Three hours sleep after partying way too hard with the cast of Elegies for Angels Punks and Raging Queens. I partly blame Marcus who coerced me into joining in when they started ordering shots. I also blame Wetherspoons for developing an app where by you can order drinks from your table with your phone.
Despite the lack of sleep, I managed to brave rush hour and made it to Clapham where on Monday I was again filming Adult Material. The series with Rupert Everett which Sheridan Smith was originally attached to but pulled out. We were filming a couple of scenes, one at a fake porn awards, one in a gay night club and one in a smoking area. The day was quite long, but relatively easy despite desperately needing some sleep. The catering was great though, as I took an extra portion of lasagne home.
I finished the 12-hour shoot and went home to change, discovered my flat mate watching Love Island. Shaun had just got back himself from a holiday cruising with his boyfriend. We compared tans and chatted about the Spice Girls concert. I then had to get ready to go straight back out, to make my way to Freedom bar for Kinky Kabaret’s 10th birthday.
It’s an incredible achievement to have a free night of entertainment in the West End last this long. I have been going for around eight years, just before my 30th birthday which I spent at Kinky Kabaret. Still hosted by the brilliant Carl Mullaney. Kinky Kabaret probably introduced me to London’s musical theatre scene and most of the people I now consider friends through it. The downstairs bar was packed and for the first time a new runway stage had been specially built to link the two iconic poles, allowing for the audience to completely encompass and surround the stage.
For the first time in its history, Kinky Kabaret was in the round, and it looked brilliant. The line up included returning favourites from Kinky Kabaret’s history including Divalution, Ben Richards, Emma Lindars, West End Gospel Choir, Nathaniel Morrison, Rosalind James, Tamsin Littlewood, Alex James Ellison, Claudia Kariuki, Sam Cassidy, Rebecca Lisewski, Britt Lenting, Danielle Steers, Coco Vadose a.k.a. Sean Parkins, Chrissie Perkins and Sean Green on the keys.
Nathan Hunter Pope, the man who created the show and successfully run it for a decade, was on hand as always, and made a speech along with the bar owners Keith Todd and Siobhan McGill who also gave thanks. Notable people in the audience included Bianca Del Rio as well as Jordan Shaw, Vinegar Strokes, Robbie Fell, Idriss Kargbo and Luke Bayer.
On Tuesday I met up with fellow blogger Aeron James to watch Music for the Mind Cabaret at Sing Easy West End. It was put together by Ryan Anderson in aid of the British Association For Performing Arts Medicine, who provide specialist health support to performing artists.
The line up included Steph Parry, Britt Lenting and Eloise May Davies, as well as Darren Bennett, Dan Partridge, Natalie Woods and Louis Gaunt who are all from the new production of Grease which Ryan plays Roger in. The MD for the evening was Nathan Jarvis. It was great to get a sneak preview of Ryan and Natalie, who play Roger and Jan, perform ‘Mooning’ from Grease. They both sounded fantastic. Thank you to Drew Baker and to all the artists who gave their time for free. The evening raised over £600 for Bapam. For more information about Bapam visit: http://www.bapam.org.uk.
On Wednesday I was filming Holby City in Elstree. It was an eleven hour day with a lot of waiting around. Fueled by biscuits I was struggling to stay awake between takes. I amused myself by finding the statue erected to Joe McFadden’s character, which is now a permanent part of the set. I text a photo of myself with the statue and sent it to Joe, who appreciated it. I finished filming exactly after 7pm which meant I was cutting it fine to get a train and tube back to Covent Garden in time for the 30th anniversary gala of Women in Black that started at 8pm. Now starring Stuart Fox as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Matthew Spencer as ‘The Actor’ and still directed by Robin Herford and produced by Peter Wilson who both took to the stage at the end of the show to make thank you s speeches while we were all treated to a glass of champagne. Their speeches can be found on my YouTube page: https://youtu.be/YHArf8vJ-EA The audience was made up of guests and celebrities and several of the actors who have played the roles over the years including the very first actors to originate the parts. It still remains an incredible simplistic theatrical experience and the best ghost story on stage. I had seen the play twenty years ago on tour when Eastenders actor Richard Cole was in it. He was there on Wednesday with actress Emilia Fox who looked stunning. It was also lovely to see my bloggers family Perry O’Bree, Jordan Haugh, Russell Haugh, and Amy Lovatt. I laughed during the interval when I turned around to catch Jordan and Amy who were sat two rows behind me discreetly take two extra goodie bags from the empty seats in front of them. I ended up with four, which I gave to my ex boyfriend Marc, best friend Alistair my brother who all love the play, and gave one away to a competition winner Pam Clarke on Twitter, who said “Have seen at least 6 versions of this play at various theatres. One was @FortuneTheatre1 when the wonderful Edward Petherbridge was in the cast.” I was seated next to Matt Connor who had played the actor on your and at the Fortune Theatre. As he told me stories of his experience I told him how I had been Daniel Radcliffe’s body double and filmed scenes at Pinewood Studios for the film adaptation. This week I finally released my interview with Eugene McCoy on my You Tube channel. Eugene and I both grew up in the North East, and I used to know his family very well. Eugene then came to London to study at Arts Ed, and was in Jersey Boys with my flat mate at the time Matt Wycliffe. It was a nice opportunity to chat to Eugene in his dressing room at the Coliseum where he finished his run of Man of La Mancha this week. The full interview can be found here: https://youtu.be/swbUZRI3GAg On Thursday I watched Who I Could’ve Been. At the Space Arts Centre a new play by Tori Allen Martin that ran for five nights. I adore Tori and have followed her work as a writer, singer and actress. As a performer Tori is captivating and as a writer she wears her heart on her sleeve. Her writing is always well observed and beautiful, with contrasts of humour and tragedy. In this play she uses a northern accent, which I always like to see. As a northerner, I adore hearing familiar accents. The play included a stunning cast made up of Matthew Marrs, Benjamin Stratton, Goergina Armfield, Anna Hallas Smith, Jim Rastall. After this, I raced over to Lola’s Underground Casino where Club 11 London with Take Two Theatricals and the Hippodrome Casino presented Keala Settle. Keala Settle is famed for playing the bearded lady in The Greatest Showman in which she performed the Oscar nominated anthem ‘This is Me’. She is currently on tour with Hugh Jackman and raced over from the O2 to perform this intimate late night gig for the audience of 120 people that sold out in under three minutes. Her special guests Kayleigh McKnight and Jenna Lee-James. Videos from the night can be found on my You Tube channel. 📺 Video: https://youtu.be/ITXD5E30axg 📺 Video: https://youtu.be/qMRrEztvAJQ It was nice to catch up with Perry O’Bree, Jordan Haugh and Russell Haugh again who were also there as well as Jodie Jacobs. On Friday morning I watched Sister Act by Associated Studios Performing Arts Academy at the Vaults. Starring students, Faye Charlotte Ainley. Charlotte Louise Allan. Anna Antonina. Jacob Ingvarsson. Alex Kais. Justina Kehinde. Becca Lamburn. Morgan Leger. Sam Lockley. Daniel N’Guessan Lopez. Georgia Mae-White. Samantha May. Vanessa M Owen. Stephen Redwood. Ilona Skyte. George Vountas. They did an incredible job putting on the show which I had seen a couple of times professionally, and to be honest there were moments during this production which I thought were better than the original staging. It’s always a pleasure to be invited to watch showcases and to see how hard everyone involved is working. I sat with Mitch Leow who is currently in Aladdin in the West End, and teaches at Associated Studios. I also chatted to Katy Lipson from Aria Entertainment whose birthday it was this week. She was telling me all about their brand new literary department. In the evening, I had a night off from the theatre to watch Emma Thompson’s new film Late Night, which was brilliant. On Saturday, despite the rain, I threw together an outfit made up a leopard print rainbow vest, and rainbow coloured butterfly wings and went to meet my friends Elliot and Kane for this year’s Mighty Hoopla festival. I had been in two minds whether to go this year. Last year’s festival was held on a Sunday which meant a lot more people that I knew were going. This year, being held on a Saturday meant a lot of people were busy in shows. Also the line up didn’t appeal to me as much this year, apart from Gals Aloud, there was nobody billed to perform that I was that particularly bothered about seeing. Despite this, Mighty Hoopla is always a great atmosphere and I couldn’t resist the excuse to get dressed up, covered in glitter and let my hair down, and for the most part the weather was quite good. I managed to catch Gals Aloud who were incredible, but didn’t actually watch any thing else. I spent most of the day wondering around chatting to people. I then met up with my friends to watch Chaka Khan who I have to say was disappointing. Her set choice really didn’t get the crowd going, and many had already started to leave before she even sang her anthem ‘I’m Every Woman’, and when I say sang, she barely warbled a few lines while her backing singers did most of the work. We left the festival for some more drinks in The Two Brewers in Clapham, before calling it a day. It was nice to catch up with a bump into a few old faces, and I even chatted to Russell Tovey, as well as Hugh Skinner from Mamma Mia 2 and Flea Bag. The accompanying video for this week’s journal can be found on my You Tube channel here: And the audio version can be found as a podcast here: