Welcome to my blog, I hope you find it interesting….
I’ve wanted to be an actress ever since I can remember. Or maybe that should be I’d wanted , as over the years other things took over and then other things paid the bills. My voice-over career has kept the acting flame burning somewhat (Yes, that is me as a Mexican gerbil in El Nombre. And inside the Little Miss Giggles toy) but in reality, I’m thought of a presenter first. Well, as Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s mum first, but luckily I happen to be extremely proud of that. But not-so- very-deep down, acting is my first love, and it’s as an actress that I think of myself- even if my cv doesn’t always agree.
I can’t recall exactly when the idea of being in a little play first came, or when it evolved in to putting on a little play. Suffice it to say, once I had decided I knew straight away that I didn’t want it to be a kind of belated audition. I found the stage exciting, challenging , demanding (insert actor-based adjective of your choice) but mostly fun, and I didn’t want to lose that feeling. I recruited a friend (Paul Clayton ) to direct it and his partner Richard Howle to produce it, and we all decided that quite apart from the kick we were all going to get out of the project, something else ought to benefit. Maggies Cancer Caring Centres were the obvious choice- I’m Patron of the London one at Charing Cross Hospital and while I love getting involved with whatever they’re doing to raise awareness and funds, I’ve never done anything like this for them before.
Paul found a perfectplay called Green Forms by Alan Bennett. And of course it’s funny,true and perceptive. And did I mention funny? It’s very funny. Hearing what we were planning, Alan Bennett gave us the rights. I would love to thank him in person at some point, suffice it to say that’s pretty special.
We’re performing at The Tabard in Chiswick in January*, we’ve funded the production to this point with fabulous donations- now tickets are on sale .How did I feel thirty odd years ago when I left drama school? Nervous and excited. How do I feel now? Pretty similar, but with rhe added knowledge that every penny we take at the Box Office goes to a fabulous cause.See you there!
Tickets through Ticketzone 08444 99 99 55. I knew you’d ask.
Sometimes it’s when I’m going through my address book. At Christmas perhaps, or looking for a similar name. And I’ll come across two names of two friends, both of whom died of ovarian cancer.
Annie was scarcely fifty- vibrant,funny, a great source of gossip, a lover of clothes. With how many cappuccinos and white wines did we while away an afternoon or an evening. We met when she did my makeup for a commercial- in which I was ‘pretending’ to give birth, before I’d actually had children. When I did have my baby, she was among the first to visit. She went on to great success in her field, and I was proud of her – but really rather more delighted by our enduring friendship. Her illness took her quickly, too soon-much too soon. Like so many women, she hadn’t realised she was ill till too late.
Serena was at school with me – I remember her best for an enduring friendship with her great friend Jill – two bright and naughty girls, always without malice, always fun. When I last saw her, she was a mother of two and already stricken with the cancer that would kill her.
Funds are limited, but research is ongoing whenever possible and every little bit of money helps, just as every bit of research takes us closer to a cure. Every kiss sent in The Eve Appeal’s Kiss of Life Campaign means someone has thought for more than a moment about the women we’ve lost, and those we will lose until a cure is found. With mine, I blow a kiss in friendship and love to Annie and to Serena, and to all the wonderful women in the world.
To live without seasons might be peaceful. Perhaps Christmas could happen by choice, or to suit everyone’s diary. Maybe Birthdays could be piled into one week, choosing just one present for a birthday gathering might be easier than standing in a gift shop annually, trying to find the least unacceptable and appropriate offering. Shops themselves could leave holly up in July or display tulips in November. Weather could be random, snow in June no longer shocking, similarly January’s heatwave. This is not how it is, of course. But even as we run for cover in August, outraged by the downpour that means a hastily gathered picnic, or bask unexpectedly in February sunshine, we are comforted by the rhythm of the year. The small, almost hidden, chill of September as the days begin to shorten. The newly detected warmth in early April sun, the blanketing gloom of November’s afternoons all make sense. We’re more than comforted, we know without thinking what the seasons mean. They are part of us, in our very selves: as true as blood, as sure as bone. We mustn’t fight their sway, any more than we should fight time, instead we should float like sticks in the stream, enjoying what we cannot change, what we cannot control.
still don’t know whether to take a cardigan, though