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


Getting Ship Shape and Ready for 2020!

Fiona Harrison Back in the Office

Back in the Office!

I’m sorry to say it’s just a very short blog tonight only because 2020 so far has just been an endless stream of phone calls and paperwork. Not the most interesting subject to write about but necessary never the less. After a busy Christmas and new year it’s easy to sit back and say I’m taking a break now. In my line of work that’s fatal as the first three months of the year are important selling months and this is when the bulk of my shows get booked.

I’ve been working extremely hard and I have this year pretty much mapped out. I only have a couple of dates left for my South coast tours in March and September. Valentines and V.E. week have sold out along with much of Easter and Remembrance week too. I’ve made a good start on Christmas 2020 in between performing “Rocking New Year” shows

I’ve had a lot of early mornings and late nights at the computer and I confess I’m looking forward very much to going away this

Catching up with Paper Work!

weekend. It’s my accounts weekend where I check into a hotel for peace and quiet and I work solely on my accounts with-out the distractions of home. Not the most wonderful of reasons to be going away but it’s a great way of seeing the most boring job in the world through.

I enjoy the quiet and every morning I like to go out for a long run which allows me to relax and settle down to the accounts. This time away also allows me to clear my head and think about musical arrangements  and costume designs often resulting in endless doodles and lists. January is also the time of year where I get my van serviced and checked over in preparation for the new season not to mention getting fit myself.

That’s all my news for now. Toodle Pip and thank-you for Following! 😉


Meet Santa Paws, Warwick Castle & A Happy New Year!

Fiona Harrison at Warwick Castle

Dressed for New Year at Warwick Castle!

Fiona Harrison at St Mary's Church Portchester

Ave Maria Rehearsal at St Mary’s Church!

Hello every-one and may I start 2020 by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I hope you all enjoyed Christmas as much as I did and I confess I have so much to tell you all about my festive travels. It’s been a busy season having completed 35 shows last month. Once again I’m sorry this post has been delayed. Since returning home I’ve been swamped with paper-work and now it’s full steam ahead with 2020.

I confess it was something of a relief to take all my Christmas dresses down to the dry cleaners on Friday and to swapped my reds and green for dusky pink. I’m currently performing “Rocking New Year” shows and I’ve been enjoying the change of repertoire. However that’s not to say the Fairy Tale theme this Christmas hasn’t gone down well. In fact its gone down extremely well and I shall be developing the  Fairy Tale theme further later this year as I launch my  new “Enchantment” show in October . I’ve lots of ideas about which songs I want  to put into production as I plan ahead with future shows and think about musical arrangements.

For now I’d like to tell you more about my Christmas. Everything went pretty much to plan

Inside St Mary’s Church Porchester Castle!

although I had one heart stopping moment on the 23rd when my van wouldn’t start and I had to get the AA out to change my battery. I had an 11 am show in Slough which I had to miss as I couldn’t get the battery changed in time. However all was well and I made it to my 2nd show in St Albans before heading off down to Harrow.

Christmas eve involved a lot of travelling as I started the day in Harrow then I was back up to Amersham before heading down to Portchester Castle and St Mary’s Church. I had been engaged to sing for midnight Mass. While I’m out and about on my travels it’s interesting to see the

Dressed for Mass with Christmas Sweaters!

seasonal trends. In past years it’s been who’s garden has the most fairy lights but this Christmas it’s been Christmas sweaters with slogans.

I’ve seen the usual elf puns, “Express your Elf” and “Elf and Safety”  not to mention “Rudolf Rules OK” although my favorite was “Santa Paws” which was warn by one of the ushers at St Mary’s Church. Christmas eve is a magical time of year and just before mass I had a quick run through of Schubert’s Ave Maria with church organist David Cain. A highly proficient and accomplished organist.

On Stage at Bournville Gardens Village!

I had been engaged to sing during the taking of the sacrament and as David and I are both well practiced in this piece of music it was an easy assignment to deliver. I love singing in church and Ave Maria is the perfect fit with organ accompaniment using the churches natural reverberation. The service was taken by the Rev Ian Meredith and the church was full of visitors all enjoying the festive service.

After such an exhausting day I was pleased to get to bed and enjoy two days holidays with Paul and Poppy. On Christmas morning we all sat together and watched White Christmas with Bing Crosby,

Shopping in Stratford Upon Avon!

Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen. It’s a lovely film to watch on Christmas morning and we spent much of our holiday time enjoying old musicals. Carmen Jones and There’s No Business Like Show Business with Marilyn Monroe to name a few.

I was straight back to work by the 27th As I performed a few more “Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular” shows on the south coast before heading up to Bushy United Synagogue for Chanukah. My brief was to perform songs from the Great American Song Book

Lunch at the Fourteas Tea Room!

and Songs from the 1920s and 30s in period costume after the Rabbi sang and lit the candles.

Next day I was in Birmingham performing the last of my Fairy Tale shows at Bournville Garden Village before meeting up with Paul in Warwick for New Years Eve. Even now I can’t quite believe I’ve performed 35 shows last month and had my van not broken down and needed a new battery it would have been 36.

On new years eve Paul and I popped into Stratford Upon Avon to do a little shopping and we met up with Martin and Liz in the Fourteas

Dinning in the Great Hall Warwick Castle!

tea room for lunch. Liz and Martin very kindly allowed us to share their table as the tea room gets very busy.

Later that evening Paul and I got ready to see the new year in at Warwick Castle. I’m constantly performing so to have a night off is a real treat especially when we can sit back and be entertained by others. On this occasion we had the pleasure of dinning in the Great Hall and as we walked through for dinner I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful portraits of which there are many. Warwick castle isn’t short of a painting or

New Years Eve at Warwick Castle!

two and I love to see the ladies in there beautiful dresses wearing the fashions of  the time. New years eve is always a special occasion so I decided to wear one of my 1950s evening gowns. At midnight we all went outside to toast in the new year and to watch the fire works which was very beautiful.

Now I’m home I’m busy planning 2020 and a lot of my prime dates have already sold for this year with the 75th VE and VJ Day anniversaries. Keep Following my adventures and I shall keep you posted

Toodle Pip and bye for Now! 😉

Happy New Year!

 


Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah & A Happy New Year!

Meeting Up with Santa!

It’s just a very quick post to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and not forgetting Chanukah too as I wish all my Jewish fans complements of season.

I’m working two shows daily and once again I’m burning the midnight oil trying to get my paper-work straight before I head off down to the south cost for Christmas. Christmas Eve I’m singing Schbert’s Ave Maria for Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Church, Portchester Castle, So as you can imagine I’m busy packing my costumes. I dash back up the country on Sunday to perform for a Chanukah party in Bushy, “The Great American

Merry Christmas!

Song Book” 1920s style and then I’m straight onto Birmingham with my last “Fairy Tale Spectacular show” for the year. Paul and I will be seeing the New Year in at Warwick Castle, so this will be my last post for the year.

I’d like to thank-you all for following my blog and keeping up to date with my travels. 2019 has been an amazing year and it’s been a pleasures to share all my adventures with you. I’d also like to thank all my customers for engaging me to perform and here’s to a fantastic 2020. I’ve already many dates and I’m looking forward to developing some new shows for 2020.

In the mean time I shall leave you with a few of my Christmas photos and a video of me singing Ave Maria. Such a beautiful song and perfect for this time of year!

I look forward to catching up with you all in the new year, when I will be able to share with you my photos from my time away.

Toodle Pip & Merry Christmas! 😉

 


Merry Christmas & Stepping into the Festive Season!

Paul and I Between Christmas Shows!

I’m afraid I can’t spend too long on my blog this evening. I’m busy with the Christmas season and it’s important I get to bed tonight at a reasonable hour. I’ve been working hard, often performing two shows daily, mixing fairy tales with Christmas favorites and it’s important I pace myself and not burn myself out too soon. I’m no stranger to burning the mid-night oil but with my current work load I can’t afford to cheat myself of sleep.

I’d like to start by thanking every-one for your lovely Christmas cards and good wishes for the season. I’m woefully behind with my cards this year and I’m trying very hard to catch up between

Opening A Full Sized Advent Calendar!

shows and failing miserably, while still attending to my office work and e-mails. I’d like to thank Gordon especially for my beautiful Rita Hayworth Christmas card and my mystery fan for the lovely book of vintage stamps. They are delightful and it’s so kind of you to think of me and to take the trouble of sending them.

I can’t believe how quickly Christmas will be upon us and how much I need to get ready before Christmas Eve. I’ve two shows that day one in Harrow then onto Amersham. Afterwards it’s straight down to Porchester Castle to sing for midnight mass at St Mary’s Church followed by a couple of shows on the South Coast before heading back up to Bushy to perform for Chanukah at Bushy United Synagogue. The next day I’m singing in Birmingham, New Years Eve Paul and I will be at Warwick Castle and then I’m straight into Happy New Year shows. I need to get all my packing, music and costumes sorted by Sunday evening so I really need to get cracking!

New Look’s Red Shoes Take Two!

All this singing is hard on clothes and costumes and when it comes to shoes I would rather buy a good quality pair of expensive shoes every time. If you follow my blogs you will know I went shopping for red shoes a few weeks ago and already the bright red New Look pair are starting to fall apart. They match my Christmas dress perfectly and are extremely comfortable to wear. They were the only shop which had the right shade of red so I went back a week later and bought another pair as I knew these shoes wouldn’t last the course. Even though I change into them when you are singing and dancing shoes wear quickly and I can’t stand to see scruffy

Meeting Up with Santa!

foot wear on stage.

I’m pleased to announce I now have a new You tube banner which you can see by clicking the link. https://www.youtube.com/user/1940sDiva1

Karen has been working extremely hard on my web-site and I’m keen to give my site a new look which will be a project for 2020/21. At the moment I can’t quite decide how the new design template should look as we move my web-site into wide screen.

Last weekend Paul joined me for a couple of my shows which took us to Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. I shall leave

Merry Christmas From Paul and I!

you with a few of my photos from this week.

That’s all my news for now. Have a Lovely Christmas and New Year. Keep Following and Toodle Pip!


Meeting Daleks, Disney & It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Meeting Up with a Dalek!

This last week has been very much business as usual as I’ve been traveling from show to show. Although on paper I’ve been performing the same show ” A Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular”, in reality I’ve been adding in variations depending on my audience and no two shows so far have been alike. Some audiences like to sit back and listen where others just want to get down and party. I’ve had plenty of both and I’ve enjoyed working in the musical differences. Fortunately I’m not short of repertoire and I’ve something to suit all tastes from Disney, Sing-along, Christmas Carols to Rock and Roll.

Going Disney with the Cast from Frozen!

“A Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular” is a new show for this season and Richard’s musical arrangements have been going down extremely well, especially his “Oliver”medley. I’ve seem to have hit upon a gem there as it never fails and my new Mary Poppins arrangement of “Feed the Birds” is also proving to be a great success with audiences.

Interestingly I’ve added in the monkey song from The Jungle Book  “King of the Swingers”or in my case “Queen of the Swingers”. I commissioned  this arrangement a few years ago for a special event and included “Abba Dabba Do – Said the

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Monkey to the Chimp” in the medley. Afterwards I was never able to find a proper place for it in my other shows until now. It’s great to bring it out from my back catalog and perform the number again especially as it opens up with Tarzan’s famous jungle call.

Disney never ceases to be popular and while I was shopping in Milton Keynes I caught up with the cast from Frozen. I’m currently working on “Let it Go” which I’m adding into some of my January shows.

I’m always working, and having a new repertoire this season has enabled me to think more about my singing technique. Sometimes it’s easier to start from scratch with new songs and as I’ve introduced a lot of modern Disney numbers it’s enabled me to re-think. I’ve had something of a break through with regards the taming of my vibrato which is all down to how I think about sustaining the note. Everything is in the right

My Friend the Dalek!

place, it’s just a case of mind over matter and working to improve.

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of performing for a 50th Birthday party in my home town of Leighton Buzzard which included a special guest appearance from a Dalek no less! I’ve also been to Peterborough and later on this week I’m back in Milton Keynes and over to Cambridgeshire. On Monday I caught up with all my friends from L&D radio in Hitchin and on Saturday I’m performing in Much Hadnam.

That’s all my news for now as I must get to bed and ready for tomorrows

show.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip!


New Facebook Banners, Dresses & A Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular!

Dressed for Christmas with my friend Joe!

Hello every-one and yes “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” to quote my second song in for this season. I confess I don’t really have much to write about this week other than I’ve been working mostly two shows daily and busy bedding in my new show “A Fairytale Christmas Spectacular”. I confess I haven’t taken many photos these last few days as I’ve had some tight turn around’s dashing from venue to venue. Already I’ve been to Oxford, Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Sandy. I always enjoy this time of year as it’s exciting going from show to show and adapting content to suit each audience.

Trying On My New Red Dress!

Certainly in these last few days I’ve had quite a few Christmas parties to do and all with slightly different briefs.

It can take a few performances to get a new show to sit right but this year everything has gone really well and the new fairytale arrangements have been going down a treat. The rehearsal time I spent has really paid off and if anything I have more fairytale repertoire than I need which is already paving it’s way to another show. Large repertoires allow me to be more creative and work in musical variations depending on whom I am singing to.

I’ve also had the pleasure of wearing my new dresses which I had adapted for this season. I had my last fitting on Saturday and now it’s full steam ahead. A lot of though goes into my dresses  and they have to be hard wearing, not crease and with stand a lot of wear and tear. So often I don’t have time to

Dress Fitting – Pretty in Pink!

change and more often than not I have to turn up at venues already dressed, rig and then it’s straight on stage.

My red dress for this season is made from best quality crepe fabric. It moves beautifully and by adding the white peal trimming it’s given the dress a new lease of life. It’s also wonderfully comfortable to wear. As for my pink cocktail dress that was. I’ve added a new bolero and had both the dress and bolero re-trimmed using trimmings I bought in Fulham at Accessories of Old Vintage. It’s completely revitalised and fits my fairy tail theme perfectly for this year

Other news and for those of you who follow me on Facebook I expect many of you have already seen, but I have had some new banners designed for my Facebook pages. I thought we were long over due for a change and these designs are all down to my new web-designer Karen Hardicker and photographer Angela Adams as we press forward into 2020.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉


A Fairy Tale Christmas, Red Shoes & The Launch of the My Fair Lady Promo Film!

Fiona Harrison as Henry Higgins

Why Can’t The English Teach Their Children How to Speak!

It’s been a very exciting week with a couple of “My Fair Lady” shows back to back. If you caught my last blog you will know I was down in Mill Hill performing at the synagogue on Wednesday and then I was straight up to Birmingham with the show the following day. I was booked to play at Bournville Gardens Village and my show couldn’t have gone better as they have a small theater with stage lighting, which makes for the perfect setting.

I’m so proud of this show and yesterday Judson sent the finished “My Fair Lady”  promo film through which has now been up loaded to You

On Stage at Bournville Gardens Village!

tube and added to my web-site. My promo has been a long time in it’s creation but it was worth the wait. I’m really proud of it and I’m glad we weren’t tempted to cut corners compromising the finished result.

Judson and I took a long time on getting the opening graphics just right emulating many of the ideas used in the original “My Fair Lady” film. The flower shots were taken in the public gardens while Judson was working out in Vienna. These shots look like they have been shot in technicolor really giving the promo that glamorous Hollywood edge.

Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins!

I enclose the You Tube link and I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I did making it. https://youtu.be/k5Od4Ju95Lc

This week it’s all change and tomorrow I open with my new “Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular” show. I’ve been rehearsing and yesterday evening I was in the recording studio with Richard picking up the last of my musical arrangements before Christmas. There is nothing more exciting than a new musical arrangement and this year I’ve been investing heavily in music for the show. You could say tomorrow is going to be D-Day when

Fiona Harrison in Hotters Shoe Shop

Shopping for Red Shoes at Hotters!

everything will be coming together and I’m just praying I will remember all my words.

Once again Richard has surpassed himself and this Christmas I am introducing lots of new Disney number plus Richard has put together a wonderful Disney medley which I tried out for the first time earlier this month when I was singing for the Poppy Appeal in Birmingham. I also have a new Oliver arrangement which went down well in the Summer when I tried it out for the first time and yesterday I picked up “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins. I have other arrangements in production with Richard for next year as I’m

Fiona Harrison buying Hotters Shoes

Finding a pair in Cherry Red at Hotters!

planning to expand this fairy tale theme further.

A great deal of thought goes into my dresses and better still I was able to have a few of my existing dresses re-modelled for this season. Some of you may remember when I went down to Fulham in September and bought a number of glamorous trimmings from “Accessories of Old Vintage”. Well those trimming are really coming into there own now and have made such a difference to my Christmas dresses.

Shoes are also a very important part, and when it comes to red I have three red dresses all needing a different shade. Last Saturday I ventured into Milton Keynes on a mission to find red shoes and sure enough I was able to come away with three different pairs. My first pair were bright red and came from New Look. The dark Ox blood ones came from , House of Fraser and for the Cherry Red ones I went to Hotters.   So I now have everything covered.

That’s all my news for now, keep Following and Toodle Pip! 😉

 


We’ll Meet Again at Portchester Castle & My Fair Lady for Mill Hill JACS!

Fiona Harrison on Stage at St Mary's Church Portchester Castle

On Stage at St Mary’s Church!

Fiona Harrison with the Rev Ian Meredith Portchester Castle

Paul and I with Rev Ian Meredith!

Once again I’m in something of a dash and between shows. Today I’ve been performing in London at Mill Hill Synagogue my “My Fair Lady ” one woman show and tomorrow I’m off up to Birmingham to perform at Bournville Gardens Village. It’s great to have a couple of performances of the same show back to back as it keeps the lines fresh in my brain. With this show there is a lot to remember and today’s show couldn’t have gone better as I sung, danced, narrated and acted my way through the entire “My Fair Lady” score. I’m looking forward very much to performing the show again tomorrow and I hope the Birmingham audience will enjoy it just as much as today’s Mill Hill audience did.

Last weekend Paul and I were down in Portchester performing at St Mary’s Church at Portchester Castle. Once again we had a good audience and I had been booked to perform the music of the 1940s for a special Remembrance show. The church had been beautifully decorated and Paul and I performed the “We’ll Meet Again” show in two half’s. To begin with I sang a sing-along selection in my ATS uniform and then for the second half I changed into my 1940s evening gown.

Fiona Harrison on Stage at St Mary's Church Portchester

On Stage at St Mary’s Church!

For this part of the show we introduced popular Big Band and Swing tunes, songs from the Hollywood movies, the Vera Lynn classics “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again” and concluded with a British themes medley . Paul sang a selection of Sinatra numbers  which went down extremely well with the audience as they all sang along and waved flags to our grand finally.

I would like to thank the Reverend Ian Meredith for inviting Paul and I to sing at St Mary’s Church and to all the helpers who worked hard to make the church look so beautiful for the evening not to mention the lovely refreshments. Paul and I

Fiona Harrison at The Kings Theatre Southsea

Poppy & I Out-side The Kings Theatre

will be returning to St Mary’s Church on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass. I have been invited to sing Schubert’s Ave Maria which I’m looking forward to very much.

I enjoy visiting this part of the world very much and no trip to Portchester/Portsmouth would be complete with-out a visit to the vintage fashion shop the “One Legged Jockey” in Southsea. It’s one of my favorite hunts and on this occasion I was able to pick up a pair of white cotton gloves which I really needed and Paul was able to find a beautiful brown silk scarf. I was very tempted to

Fiona harrison at The One Legged Jockey

Trying on Coats in the One Legged Jockey!

buy a vintage coat and one 60s black one with fur collar and cuffs really caught my eye, but I resisted in between taking Poppy for her walks along the sea-side and by the Kings Theatre which looked very Christmasy!

With the launch of my new Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular show I have a very full diary ahead of me. On Christmas eve my first show is in Harrow at 11am. Then at 2.30pm I’m on stage in Amersham followed by me driving straight down to Portchester with a quick run through with the organist at 10pm, and then it’s mass at 11pm. It’s hard to believe but by Christmas eve I will have completed 32 shows in one month with only another 5 shows to perform there after taking me up to New Years Eve. This year  Paul and I will be seeing the New Year in at Warwick Castle.

Christmas is just around the corner and I’m busy learning

Fiona Harrison in Portsmouth

Paul & I Out & About in Portsmouth!

words to new songs and putting the last finishing touches together for “A Fairy Tale Christmas Spectacular”. I hope to be in the recording studio this weekend picking up the last of my Mary Poppins arrangements. I open with my Christmas show on the 28th November and then it’s full steam ahead through to the end of the year.

That’s all my news for now but in the meantime I shall leave you with a few photos from this weekend.

Keep Following, Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉


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