Archive | November, 2020

Act of God

30 Nov

30 November 2019  · Shared with Public


Act of God at the Vaults ****+My friend John Heawood used to say. “I know nothing about God except that She’s black” At the Vaults she isn’t black but is quite definitely female. A woman of wit. A kind of Heavenly Dorothy Parker. Fed up of the ten commandments has decided to make new ones more appropriate to today’s politics. The result is ninety minutes of hilarity. Zoe Lyons in white silken pyjamas is God, flanked by her two senior angels Michael played by Matt Telford, blonde and very sensitive and the rather more authoritative, and practically naked, figure of Gabriel personalised by Tom Bowen. Gabriel’s task is to read out God’s reconstructed commandments and put remarks snd his reactions (usually fuck off) on the two massive blackboards that flank the luxuriously draped sofa bed on the stage. Michael wanders through the audience asking questions for consultation with Madam. God, in this production speaks mainly in witty one liners ‘The people who call out My name on Sunday morning aren’t as fun as the ones who call it out on Saturday night’ and ‘For whatever reason I just don’t seem to like Arsenal ‘Some of them perfectly topical ‘In an ideal scenario the President of the United States and the worst human being in the World would be two different people’ She whips through the Old Testament, discussing Ada and Eve, the Lesbian occupants of The Garden, Noah and his flood, Benjamin and his much loved son. She comments on them all, including her middle son, Jesus, who had his own way of doing things, things she could never understand, but that’s kids. But as she knows because she is all knowing and all creating and bored to death with the world, there seems to be nothing anyone can do about it, except maybe write satirical comedies..The cunning words come grippingly to her tongue as she csually turns water into wine and creates other miracles. These important ingredients of this production are handled by magic consultant Scott Penrose The author is David Javerbaum of The Late Show and directed by “the naughty boy of musical theatre” Benji Sperring – so much his kind of thing. If you are in blasphemic mood, or even if you just want a giggle over life as it is, you should hare along to the Vaults. It’s a cracking show and a wonderful antidote to Christmas. My favourite remark. “Church of England Formally Approves Female Bishops” Congratulations! British Women you can now move diagonally. Aline for Aw theatricals

andrew eborn

22 Nov

I really enjoyed this Aline . There are lots of things I’d like to talk about . At present I’m co-writing a Play about Shakespeare’s life with a fellow actor / writer called Clive Greenwood and I could talk about that . I’ve also been using the enforced rest of this Covid crisis as a Reset button as an actor to have some time to rethink things . In my younger days I worked as a Chef for Pru Leith in her Serpentine restaurant in Hyde Park . I enjoyed seeing the Chef talk in this zoom . Andrew Eborn is very entertaining 😎

This was from Jason Wing at

Ute Lemper Rendezvous with Marlene

21 Nov



I first became aware of Ute Lemper when she came on to sing All That Jazz in Chicago .  It was one of my favourties shows and I saw it many times afterwards with different casts.  

Ute Lemper is a German actress who has worked in many theatres – and her idol was another German Actress – the great Marlene Dietrich. She specialises in the songs made famous by Dietrich and Edith Piaf who was Marlene’s great friend. 

Marlene had become a recluse later in life. She was afraid to go out and be recognised perhaps made fun of because of the great beauty she had been. She feared rejection, didn’t want people to see her face. She had already experienced the horror of rejection in her life from her own people, the people of Berlin who called her a traitor to the Fatherland.  

Billy Wilder took her to Berlin jut after the war and it broke her heart to see the ruin of her city. On her next trip to Berlin for Unicef in the sixties, during the cold war. She was castigated and there were banners saying Go Home Marlene and the smell of stink bombs. 

The hatred stayed in Berlin even  when she died. She had her funeral in 1992 there and there was no wake, because of the fear of  neo Nazis. They made it a small private funeral but the smell of the stink bombs delivered by her enemies was still around.  

Marlene had refused to work for the Nazis in Berlin.  When she worked in Hollywood, she learned from the many Jewish friends there how the Jews were being treated in Her native land, and she became a soldier in the American Army. 

She had said “Send my love to France,  my  heart to England – to Germany, my dead body” and so it came to pass. 

Knowing she would be  unable to see her idol face to face, Ute wrote her a letter, telling her  she was a young German actress who had played The Blue Angel – the play in which Marlene was discovered andbegan her glittering career in Hollywood and the movies. 

To her surprise, she received a call from Marlene herself and was treated to a three hour phone call about the life of Dietrich. This she has turned into a play,  using some of the music, telling the  story as herself, the young actress, in small chunks with no time frame, just as Marlene told it to her. And occasionally taking on the persona of Marlene, by donning a top hat or a shawl and singing one of the songs.  

The play begins with the orchestra playing something that is only vaguely familiar and is eventually identified as Falling in Love again, perhaps the most famous song from Blue Angel. One of Ute’s speciality is her original interpretation of music and she uses this a few times during the story. 

Dietrick loved to drink and to smoke and most of all to love. The list of her leading men is extensive. There were very few stars in Hollywood who were not on her list of lovers both male and female. She tells us that Judy Garland was one of her failures. Charlie Chaplin was a wate of time and Jack Kennedy was boring. Later in life she met Brt Bachcharach who became her accompanist and her love thoughhe was about thiry years young than she. Her affair with Yul Bynner last about a year but her true loves were French …Jean Gabin and Edith Piaf. 

There are so many secrets to be given away. Not only her list of lovers male and female, but one of her beauty secrets that makes one shudder. She used tape to pull the loose skin from her face and drag it to the back of her neck. This she had to remove every night which was painful and made her bleed so much that eventually it became infected and had to give up working. She retired to her house in Avenue Montaigne and shut the door on her life.  

Ute tells the story as told to her and occasionally takes on the persona of Marlene and gives us some of the songs. “Where have all the flowers gone”, “Just a gigolo”, “One for my Baby”  

There is so much more to the story of this Androgenous, extraordinary, brave lady and Ute is the girl to tell it. Try and catch the story whenever you can spare two hours. 

pimlico pate

13 Nov


Eve Ferret: Pimlico Paté

at the St James Theatre Studio

Larger than life is one way of describing this woman. She is all heart, all soul. She is out to give us a great time and boy does she deliver. With her signature peignoirs, her huge piled up red hair – no one else ever had hair that big. Her exceptional vocal quality – and her voluptuosity (my own word) she is a completely unique presence. A one off.

Being with Eve is like sinking into a lovely warm bubble bath. Cares all gone, just enjoy. So much delight, so much laughter, so much pathos. All unexpected. For instance – St Louis Blues – fantastic. especially with the trick ending. We were carried along with the magic of her wonderful throbbing blues voice, and then, after the build up, we were almost in tears …an insanely crazy event at the end. SO FUNNY. I’ll say no more – her comedy is impossible to describe. Surreal and yet seemingly completely spontaneous. The Salvador Dali of Cabaret. Her material is mostly written by herself and full of her own witty lyrics. Her parody on ‘The Thing that Got Away’ is hilarious and so is the description of herself as ‘Last night’s Pate’. A phrase we have to learn and perform with her as she tells stories of her ridiculous love life. ‘Congratulations, you Got me’ a torch song like no other sung with passion and heartbreak. ‘I love my peignoir’ is performed to a pink peignoir on a pole. And one of my favourites. ‘It’s never over till it’s over’

She describes herself in one of her songs ‘The Pimlico Belle;. She said at her performance at the St James’s last March.

“Born a mile away from the theatre, who knew from playing on bombsites down the road, that one day I would sing in this glorious theatre and launch an EP ’.

Eve has been billed as ‘One of the most original performers on stage today’. And beloved of the critics who say, ‘The incomparable Eve Ferret you have to see it to believe it. Musical Theatre Review.comShe could be compared to Bette, Ella or Peggy but in truth she is Eve Ferret the one and only’

Much of her lyrics are put into musical form by her guitarist/composer who was unable to be with her on this occasion. But on stage is a great blues piano player Johnny Miller. He follows Eve perfectly – not an easy thing to do. Not content with just backing her up on the St James’s grand piano, he accompanies her on the pencil. Now there’s a rarity.

I say this to one and all – if you ever get a chance to see this lady perform, grab it with both hands. She is a marvel.

aline waites