In the show, Yes! Because… Dame June Bloom reminisces – sometimes painfully, sometimes joyfully – and often about her relationship with her mother. One song in particular seems to be a hit with audiences, and I’ve had many requests to record it. The chorus is catchy, and pretty easy to pick up as I’ve discovered when I’ve forgotten to stop and take the time to teach it as I go. (Thanks, Threshold Festival Liverpool!)
Last week I was invited to perform with a bunch of E15 Acting School students for a fund-raiser they had organised for themselves. Goya Arts is a group of third year students – now graduated CONGRATULATIONS! – who will be performing their own self-devised and produced show in July. Here are a few pics from the occasion, where I performed the monologue The First Mother, plus a few songs including “I Wish I Were Adopted”. So I’ve finally recorded it, a bit rough and ready, but there you go, knock yourselves out!
“I was captivated…..June’s storytelling and songs had me both laughing and crying in equal measure”
There was so much love in the room, on the streets, and in the cafes and bars of the Baltic Triangle during the 2016 Threshold Festival, it was just a joy to be there. My Liverpool son Roderick billeted me in his spare room, and fed me delicious home made soup and lots of lovely red wine. He became my tour manager for the duration, chauffeuring me back and forth to the theatre for tech and dress, and running the equivalent of a 3 minute mile to collect my ukulele, which I had left in the carpark of his office several blocks away. I only realised it was missing as the house was opening, and audience members were making themselves comfortable, so the fact that it appeared before I had finished setting myself on stage for the opening scene was a minor miracle, and evidence that he is fitter than even he knew!
Sadly, I didn’t think to arrange for photos or video to be taken during the performance, but the amazing community dance artist Vicci Riley was in the house, and she kindly provided some for me.
“I felt as though I was the only person in the room as Dame June immersed me into a world of laughter and self acceptance.”
Roderick also made his first appearance at the festival, playing along with me as I performed a sonnet and a couple of my own songs on the Sunday evening. We were invited to be part of Secret Circus, a fabulous collection of independent circus and burlesque artists based in Liverpool.
(video courtesy of Irina Shmell)
It was a total blast, and I hope to take advantage of Secret Circus’s invitation to come back!
Meantime, preparations are in hand to take Yes! Because to the US. We have a gig lined up at Theatre Row, 410 42nd St West, New York as part of the United Solo Theatre Performance Festival, and tickets are ON SALE NOW (details below). Please spread the word! If we fill the house with pre-booked tickets, we may be offered a second date, and that would be such a gift.
“2016 United Solo is the world’s largest solo theatre festival, currently in its 7th season. All shows are staged at Theatre Row: 410 West 42nd Street, New York City. TICKETS, with a price of $20.25 (including a $2.25 theatre restoration charge) are available at the Theatre Row Box Office and online through Telecharge at www.telecharge.com. You may also call Telecharge at 212-239-6200. When placing your reservation, please provide: the FESTIVAL name (United Solo Theatre Festival), the name of THEATRE (Theatre Row – The Studio Theatre), and the specific DAY (12 November 2016) and TIME (6.00 pm) of SHOW (YES! BECAUSE…) you would like to see.”