Very honoured to have been asked to perform the comedy monologue ‘Zumba’ on March 20th, as part of the ‘Conquer Stroke New Writing Night’ at the Y Theatre in Leicester, organised by Leicester writer Keith Large. The night will consist of various pieces of new writing; short plays, monologues, some short sketches, a short story and a poem, featuring mainly Leicester-based writers, plus Brighton writer Steven Lancefield. Keith and I met with one of the directors, Clare Devine, at the Y Theatre yesterday to record a short interview about the event with Graham Wright for Radio Leicester, so hopefully the turn out will be good and we will raise lots of money for The Stroke Association. I’m really looking forward to it – love an excuse to get a good wig on 😉
Filmed the Oxfam Commercial for their ‘Dressed By The Kids Day’ today – hugely enjoyable. A lovely comedic theme, with a bit of a ‘reveal’ moment. As the title suggests, on 29th April participants will be going about their business in whatever attire their kids have decided they should wear! – all for charity, of course. The ad will be aired from March 21st so keep your eyes peeled. I play the part of ‘mum’ – looking like a bit of a fairy – complete with wings, a tutu and deely-boppers (brought back excellent memories of the ’80s). We also did a stills shoot so there should be posters & adverts in papers etc – and my mug may even appear on the packaging!
Great start to the new year, with another film for Iceni Productions – at the Healthcare at Home head offices in Burton. They were producing an in-house film and I played the part of ‘sad employee’ (approached and counselled by ‘supportive employee’). Didn’t need a box to stand on this time as we were sat down! – in the canteen – with lots of coffee!
Another great job with Linney Group – this time for East Midlands company Severn Trent Water, highlighting the great things happening within the company’s customer service. I played the part of a customer who’d had a problem solved by Severn Trent via Twitter…
So, here we are at the end of the road – the final part of the Troublesome People run and it ends where it all began back in April. It’s been ’emosh’ as the young-uns say 😉 Had a great few days at Derby Guildhall Theatre, good audiences and lovely review from the Derby Evening Telegraph. Goodbye Doreen, on to the next adventure…
Well, Troublesome People did it’s full run at the Edinburgh Fringe – from 10th-29th August – 3 weeks – Phew! loved every minute. Great audiences & feedback, lovely reviews and lots of fun taking in loads of other shows…worked hard, played hard!… Here are some highlights of my festival diary: Sat Aug 8th – “Here we are at last! exciting stuff – got to Edinburgh in the early hours yesterday 1.45ish I think and finally got to bed at 3am! managed a few hours sleep, then ‘up and at ’em’ for a full cast meet up at Rowan & Franks apartment at 11am. Everyone was in good spirits and excited, and the kids were as good as gold, so we managed to have a good look at all the line cuts in the script. We also did some ‘impro-practice-flyering’ on each other – hilarious! good to see each others techniques and maybe use some good ‘lines’ or tactics ourselves. Quick run-through of the updated script in the kitchen, then back to our beautiful flat and a good rest and huge sleep.” Tue Aug 11th – “Last night was first night – and was fabulous! almost a full house, and a […]
Had a great time at Linney Design in Mansfield, filming a set of internal films for their staff, about their new communications system. Fellow actor Alan Turton and I filmed seven funny sketches (great to do some comedy!). These were then interlaced with me being a bit more ‘serious’ (although still highly enthusiastic!) when explaining the finer details of the system. I’ve worked for Linney before but this was being filmed actually on site at the Linney head office – I didn’t realise just how massive the Linney Group is – and how forward-thinking and modern. And they now have a communications system (phone, computers, apps etc) to match!
Took the boys to Newstead Abbey today, as I’d been asked to help out with some promo films for Nottingham – Newstead Abbey, Wollaton and The Castle. Beautiful venue – we shot sections at a waterfall and some stepping stones; luckily nobody fell in!
What a night! was asked to be part of rapper Scorzayzee’s new music video for a track called ‘Gangsta Wraps’ filming at a fast food place in Nottingham. In the video I play a mum with a small child, so we enlisted the help of Eddie, my 9 year old who, at times, could not contain his excitement – even when we wrapped at 2am! my eldest, Alex, also came along to take in the atmosphere on set – and meet Dean of course. Dean is great – extremely talented and warm hearted. Can’t wait to see the vid. Here’s the article on Scorzayzee that appeared in The Guardian in May. Download his album – Peace to the Puzzle – it’s top.
Great few days at the Buxton Fringe – I think we were pleasantly surprised by the audience numbers, as they were nice sizes, with great responses. The Buxton Festival thrives each year and has the added bonus of being situated in a stunning part of the country – picturesque and rich with history, with a laid-back, small community feel. Click here to find the review.
Brighton & Oxford with ‘Troublesome People’ well, what can I say?… LOVED the tour so far. A really great team – lots of laughs. Both theatres (the Lantern at Brighton and the Old Fire Station at Oxford) were fab. The world premier of the play happened on 15th May, which happens to be International Conscientious Objectors Day – a complete coincidence! serendipity… In Brighton we had a very special guest in the audience at one of the performances – Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion (Green Party), who is a friend of the writer of Troublesome People, Jill Haas. Caroline loved the show and chatted to us afterwards. I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves… https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2015/troublesome-people/ http://www.remotegoat.com/uk/review/11983/worthy-of-rattigan-and-priestley/ http://brighton.fringeguru.com/reviews/brighton-2015/troublesome-people
Filmed at Notts racecourse today for their promo ﬁlm to be aired on Notts Tv. It was ladies day, so loads of outrageous hats (and outﬁts!). My middle son Eddie was part of the ﬁlm and behaved impeccably throughout- at 9 he is just the right age to listen & respond, but still be willing. He has the added bonus of a cute face (but I would say that, wouldn’t I?). After ﬁlming we watched the beautiful horses prepare & the ﬁrst race. Great atmosphere.
Rehearsals have started on “Troublesome people” today. So exciting. Great to meet new actors and have fun with actors I know but have never worked with before.
Finished ﬁlming a short called ‘Epoch’ for student of Confetti in Nottingham, Will J Carmen. Played the part of Detective Inspector Sharron Parker – bit of a baddass detective; loved it! Totally inspired by the recent series of ‘Line of Duty’ and the kick-ass actors Vicky McClure and Keely Hawes.
Local comedian extraordinaire, Patrick Draper (the husband) ﬁnished his pancake day-themed comedy podcast today, ‘A Pocketful of Mousetraps‘ , with comics James Billington and Fran Jenkins. They roped me in to help on a a couple of voices… Great fun!
So, we ﬁlmed the Sainsbury’s ‘giggle’ commercial for Red Nose Day today. The Red Noses were SO cute; funniest part of the ﬁlming! a ‘puppeteer’ (crew & runners) for each red nose. Liz, the director, deﬁnitely knew her stuff when it came to dealing with William – and the little stand-in guy. I would change the old adage ‘never work with children and animals’ to ‘never work with your OWN children or animals. Work with other people’s- then you can give them back at the end of the day!…’
Today happened to be the day William and I were to have our ‘costume ﬁtting’ for the Sainsbury’s ad we’d bagged, on the same day that I’d agreed to ﬁlm for another Hillarys blinds promo. But that’s ok, Sally at VPoint was very understanding and made sure that the ﬁlming was sorted in good time for me to scoot to the train station. I didn’t bank on heavy snow, though. That, along with the fact that I had relied totally on my iPhone sat nav to get to the ﬁlming venue house, and my iPhone now had no signal, meant that I potentially had a very hairy journey in driving snow to Leicester train station. After getting a ‘bit’ lost and a few desperate phone calls to my husband for help, I ended up going back to the ﬁlming venue house and following the ﬁlm crew half way back to Notts before seeing a road sign for Leicester & just praying for more signs to the train station. My husband, Paddy, met me at Leicester station with William an hour later than planned. Much later, when we were back home and the dust had settled, Paddy and I discussed the […]
Filmed ‘This little piggy‘ another short ﬁlm for Nick Kirk, for the Reed ﬁlm competition. It was FREEEEZING! Started around 6pm, ﬁnished the next morning around 3am…, but that’s ﬁlming for you! It was ok, though, because I shared the ﬁlming with actor Tony Claason, who is good company, so we had a good laugh.
Played the part of ‘concerned wife’ for the Healthcare at home online ﬁlm (‘John’s Story’). The ﬁlm crew at Iceni were totally professional, as always, even when faced with a slight problem in that I am 5′ and my ‘husband’ was well over 6’… They found a very sturdy box for me to stand on to give ‘hubby’ the big “oh dear you’ve got cancer?” Hug.
Spent a fab week workshopping a new play called “Troublesome people” by Jill Haas for Ashrow Theatre. Completed the week with a rehearsed reading of the edited script. The audience liked it and we had some really useful and positive feedback.
Wow! – awarded Best Actress at the British Horror Film Awards for The End. Honoured. A great follow-up to the award from The Limelight festival in June, for Best Horror Film. A feature version is ‘on the cards’, let’s hope these awards go some way towards securing the funding for that.
Filmed another Shine Smart Insurance online ﬁlm in Burton on Trent. Got to crash a few more high-end motors! Ha! The joys of ﬁlm…
Spent a fab couple of days ﬁlming for Spool ﬁlms, for the Newark Civil War Centre who will be launching a brand new museum and site (complete with interactive trail, using a smartphone app) next year. Played the part of Lady In Waiting to Queen Henrietta Maria (second from left!). Costumes were borrowed from the RSC, no less… The queen was played by Elizabeth Berrington. Lizzy has had all sorts of great tv jobs, including the role of Elaine Pearson in Episode 4 of the ﬁrst series of W1A, one of my faves, so was great to meet her.
Performed in The Nottingham Actors Workshop Showcase- a monologue and a short piece with the lovely Toby Bradford- had loads of fun and the showcase was really well received. Great for networking…
Cosmic Trigger rehearsed reading for Daisy Campbell (daughter of Ken Campbell). Daisy needed someone to perform extracts from her play planned for next year in Liverpool – a mind-bending evening, great to listen to the other speakers; writers Adrian Reynolds and John Higgs, who wrote the book ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds’.
Hugely excited to have ﬁlmed ‘Shiner’, The short ﬁlm which stars non other than a childhood TV hero of mine, Melvyn Hayes. I used to watch (the now un-pc) ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ religiously as a kid and LOVED the ﬁlm ‘Summer Holiday’ with Cliff Richard (I know, I’m THAT old!). He was absolutely lovely and regaled us with loads of tales of life on the road in theatre & ﬁlming for the TV. Our scene together involved smashing crockery and screaming at each other- we both got stuck right in. Lovely man… And remember how small he seemed? …turns out I’m smaller…
Hillary’s blinds promo ﬁlm for VPoint TV for this one I was an ‘artist’, using the beautiful curtains as inspiration for my painting !
Another Murder Mystery for Art Deco Productions at Belton Woods- nice little job (2 hander) in the large golﬁng hotel. Played alongside Martin Gaisford- the number 1 Inspector Poirot look-alike!
A days ﬁlming in Rotherham for Work Psychology Group Situational Judgment Test ﬁlms. Played 2 parts; Senior staff nurse and Health care assistant. Senior staff nurse was poignant- carrying out in 1 day the role that my sister has played for nearly 30 years… (Lara, my sister, is now a Community Matron for Derby NHS Trust, working in the inner city of Derby)
I’m very pleased to have been part of the book launch for ‘Bolder and Wiser’, an inspirational book written by Nottingham author Sarah Dale. The book is a summary and personal reﬂection of conversations Sarah had with 20 older women and covers a wide range of topics. It includes quotes from the women, which I had the pleasure of ‘bringing to life’ at the launch. A wonderfully poignant and relevant book.