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.
As you can see by the lateness of the hour I’m dashing against the clock to get my blog out tonight before falling into bed. I love to be busy and so far I’ve successfully performed nineteen Christmas shows to date and I just have another twenty six to do before the year is out. Of-course any thing could happen with the current Covid situation but I’m keeping my fingers crossed I wont loose any more having lost five due to new restrictions.
It’s that time of year where everything goes a little bit crazy, however it doesn’t take me long to
get my Christmas shows swinging. I have lots of variations on the Christmas theme which help to keep my performances fresh and individually tailored for each particular client.
In The Motor Bike Shop at the BCLM!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of performing for “Christmas Nights” at The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. I had been looking forward to this event very much which was a complete sell out. The museum had 2000 visitors per night and I had been engaged to perform a variety of songs from the Music Hall and Operatic stage along with a few seasonal favorites over three shows nightly. I had been booked to sing in the museum’s chapel.
Acoustically the chapel was the perfect location for me and it was packed full for all of my
Greg and I on the Steps of the Chapel!
performances. I wasn’t quite sure what I would need so I brought my full rig with me but in the end I only needed my little speakers. I was also able to change in the vestry which helped enormously especially as I had been booked to perform in Victorian costume and some of my costumes can be quite complicated to get into.
It’s important to be prepared and I packed a couple of different Victorian costumes to suit the weather. Experience has taught me that the temperature can drop dramatically at this time of year and it’s essential to have costumes which are
Meeting Up with Other Costume Artists Between Shows!
warm enough to with-stand freezing temperatures. Friday was quite mild and I only needed my cape where come Saturday night my long leg-of-mutton sleeve wool coat became a must.
Black Country Living museum is a wonderful location and it takes on a completely different character at night. I think they must get a lot of regular visitors because as soon as they opened the doors there was a mad dash to the fish and chip shops. I’ve never seen anything like it but as the chapel is in the same street as one of the fish and chip shops this actually worked to my
BCLM During the Day!
advance. I also had Greg who did a wonderful job as my barker guiding people into the chapel.
Every audience is different and I always make sure I don’t repeat my repertoire when performing multiple shows in one location. Good showmanship is about understanding each audience and giving the public what they want. Saturday’s audience were really jovial and sang along to everything, so I kept my performances up tempo, where Friday’s crowed were a little more reserved and enjoyed listening to the Opera & Ave Maria.
A Dickens of a Christmas!
As I was staying next door at the Travel Lodge I decided to visit the museum during the day as I wanted to find out a little more about the museum’s history.
The BCLM opened to the public in 1978, and has since added over 50 shops, houses and other industrial buildings from around the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and the city of Wolverhampton which is collectively known as the Black Country. Together the museum has created a specially built village. Most buildings were relocated from their original sites to form a base where costume demonstrators portray life spanning over 100 years of history focusing predominantly on life from the 1850-1950.
The museum continues to evolve and is currently building a 1950s, 60s village which plans to open in 2023. It was great to talk to the museum staff and see everything from the night
Getting Ready to Sing at The RAFA Club!
before in daylight. I particularly enjoyed the motorbike shop and the gentlemen’s outfitters.
Straight after my performances at BCLM I was in Olney on the Sunday at “A Dickens of a Christmas” and then on Wednesday I sang at the Rafa Club, RAF Halton for their Christmas Dinner. For the RAF I had been engaged to perform popular swing tunes and seasonal favorites during dinner and then as the evening progressed I made sure I included Dam Busters and a few other aeronautical musical favorites from the 1940s.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree!
This week I’ve been performing two shows daily. Last night I was at St Firmins Church in North Crawley singing for the Historical Society and the night before I was in Cranford having dashed from my previous show in Chesham. Next week is very much more of the same as I continue to keep “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”.
Oh yes I almost forgot – but you can now read my latest article “Taking Care of Show Business” which featured in my union’s magazine “Equity” by clicking the link below.
I shall leave you with a few photos and my Ave Maria video which is perfect for this time of the year. Shot at All Saints Church in my home town of Leighton Buzzard.
Enjoy Watching, Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉
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