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5th March 2009: Hello everybody and a great big, fat fabulous 2009 to you all !

At last I have PROPER time to be able to write another missive, without too much interruption. I’ve been at Campus R. Soles for 3 days now, getting my house in order, literally, and remembering what is in what cupboard etc. The great bonus about returning from a few months away is one can view things again. I.E. “I’ve never really liked that” or “Is this still here ?” so one can extricate things without feeling too sentimental.

CINDERELLA in Swansea was a really luvly, fulfilling experience. Warm, appreciative people. I must have been stopped in the High Street a dozen times a day with people wanting to see how I liked their town and did I want to come for tea ? And not just be salt-of-the-earth mother’s and granny’s. There were a few petrol heads and bikers I took a shine to !

But the stage prevailed so I had to forego lava bread and cookies. Speaking of traditional food, I couldn’t quite get orgasmic over Welsh cakes. I found them to be a mixture of scone and tea-cake, which in itself is not unappetising just doughy. I even tried them with jam, which only slightly enhanced the experience. Anyway enough of culinary chit chat.

The panto proved to be hugely popular and a great success, to everyone’s delight: the producers, council, theatre staff and performers all benefited from the experience. Theatre management, especially, are always happy to have a show make money, but panto is particularly important as good takings can be a tremendous help in funding the forthcoming season’s events. Chris Jarvis, Buttons and the director as well, was a superb asset. We had a real rapport and his desire for a good story, swiftly told, matched my own - I’m chuffed to say that in 6 weeks I only saw three children go to the toilet ! Well, you can’t be doing with a show that is 2 hours 35 minutes long. Panto is not Les Miz. Our social life was fab and on the doorstep. I can highly recommend a bar with music called THE LOFT. It’s not a club as such but there is space to shake your booty. A luvly guy called Steve owns it and so far it is immaculate, having only been open around five weeks. Also, there is a main street dedicated to fun and good times - Vine Street. Fab restaurants, bars, discos - one of my favourites being Flares, a franchised club specialising in 70’s and 80’s sounds. You have got to have something you can move to, invent your own choreography. We ended the season with a fab party in a club called OCEANA. Well it consisted of several large rooms, each containing it’s own disco, but differently themed. Highly recommended. I was particularly impressed with the VIP room. Even if you were performing in Swansea, if you were not invited by the management you couldn’t get entry. I like that idea. So many profile people assume it’s their ‘right’ to be admitted everywhere so it’s very refreshing to have that policy.

Anyway, I shall now turn my attention to the much loved and extremely popular 60’s musical SHOUT. As many of you may know, this started life off-Broadway and was brought to my attention by the British producer Mark Goucher. I was in luvly Malvern, being horrible to the dwarfs - in character, I hastily add - when I was sent a CD containing all these memorable 60’s songs but not much of a script. I was immediately taken with the arrangements and got very excited, especially when the wardrobe mistress, Chris, who was not prone to verbal ‘whoops’ became very animated. Needless to say, I accepted the job only to discover A LOT OF WORK was needed to finalise the script. A million congratulations to everyone who was involved. It turned out to be a huge success. I’ll never forget our opening night at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Although we felt we had a good product, as all performers like to think - out of loyalty to the sweat, tears and sheer physical and mental output over a rehearsal period demands. One never knows how a show is going to be realistically received until it has had it’s first outing. Claire Sweeney - a great girl - and I looked at each other with tears of joy as every member of the audience stood and cheered, whistled and shouted for ‘more’. I felt liked Madonna without her basques.

We had a really fabulous tour. We went to so many places, venues new to me sometimes and ones we returned to with luvly memories of past shows. The girls in the show were truly fab, with a great work ethic and talent. I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable jobs of my career - 35 years this year - so that gives you some idea of how I rate the show. To be able to go onstage eight times a week and enjoy every second brings untold job satisfaction and can only benefit the audience. It was gratifying to see people of all ages, able and unabled, all appreciating the performance in their own way. Oh dear, pass the Kleenex !

Also, another fab bonus is that I’ve met many great people who have become friends that in every town I visited I was able to make contact. I’m lucky in that my pals aren’t all in London so when I’m touring we get to meet up. With the best intentions, I’m sure none of us have all the time to specifically visit every friend we have on a regular basis, especially New Zealand, so to be able to say hello even twice a year is a real bonus.

Shona, Donna and I, the SHOUT girls, did a gig at the Palladium for the Air Force, remembering our brave warriors from World War Two. What a privilege. Prince Michael of Kent is the Patron and he is hot ! I can see what his wife sees in him. He’s handsome, has a luvly smile, very well groomed - he should be a Cruft’s entrant, and he’s very funny.

 

29th October 2007: Hello everyone,

And, once again, apologies for my tardiness with the webletter. I did begin it months ago, detailing how the Menopause was going (the musical one!) but I got side-tracked. As you are probably aware, the show has now come off, but what an experience!

In one month's rehearsal the cast packed in a mountain of work; most choreography and vocals. One month is considered a luxury to get a show on in musical theatre, but, really, we could have done with two. There was such a lot to absorb, even manually changing scenes as we went along. Getting everything right at the same time proved to be a real challenge to say the least and many a night I found myself waking trying to remember steps, harmonies, what props to use and when.

For those of you not familiar with the show, I'm sure the title "Menopause The Musical" will give you a fair idea of what it is about.

A cast of four ladies in, approaching, or having come through the menopause explain through songs their experiences, with often hilarious outcomes. Jeannie Linders, the writer and producer, felt that all four characters represented parts of herself. In fact, all the characters really represented women all over the world. Universally, it is popular as most women can relate to the subject. She very cleverly chose well known Sixties/Seventies songs and substituted the lyrics; i.e.. 'My Guy' became 'My Thighs'. In fact we all learned the new words so well we can't remember the originals!

Us four girls, three musicians, a great crew and staff at the Shaw Theatre had a fun, memorable time and, of course, the icing for us was the fact the audience loved it. It wasn't meant to be Brecht or Kipling, it was meant to convey in a sympathetic, funny, moving way a subject that has driven countless women to despair, descending into a kind of madness. The tears and laughter and fond embraces at the end of the show only served to underline how uplifted all those ladies felt. Some ladies hadn't been out for two years because they had become so low in spirits. But our little show gave them hope and encouragement, as they felt they were with other kindred spirits in the audience. If ever a show had a feelgood factor, it's the Menopause! It's so easy to brush aside something that doesn't appear to have any substance and too often critics can't wait to plunge their verbal knives in, but I was very proud to be part of a show that made people laugh, cry, and to be happy. They were ENTERTAINED!

At the moment a UK tour is being discussed, but for any of you lucky enough to live in or around Dublin, the show is on at the Tivoli Theatre, so I do urge you to pay a visit. While you're there please give my luv to Miquel Brown, mum of Sinitta, who was in our production. Go Miquel!!

I have to say being in London and living at home since finishing panto has been such a fabulous change. Not having to plan train travel etc. has been a little weird as I've toured a lot over the last few years. I must admit, though, it is marvellous to get away from the dreaded London traffic. I've lost count of the times I could have been in Nottingham during the journey across London.

Anyway, I've had a fab social time recently. I really do think I could become a lady who lunches - I've been to several and I'm now walking briskly at every opportunity and have recently reacquainted myself with baked beans on toast as I strive to fit into my leopard skin trousers! But I'm fortunate to have some luvly people in my life and being able to spend time with them while not on tour is a real bonus.

My great pal, James Smilie, who played "Daddy Warbucks" in Annie got married to the fab Caroline and has moved permanently to Perth, Australia. It's a great place but, personally, I think it's like Milton keynes with sun. No offence, Miltonians!

During August I went to Malvern for the publicity launch of the panto. Once again, I'm thrilled to be playing "Wicked Queen" in Snow White. I adore the show, and Malvern is such a picturesque town, quite posh, I think, so we'll have to wake it up a bit! Having been before, I'm sure we'll have a luvly time, as the patrons adore their theatre and are very loyal. The staff are very committed and have a generous spirit. I have a few, fun things planned. Tickets, I know, are selling fast, so secure yours soon! Please feel free to say hello afterwards. I always have time for anyone who wants to chat, so don't be shy, say hi-de-hi! I think I should go into marketing!

I went to a luvly book launch for a friend of mine, Roly Curram. You may remember him from the ill-fated BBC soap, Eldorado. Typical - Just as it was coming good, it was axed. That's showbiz! He has since had a second career as a published writer, so it was with great pride I went along to a building next to the Savoy Hotel on The Strand to sample some canapés and to purchase his book, entitled The Rose Secateurs. What a fabulous read. It's a thoroughly entertaining piece, with a great twist at the end.

What a place to have a book launch. The reception was on the 12th floor and the spacious room leads to a terrace overlooking the Thames. Well, you can forget walking, tubing, cabbing. The view meant you could see from St. Paul's to Battersea. It was just marvellous. And to see everything lit up, all the landmarks, including the newest icon, the London Eye, brought tears to my eyes. I was so proud that I live in one of the greatest cities in the world.

All that and canapés en croute!

Had a bit of fun with Jamie Theakston, re his recent wedding. Was on his radio show, pretending to gatecrash the ceremony. I think he was scared I might stand on tables at the reception and be naughty! I would as well!

Then i attended a fab civil ceremony for two great pals, Allan and Alan. It was so good, every detail was perfect, apart from my shoes. My heels were so high my balls were killing me so I had to partake of a taxi. It was only from a local Town Hall to a restaurant at the end of a road but a girl can't have aching balls.

Saw a really good musical called When Midnight Strikes. Hopefully it will have a longer run when it is produced on a larger scale.

Also saw a luvly Prom concert at The Albert Hall. It was the Blue Peter Saturday Morning Proms. How marvellous that the whole auditorium was full, not only full, but full of young people, probably experiencing not only the Albert Hall for the first time, but also the musical programme. The taste was eclectic, insofar as there was an excerpt from Peter & The Wolf, Connie Fisher reprising 'Favourite Things' and a selection of Bollywood songs. judging from the reaction of the children and adults he morning was a great success. long live music!

Recently, my sister Jean's Fiancee Tony and I went to the Langham Hilton Hotel. It was an afternoon of "Strictly Tea Dancing" organised by my friend Gloria Hunniford, in aid of her charity for her daughter, Caron, who died of breast cancer almost three years ago. Since her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing she has remained friends with all the professional dancers and for the second year running has held an afternoon tea. Members of the public are invited to the hotel for champagne, a luvly tea, very much like a Devon one, an auction conducted by the luvly Chris Biggins, a cabaret by the talented Brian Conley, and to have a chat and a dance etc., with invited guests like myself. Well, I danced myself to death; jiving, sambaing, waltzing, all in a black chiffon frock with pink ostrich feather fringing! The ultimate attraction was, of course, the pros from "Dancing", who gave displays of jaw-dropping virtuosity - the stamina required to produce that sort of performance is nothing short of phenomenal.

As I had another "do" to attend, i sadly said goodbye to Anton, et al, and cabbed my way, with Tony, to the Bloomsbury Ballrooms, near Kings Cross. A very lavish spectacle greeted us, as John Addy, my marvellous friend of almost 25 years, hires the venue several times a year for his club "Salvation". His aim is to provide a great evening's entertainment with fab music, bar, guest artistes, marvellous stilt-walkers, lots of camp, on a Sunday, usually from 6.00pm till midnight. I went along to say hello to everyone, mingle and sign autographs and have pictures - in general, just to mix. I had a marvellous time. People are, on he whole, very nice. They just want to enjoy themselves, with no hassle. If you fancy going to one of John's "do's" in the future, just click to his website.

I also had the great good fortune to receive an invitation to a fab birthday lunch, courtesy of my luvly friend, Karl, dress-designer and maker to the Queen, held at Mossiman's in Kensington. This time, I left the serious heels behind! A beautiful, six-course lunch was enjoyed by 18 of us. Luckily, the portions were not distortions. Once in a while it is just fabulous to go to a restaurant for a sumptuous feast, almost like a banquet, and to remember it in years to come. That was one of those times. To be in the company of honest, entertaining people, each enjoying each other, is a thing never to be taken for granted.

A marvellous day, made even better by party poppers and confetti bombs. Well, a girl can't go to a party empty-handed.

Do tune in on 13th November for The Paul O'Grady Show. myself, Paul, Ruth and Jeff - Peggy, Ted, Gladys and Spike - are appearing and as yet have not been given any specific brief. I secretly think we will be involved in a sketch with Paul playing Miss Cathcart!

I've so much enjoyed sharing my last few months with you and I sincerely hope life is good for you all at the moment. Once again, my heartfelt thanx to Davie who has been a tireless stalwart, in my view producing one of the best sites ever, not forgetting luvly Rob, a friend and great supporter.

Much luv to you all,

Su

XXX

 

15th July 2006: Hello everyone,

And welcome to a, so far, glorious Summer

May I extend a thousand apologies for such a late missive. A lot of which can be attributed to the recent passing of my beloved dad. I'm sure those of you who have experienced the same situation will understand perfectly the tide of emotions one feels. Added to that the huge practicalities involved. The paperwork! Help! My sister, Jeannie, has been an absolute star in that department, whilst I've been involved in clearing wardrobes, etc; organising relatives, and generally helping to run a smooth ship.

Now that dad has had his official "send off", things will no doubt gel into their usual places.

I would like to thank everyone for being so kind and supportive during this time. It is so much appreciated.

My dad left me a marvellous legacy of positiveness. His stock phrase was "get on with it...", so I'm doing just that.

Thanx for everything, dad.

Well, I think it's catch-up time now! Where to start! I guess it's as far back as panto in Rhyl. I had a really luvly season there, made all the more enjoyable because I stayed in a marvellous place - The Pier Hotel, run by two great guys; Richard and Wayne. They really looked after us, as most of the cast were there.

Apart from the early morning performances, breakfast was sometimes as late as Midday. What luxury is that! The whole aspect of the Pier was a joy, especially the social side! Let's just say there was many a jovial early morning tipple!

We really had a lot of fun, and a cast who all joined in with each other. A highlight was a girl and guys night, where the genders were swapped. Can't tell you how gorge some of the fellers looked. It's amazing what a bit of imagination and a few bits of lippy can do! The guys all agreed, tho, that high heels were not good for the balance.

Thanx to everyone involved in that luvly season.

No sooner had I arrived back home, the next I embarked on another theatrical adventure...

My first foray into Shakespeare. It was pretty weird to be a Panto Queen on Saturday and a nurse on Monday! But the variety of work that is showbiz makes it such a great vocation.

Luckily, I was given the script of Romeo & Juliet several weeks before. I had to read it on a daily basis to familiarise myself with the dialogue. I came to realise that Shakespeare's language is quite decipherable once you get the gist of it. Like any script really. It's just that his is more thorough and beautifully written - more flowery than the Botanical Gardens!

What a fabulous experience, tho. Once I'd really got to grips with the play I enjoyed every moment. It was a joy to see the audience enjoying themselves, especially the younger students giggling nervously at the double entendre!

We had quite a few sex Gods in the cast, who certainly gave the girls something amounting to palpitations. 

Once again, we had a great camaraderie between us. Nearly every week it was someone's birthday, and each one was celebrated. In fact, Jane, our Company Manager, carried with her boxes of compulsory party poppers and paper plates!

With a play as long as Romeo & Juliet you really need a release, especially after a matinee day. So it was great to have parties and visit clubs, etc. My ethos has always been "work hard, play hard" as you feel you've earned your leisure time.

I tell you what, tho', the concentration required for 'Speare is phenomenal, especially because the dialogue is so well-known, so if you get your thou's and thee's in the wrong place, the rhythm goes, along with the text.

Despite that, I would definitely do the "Bard" again. Thanx to luvly Jenny King, the Producer, for the chance to do it.

Caught up with loads of mates after and had a great night watching Footloose. Fab energy. Was out of my seat in a flash. As was everyone else. Luvly to be so well entertained.

Next night went to the 'Annual Quiz' at the Grovesnor House for the cancer charity "Children with Lukemia", always hosted by the fabulous Jeremy Beadle. Caught up with showbiz pals from Corrie, Eastenders and The Bill. A great night. I won an enormous bottle of champagne for dancing. A cross between Noddy Holder and Freddie Mercury!

Had a great time at Langham Hilton. A very camp tea dance, organised by my pal Gloria (Hunniford) to raise funds for the Caron Keating Foundation. Caron, as you may know, died from breast cancer, so it was a fitting fundraiser, as well as fun. Cliff Richard sang a song, acapella, dedicated to Caron. Superb! Every note was perfect. He even took off his belt and signed it for an auction item. Unfortunately, everything else stayed on. He's such a good sport.

Chris Biggins made a great job of the auction, and everyone entered into the spirits - not the alcohol type, as there was only tea from the Orient.

We were treated to a stunning dance cabaret, provided by the professional participants of Strictly Come Dancing. And we got to dance with them. Make no mistake - they were fit!! How fab to be samba'd to death!

I was wearing a tiara that promptly left my head after a particularly energetic move, whereupon I trod on it. Well, it's now become a necklace, as I squashed it flat!

It was great to see people I've worked, premiered, and partied with... Robert Powell, Victor Spinetti, Lionel Blair, Guitar legend Bert Weedon, Paul and Debbie Daniels, Zoe Lucker, and members of the public who had bought tickets to have a chat with everyone, and to contribute to a great cause.

It was particularly good to have a luvly chat with Michael Barrymore. He looked great. He is undoubtedly a fab talent, and whatever his past troubles, it was good to see him again.

Later, my friend, Mario and I ventured to a pub in Islington - well, more a hi-tech bar, actually. There I was in my long, sequinned frock, squashed tiara, feather boa, silver shoes and a sparkling handbag. Unfortunately I got mistaken for that night's drag act!

Still hungry for entertainment, I went to Malaga - not that evening, a week later. Two friends own an apartment in a luvly place in Calahonda. Fabulous. An old type, Spanish dwelling, still with original fittings and a superb balcony view of the luvly aquamarine sea. 

I should be doing A Place In The Sun!

Nightlife was ten minutes away. Met loads of ex-pats. All luvly. And just one or two "Dodgy Daves", with broad noses!

A fab night was had at 'Bunny's', a drag cabaret club. Just my type of stuff. I luv a bot of camp! Never! Of course, most of the audience was British, so we all had a good old knees up.

I luv foraging around in the local supermarkets. Everything seems so much better than our stuff. It's just pshychological, really. Although I couldn't get enough of Spanish tomatoes. I'm mad about tomatoes in general. I'm coming back as one so I can spend my whole life in a greenhouse.

Just before I went to Malaga, or Malager as I call it, I appeared on Loose Women. I just luv that show. They look after you extremely well, sending cars, which often these days is a bonus. Pity, really. Most programmes have a "limited" budget these days, which usually means "not much money in it, but you'll get lunch!".

The show is very tightly run. Staff know exactly what they're doing and most importantly, it's fun and informative. I just hate working on, what I consider, sub-standard stuff. Anyway, that was all good.

Saw an extremely good production of a new muscial entitled Enchanted. Written, acted and produced entirely by ex-students of Guildford School of Acting. I must salute their endeavours. I was royally entertained. The performances were excellent, script very good, if too long, but first-timers very often are, I wish them all well.

Had a great, but hectic, time appearing on the Prince's Trust 30th Anniversary. So many mates were there, plus people I've seen but don't really know. So, it was a nice adventure. A difficult thing to organise. Live stuff really does have to stick to the itinerary. Especially on ITV, with the advertising input.

I've never seen so many walky-talkies!

Had a great catch-up with my mate Les Dennis. Great to chat with Ronnie Corbett. I had my heels on, so he appeared to look like an inhabitant of Lilliput! He's enjoying a real rennaisance at the moment. It's great. What marvellous work he did with Ronnie Barker.

Jonathan Ross and I had some banter about who was wearing the loudest outfit. I think it was a draw.

The only downside to functions like the Trust is that one is always asked to repair to the bar for "canapes and conviviality". Nothing wrong with that, but actors luvingly refer to this as "hostility in the crush bar", so called, as the clamour for drinks is 20-deep and the canapes usually consist of pastry-based ingredients. So every time you have a chat. you choke on the puff! Not conducive to witty conversation.

Luvly Duncan, ex-Blue band was there. Ant and Dec hosting. So many people you would all know.

Also, a few days later, a very nice acknowledgment from HRS Charles, thanking us for our participation. You know, I've always liked him, especially when Hi-De-Hi! was at its peak and he came to the Blue Peter studio to do something with plastic, and as he passed our dressing rooms he gracefully shouted "Ho-De-Hi!". Obviously, totally wrong, but he said it with spirit!

Am doing a programme called Destination Lunch with Judith Chalmers and Peter Purves. Luv them. Due to be broadcast on Sky TV. It's a new lunchtime chat show, hence the title, and will go out live on Sky, Monday 7th August.

Will be in Nottingham, week-commencing 28th August, for another stint of Vagina Monologues. Just luv that show.

By the time you read this, I will have done the Press Launch for panto. Mansfield Palace Theatre, being wicked again. It's a luvly theatre. I've played it before and was lucky enough to see my mate, Ray Meagher, there two years ago doing his King Rat.

Have been offered a really good play - one performer and 18 characters! A challenge, eh? We're looking to do it after panto, so I'll keep you posted.

Off to Regents Park Theatre to see my luvly mate, Joshua Dallas, in The Boyfriend. Hoping for a good night, as the show, although quite trite and cute, offers good characters and tunes. What I call "a bit of trivia" but sending you home with a feel-good glow. And nothing wrong with that.

I've decided my New Year Resolution starts now, ie; my efforts to keep you informed on a more regular basis will be implemented forthwith. Thanx John, who sent an email to nudge me in that direction.

My thanx to all of you who are loyal and supportive, older and newer, especially, too, to Davie who manages and indeed, controls my site and is very valued, especially by professionals who wish to engage in on-going developments. Thanx Davie,  I so appreciate what you do.

Special thanx, too, to Rob Cope, who's input is invaluable.

Hope we've caught up now - look forward to monthly missives!

Much luv to you all - and don't burn!

Su 

X X

 

3rd June 2005: Hello everybody,

How luvly to be in touch with you all again. And may I welcome new visitors to the site.

Well, where to start?

Firstly, we had a great finale to the 'Annie' tour, finishing at Ashton-Under-Lyne, a beautiful theatre, with very supportive staff in every department, especially the wardrobe, with the help of the luvly Twinkle, who made my wig, as Miss Hannigan, look "designedly dishevelled"!

I then spent two weeks catching up with mates in-between "domestic stuff" and getting teeth etc. checked out. Well, a girl has to have favourable gnashers! Then a couple of hours organising my holiday in Sydney, 'cos I just decided on the spur to visit mates I hadn't seen in years.

I had a great adventure! My flight was with Gulf Air. Who, on this showing, I will definitely use again. Everything was smooth as silk. From the moment the limo picked me up, to the moment I collected my luggage from the Sydney carousel.

The campest part was getting a personal visit from the in-flight chef, who went through the menu thoroughly and was quite prepared to mix and match requirments to the individual's taste.

The lounges were fab, but I wasn't very successful with Duty Free. I was disappointed with the lack of choice from the perfumery, so anyone reading this who has any interest in representing good products - i.e. any "chairman of the board", please do a shake-up.

My friend, Lee, a fab woman and very gracious to me, has a fab apartment overlooking one of the many bays in Sydney, focusing on the Harbour Bridge. it was gorge to sit or stand, or nearly fall over on the deck! Even at 6am, sometimes, which is rather on the early side for me.

Every day I did something different, even just pottering. Not having to adhere to discipline and a schedule was really freeing and liberating. I adore my work as you know, but it's fabulous for us all, I think, to get re-energised and focused and now I'm ready for my first Oscar!

Anyway, I fell totally in luv with Lola, Lee's poodle, who's also called Lolly. I took her for walks and played and rolled around, loving it all. I can really understand how people luv their dogs - you get so attached. I really miss saying; "Lolly, get the ball" and her being so luvly and obediently bringing it back, usually twelve feet away!

I have begun to morph into a king prawn. The size of the things! I think every vein I've got has been infused with the essence of Morton Bay bugs, green prawns, giant scallops. marvellous sea food. I ate so well in Oz. Not necessarily big-ly, but wel-ly, and without this sounding like an Egon Ronay celebration, now I'm home, I can't get used to tiddlers! 

Went to a fab restaurant with my luvly mate, Ray Meagher, Alf in 'Home & Away', and caught up once again with luvly Kate Ritchie, who plays Sally and Cordelia, who plays Morag. What a fab night! We all signed several autographs 'cos some American diners had seen 'You Rang, M'Lord?' on cable TV. So we all had a great chat, good laugh, and finished off with party poppers, a must for every girl's handbag.

There followed a tour of Luna Park, the luvly Blackpool Pleasure Beach-like attraction, which Ray's apartment overlooks, 75 storeys up. Needless to say, I kept at least 10 feet away from the balcony. I'm a real Wendy Wimp when it comes to heights.

A major fab time was a party at Lee's on the first Saturday of my stay. Lee tried to teach me at least the rudiments of the proper peeling of a prawn. She was brilliant and I was dead chuffed having reached the grand total of three in 10 minutes. Lee decided that, although I was a good student, I would still be peeling when the guests arrived. I was allocated the task of preparing the table, flowers, salads, glasses, outside candles and seating arrangements. I am never going to be a party planner! Four hours later I was stuffed. 

Anyway, it all went fabulously and all the guests were marvellous. Some of you may know Fiona Spence, "Vinegar Tits" in 'Prisoner: Cell Block H', the wonderfully "inept" soap from Australia.

I really enjoyed my time with everyone. We danced away, the obligatory party poppers were released, all the food was consumed and everyone was sated satisfactorily.

Caught up with a luvly mate, Lou Stark, who I was in 'The Good Sex Guide Revue' with. He's been domiciled in Sydney for eight years. He took me to Doyles Fish Restaurant, then a party at the Harbour Bridge, with magnificent flashing lights and music till dawn, then two transvestite bars.

Arrived back at Lee's to pack and bid a tearful farewell to Lolly, who whimpered her way to the door with her ball. Ah! Really sad!

Great trip home - no hassles - luvly driver waiting to take me back to Campus R. Soles, and a reunion with every room. Do you ever do that? Say hello to your usual surroundings on your return from visiting?

Anyway, got into work mode almost immediately, by being invited to a cat-walk show of Giles Deacon, Britain's hot new female-wear designer. Really great collection and marvellous to get a front row seat. Giles is definitely a new star in the firmament, and he's from Darlington, which is a bonus as I luv that town.

Have recently completed another infommercial for the luvly Home-tek people, which continue to be shown on the Shopping Channel and the new commercials I've made will start showing on terrestrial TV around about now too.

Must warn you - if you're an insomniac, avoid the Shopping Channel, it's very addictive and can drag you screaming and kicking into the "wee small hours" without you even realising bedtime was three hours ago!!

Got lots in the pipeline, most of which you will learn about on the News page over the coming months, so please stay tuned. I promise another webletter update in the not-too-distant future.

Till then, take care, thanks for visiting, and have fun!

Have a wonderful Summer.

Much Luv,

Su x x x

 

8th August 2004: Hello everyone,

Just a little missive to wish you all a fabulous Summer.

At the moment I'm spending my sleeping hours as a contortionist, i.e. finding new positions to put my arms and legs to escape the heat. The perfect place is on top of the bed, surrounded by a mosquito net, wearing not much more than a smile.

Luckily, the theatre in Stevenage, the Gordon Craig, has very effective air-conditioning. never been so welcome. This is our last week as "A Happy Medium"! And what a challenge the play has been. The whole cast and I agree that this has been a job with 150% concentration. your wits cannot wander for a second. the play has improved tremendously during the last weeks and I would like to thank everyone for their positive feedback. I'm sure A Happy Medium will have another outing. It deserves one, as it is tremendous fun, both for cast and audience.

At the moment, I'm enjoying a great time, socialising and generally catching up. Having done two days of "pottering about", i.e. doing domestics, I then set about spending time doing what I luv most; meeting up, lunches, dinners, and an odd visit to a gallery. Not that what I saw was odd, just the fact that I actually went.

Had a fab time at Gary Wilmot's birthday do. Just opposite the gate to Hyde Park, a beautiful baroque looking Italian restaurant welcomed its guests with champagne, luvly food and ambulance! (OK, I know its ambience, really, but it's a hangover from my play, where my character was riddled with malapropisms!!) A great band, great mates, fab food and a host that was attentive at all times. Now that was a "do"!

Having spent a great two days with friends, and relishing the freedom of no time-tables, I decided to start writing to mates and, indeed, this "catch-up" note.

Went to Royal Ascot. Apparently it can only be "Royal" when the Queen attends. Poor cow was there everyday. OK, I know she loves horses, but how much dung can anyone take?

My friend, Josh (many of you will remember him as Frederic in The Pirates Of Penzance), and I were warmly welcomed by Ron Wade, MD of the company HOME-TEK, whose products I'm promoting at the moment. I so enjoyed the box we were in, beautifully entertained and fussed over. I lost £5 and Josh won £16.20! We were careful to leave at a good time, to avoid the crowds.

I wore my beautiful purple ostrich-feathered, American handmade titfer, and it didn't blow off once!

Then it was off to the TRIC lunch - Television & Radio Industries Club. This is a function attended by representatives of the various TV manufacturers and, indeed, companies such as HOME-TEK, hence another invitation. This particular do was to thank the outgoing President and welcome the in-coming one. The outgoing Pres. was the luvly June Whitfield, who was very gracious in her farewell speech and, mercifully, short too. She warmly welcomed Charlie Dimmock, who was taking over. Nice body, luvly hair. And a lot of it!

Loads of champagne flowed, with gorgeous food. We all spent a great afternoon, chatting to each other and not too much networking.

Proceeded to then spend a few fab lunches with good mates, countless phone calls catching up. Spent a gorge evening with a German friend, Karl, who makes the Queen's frox - the real one - He's very discreet, I can't get any gossip on the Queen. He does say she's extremely gracious and funny. I shall have to invite her to the Wimbledon week of Annie.

Also had a fab dinner with my wonderful mate Jimmy Perry, who, as you know is the creator of Dad's Army. Him and me have some fab chats and fun. He was telling me about David Croft's autobiography. Have bought it and will be visiting him in Suffolk so he can sign it for me. Jimmy is still writing and doing shows for the Water rats, and attending special Dad's Army functions. He's so fab and one of the best-dressed men I've ever met. And his wine cellar is T.D.F. I'm so lucky. I remember when I used to get excited about Hirondelle! And it was hideous. I'm so glad we've moved on in the grape world.

Attended the Annie Christmas launch, which you may have read about on the site. We were very well looked after by the staff of the Tameside Hippodrome, and I would like to thank everyone involved. It was luvly to see Louise English - who is, once again, playing Grace Farrell - and a new Daddy Warbucks; James Smillie. James has a great catalogue of work to his credit. Many people may remember him especially for his appearances on an Australian drama East Of Eden. Poor James, tho, he has the most gorgeous white hair. It's all coming off! It's not fair. Why can't mine be luxurious? It's no good anyone running their hands through it, they'd have nowhere to go!

Although I adore panto, it'll be luvly to have a change this year. But Annie has still got all the feel-good ingredients and the "goody and baddy" element. Poor Miss H will probably get booed. HELP! Anyway, after the launch I stayed at my fab two friends' house in Tintwistle, a luvly little village in Glossop. It was just so great to have time away from such a busy, cosmopolitan city like London.

Went for a lovely walk round this reservoir, ending up at the village pub. I so enjoyed it. I adore London and am its greatest advocate, but how marvellous to roam the village streets and not once see a shopping mall.

Oh, before I forget, went to see Liberace's Suit, starring my mate, Bobby Crush. It has been very well received and I do hope it has a future. I loved it and laughed a lot. Bobby did a really good job. Although a stage performer for years and very comfortable there, he must have been so nervous. but good on him, ever a real pro, he rose to the occasion - and his contract, by producing a fine performance. Funny and poignant. Well done, Bobby!

Just recently, I went to the theatre for the first night of Saturday Night Fever, at the Apollo Victoria opposite Victoria Train Station. Had a ball of a night. My escort was a luvly, chunky, dark-haired, beautifully toothed, 30-something gentleman. More of him later.

I was delighted to see old mates there; Toyah was looking as good as ever. I'm sure her hair gets longer! Must stop going on about hair! Cheryl Baker was there with her children and friends. Bucks Fizz are embarking on another tour, so watch out for details. Chatted with Dean Gaffney and his girlfriend, and luvly Ian Talbot, who directed The Pirates Of Penzance, and his gorge wife, Claire, who is expecting their baby. I was so chuffed for them. Ian has the most famous and talked about "Bottom" - a character in A Midsummer Night's Dream - in London. Claire is really pretty and talented so the forthcoming child will belong to an acting deity. It will probably want to be a welder! And nothing wrong with that, it makes a change from wanting to be famous without learning your craft.

Anyway, then had a fab moment. Duncan from Blue politely introduced himself. I thought he was great. Unaffected, well-mannered, friendly, not bigged-up, and gorgeous! I forgot to take his phone number, very remiss, I shall have to rectify that.

To get back to the show. Great, trivial entertainment. I'm not disparaging when I say that. We all know it's feel-good, "had a great night" evening out. It was very well attended and was fab to see everyone on their feet, clapping and cheering. I set off about six party poppers and whistled till I went deaf. Mark Goucher, producer of Pirates, also produced Fever. It's been a great success on tour and I wish him the same with his London run. It's very risky for a producer, financially, to secure a London venue, outgoings, etc are enormous, so GO!

Oh, went to the after-show party at a nightclub, conveniently situated opposite the theatre. Great 70's band, loads of TV presenters, with hair!! And tasty canapes. My mystery man had a luvly time, especially as he is not in "the business". We found ourselves behind the bar in a roped-off area, where we took off our shoes. I wore Tammy Girl trainers, actually, and we proceeded to devour some sushi. Do not try it with tomato sauce.

Next night, it was off to the Mill Theatre at Sonning. It was a quite boring, if quick, journey. I can't stand car travel. I would luv a private jet. I remember a few of us from Hi-De-Hi! decided to form a syndicate. I got carried away with the thought of a P.P.L. The idea came to an abrupt end when the hangar rental per year amounted to the cost of a house in Kensington Palace Gardens!

The show at Sonning was Stepping Out. Very good fun with some excellent performances. Was great to catch up with mates again, especially Mary Maddox, who I worked with 25 years ago in an all-girl group called Midnight News - rather like Bananarama and The Three Degrees, but more eccentric. Nice theatre, but it smells of damp - well, it still has a working watermill.

Friday saw the arrival of sister, Jeannie. No, she's not a nun. her birthday celebrations started with several party poppers and some Dave Edmonds, plus a few pals. Then it was a trip on the London Eye. Now, never being one for heights - unless it's of passion! - I've always dreaded it. Anyway, not wanting the 'Wimp of the Year' title, I gritted my teeth and jumped on. It's still moving, you know, so that was a feat in itself. Well, after a few minutes staring at the bottom of the pod I gradually started to enjoy the views and ended up walking all around it. I must thank a luvly lady, Laura, who made sure all was well.

Got chatting to a guy from Newcastle who had brought a little boy on the pod. It turned out he was a lad from Chernobyl, the radio-active city, who was flown to London by a charity to help alleviate his day-to-day burden of life there. Most of the inhabitants of the place are not expected to live beyond 30. I was so humbled. It's incidents like that that bring you right down to reality. So it's my belief we should all be eternally grateful when we feel like moaning.

Then it was on to the Tate Modern. I usually go to galleries, nipping in and out of each room, knowing nothing about brush strokes - unless you count the sit-com starring my friend, Louise English - and avoiding the ludicrously high-priced sandwiches. Why do they think a see-through slice of cucumber, one piece of compressed wet lettuce, and two dog-eared chillis constitutes value for money?

Well, Tate Modern is just fabulous. Every single room has something in it to enjoy and marvel at. I don't know about you, but I'm hopeless at art. Anything to do with a brush and that phrase; "she doesn't do a stroke" comes to mind. We all agreed it was a great couple of hours.

Next stop, Harrods. Or as my friend, Simon Cadell used to say - "Rod's" Opulence has got to be the describing word. Even before we went in I clocked the door attendant. tall, wonderful, dark hair, immaculate green uniform, white gloves, and teeth that would do justice to Colgate. 

Well, Jeannie and I were like two kids in Tammy Girl, all giggly and excited. Anyway, after rummaging desperately through every rail and finding nothing - sob! - we retreated to the foodhall for sustenance. We chose a mixed selection of oysters. I always thought there was only one variety, but Flavies, our waiter, explained there was six. Anyway, I scooped mine away from the shell, held it to my mouth and the oyster promptly fell out and landed in me lap. I scooped out the next oyster with a fork, adding a little vinegar and onion. Providing you can balance the slithery fish on said fork and bend your head forward before the oyster falls off, you may be rewarded for your efforts! Champagne completed the experience (now and then you have to get away from noodles and rice-cakes!).

Harvey Nicks was next. Another chunk of the opulence word. Found some fab cosmetics, complete with free overnight bag - suede - now that's what i call a complimentary gift. The giggling sisters skipped off quite happily, walking to the mall, stopping off at one of my fave hotels, the Lanesborough. Apparently the dining room was once a crematorium, as it was previously, the Lanesborough that is, St George's Hospital. Luckily, my food has never been well done there!

After a couple of cocktails - do try a Slippery nipple - Sambucca and Baileys - we headed off to Oxford St. Still a nightmare! I've never liked it, even when I first arrived in London 30 years ago. I know it's a must-see for tourists, but to me it's tat-ago-go. Then we decamped to another favourite - the Langham Hilton. The bar is like a reading room with chat. Sounds a bit dull, but it's really great for unwinding.

Businessmen finishing the last of their mobile calls, whilst giving admiring glances to their female companions - Nudge! Nudge!

Anyway, walked halfway home, then succumbed to a black cab. Arrived back at Campus R. Soles, showered, re-dressed and headed for the nightlife. Isligton is littered with it. Went to a couple of bars, decided everywhere was too busy, returned home and put Tom Jones on. Fab!

Next day, Sunday, found us at the Windows Restaurant on the 28th floor of the Hilton Hotel, Hyde Park. As you can imagine, the views are spectacular. I think the Queen was a bit peeved after learning her residence would be overlooked, but the bathroom cannot be seen atall. So, all's well.

There is a superb, superior buffet, of lobster, langoustine, most meats with beautifully accompanied pickles, exotic sauces, breads from everywher eint he world, followed by a great selection of main courses, served from beautiful tureens. there isn't just meat - paella, pasta, exotic omelettes - I'm afraid I was a dithering fart and had a bit of everything.

Then, if you can still manage anything else, you can choose any crepe you want, made in front of your eyes. As if that's not enough, there's a glorious array of cheeses, fresh fruit, and stunning desserts. luckily, I'm not a great chocolate lover, but for those people who are, heaven is on the 28th floor.

While you're eating, there's an excellent jazz musician, plus champagne included in the price. I think it's a fab treat for birthdays etc.

After feeling extremely stuffed, we popped over the road to 'Party In The Park' - Fab! Then we walked halfway home, me feet slightly crippled so we caught a welcome cabaand finished the day off with a hot chocolate. I jest of course!!

Have just come back from Brighton where I participated in a new radio show - a bit like Whose Line Is It Anyway? Thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't know transmission date yet, but I'll send details as soon as...

Oh, something happened the other day... I have been voted the 'Campest Woman in Britain by 'What's On' magazine! Well, I can add that to 'Rear Of The Year'.

Friday saw me and David Alder, a dear mate who was the Major General in Pirates, at the Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, watching the first night of Camelot. Now, I've never really rated this show. I think a production I saw at the Dominion years ago put me off. it was far too long and the pauses inbetween the dialogue put me in a coma!

Anyway, this performance sped along and contained lots of funny business. Most of which came from King Pellinore, played by Russ Abbot. he was very well received by the audience. The lighting was so fab, and it didn't rain! Luvly David made some fab salmon sandwiches, accompanied by champers and raspberries. I was really spoilt. It was a delight to mingle afterwards and catch up with old mates and colleagues. 

I have to say I've had a marvellous time off and done so much, so when rehearsals are under way in two weeks, I shall throw myself into Miss Hannigan with relish. Just before I go - I'm making an infomercial for HOME-TEK. Should be fun. I'll keep you posted.

Finally, once again, my heartfelt thanx to you all for logging onto the site. I'm always more than happy to answer emails etc. If I don't reply straightaway it's because sometimes it takes a while to collate, but you will get my reply.

As a codicil, I must once again thank Davie, who is doing a marvellous job with the site. I think it's one of the best there is, so definitely 200 out of 100! My thanx also to Rob, who assists me greatly - much appreciated, doll.

Time to go - have to voice 'Noisy' again. 

Have a fabulous Summer and keep in touch.

My luv 2 U all,

Su x x

 

2nd February 2004: Hello everyone,

It's missive time again.

Firstly, I wish you all the very best things in life in 2004 - let's all make it our goal to achieve only good things.

I am enjoying some time off at the moment, having finished my panto season in Reading. I gave my Wicked Queen once again, flouncing around the stage in a beautiful black and red creation, complete with red wig and diamond tiara. I wanted to wear it in Sainsburys but the producer had other ideas. I think he was coveting it himself! The panto had a short run - four weeks - with two a day, so it was very compact. I do prefer that, as opposed to a seven-weeker with audiences dwindling after the New year.

The social treadmill I'm now on is almost as time consuming as panto. I've had several gorgeous dinners recently - though tried not to gorge myself - and caught up on everyone's news. had a great time at my friend Mother Alder's the other day. He's such a hoarder, one never knows where one is going to sit. Went with my friend, Vince, to the Dorchester for his birthday. michael Winner, for once, was not there. Probably being witty in Barbados.

Valentine's Day is looming and I'm off to Barcelona, courtesy of luvly friends. I shall sit sipping something in the Square, followed by a light lunch, and a little sightseeing - so long as its all in the same area - then dinner and a nightclub. I must say I do luv Spanish architecture - well built, good, solid structure - and that's just the guys!

On my return, I shall be seeing my friend, Paul Shane, who is appearing in Ray Cooney's 'Out Of Order' in Guildford. Shaney's very good in farce, and we'll be able to catch up once again.

Just before 'Annie' finished, we were able to see Tommy Steele in 'Scrooge' at a matinee performance in Birmingham. Excellent. My mate, Barry Howard, played Jacob Marley. I have to say he was just great. Pure, audible diction, beautifully delivered. Tommy's legendary energy was evident, and the ensemble singing superb. We were all inspired to give 'Annie' our best shot that night.

We had an extremely fab rest-of-tour, with all manner of "happenings". I was very fortunate to work with the same luvly people, all great pros - even the weekly orphans all had theatrical leanings. Sadly I had to leave a week early owing to panto commitments. A huge thanks to the cast, crew and everyone who took the time to come see the show.

Well, I'm back from Barcelona. Fab place. My friend, John, is a great shopper and we all sped to the vicinity - usually I find shopping tedious, but immediately spotted something in an attractive window. Unfortunately for my bank balance I bought several items and had to sit down!

The sights were terrific. Didn't do many, but enough to satisfy the cultural thirst. The clubs were great, if a little 20th Century. Still, we all had a good bop. Bar open all night in the hotel, so really, a great time was had.

Watch this space for details of a test advertising campaign I'm doing, to be shown in the Yorkshire region. Sounds funny and is due to go out in April, round about Easter. I'm due to shoot it in three weeks, so i'm about to have a busy schedule.

'A Happy Medium' is going to be an intense workout. A lot of preparation has already been done, with script meetings, costume design, fittings, and wigs, etc. We seem to have a good team and I'm looking forward to a happy tour. Davie will, I'm sure, keep you up-to-date with tour lists, etc. So, if we're in a venue near you, please make yourself known. I'm sure we can enjoy a drink at the bar.

I'm very seriously thinking of putting a "One-man" show together again. Still with some of my favourites, but with some wonderful torch-type songs added. I feel that 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' is a little past its sell-by-date for me now as I, obviously, won't be seeing 29 again *sob!* So, once again, I'll be posting all updates via the luvly Davie.

Other projects for next year are also looming, but as actors are notoriously superstitious, I shall refrain from disclosing more details until things are a little further down the line. The phrase 2in talks" conjours up tentivity - I think I've made that word up!

I'm closing. I would like to thank Rob for his continued support and Davie for tirelessly working to make my website entertaining and informative for all. A big thanx to everyone who surfs me, too. Continued success and happiness to you all.

Much luv - Su xx

 

13th August 2003: A big hello, everybody,

I hope you're all enjoying Summer. At the moment, I'm having a socially sating time, as I want to see and do as much as I can before starting work in earnest - well, Lincoln, actually! - Have had a great time recently, catching up with people, doing jobs based from home. We completed the last episode, this series, of Little Robots, including a song 'Anyone Can Sparkle', written by Debbie Wiseman and Don Black, two very accomplished and respected musical forces. A simple, melodic tune and lyrics, it was a joy to do. We managed to get everyone in the studio at the same time, apart from Martin Clunes, who had filming commitments. Lenny Henry and myself had a few harmonies together and we had a really fun time, catching up on news, etc.

Little Robots has been really well-received. The execs are hoping it will be sold to America where animation is the big daddy! So, fingers crossed.

The Weakest Link had me teamed up with mates I've worked with in the past. I think I can safely say we were all somewhat apprehensive at being quizzed by the "Beast in Black" - Anne Robinson. Before recording started, we were frantically placating each other, saying 'If I vote you off, it's nothing personal. Please keep me on the Christmas card list!'

Actually, I was dead lucky. I didn't really get a roasting from Anne. I have to say, although the questions come across loud and clear on the TV, in reality it's extremely hard to hear any questions in the studio. That's why, if you study the programme, you can see quite a few contestants leaning forward, straining to hear what Anne is saying. I think that's part of the show's strategy. You really have to concentrate. I though: 'I'm an actress - get me out of here!'

It was luvly to see Nick Owen, Limahl, Toyah, Bob Carolgees & Spit The Dog - Yes, Anne did get one! - Steve Nallon (Marg. Thatcher impersonator from Spitting Image), Eric Bristow, Linda Lusardi, and one-time partner of Janet Street-Porter, Normski. By the time you read this it will have been shown on TV. So I hope you enjoyed it.

Have just seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as my mate, Gary Wilmot, had his first night as Caractacus Potts. The songs really suit his voice. He's definitely going to enjoy his year in the role. It was also a pleasure to see Anton Rodgers playing the grandfather, and my mate, Derek Griffiths. If you haven't seen it I urge you to go, and I don't say that on many occasions. I really want shows to do well, but I find I'm let down by the standard of too many these days. But Chitty has marvellous production values. I could see exactly what I had spent my money on. My ticket probably bought one pair of shoes - or maybe one shoe!

We were royally entertained in the interval by the show's producer, Michael Rose, and I sat on a chaise-longe that Prince Charles had used a week earlier.

Later that week I went for lunch at The Ivy with the producer of The Vagina Monologues. Teamed up with Tamara Beckwith. Lovely girl, always jetting off somewhere in her role as party organiser etc. for the California glitterati. In the Autumn she'll be in Bermuda - I'll be n Billingham!! I'm going to have to speak to my agent at once! Had a chat with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who was dining on sea bass. He'd have preferred a table, but... (I know - but I love music hall stuff!!)

The likelihood is I'll probably be doing VAG MON again next June, but I'll keep you posted.

At the moment I'm preparing for the second Annie tour, when I'll be working with the same cast apart from two new members. So I'm really looking forward to that. It's such a popular show and a great joy to perform. There's nothing better than taking a bow at the end from an audience who have really had an entertaining evening and are going home really happy. I'm a sucker for show biz!

Must tell you one luvly comment from a gentleman who came to see VAG MON in Canterbury. He said: 'I've really learned a few things today. Trouble is, at my age, when I get home I'll have forgotten what they are!' Bless him.

This socialising lark is going to turn me into a "humungas Godzilla" person. I've developed a liking for rice cakes, in order to stop me eating whole loaves! Mind you, Annie will turn me into a stick insect. have had luvly times meeting up with mates who I haven't seen for ages. I do feel it's important to keep in touch with people, especially if you're the one who's on tour. Friends are very important and must never be taken for granted. Rather like audiences, really.

Oh, went to see a really entertaining piece at the King's Head. Comedy of Arias - obviously lifted from Comedy Of Errors - It was directed by my old Godspell mate, Andrew C Wadsworth, or Ace as I call him. Very good operatic voices, with great comedy biz thrown in, obviously. It would be fab if it transferred, but as the King's Head is such an intimate performing space, it might lose something of its intimacy in too large a venue. Fingers crossed anyway.

Have recently returned from a favourite place - Bournemouth. I've played there about 20 times and just luv it, although the Royal Hotel has slipped a little. Service can take an hour for a cup of tea! OK if you're dead, as you're in no hurry, but...

Whilst there I stayed with my old mate, Barry Howard, who has a lush flat right near the sea. We had a great scream. We went to see Jim Davidson, who does a great stand-up. I think he would get an earful from Germaine Greer, the wonderful doyenne of feminism, but I would describe him as "earthy", rather like the seaside postcard "have you put it in yet, vicar?" stuff. The audience loved it.

Next night, watched Bedside Manners, a farce with my pals, John Inman, Louise English - who plays Grace Farrel in Annie - Georgina Moon and Robin Askwith, who is now based in Gaza. I would describe the play's content as flimsy, but all the cast are experienced pros and added good visual comedy to a good audience's delight. We all then repaired to a luvly Chinese where loud chat and laughter were much in evidence. Jim Davidson, and Roger Kitter, his support act, joined us after their gig. There was table dancing and I had to get off before I fell off me high-heels!

I returned to London in need of a rest, but alas, more socialising! Went to Joe Allen, a really simple, but down-to-earth showbiz restaurant. Spent ages table-hopping - luv all that - trouble is, it's no good ordering food, there's no time to eat it - Caught up with luvly Bobby Crush and dear Bill Buckley, who wrote the hit song, 'Starting Together'. They're both hideously well and doing very successfully.

Undaunted, travelled to Guildford to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, to see more old mates, in a Ray Cooney farce, It Runs In The Family, an altogether superior script from Bournemouth. Avid theatre goers would know most of the cast: Jeff Holland, David Griffin, Geoffrey Davies, Judy Buxton. great to see them all playing luvly visual biz to a very packed and appreciative audience. I laughed my head off and we all had tea on the terrace after the matinee. As usual, much chat ensued, catching up with each other, etc. I have to say tho', that I'm not very good at being an audience. It never seems to sit well with me, watching. I'm afraid the stage is where I prefer to be, on it, not looking at it! Still, it was nice to be entertained.

My friend, David "Mother" Alder, of The Pirates Of Penzance fame, and I are off to see High Society at Regent's Park Open Air theatre - My Gilbert & Sullivan debut venue - will be luvly to catch up with Ian Talbot, director, and Cathy Jayes, musical director. No doubt there will be much shrieking and drinking and conviviality - well, fab I say! - THAT'S LIFE!

Well, I think I've caught up with all the news I have to impart. Annie, I hope, will once again be a great success, pleasing audiences everywhere. 

My "Wicked Queen" costume is being fitted next week. I rather like being a mythical Alexis Colby!

Just before I go, I want to say a big thank you to you all for surfing my site. Always a pleasure to hear from you. I endeavour to reply to everyone but please understand if I don't get back to you straight away, as when I'm touring things can't always get done as quickly.

Lastly, a fabulous, big, mega thank you to Davie, who has, without doubt, made my site a much-talked about one. Every person who has tuned in has praised it to the hilt, and rightly so. His care, dedication, and loyalty to me cannot be measured, and I am very proud to know him. He and Rob Cope, a dear friend, have a great team spirit. Thanx so much, Rob.

Well, publication calls so will have to sign off. Keep logging on and much luv to you all.

Su x x x

 

1st March 2003: Dear Everyone, 

Firstly, a very belated Happy 2003. I do hope it's wonderful in every way for us all.

Secondly, a million apologies for not communicating this letter earlier. Honestly, I had intended to start it during week three of the panto, to keep you up to speed with the show etc., but the schedule was so hectic any "interruptions" would have made it impossible to concentrate on being a "Queen"! Speaking of which, I had a ball. It was my first time playing a "baddie" and Snow White is the perfect vehicle for any female who wants to tackle this sort of role. Chris Monero, the producer, also wrote the script and co-wrote the songs, which were very "show" tunes. A joy to do. I must have been fairly realistic at being evil as one child threatened to chop me head off at the stage door, with his special "magic sword"! Anyway, the show sold out and became the biggest selling show in the theatre's history, so, of course, everyone was ecstatic, the producer, cast and audience. All in all, a great experience. By the way, I can recommend a FAB shop in Lincoln. POUNDLAND! I find it extremely orgasmic. If you're a bargain fiend, you'll never leave. I fed the crew with cakes and goodies every day. And, my dears, the household goods are T.D.F. Who needs Harrods?

For those of you who keep up-to-date visits to the website, you'll be aware of the great success of Annie - the Tour. We all had a ball and it was really emotional at the end of each performance to see the audience cheering and being generally moved by the show. The producer is currently "in talks" with a management who want to take the show to the Far East and Dubai. I'll keep you posted, but it's definitely on the cards. I've been in Dubai before, courtesy of Piers Nimmo, in a play called Habeus Corpus. Dubai is a great place - hot, gorgeous hotels, fabulous food, interesting culture, men in those long, flowing white robes - jalababs they're called. I remember going to a disco with Melvyn Hayes and  I was the only person on the dance floor - mind you, I luv a bit of space to strut about - wondering where all the other ravers were. I later found out the ladies were in the upstairs bar discussing their fees-per-hour. Most of the girls, apparently, come from Russia - with love?

I am currently enjoying a few weeks off and having a fabulous time. My ethic has always been "work hard, play hard". If I play any harder I shall have to be hospitalised! In between revelling, I am still recording voiceovers for Little Robots, which, according to the producer, is proving very popular, now beating Bob The Builder. Success, indeed!

Currently, 'UK Gold' are re-running Hi-De-Hi!. I still get 4th generation young fans knocking on my door asking for Peggy. It's a ceaseless joy for me to know the show is a perennial favourite and something I will always be especially proud to have been involved in. I never forget that it was a springboard for me, a fabulous break that all actors would kill for.

I have recently turned down several TV projects, such as Dom Joly on BBC3, as I felt they were not right for me, but will keep you posted on the TV score.

The Hexagon Theatre, Reading, is my host for panto this year - another Snow White. Christopher Lillicrap, what a fantastic name, is producer and Dame and we are currently "in talks" with regard to script, music etc. Preparation is very important, as the rehearsal period is somewhat "limited" - she says, tactfully! It's a bit of a sixties dinosaur, building-wise, but a well-respected venue and the crew are very welcoming and co-operative. Last time I played there, as Ruth in The Pirates Of Penzance, we made each other cups of tea, and I remember performing the "Opening Ceremony" of their refurbished ladies' toilets! I do like to diversify!

The tour dates for Annie are almost finalised. I really enjoy performing in this uplifting musical. I honestly love the way the audiences are genuinely moved by what they see. In today's climate of doom and gloom, people do seem to want good, old-fashioned "I-enjoyed-that-show" feelings. 

I do want to THANK ALL OF YOU for your emails, letters etc., and I do try to reply to you all. It's very important for any artiste to have loyal fans, old and new. You all give tremendous support and that's what encourages us to continue to give the best standard we can, in order to give you value for money.

I had a luvly Sunday lunch with Gary Wilmot. His roast potatoes are T.D.F.! Better than Hilda's!, but don't tell her. It was nice catching up and having a good goss. I do have great respect for Gary - a talented artiste and "good bloke". Also I had a great meet-up with my mate, David Griffin - Clive in Hi-De-Hi! and Emmet in Keeping Up Appearances - We both appeared in The Good Sex Guide Revue in New Zealand. When you've experienced an adventure like that, nothing else matches up!

Just before I sign off, I want to extend a personal, heart-felt thanx to Davie, who is responsible for my website. I think he does a truly magnificent job, and have been told so constantly, especially by people in the media. No mean praise coming from those who are constantly in touch with other websites. The time and effort he puts into it are really appreciated - thanx Davie.

Finally, thanx to all of you for "logging-on" - is that correct? I'm afraid I'm a bit of a virgin when it comes to terminology - and I do hope you continue to tune into the website and to the forthcoming 'Su's Snippets'.

Much love to you all - Su.

 

13th June 2002: Hello everyone, 

And a very warm welcome, plus a "Happy New Year". Sorry I've been so long writing an update, but as soon as I finished "Pirates Of Penzance" in Leicester I was whisked off to London, whereupon I repacked my case, finished off my Christmas cards and sped off to Llandudno where I once again got my "Dick" out for several weeks. Once the season ended I hot footed it to 'Campus R. Soles' - the name of my house - and commenced preparations for the second leg of the "Pirates" tour. The second week of which finds me in fabulous Buxton. It's not far from Nottingham, where I was born, so it's a bit like rediscovering long gone memories. We used to come here as a family on Sundays, ostensibly to sight see, but really me dad wanted to watch the cricket. 

Anyway, the theatre is gorge, very intimate and welcoming, and very obviously a source of pride with the locals. Unfortunately the night life was zilch, but undaunted, the cast used their imaginations and created all sorts of after show fun, which is best left to your imaginations! 

Next week finds us In Canterbury - lovely place but I'm not going to the cathedral again. I can't face another candle vigil. Also next week I shall be in a voice-over studio, voicing one of the characters in a series called "Little Robots", a number of whom dwell in the sky, I suppose like "The Clangers". We're doing 50 ten minute made for the Beeb shorts. Don't know when they'll be aired, but will keep you posted. I play 'Miss Noisy' - can't imagine why they thought I'd be ideal. Providing the other voices are Martin Clunes, Lenny Henry, Morwenna Banks and Mel & Sue, among others. Should be fab fun - I really enjoy those sort of jobs. Mind you, I shall be unable to get to London from some "Pirates" theatres, so shall have to record my bits in a studio plugged into london. That's showbiz! 

Am hopefully going to Oz later this year to visit my mate Ray Meacher, who plays Alf Stewart in "Home And Away". For devotees of the soap, Ray has just signed a further three years contract, so you can still get your Summer Bay fix. 

Well, here I am at 'Campus R. Soles', the name of my house in London, languishing like an actress, having the best time. Having finished "Pirates" I'm now having a few weeks of 'R & R'. It's a great feeling not having to constantly be aware that everything you do is geared towards that evening's performance. "Pirates" was so demanding, physically and mentally, that you had to be totally focused. Of course, that's all part of the job, so rightly so, but now it's PART TIME. 

Went to a fab function last week - a party given by a rather good booking agency, to celebrate ten years of business. Very well organised, champagne on arrival, quick photo with the lovely Leslie Phillips, who I've known for years. He's married to Angela Scoular, a great pal from the "You Rang, M'Lord?" years. She played Lady Agatha, who was having an affair with Lord Meldrum. Chatted for ages to another showbiz pal, Vanessa Feltz, who looked great. She's really slimmed down and had lovely long hair extensions woven in her hair. Saw loads of ex-Big Brother housemates and rather a lot of voluptuous young girls exposing their feminine wiles. My friend, Vince, nearly choked on his canapés, which, incidentally, were delicious. Gone are the days of cream crackers with sad-looking sausages. There were mini steak & kidney pies in a dainty dish, followed by bite-sized creme brulee. Fab! 


Then it was an evening at Drury Lane to see the new cast of "My Fair Lady". A packed house gave them a rousing reception, deservedly so. An excellent production. I fell in love with Alex Jennings, who is the new Professor Higgins, great performance. Joanna Riding, as Eliza, is a very accomplished actress and did a splendid job. Although I love supporting my mates, I'm not a very good audience member as I always want to be on the stage, not sat down. And, no matter how good the show, I always nod off for a couple of minutes. I even found myself dozing at a Michael Jackson concert a few years ago. 

Am seeing "Taboo" next week, with me old mate Boy George. I'm so pleased it's a big success for him. By the time you read this I will have been to Gloria Hunniford's tea party, in her lovely big garden in Kent. She's got a lovely sauna and swimming pool, where I went to learn to swim. Disaster! Me arm bands deflated and I sank to the bottom, me skin shrivelled up and I looked like an advert for immediate hair care. So, I've never bothered since. 

Oh, "Little Robots" is going fine. I've done a further eight scripts, with another 40 to go. The producers seem very happy with it and the rest of the cast are having a ball making them. And they look after you, supplying gorgeous sandwiches and fruit to sustain us. 

At the end of July I shall be appearing in a short film called "Looking For Lullabelle", playing Verity, one of the tenants in a peabody flat. A cameo role, it's very funny. As is the whole script, quite touching too. The producers are very confident it will get a showing at a major film festival, so once again, I will keep you informed. 

I'm in talks at the moment with the producers of "Annie", who have put together a short tour. As  I never like to finalise anything until I've signed the contract I won't give you definite details, but if all goes to plan we're looking at almost three months, as from September this year. I shall not, of course, be playing Annie, or Daddy Warbucks, so I'll leave you to speculate!  Next week is the opening of the season at Regent's Par and the "Pirates" cast have been invited to the first night of "As You Like It" and "Romeo And Juliet", on separate occasions, of course. 

I'm quite looking forward to both shows as I'm really not a great devotee of Shakespeare. Indeed, I'm hardly au fait with any of his work, so it will be good for me to broaden my literary education. He's got millions of fans throughout the world, so I figure I should at least pay my respects. There's always the bar and the barbecue if my concentration lapses! 

It's almost a year since "Pirates" started at the same venue, where does the time go? All our lives speed by, don't they? That's why we have to grab every second and enjoy as much as we can. 

As I write this, I'm at a rather wobbly table, listening to Mud's "Greatest Hits" in the garden, with red arms 'cos the sun's been out. I remember when we did "Hi-De-Hi!" we weren't allowed to go berserk with our tans, as Jill, the make-up artist, used to have a terrible time disguising the fact we looked like extras from "It Ain't Half Hot, Mum". 

I'm sorry I haven't kept you posted throughout the tour, but I really will endeavour to write on a more regular basis as I do appreciate all your support and interest. I do want to thank everyone who continues to log on to my fabulous website, beautifully put together by Davie. I hope you agree he does a really wonderful job, putting in time and effort to make it well worth paying a visit. Thanx so much Davie - it's really appreciated. As indeed, is the work done by my mate, Rob, who is in charge of all your queries and administration, so a great THANX to him too. But mostly, thanx to everyone out there for your continued support. 

Have a great Summer and I'll catch up with you soon. 

Muchos Luvos - 

Su x x

 

17th August 2001: Dear Friends,

Sorry I’ve been a bit lax of late in writing my web site update,  but my schedule has been quite hectic and just as I’ve been about to reveal all, other things have conspired to not make it happen.

I finished filming “Songs Of Praise” a few weeks ago and next week I go to Broadcasting House to do a voice-over. Due to my “Pirates Of Penzance” schedule, I am not able to join the congregation in Cleethorpes for the usual church interior shots, so I’m providing a non-visual commentary instead. We had a fab time filming the show, as I know the area quite well from when I was a mere babe, it was really nice to revisit the old haunts and reminisce. The people there were just fab - really friendly and welcoming. We went to a great “do” at the community centre called “The Bags Ball”, which is exactly what you might think the name portrays. I suppose it’s an off shoot of the old “grab a granny” night. Of course, like any woman, I protested fiercely debating with the camera crew that no self-respecting female would even remotely consider herself a bag. We had a fab night, although I have to say the choice of music was dire. Who do DJ’s still play those dreadful CD’s with what I call music stabs, i.e. Just a few bars of, say, Ricky Martin, which you’re just getting into, only to suddenly find yourself dancing to a totally different rhythm. Drives me nuts ! And, most unusual for me, I was nearly tempted by a hot-dog stall. The smell was so mesmeric, I had to drag myself away. Why is it that at the end of a fab night, we indulge in what must be some of the worst food ever? The last time I succumbed all the tomato sauce dribbled down me sleeve and landed on me suede shoes. The stain still hasn’t come off.

My next venture was an appearance on a BBC Choice programme, a series of late night chat shows, fronted by different presenter. The one I guested on was presented by Ralf Little, better known as Anthony from “The Royle Family”. It was the usual stuff, plus a James Bond spoof sketch. I enjoyed it a lot. Having been in a show that has a cult following in it’s repeats now - Hi De Hi - I get treated terribly well  and with great courtesy by the young directors / producers of today. I so pleased I was in a show that people can still enjoy 20 years on. 

I also think it’s essential for established performers like myself to keep in  touch with the younger element, not only in terms of work but also socially etc. Actually it’s rather nice to be surrounded by 20-somethings, especially if they’re not ugly !

Another show I particularly enjoyed was “Gimme Gimme Gimme”. I was asked 18 months ago by it’s writer Jonathan Harvey if I would be in an episode and I immediately said yes.  In fact I almost yelled, well, he’s so good. The trouble is when writers have to produce a whole series of scripts, it can take some while, and that’s why I didn’t get my episode until June of this year. And even then the end product was nothing like the original script I was sent. You see I was brought up, professionally, in the halcyon days of sit-com with the masters of mirth, Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Each word they wrote was practically  sacred - you almost had to have a change in the constitution to alter one word. These days our sit-coms are going the way of American ones i.e. Scripts are re-written almost on a daily basis,  albeit to get the best end result possible and I’m all for that. The only drawback is, of course, you don’t get the luxury of learning your lines as early as you would like. But no matter - it was a great experience and one I wouldn’t have missed. Two friends of mine, Rob and Howard, who are great fans of “Gimme” attended the recording and deemed it excellent, so you’ll have to tune in. Hopefully, you won’t be disappointed. Kathy and James are excellent people and Jonathan Harvey is a top bloke. I got sent a superb bouquet of flowers which probably cost more than my fee and which, as I write, will have to be consigned to the bin as they’re starting to smell.

“Pirates” is in full swing. Today I have a day off,  as they’re rehearsing a production number I’m not in, so I’m to be found in-between writing this, in front of my long mirror downstairs rehearsing everything I’ve learned so far, as I don’t want to waste time. We have a cast of 18, all superb singers, all trained at varying academies. Gary Wilmot is going to be a great Pirate King and the costumes are T.D.F. - which means, in theatrical terms, to die for. I can’t wait to wear my pirate uniform, it’s all red and gold and big boots and showbiz. I may wear it to Sainsburys.

Don’t forget to look out for where I’ll be touring. I only hope that when we open in Regent’s Park I won’t be singing a duet with a Lear Jet on it’s way to Heathrow. Gary, who has already been in the Park playing Bottom in the “Dream”, says the trees make a terrible rustling noise when it’s windy. Still, I don’t mind, it’s the first time I have ever appeared in Regent’s Park and I’m looking forward to it. Another venue, another challenge. Once I’m settled in I’ll write and let you know all about it. Next Monday, I’ve been invited by the producers to attend the opening night of “Peggy Sue Got Married” at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Hopefully, it will be a major success. I do hope so as the producers risk a lot. Afterwards, there’s a “do” at the Connaught Rooms. I don’t care what we get to eat as long as there aren't any vol-au-vents,  as they stick to the roof of your mouth when you talk !

On December 9th, we break from the tour of “Pirates” and go to Llandudno for panto. I’m getting my “Dick” out this year with Paul Danan - he was Sol in “Hollyoaks”.- for 5 weeks. So if u fancy some audience participation, do come along. We then continue with the tour until April, whereupon I am to undertake a job which, when I get full details, I’ll be on your case.

Hope all’s well with you all, thanx for tuning in and as always a big xxxx for Dave, my website designer.

Much luv 2 u all - 

SU
Xxxxx

 

30th March 2001: Dear Everyone,

Today is Sunday and I am musing and looking out of the window, taking in all the different wildlife swooping through the trees. My nuts are proving very popular especially with the squirrels and pigeons. As the official pigeon-feeder of Trafalgar Square has lost his license I have a feeling my patio will become the replacement. Anyway, I'd like to extend, officially, a warm welcome to you all and a big THANX  for visiting my website. Who would have thought twenty years ago that with a click  of a button one could gather almost any information on any subject. Mind you, I have to say I am not an internet afficionado as I am hopelessly technophobic, but then we all have talents in different areas don't we? I plan to keep you posted on my whereabouts etc. and share with you all the juice, even my first child., which will be a miracle in view of my advanced years! Am looking forward to travelling to Cannes at the beginning of April to attend what isostensibly a gathering of radio and TV executives to meet and mingle and, hopefully, convince worldwide programme controllers that they would be mad not to buy a new  animated cartoon series called The Little Robots.

I had tremendous fun recording it along with other luminaries such as Lenny Henry. We all have our own little characters and we live in a twilight world, with no humans, but it is very educational too, as we care about the environment etc. My character is a bit of a drama queen and lives life like she's in amateur dramatics - always singing, whistling and making loud bangs, not surprisingly she's called "Noisy". I can't imagine why they asked me to play it!!! Anyway, look out for it. Also, I've done an edition of Songs Of Praise. Don't worry I'm not retraining as a vicar. Because the programme is based around clowns, i.e. The International Clown Federation's  Annual Festival, and I was once a clown in the musical Godspell, the director asked me to sing "Day By Day" and I had a great time recording it. I was inundated with dogs, cats and exotic birds, all made of balloons. The programme is being shown on April 1st. I wonder if that should be cause for concern! I'm also delighted to say I am resurrecting my one-woman-show, something I have always had on hold, as it is a real passion for me. I will be performing on a Sunday concert basis throughout Great Britain and when details are firmed up I will be posting them on the website.

As I luv theatre more than anything I'm really excited about the project. Without giving too  much away at this juncture, I can confirm the evening will consist of all-round entertainment,  including audience participation - but, fear not, you won't be expected to throw underwear or join me on stage for humiliating rituals. Leave that to me... And, rest assured, my show will  be affordable and definitely value for money. Well, that's all for now. Have got to decide what to wear for luncheon at Grosvenor House next week. I've been invited to the Television and Radio Industries event. Another meet-and-mingle and-eat-boring-canapes event. I'll let you know how I get on.

Terra for now and much love,

SU xxxx

 
 

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