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


Part 1- Performing for the 75th D-Day Commemorations 2019-Pegasus Bridge!

Ready for D-Day!

Paul & I On Board & Off On Tour!

It’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks and for those of you who follow me on Facebook I expect you have already seen some of my photos from our Normandy  75th D-Day Commemoration tour. Paul and I have been working non stop and it’s easy to underestimate the level of hard work and dedication it takes to make things look seamless for this special event. I’m constantly working, thinking ahead and forward planning. I’ve learn’t from experience the devil is in the detail and with every show plan it’s important to factor in a few either or options. If you fail to prepare properly, you prepare to fail and to be a good entertainer it’s important to feel the moment and read the mood!

For Paul and I our D-Day tour officially began on the 31st May when we caught the 8.15am ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham although this doesn’t take into consideration the months and years of planning which go before.

I know the Normandy weather of old and the clothes Paul and I need to pack with regards the possible changes in the weather often means loading Belinda my van to the full extent of what she can carry. Utilising every inch of available

Behind the Scenes Working on Show Plans!

space. Paul has become quite a fashion plate with his own male facebook following and as a soprano and costume artist it’s not just about my voice and getting the show plans right, but having the right clothes and uniforms for each occasion.

When in uniform it’s important every detail is correct which involves setting time aside to polish shoes and brasses ready for parade. There’s nothing more disrespectful than a shabby ill kept uniform and as an entertainer who performs the music of the 1940s the least I can do is to see my uniforms are properly turned out before stepping out on stage.

Out and About in Bayeux!

I first had the honour of performing for the Normandy D-Day Commemorations back in 2004 for the 60th and I’ve been privileged enough to perform for the commemorations every year since. As you can imagine each year is precious and with every year that passes we see a few less veterans which is very sad. To begin with many of the veterans would join me on stage for my finales and flag waving and I’m so fortunate to have a wonderful video taken of Len Cox and I in 2012 singing together on stage in Arromanches. Every photo and video is precious which I look upon as priceless documents. They capture moments in time which are all too quickly slipping away and possibly within the next 7 years the veterans experiences will be out of living memory.

It’s all too easy to get solely wrapped up and consumed in the job of performing, getting to the appropriate place on time, setting up and then singing but this year was very special

Between Shows with Paul Chapman!

and now I’m home and able to take a step back. I feel very honored that Paul and I were chosen and were able to have played a small part in this momentous  occasion. As such I have decided to split my blog into 3 installments as I have so much to record.

This year the French paid tribute to all our wonderful veterans by having their photographs displayed on the lampposts up and down the Normandy coast line which was delightful to see. So many of the faces I knew but this year we were able to see them all as young men which was very moving. I was taken with how young  and hansom

Remembering Our Brave Veterans!

they all looked, so full of life, all doing their bit and ready to play their part in the big D-Day push.

Our shows didn’t begin officially until the 5th June which gave Paul and I few down days to prepare as we met up with friends and did a little sight seeing. It’s surprising how quickly those days flew by which begin with shoe polishing and uniform prepping not to mention show programming.

Our first show was at Pegasus Bridge and for this year Paul and I had been engaged to work ENSA style off the back of a WW2 K2 RAF lorry thanks to military vehicle  owners Paul and Sally Chapman. Paul and I had had the pleasure of working with Paul and Sally last year in Arromanches and this year we had been engaged to perform 2 shows at Pegasus Bridge and one at Arromanches with Paul’s lorry. The weather can always be a little touch and go over D-Day which was why Paul Marsden and I

On Stage at Pegasus Bridge!

Paul On Stage Doing His Thing!

packed our macs!

A great deal of thought goes into my shows and for our first performance I decided to wear my WAAF uniform to tie in with Paul’s lorry. I had been booked to wear my ATS uniform for the D-Day Breakfast in Arromanches so it was important to wear something different and to have a different song selection to tie in with the title “We’ll Meet Again”. True to Normandy form it started to rain just as I was due to began but we persisted and the sun came shining through. Considering the weather I was very touched that people stayed to see our performance. One lady lent me her umbrella as Paul and I sang on regardless. Part of our show was caught by the BBC which was shown on news 24 and a photographer from the Metro newspaper climbed up onto stage behind me during “The White Cliffs of Dover ” and took my picture which was published the next day. Thank-you to James and John who very kindly sent me the cutting and to Katie Thomas who posted the cutting on Facebook.

Performing ENSA style off the back of a lorry is

Off On the Caen Canal!

fun to do as we got the local children involved and a group of Polish WW2 re-anactors to lead in the flag waving. I even had one American Airbourne re-anacter joining in with “Hands Knees and Boomps a Daisy” which went down extremely well with his friends and audience.

Before hand the two Paul’s Sally and I had the privilege of going for a spin down the Caen Canal in HMS Medusa which took position on the edge of a minefield off Omaha Beach and acted as a marker during the D-Day invasion thanks to our friend Steven Oldrid. Later that night we had a quick change as Paul and I sang for the veterans

All Change for the Veterans Dinner!

dinner in Benouville before dashing back to our B&B at St Vigor le Grand.

In my next blog I shall tell you about our D-Day Breakfast show on Arromanches beach, 6th June but for now I will leave you with a few photos. Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉

Out and About in Arromanches!

 


Playing My Fair Lady to Camera & Fiona’s D-Day Itinerary 2019!

On Stage at Norcott!

As usual time is ticking away and I have so much to get ship shape for Normandy. I leave tomorrow and I’m just making the last minute alterations to my show plans. I’m packing my van and worrying about how I’m going to get everything to fit in as it’s important to carry spare costumes. One can never be too sure about the Normandy D-Day weather. I’ve known it to pour down and then for it to turn to scorching sunshine all within the space of a few hours.

So for those of you who have just clicked onto my blog to find out where Paul and I will be performing this year here is our Official D- Day

Getting Miked Up as Alfred Doolittle!

Itinerary to date. Paul has also been asked to perform at a BBQ in Benouville on the 4th June so we have a very full program ahead of us and we look forward to welcoming you all to our shows.

D-Day Itinerary 2019

5th June – “We’ll Meet Again” 15.00h/ 3pm – 16.00h/4.00pm Pegasus Bridge, L’Esplanade, J. Howard, Benouville (Sword)

5th June – “As Time Goes By” 20.00h 8pm Veterans Dinner, (Private Event) Benouville (Sword)

Checking the Scene!

6th June – “1940s D-Day Breakfast Show” 7.45am – 9.15am Arromanches Beach, Arromanches (Gold) 
7th June – “In the Mood” 20.30h/ 8.30pm – 22.00/10.00pm Pegasus Bridge, L’Esplanade, J. Howard, Benouville (Sword)
8th June – “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” 18.00h/ 6pm – 19.00h/7.00pm Outside The Commando Restaurant, Fountain Square, Port en Bessin (Gold)
9th June – “Gi Jive” 12pm – 18.00h/ 6pm Singing 20 minutes on 20 minutes Off through the day (Songs from the 1930s & 40)

Me with the Dragon Egg Crew!

Wouldn’t it be Lovely!


Evening Dance 20.00h/ 8pm – 23.30pm/ 11.30pm TTBC ( Songs from the 1940s, 50s & 60s) Place de L’Eglise, Ste Marie du Mont (Utah)

On Monday I was shooting a new promo film to advertise “My Fair Lady”, which I have adapted into a 60 minute one woman musical extravaganza. The best bit is I get to play all the roles. It’s very fulfilling to do, as it uses all my skills as a singer, actor, dancer, writer, narrator and designer . This musical made such an impression on me as a child, so it probably wont come as any surprise to learn that when I was 7 or 8 I use to give musical performances of the songs from the show in the play ground. So to have the opportunity to turn it into a one woman show, it’s a little like my life turning full circle.

Monday’s shoot was very intense and a big thank-you goes out to Julius, Karl and the Rost family who allowed us to use their family home Norcott Court as the films setting.  We started shooting some of the musical numbers in long shot from 1pm and at 3.30pm we invited an audience of about 30 people which filled the drawing room. I then gave a full performance and played the show

Judson Working Out the Shot!

In the Library!

through in it’s entirety after which Julius very kindly served tea and cucumber sandwiches in the dinning room.

The audience all seemed to have a wonderful time and after they left Judson and I set about filming the cut away shots, some of the spoken word and interviews using different locations in the house and garden. I was thrilled when Judson of Dragon Egg Media agreed to take on this project as he usually makes feature films so to have someone of his talent and ability agreeing to do a small promo film for me I feel very honored indeed.  On this occasion we had a crew of 4 and our sound recordest had just flown back from LA.

It was very interesting to see some of the techniques they were using as cameras are much smaller these days and as such more movable in tight spaces. The camera we were working with on this shoot was hand held and had a gimbal attachment for smoothness. Also another interesting attachment was to place the camera on rails while the tripod was static to create a dramatic zoom in effect which we used for the scene “There you’re slippers and there!”

Setting Up the Shot in the Library!

I can’t wait to see the rough cut which will be after I return from France. Something to really look forward to. I wont start the proper edit with Judson until July as we are both very booked up. I wish I could tell you more about the shoot but I’m afraid I’ve run out of time tonight and I still need to finish my packing. I look forward to catching up with you all very soon. I wont be back in the office until the 12th June when I will have lots of lovely new photos to share with you all. In the mean time  here are a few behind the scenes shots from Monday’s My Fair Lady shoot.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉


Back from Norwich, RAF 100 & Ready to Shoot My Fair Lady!

Enjoying a Pre-Show Dinner in Norwich!

Paul and I at RAF Swannington!

It’s all go here at Harrison HQ as I get set for Normandy and I’m making the most of what little time I have left to prepare my show plans for France before Paul and I head off on tour. I’ve been performing every day this week and this Bank Holiday Monday I will be filming a promo film of my new one woman show “My Fair Lady” on location at Norcott Court. However before I write about that I must tell you first about last weekend and the pleasure Paul and I had performing for RAF 100.

Paul and I had been engaged to perform for RAF 100’s Saturday night dance at The Holiday Inn in Norwich for the groups reunion. We had been sent the itinerary well in advance which included a full programme of events which saw visits to Aviation Museums, ceremonies, a fly past, talks and entertainment. During my career I’ve been involved in many events but this was by far one of the best organised as everything had been meticulously planned right down to our room, which was situated on the ground floor next door to the Halifax Suite. It made changing and setting up so much easier as everything played through with-out a hitch.

On Stage at The Halifax Suite!

When ever I do a show plan I always work in an alternative play list as it’s important to go with the flow and to make sure every bass is covered. To begin with I had been asked to perform in WAAF uniform for the drinks reception and then I changed after dinner into my evening gown for the dance as Paul and I performed a selection of big band and swing tunes. Although I think the audience enjoyed the Hollywood movie musicals best along with “We’ll Meet Again” and “Land of Hope and Glory”.

The following day we were invited to join RAF 100 at St Peter’s Parish Church at RAF Swannington for afternoon tea and entertainment provided by “Timescape”. I first met John and Christine of Timescape way back in 2004 when we were both engaged to perform for Thetford’s Dads Army event. We have been friends ever since and it was a delight to see them perform while the ladies of the Church Action Group offered

Tea at St Peter’s Church!

tea and home-made cakes. This special Remembrance Day Event had been organised by Mike Hillier which included a bi-plane fly past, wreath laying  and a WW2 RAF exhibition.

The night before the group had been treated to a talk given by Nigel Morter and Claire Nugent of The North Creake Control Tower B&B. Some of you who follow my blog regularly may remember I stayed at The Control Tower in August 2015 when I did a 1940s photo shoot  with photographer Angela Adams. I was really sorry to miss their talk as I had to get changed for my set but I hope very much I will catch it some other time and it wont be too long before I have the opportunity  to return to the Control Tower. A big thank-you needs to go out to Janie Harrington the secretary of RAF 100 Group Association who worked so hard to put this event together and for making it such a success.

Meeting Up With “Timescape”!

Now it’s full steam ahead with “My Fair Lady” and I know I have a very full day of filming on Monday scheduled. We shall be filming from 1pm – 9pm and our audience will be arriving to see the show at 3.30pm. For this shoot I will be working with a crew which will include a sound recordest as the show involves a lot of spoken word which needs to be captured at the time and can’t be recorded in a studio first which is how music videos are shot. I shall be singing live all day and performing the show in it’s entirety a couple of times. It’s going to be hard work but I can’t wait to get started and I’m looking forward to the shoot very much.

Time is creeping on and I must get to bed. Tomorrow I have a Pearly Queen show to perform and costumes to prepare.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉

Christine with Mike Hillier!

Me at RAF Swannington!

We Will Remember Them!


RAF 100, Filming at Norcott, Putting it Together & Super Panavison 70!

Flying High for RAF 100!

My Fair Lady at Norcott Court!

Apart from the normal run of shows this last week I’ve been busy trying to tie up all those loose ends working on show plans and setting all the balls in motion for France and the forth coming My Fair Lady Show-reel. Today I had a meeting at Norcott Court which will be our venue for filming. It’s a fantastic location thanks to Julius and the Rost family who have given us special permission to use their family home. I still need to arrange for the piano to be moved but slowly but surly everything is coming together and I can’t wait to start filming on the 27th.

These last few days I’ve been going back over the film as the original “My Fair Lady” movie was shot in Technicolor using Super Panavision  70 which is twice the width of ordinary film and as you would expect has a slightly different colour saturation to it. Today I had a long chat with Judson of Dragon Egg Media who will be making my film about colouring. In post production we are aiming to give my promo film that sort of look. It’s all very exciting and sometimes I find myself drawn to a thing not really understanding why. The wall paper in Julius’s Drawing room is compatible with Super Panavision 70 and is the exact same colour

Inside Norcott Court!

match as the green coat Audrey Hepburn wore as flower girl Eliza Doolittle in the film. Although my flower girl coat is black the colours together will compliment beautifully and will just add that authentic touch which is so subtle most people wont even notice.

Talking about colour I’ve been working on my fashion colour pallets for France. Usually I work with a red white and blue theme for Normandy but this year I wanted to bring in some  browns and golds. I’m not short of 1940s clothes and this time I’ve been inspired by one brown suit in particular. I’ve been going all out on

Going for Gold!

vintage accessories much of which I’ve been able to find on Etsy. I’m still waiting for my mustard coloured cotton gloves which will be coming from the United States  but today my brooch arrived which will add that finishing touch to my suit. I still have my Normandy show plans to finish off but with this tour I have six shows to do and each one will be slightly different all sporting a different look from uniforms to glamour.

This Saturday Paul and I will be heading off to Norwich to sing for RAF 100 and their special group association reunion. A show in two hales I will be beginning in WAAF uniform singing for their drinks reception and then after dinner it will be a quick change as I perform for the second half in my evening dress as Paul and I provide the entertainment for their Saturday night dance.

That’s all my news for now Keep Following and Toodle Pip!


Bank Holiday Weekend, V.E. Day & The Normandy D-Day Itinerary for 2019!

Out on May Day with Poppy!

It’s been a particularly hard week this week what with V.E. Day and all as I’ve had much to sort out which is why I’m later with my blog this week. So sorry every-one for the delay which is why I’m working hard to catch up this weekend with my paperwork. Last weekend I had two lovely days off to tie in with the bank holiday and now I’m playing catch-up.

Paul came up to visit with Poppy and we spent our days walking down the canal tow path seeing the local sights. We even made it along to the Monday May Day Fair in Leighton Buzzard. It made a sweet change to have some time together with-out having to worry about music, getting dressed up and driving off to do a show.

Walking with Poppy!

Time is racing on and since we’ve returned from Italy it’s been full steam ahead with Normandy. This week has all been about V.E. Day which you could say has been a good start to me thinking about my show plans for France.

I spent Wednesday’s V.E. Day performing at The Cross Keys in Pulloxhill for a special V.E. tea arranged by the Flittabus Community Transport Company. I’ve never been to Pulloxhill before and the Cross Keys has a fantastic marque facility where they often host events. It was a wonderful afternoon as the audience waved flags and joined in with all my songs from the 1940s and perhaps

On Stage at The Cross Keys!

not surprisingly we finished the show with “We’ll Meet Again”.

In between this weeks “We’ll Meet Again” performances I’ve been able to tie up most of my French show dates and this is my itinerary so far. Paul and I hope you will be able to make it a long to a few of our  performances in France as I always try and make each show slightly different.

D-Day Itinerary 2019

5th June – “We’ll Meet Again” 15.00h/ 3pm – 16.00h/4.00pm Pegasus Bridge, L’Esplanade, J. Howard, Benouville (Sword)

Me with Flittabus!

5th June – “As Time Goes By” 20.00h 8pm Veterans Dinner, (Private Event) Benouville (Sword)
6th June – “1940s D-Day Breakfast Show” 7.45am – 9.15am Arromanches Beach, Arromanches (Gold) 
7th June – “In the Mood” 20.30h/ 8.30pm – 22.00/10.00pm Pegasus Bridge, L’Esplanade, J. Howard, Benouville (Sword)
8th June – “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” 18.00h/ 6pm – 19.00h/7.00pm Outside The Commando Restaurant, Fountain Square, Port en Bessin (Gold)
9th June – “Gi Jive” 12pm – 18.00h/ 6pm Singing 20 minutes on 20 minutes Off through the day (Songs from the 1930s & 40)
Evening Dance 20.00h/ 8pm – 23.30pm/ 11.30pm TTBC ( Songs from the 1940s, 50s & 60s) Place de L’Eglise, Ste Marie du Mont (Utah)

In Arromanches with D-Day Veteran Harry!

It’s a huge honor to be invited to perform for the D-Day Breakfast on Arromanches beach on the 6th June as we will be surrounded by 250 military vehicles as we all remember that very special 75th D-Day moment. Paul and I will also be at Pegasus Bridge on the 5th and 7th which we are really looking forward to as we will be leading the 7th June Parade.

There will be many events taking place in Normandy this year and I also enclose the official press release from Arromanches

On Stage with Veteran Len Cox in Arromanches!

MOD Supported Events in the Arromanches Sector:
6 June 0726 (local time) Lone Piper on the Mulberry harbour:
At Arromanches, the Army will mark the exact moment the first British soldier landed on Gold beach with a lone piper playing from the famous Mulberry Harbour Element 449.
With some 250+ British Military Vehicles assembled on the beach in tribute, this special coming-together will include one of the largest gatherings of the iconic DUKW amphibious trucks seen on the beach since 1944, so closely associated with the essential logistic operations of the Port Winston artificial Harbour.
BBC News, BBC Scotland, ITV Meridian, Granada & ITN, Sky, Ch4 National and other Regional TV and Radio Breakfast coverage, followed by Liberation Music by Fiona Harrison and Paul Marsden up to 0915.
6 June AM The D-Day memorial inaugurated: The Normandy Memorial Trust’s statue will be unveiled at Ver-Sur-Mer, Normandy in the presence of senior leaders, military musicians and personnel.
6 June 1000 (local time) Bayeux: In this first town liberated by the allied forces The Royal British Legion will hold events commencing with a service at Bayeux Cathedral and a cemetery service at Commonwealth War Graves Commission Bayeux where they will be supported with a tri-service Guard of Honour and military musicians.
6 June 15.00 hrs (local time) Arromanches:
The ever popular and emotional Arromanches British Veterans Commemoration Ceremony, conducted by NVA National Padre Major Mandy Reynolds, herself the daughter of a Normandy Veteran.
With music from the Somme Battlefield Pipe Band, the Jedburgh Pipe Band, the wonderful Orange Band of Liberation, plus the Choristers of Hereford Cathedral Choir, at the end of the traditional commemoration, we will be joined at 16.00 by Veterans coming from the events in Bayeux escorted by Army personnel, for a concert of Music by the Central band of the RAF, interspersed with a flypast by the Red Arrows, and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight….and maybe a few other surprises dropping in as well.
This will be a very International event for this very special year, with Military Attachés representing all the D-Day allied Nations present to share the emotion and to honour the day’s VIP’s – The Veterans.

The Perfect Match!

A little closer to home I’ve been putting together my out-fits for the tour and experimenting with some vintage quirky colour combinations. I’m having a couple of my dresses remodeled for France. This last week I’ve been able to pick up a few vintage accessories on Etsy which unlike ebay specializes in Vintage items and hand made crafted goods. I was really thrilled to find some turquoise vintage velvet flowers and a brooch which I will be using to accessories one of my out-fits and some other bits and pieces which are adding those finishing touches to my ensembles.

I’m also thrilled to announce my new My Fair Lady page is now up and running on my web-site which you can find by clicking the link. I also film the showreel on the 27th of this month so much to do  http://www.fionaharrison.biz/my-fair-lady/ 

Tomorrow I’m singing for a private birthday party and then on the 18th May Paul and I will be in Norwich performing for the RAF 100 Group Reunion.

That’s all my news for now. Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉


Back from Lodi Vecchio’s 1940s Event, L’Incoronata & The Filippini Library!

Paul and I Flying out to Milan!

Duty Free Shopping at the Airport!

April has been an extraordinary month with a constant flow of shows and even now I’m still not sure how I’ve been able to achieve the level of shows I have with so many fast turn arounds. If you have been following me on facebook I expect you have seen my photos from Italy and all my Easter Bonnet and Pearly Queen shots. This year St Georges day immediately followed Easter Monday which was a tough turn around as I had been performing two shows daily from the 15th April and then Paul and I flew straight out to Italy the following Wednesday which involved catching a taxi at 4.45 am.

Inside L’Incoronate, Lodi!

Beautiful L’Incoronata!

It’s always thrilling to be invited to perform somewhere new and although Paul and I have had the pleasure of performing in Italy before Lodi Vecchio was a new event for us which we were recommended for after the people who make things happen saw our our performances in Graffignana. Whenever we travel

The Filippini Library!

Being Interviewed by Italian TV!

Meeting up with our Italian Friends in Lodi Vecchio!

Paul and I Ready for the Parade!

to Italy we are always given wonderful hospitality and on this occasion we were met at Milan airport by our dear friend Giuseppe.

Opportunities like this don’t come along everyday so it’s important to make the most of them when they do. Giuseppe took us for lunch in the old town of Lodi which is built on medieval foundations and is famous for it’s churches and Renaissance and Baroque architecture. He had arranged for us to visit the church of L’Incoronata which interestingly was built on the site of a medieval brothel.

Lodi has six famous churches, San Filippo, Il Duomo, San Lorenzo, San Francesco and L’Incoronata.  When Paul and I last visited Lodi we were allowed inside San Francesco which has a wonderful display of paintings and medieval frescoes. On this occasion we visited L’Incoronate. The first stone was laid in 1488 and the edifice is octagonal in shape. Symbols from the city decorate the building which was constructed under the watchful eye of the church bishops and Carlo Pallavicino who was a cultural promoter. The

Enjoying Lunch the Italian Way!

Getting Ready for the Parade!

church also confirms ties between architecture and the mathematical laws of musical harmony explaining it’s octagonal shape. Above the High Alter there is a Latin inscription recognizing the importance of Opera while the interior is richly coloured blue and gold with a magnificent display of paintings.

It was a wonderful opportunity to visit and as with anything artistic the Italians are head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to paintings and architecture. In truth I wish I could have stayed longer although our host had another treat in store. Our next visit was to the Filippini Library  which is located in The Biblioteca Laudense and makes up part of Lodi’s main public library and Civic Museum.

Originally the Filippini library belonged to the The Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A collection of Catholic priests and lay-brothers who arrived in Lodi in 1622. They began the construction of the church of San Filippo in 1645. The structure, including the adjacent housing was rebuilt in 1740-1758, with the completion of the large hall in the library with the ceiling frescoed by Carlo Innocenzo Carloni with the Glory of St Philip Neri.[1]

The Oratorians valued both devotion and knowledge and completed the large walnut cabinets for storing books. The structure was unfinished in 1791 when the French occupation led to a suppression of the order, and the creation of a public library. In its origins, the library had some 2000 volumes. However with the suppression of the orders, the collection grew and now houses  2000 books of the Filippini, 100 volumes and 40 manuscripts of the cloistered Augustinians, and 100 volumes from the Cappuccini di Casalpusterlengo.

Paul and I were privileged to have be given access and shown a couple of the precious books from the 17th and 18th century. All of which included early prints which had been  hand coloured using water colours. These opportunities are very precious and although we were both still a little jetlagged  I wouldn’t have missed this chance for all the world. Of course our reason for returning to Italy was not to sight see but to perform for Lodi Vecchio’s Heritage event which meant we were keen to get to bed so we would be bright and sparkly for the next days event.

Paul and I had been engaged to perform American swing tunes from the 1940s in American uniform and to head the towns parade.  When we arrived the stage had been set and a marque erected so all the re-anacters could sit down and enjoy lunch ready to re-anact the liberation of Italy which they managed to do in about 20 minutes. The marque was a wonderful sight of different uniforms and characters from Italian partisans, Germans, English, Americans, Italians, Nurses and Firemen as they all had a part to play in Lodi Vecchio’s  re-anactment and parade.

Sadly I didn’t get to see as much of the re-anactment as I had to take my place in the parade although the story was well recorded thanks to the official photographer Le Foto di Maria. You can catch her photos by clicking onto my facebook page. The plan had been for me to perform in the square at 4.30pm but sadly due to rain we had to re locate the show into the town hall. It was such a shame as the town had built me a special stage decked in Italian flags which looked splendid with the Municipal building behind. However re-locating into the town hall turned out to be the right decision as the rain got heaver as the afternoon wore on. Rather annoyingly Italy has been enjoying a run of fine days and this was the first rain they had had in months.

Getting the Thumbs Up Form The Mayor During Our Show!

The show went extremely well as I prepared a mix of Big Band and Swing, Hollywood musicals and opened the show with the Italian national anthem and closed with Nessun Dorma. Paul delighted the Italian audience with his Frank Sinatra songs and at the end we were given a standing ovation. We can’t wait to return in October when Paul and I will be performing for Graffignana’s 1940s Event on the 13th.

In the meantime I would like to thank the mayor of Lodi Vecchio for inviting us to perform for his event and to Giuseppe for his wonderful hospitality and for making us feel so welcome.  In the meantime it’s full steam ahead with VE Day on the 8th May. I’m booked to perform for a private event at The Cross Keys in Pilloxhill and then it’s the season for ATS “We’ll Meet Again” shows as Paul and I get ready to sail out to

Meeting the Mayor of Lodi Vecchio!

Normandy on the 31st May in preparation for D-Day.

Thank-you for following my news. Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉

Meeting Up With Our Friend Giuseppe!

 


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! 😉


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