrier bag and took out brown knee socks, black calf-boots and light-grey crocheted cardigan.

  ‘Not this one, obviously,’ the girl said, huffily; but she put on the poncho, socks and boots and shoved her evening shoes into the carrier bag, which she handed to the boy before walking off.  He looked irrelevantly into the bag, then followed her. 

  The two women came back.  Again exactly parallel they stood together at the memorial, the one who had commented on the girl’s dress being dyed directly in front of the inscription, the other to one side.  They read about the ten thousand Jewish children fleeing unaccompanied in 1938 and 1938 from Germany on trains, eventually arriving in Liverpool Street to be taken in by foster families.  

  ‘This was how mum was saved,’ said the only one to have spoken.  'She never saw any of her real family alive again.  Hardly any of the kids did.'

  She nodded briskly at the inscription, then looked up at the little girl statue.    

  ‘Oh…’ she said and reached up to the front of the girl’s jacket, gently tweaking the bronze it as if to smooth away a crease.

  Then they walked away, still exactly parallel, paces matching, except closer together now. 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Life is a Cabaret



 This was the day I ran between nine cabaret spots. I started with a lunchtime gig at Volupte and ended at two in the morning at La Scala, King's Cross.  Time was so tight between my gigs at CafĂ© de Paris and the Hippodrome Phil, head of security at the Hippodrome, stood outside and radioed a commentary of my dash down Leicester Square in full costume. 'Right, here she is.  Running.  Past Haagen Dazs.  Burger King.  Typical - stopping for someone to take a selfie.  Holding tutu safely against her belly out of the way of those Danish tourists.  I know they're Danish because of the flags on their bags.  Talking of which, Madame's own bag.  Well, I'll be...'

I'd bought my latest tutu bag in Blackpool for a fiver, not knowing it was surplus prison-issue. Security at the Hippodrome knew.  Phil and co discussed what I might have been inside for. Mo thought, as performers and cab drivers are the most often audited of the self-employed professions, it was for tax evasion.  Phil decided, having seen Madame Galina take on those heckling Chinese archivists, it was for A.B.H.