NEWS PAGE & BLOG


Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Chat soon & keep reading
Fiona Harrison
A Voice in a Million


Happy Easter & Off to Perform for Lordivecchio’s 1940s Event!

In My Easter Bonnet For Age Concern!

Singing for the Age Concern Party!

Tonight I have much to cram into my blog as this will be my last post before Paul and I fly out to Milan next week. It’s a busy time for me as I’m well into Easter Bonnet shows and I’m performing two shows daily which will take me right up to the 24th before Paul and I we fly out to Italy. So may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter, a fabulous St Georges day for next Tuesday and I look forward to sharing all my news and photos with you when I get back from Italy which will be around the 27th/28th April.

In the meantime I’ve been burning the midnight oil working on the design for my new “My Fair Lady” page for my web-site, plus ideas towards the promo film which will finish off the page. For the My Fair Lady film I shall be working with a new film company Dragon Egg Media. It’s healthy to get a fresh approach and I’m looking forward to working with Judson  and his film crew very much. We are all set for the 27th May which I have just been able to squeeze in before Paul and I sail off to Normandy for the D-day Commemorations. Show times for Normandy are still a bit up in the air as security for dignitaries gets in the way of when we can be in place to set up. The French are very last minute dot com but as soon as I get the final say so I will let you all know.

Ever-so Marry Poppins!

I’m very conscious that before too long my web-site will need a complete overhaul and new look while still keeping it’s vintage vibe. In the back of my mind I have some ideas I need to work through with my web-designer. It’s time to move into cinema scope and to open it up into wide screen. Another job for another day and just one of the many things I need to cram into 2019.

In the meantime I shall leave you with some photos of me performing for Age Concern for their special Easter party in Milton Keynes along with  a shot of me in Fabric World Leighton Buzzard with another gentleman looking as if we had just walked off the set of Marry Poppins.

Happy Easter and T

oodle Pip! 😉


Thinking Disney, Italy and Easter Bonnets!

In My Easter Bonnet!

The weeks are flying by and already this week is practically at it’s close. Needless to say it’s Easter Bonnet shows all the way through to Easter Monday, then on the 23rd I have a day of Pearly Queen shows to tie in with St Georges and then it’s off to Italy the following morning. I’m very conscious of what I need to accomplish between now and then so it’s important I pace myself. After my show on Saturday I’m heading off to the recording studio to lay down some Italian which helps me with my song learning.

Today I had two Easter Bonnet shows back to back. The first was in Chalfont St Peter with the

Dressed for Spring!

second in Bedford. It’s about an hours drive between as the Sat Nav directed me up the M1. My driving time is very valuable to me as it gives me time to learn songs and think about new musical arrangements. Apart from Italian I’ve been thinking a lot about Disney songs and how I want to group them together when I put my arrangements into production. The only way to succeed is to forward plan and although Christmas seems a long way away it’s not really when I have a complete new show to stage. I’m really excited about this one, producing “A Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular” with lots of lovely new songs and musical arrangements is something I’m really looking forward to.

I’m still a bit undecided if my Disney medley should just focus on older Disney up to about “The Jungle Book” or whether I should go beyond. I’m keen to use the title song from “Beauty and the Beast” and “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” as a

On stage with Bryran, Paul & Mandy!

musical bridge . Now I’ve really sat down to study Disney songs the style of writing is quite varied and the musical styles and voices are compatible to when the films were made.  “High School Musical”and all it’s squeals I will be giving  a wide birth to although I do like the new “Mary Poppins” score and “Reflection” from 1998’s “Mulan”. Mulan reminds me a lot in it’s writing style of Miss Saigon.

At the moment my head is a jumble of music as I experiment with ideas. I shall also be working on a new arrangement of “Oliver” which is less of a

Getting Ready Back-stage!

jumble and “Mary Poppins” which couldn’t be more me if I tried.

Last Sunday Paul and I were engaged to perform for a 90th Birthday party at West Essex Golf Club in Chingford.  It was a lovely event as we were engaged to sing the music of the 1920s – 1950s over 3 costume sets. We also had the pleasure of performing with pianist Bryan Edery and compere Mandy as we sang a mixture of music from Charleston, Big Band and Swing to the Hollywood Musicals. Zeena was the birthday girl who was very inspiring as she told me about her time in the West End during the 1940s and how exciting it was dancing with the GIs at Rainbow Corner. Zeena made me realize what is that’s missing from all these current 1940s re-anactment events. It’s the element of excitement and surprise which comes from adventure and the not knowing of what might happen next.

Stopping for Tea at Southill Church!

That’s all my news for now. I shall leave you with a few photos from Tuesday when I was working in Biggleswade and stopped off in Southill for tea at the Church. keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉


Hartwell House, Vintage Fashion & Filming on Location at Norcot!

Enjoying Hartwell House!

Once again I’m burning the midnight oil and apologizing for this weeks belated blog. It had been my intention to blog on Monday evening but since returning home from St James’s Palace and my South coast tour I’ve had a lot to arrange and plan for. I’ve been out and about performing and planning the future. This is my last free day. I now have a steady run of shows all through April and well into May which will be a mixture of Easter Bonnet and Pearly Queen performances to tie in with the Spring season.

I’m not quite at panic stage yet although I have my

The Wonders of Hammersmith Vintage Fair!

wall planner in front of me and the realization that I have 26 shows to perform between now and the 24th April which is when Paul and I will be flying out to Milan. The Mayor of Lordivecchio  has requested I sing the Italian National anthem during the raising of the flag and “Requiem for a Solider” for all the American re-enactors who will be attending this event. I confess it’s been a while since I last sung the Italian National Anthem and although I can remember most of it I can’t remember how to pronounce the word “Stringiamci”.

I’ve made a promise to myself to sing the anthem

Shopping for Vintage Fashion!

ten times before I go to bed each night so by the 25th when I perform for the ceremony I will be well rehearsed and on my game. Paul and I have been engaged to perform American swing tunes from the 1940s in American uniform so we are looking forward to Lordivecchio very much. I shall also be singing Italian Opera and Paul and I will be returning to Italy in October when we have been engaged to sing for Graffignana’s Vintage Festival.

The 40s season is getting underway and I expect many of you have already caught my add in “The Best of British” magazine this April, which features all the 1940s events for the year. You can find Paul and I on page 55 and this time we have listed our public engagements for 2019.  So if you haven’t got your copy yet do pop down to WH Smiths and we hope very much to see you at some of our events.

Inside Hartwell House Hotel!

Speaking of events a week Sunday I made it into London to the Hammersmith Vintage Fashion fair as it’s important to change my vintage wardrobe and to have a fresh out-fit with the change of season. I found just what I was looking for a chocolate brown 40s suit which I can take out to Normandy and will go with a mustard coloured hat I’ve been longing to pair up. I haven’t as yet worked out my fashion colour pallets for the year but as I have a number of 40s events it’s important to have a good selection of out-fits which can be accessorized in all sorts of colourful and creative ways. The wonderful thing about

The Principal Staircase with Balusters!

Hammersmith’s Vintage fashion fair is it’s very inspiring. Vintage textiles utilise all sorts of unusual colour combinations which in turn inspire how I put my out-fits together.

Last Saturday I took my mother to Hartwell House in the vale of Aylesbury for mothers day weekend. We had lunch in the Spar Cafe and afterwards we were granted special permission to look around the house and grounds. The house is now owned by the National Trust and is a Historic Country House Hotel. Hartwell has a remarkable history stretching back almost a thousand years to the reign of Edward the Confessor. True to the English tradition it has evolved with the changing tastes and times and has a Jacobean facade.

The Great Hall is a masterpiece of English baroque design and the house has fine Georgian interiors dating from around 1760. The morning room and the library are decorated in the

Hartwell’s Paintings!

Rococo style and while I was there I was lucky enough to have my photograph taken on the principal staircase. The staircase is renowned for it’s extraordinary cared figures which are party Jacobean and partly modern. Two of the balusters are carved to represent Winston Churchill and G K Chesterton the famous writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist and orator. It was a wonderful experience for my mother and I to be granted permission to see the house as we both have an interest in historical architecture. My mother never goes anywhere with-out her guide books. It was a real treat to visit and I hope very much we shall have the pleasure of doing

Meeting Up with Film Maker Judson!

so again in the future.

Today I had a meeting with film maker Judson of Dragon Egg Media at Norcot Court. It had been my intention this year to plough on with the next stage of my showreels at the Limelight theater and to film my songs from the 1970s and 80s. However by a twist of fate I’ve had to put that on hold and I’m now going to make a promo film of “My Fair Lady”, thanks to my friend Julius and the Rost family who have very kindly given permission for us to use their fine county house as a location. To-day Judson and I looked at the room

On Location at Norcot Court!

spaces and talked about how the film was going to be shot which is all very exciting. We will be shooting just before Paul and I sail out to France for the D-Day commemorations, so we have a lot to squeeze in.

This week I performed the first of my Easter Bonnet shows and yesterday I sang for Cedars School Hair and Beauty Academy’s Hair and Make-up show. I had been hired to sing for the 1940s “The Way We Were” section as students came out with their 1940s hair dos and the Little Lovvies danced to “In the mood”. I also sang the Andrew Sisters for “Strictly Come Cedars” while

Make-up and Hair for Disney’s Frozen!

I enjoyed looking at the different hair and make-up styles which included Disney, Fantasy, The Oscars, Fairies and an Afro showcase which was wonderfully colourful and vibrant to watch.

That’s all my news for now as this weekend I will be performing at West Essex Golf Club in Chingford. Keep Following and Toodle Pip!


Singing at The Palace & Back From the South Coast!

Out-side St James’s Palace!

The weeks are rolling by and already April is just around the corner. I have so much to do and squeeze in before I start on the Easter season which this year will involve Paul and I flying out to Milan to perform for Lodivecchio’s Historical Commemoration event. I can’t wait although I need to find some time to go over my Italian songs in particular the Italian national anthem. With the launch of “My Fair Lady”  and last weeks tour March has been a busy month. I only have three days left to prepare as I’m now fully booked from 31st March through to the 1st May.

Back-stage in the Powder Room!

This week I’ve been working away down in the Chichester area with Paul, performing a variety of different shows. Although my best seller is now “Thank-you for the Music” which incorporates all those popular tunes from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. When it comes to the music of Sinatra it’s amazing just how many decades it seems to cover and Paul’s performances always go down well. I’m looking forward to performing “My Fair Lady” again on the 2nd April as the show gets better and better every time I perform it. I’m also keen to make a promo film to sell the show to a new client base and to re look at my web-site lay-out which is in need of an overhaul. Just a couple of the bees I have buzzing around my bonnet at the moment which I must get to before long not to mention all the musical arrangements I want to put into production for Christmas.

On Wednesday Paul and I had the pleasure of working in

Paul Out-Side The Palace!

London at St James’s Palace for a special event hosted by the Woodland Trust. Every so often a job comes along which is just that little bit special and this was no exception. Once you step across the thresh hold of Palaces one’s in a completely different world with a whole new set of rules which must be adhered to and understood. The advantage of this is I only have to sing and the worry of unloading and setting up sound equipment is no longer my concern when they have people to do this on my behalf. Such a luxury and dare I say a relief as Paul and I would have been terrified of inadvertently scratching the paint work while carrying in my speakers.

On this occasion I had been engaged by The Woodland Trust to perform songs from the Music Hall and WW1 era in costume for their drinks reception in the Queen Anne Room. The dinner and drinks reception was hosted to commemorate the planting of a million trees over the last four years

Out and About in Portsmouth!

to remember all those affected by the first world war which  was attended by the Princess Royal. I had a prime spot as I sung in front of the fire place which made it easy for me to see every-one as they arrived.

Princess Anne wore a pretty powder blue brocade evening skirt and matching jacket with a shawl colour. I noticed her satin shoes had been dyed to match and I was surprised to see she is about the same height as myself. I imagined her to be much taller as she chatted to the guests.

It was a wonderful experience and an honor to be invited along with the WW1 re-enactors who brought along a fabulous display of WW1 memorabilia which included a portable trench piano.  Sadly the taking of photographs inside the Palace is forbidden which is such a shame as I would have loved to have shared some of my visual experiences with you all.

Paul and I Between Shows in Portsmouth!

The quality and the size of some of the paintings on display are a feast to behold not to mention the mantel clocks which I think might have been 18th century. The one which stood behind me on the mantel piece in the Queen Anne room was very impressive not to mention the one which sat on a huge table I passed on my way through to the ladies powder room. I was particularly taken by a beautiful portrait of King Charles I which hung to the left of the stairs with another portrait of King Charles II to the right.

Originally built in 1536 St James’s palace is a mixture of different historical styles which I

Walking Poppy at Southsea!

would have loved to have had the opportunity to explore. It’s the most senior of royal palaces in the UK and although no longer the principal residence of the monarch it is the ceremonial meeting place of the Accession Council and the London residence of several minor members of the royal family.

Now it’s back to the music of the 50s, 60s and 70s with next weeks shows with the run up to mothers day. In the meantime i shall leave you with a few pictures of Paul and I out and about in Portsmouth with Poppy.

Kep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉

 


1940s Radio, Off On Tour & Ready for St James’s Palace!

On Stage as Henry Higgins!

After the launch of “My Fair Lady” this week I’ve been performing the music of the 1950s, 60s and 70s as I tie up all my loose ends. This Saturday I’m off down to the South coast for a little mini tour of Chichester and the surrounding area before heading up into London on Wednesday to perform for The Woodland Trust’s drinks reception at St James’s Palace. I believe Princess Anne will be attending and I’ve been engaged to perform in Edwardian costume music from the Music Hall and 1920s as the trust celebrates it’s centenary.

London jobs always take a lot of organisation as parking in town and having to unload equipment

Getting Ready for St James’s Palace!

can be a big worry especially if you have to use a public car park. Fortunately I found out to-day that the Palace use their own sound company so I don’t have to worry about setting up my own rig which is a real luxury and weight off my mind. So as you can imagine I’m really looking forward to singing at St James Palace very much as I crack on with my show plans and make sure I have all my costumes pressed and ready for next week.

It seems strange not to be performing “My Fair Lady” after such a busy opening week. My next “My Fair Lady” performance isn’t until the beginning of April which is just around the corner although today I had a meeting to try and organize the filming of the show using the drawing room at Norcot Court. I’d like to employ a different film maker for this

Thinking Edwardian for St James’s Palace

project although it all depends on what they are going to charge. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can afford it so we will have to wait and see. The modern world changes so quickly and I’m currently looking at a new web-site template. As yet I haven’t found what I’m looking for although it’s time to open up my web-design into cinema scope and wide screen while still keeping my vintage theme.

On Sunday and after far too long an absence I was able to record another show for 1940s radio.com. This time I decided to put a show together with a Military flavor. I had a few problems to begin with as my radio computer hadn’t been switched on since September and it had so many up dates to make. However after a bit of a shaky slow start it came right and I’m keeping my fingers crossed HQ received my recordings loud and clear with-out a hitch.

This Friday all my equipment is booked in for it’s annual PATS test as I get ready for the new season. That’s all my news for now. Keep Following, Toodle Pip and bye for now! 😉

 


Opening in My Fair Lady and Performing for the Variety Club of Great Britain!

Dressed for Ascot!

It’s been an incredible week with the launch of “My Fair Lady” and for those of you who follow me on Facebook I expect you’ve all seen my photos, thanks to Harry from H100- photography who came to see my show on Sunday in Hitchin. Last Friday was the preview when I performed for the Friday Club in Leighton Buzzard for the first time. The show went down extremely well and it’s true what they say practice makes perfect. It’s getting easier the more times I perform it as I grow in confidence. This week I’ve been able to perform “My Fair Lady” four times which has helped no end with my continuity. I feel a great sense of achievement when I think how far I’ve come in two months developing the show from scratch.

My Fair Lady uses all my talents as a singer, dancer, actress, narrator, writer  and even costume designer. Now it hardly seems fulfilling enough just to turn up and work as a singer when I want

Wouldn’t it be Lovely!

to do so much more. The show is very intense and the hardest part is going from “The Rain in Spain” into “I Could have Danced all Night” as The Rain in Spain has an energetic dance sequence with little time for me to recover before singing the most famous song from the show.

My next Lady performance isn’t until early April, but having made an audio CD recording it should make picking up the show and performing on demand a whole lot easier. Now the hard work

In Costume for Show Me!

really begins as I set about selling the show to new clients. For many it’s hard to visualize how such a thing is even possible. I always say with a little bit of creativity anything is possible and I’ve proved it!

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of working with my friend Lynda Styan as a double act at Brinsworth House in Twickenham. Brinsworth House is run by the Variety Club of Great Britain and is a home for retied actors and variety entertains. It’s very well known in the business and it’s a privilege to be asked to perform there. For those of you who follow my blog you may remember Lynda and I were asked to perform for Meghan Markle’s  visit in December but both of us were booked so we were unable to do so.

This was our third visit to Brinsworth and together Lynda and I put together a program of music from the 1920s through to the 70s which went down very well. I even included Alfred Doolittle’s song

Lynda and I at Brinsworth House!

“With a Little Bit of Luck” from My Fair Lady which really pleased the audience.

That’s all my news for now as I must get to bed. Keep Following and in the mean time I shall leave you with a few of Harry’s photos.

Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉


Opening in My Fair Lady, Big Als Radio Show & Booked to Play Lodivecchio, Italy!

Playing Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady!

I’m sorry I’m rather late with my blog this week but if you’ve been following my story you will know I’ve been preoccupied with my one woman show version of the musical “My Fair Lady”. To-day I had the pleasure of performing a pre-view of the show locally for the Leighton Buzzard Friday Club. It’s always a bit nerve racking playing a show for the first time especially as this show uses all my skills as a singer, actress and dancer. It’s very intense but I’m pleased to say my hard work paid off and I even got a standing ovation from the members. For a first time performance I was very pleased with how the show went although there are still a few things I need to

I’m Getting Married in the Morning!

work on and tighten up.

All the costumes worked and I kept it to the 60 minute play time, only running over by 2 minutes which I should be able to tighten up before Sunday which is my first official performance. I also have another two performances of the show scheduled for next week. Tomorrow I’m back in the recording studio making a musical tweak  and I also want to make an audio recording of the show. It’s always good to have a recording as it makes it easier to pick up after a break. I currently have 25 shows running simultaneously and it’s important they all remain refresh in my memory at any one time.

This week it’s been thrilling to announce that Paul and I will be flying out to Italy to perform for  Lodivecchio’s Historical Commemoration event on the 25th April. We have been

Getting Dressed & Ready for Italy!

engaged to perform in American uniform swing tunes from the 1940s and also for Graffignana’s 1940s event in October which is all very exciting. I always enjoy performing abroad because I’m able to utilize all my singing skills and sing in other languages. Italians love Opera and it’s fun to have a brief where I can mix music and singing styles. When we return to Graffignana Paul and I will be singing Big Band and Swing, Opera to Rock and Roll. I’ve also been engaged to sing in Latin for Sunday’s Mass which is always a pleasure to do.

I also received conformation through this week that Paul and I have been engaged to perform in the town of Port en Bessin for the Commando’s last night dinner on the 8th June which will be making up part of our Normandy D-Day tour. I will be telling you more about that and our French tour later on so for the latest news do keep following my blogs.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of appearing on Big Als radio show

On Big Als Radio Show!

on L&D radio which is always a joy to do and now I must retire to bed and get some rest. It’s been a busy day and I have a lot to do and to prepare for next week

Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉

On the Radio with Alan!


Costume Fittings & Booked to Play St James’s Palace!

Out with Paul on Valentines Day!

Once again I’m in something of a dash tonight as I’m deep in rehearsals with My Fair Lady. I open on the 1st March and I’m still working on adapting the script for my one woman show version. Tonight I had a costume fitting with Judi and everything is coming along splendidly. Although I confess I’m very conscious of how little time is remaining. I’ve completed the sewing of my hats although I’m just finishing off my Ascot one. My grey top hat turned up a couple of days ago which is just the ticket for Freddie Eynsford-Hill and this weekend I’m planning on doing something of a semi dress rehearsal.

My Fair Lady Dress Fitting!

I know what I’ve got to do and when but I need to time the mechanics and it’s important the show keeps to the straight through 60 minute format. In between rehearsals I’ve been out performing Valentines shows and Paul came up to join me last week which was delightful as we spent Valentines day together.

This Friday I’ve been invited to go on Big Al’s radio show on L&D Radio which I must prepare for in between catching up with my paper-work. I’ve also been engaged to perform at St James Palace this coming March for a special centenary event which will be attended by the Princess Royal. I shall tell you more about that closer to the day but in the mean time I must get back to My Fair Lady.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip for Now!

A Hat in Progress for the Ascot Scene!

 


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