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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,