“We’ve all been busy in the old back yard
Couldn’t see each other for the steam
Before we washed up the dirty clothes
I hadn’t got a handerkerchief to wipe my nose
Oh my, talk about work, we’re over head and ears
Mother says she’s never had a wash day before
For very nearly fifteen years.”
Mother’s Washing Day, Dan Leno
My lifelong love of theatre began with my first performance (other than school) when I was 7 – and of course it was Music Hall! It was a Music Hall revue show performed in my hometown of North Walsham, presented by the oracle and magnificent Mary Pendred. Mary had performed her whole life and would often talk to me for hours upon hours of Music Hall and Variety. “I’m Shy Mary Ellen, I’m Shy” would be my signature tune in her shows into my teenage years!
I am an active committee member of the East Anglia Variety Branch of Equity, the performer’s and creatives’ theatrical Union. As a regional branch we support members of the Variety artform and we find different ways to maintain its momentum and standing within the entertainment and theatre sector. I am also a member of the British Music Hall Society.
I enjoy engaging people with the enchantment of Music Hall. I have led seminars and discussions, as well as being a performer and producer of Music Hall shows.
Seminars and discussions have been focused around:
• The songs and nostalgia (with sing-along, great for wellbeing, memories and older people).
• Lyrics, skits and their relevance to historical context or societal norms.
• Gender and identity of the Music Hall, from versions of drag and character persona.
I have performed as a vocalist and comedy act within Music Hall Shows. I enjoy the sketches, monologues and traditional patter of the bygone days.
I also perform and advocate Variety, the form of entertainment that developed from Music Hall (at the time seen to be less scandalous than its previous forray!).
I have also performed as Titania Trust in Music Hall and Variety – as my style of this sort of performance befits the likes of old-time entertainment rather than modern day trends.
Read more about Titania Trust
Sunday Night At The Interweb
I had lots of fun for the first 12 weeks of lockdown in 2020. We all need cheering up with some lighthearted fun with good old-fashioned humour and good company. I presented Sunday Night At The Interweb, live each Sunday evening, a nostalgic nod to our great British variety. Head to New Stages Live for the videos that you can watch anytime.
During lockdown in 2020 and 2021 I led online sing-alongs and skits.