40 GLORIOUS YEARS!
London Palladium dates announced Feb 2024!
Hello!, it’s been a while since we’ve pestered you so forgive me if this is a longish one. I’ll start with the Big News so that if you get bored halfway through, it doesn’t matter if you don’t read to the end.
THE VERY BIGGEST NEWS
Fascinating Aïda hit the grand old age of 40 in March. We were meant to have a party to celebrate but for reasons which will be apparent as you read on (haha,gotcha!), a party was hard to organise. So how’s that for longevity! If Adèle and I are the Mick and Keith of the cabaret world, that makes Liza the Ronnie Wood.
THE NEXT BIGGEST NEWS
To celebrate this fact, Fascinating Aïda will be heading off on tour on 5th September with a freshly minted show! That’s a clever way of saying it’s not entirely new, but you will have to read on (gotcha again!) to find out how new.
We kick off in glamorous Camberley, of which my Auntie Betty had such happy tales. As usual we will be schlepping around the country in our merry charabanc, the Jaymobile, which transmogrifies into Bar Jaimondo by night… ooh! Check our tour dates on the website here.
THE NEXT ALMOST BIGGER THAN ANYTHING NEWS
People keep asking us about London dates. You’ll have to wait till February 2024, I fear, when we hit The London Palladium! We have appeared upon the hallowed stage before – Liza was there in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! for many a moon, and the Dame and I were in a couple of Hysteria! concerts raising money for AIDS. But never in our own show so that’s nice.
4th, 5th & 6th February 2024 7.30pm
The London Palladium
GET YOUR TICKETS AHEAD OF THE CROWDS!
EXCLUSIVE 24hour pre-sale booking period
From 10am Wednesday 10th May 2023
ON GENERAL SALE Thursday 11 May 2023, 10am
NEXT GROUP NEWS
Because Miss Pulman has been scooting around the country doing various of her own shows (read on for more information, haha!), she wasn’t able to join the Dame and I a couple of weeks ago for a fortnight of seclusion and song writing. We did get quite a bit of writing done – the Dame says it’s four songs, I say it’s three and a bit. (The “bit” needs a ton of work…). So there will be new material mixed in with old favourites! And we will be joining up again in the summer for MORE WRITING!
Our wonderful director, Paul Foster, came up and we had a long working lunch… When he heard some of the new stuff and some of the old stuff we were suggesting, he didn’t look depressed at all! So that was encouraging.
SLIGHTLY LESS IMPORTANT NEWS BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT THE SOLO STUFF AND IN STRICTLY ALPHABETICAL ORDER…
Dame Adèle Anderson did a couple of shows at the Pheasantry called CONTRADICTIONS which was really really clever, funny and super-entertaining. Not at all surprising as she is a great mass of contradictions in her own right. Dean Austin played a blinder upon the old Joanna and it was a classic evening of great cabaret.
Dr. Dillie Keane also did a few shows at the Pheasantry in the Kings Road called SONGS MY MOTHER WOULD HAVE HATED and as she is the author of this newsletter, she can only say that she was happy to survive and no-one asked for their money back or threw pizzas.
Miss Liza Pulman, aka the Madame de Stael of South Cornwall, has been gadding about doing lots of her own shows in posh venues and also some shows with Joe Stilgoe… wooooooooo! There’s fancy! Reports have been terrific, though she was felled by Covid and had to cancel one. Bah.
Mr Michael Roulston, our fabulous Musical Director and Pianist Extraordinaire, continues to work all day, all night, in his sleep and, possibly, even when he is under sedation at the dentist. That’s ‘cause everyone wants him because he’s brilliant.
In other news, for those of you who don’t know, we’ve had a few very sad losses. Most recently, Liza’s mother, Barbara Young, died. She was in her early 90s and health issues had started to overwhelm her, but being a fighter, she kept rallying until she could no longer do so. She was a very successful actress, working until only a few years ago, and as a young actress, she was part of Joan Littlewood’s fabled Theatre Workshop. She worked constantly into old age, and will particularly be remembered for her part in I Claudius (Agrippina) and also in Coronation Street. She was one hell of a character and leaves a gap the size of the Grand Canyon in Liza’s life – and the rest of us will miss her wonderful support and unwavering enthusiasm. Glamorous, intelligent, questing, funny, opinionated, charming – and fun. Goodbye Barbara, so glad we knew you.
Back in August, the wrecking ball of life came for me – my beloved partner John died on 13th, slap bang in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival. It’s strange – as I wrote everything up till this moment, my thoughts flowed and my typing fingers flashed, but now I have to write about John, it’s all stopped. As a pianist, I’ve always thought with my fingers, whether on a piano or a qwerty keyboard. But suddenly my fingers aren’t working so well. Ergh.
So, we had almost 23 years together, mostly it was absolutely marvellous (what partnership doesn’t have rough patches?) and I miss him most dreadfully. Another BIG character. What else can I say?
And then, as if that weren’t enough, this year we lost the amazing Kit Hesketh-Harvey, beloved rival and very dear friend to each of us. He died very suddenly at home – a heart attack – and is sorely missed. Our little cabaret community is terribly diminished by his talent and his friendship.
But life goes on, and I have truly wonderful friends. Like the amazing Michael Roulston who gently but firmly helped me get my solo show together in October when I was a mess. Like darling Adèle and darling Liza who were such stalwarts in Edinburgh. Like all the FA team who you don’t know who are bloody fantastic friends and supports. And indeed, with my much loved Auntie Betty whose picture adorns the wall of my office. In my darkest moments I look at her and remember her strength and she gets me through.
So now you understand why I didn’t quite feel ready to throw a 40th anniversary party. Oh well. We will party like maniacs in the autumn with copious amounts of cocoa and Complan!
Come and see the show. I promise it won’t be gloomy. Well, there may be moments of melancholy, but that’s life, isn’t it?