Oct 11, 2017


I am hugely relieved to be back in the UK, because I flew in from NICE, on the 29th Sept, on the last Monarch flight before the company went down…….I wouldn’t know how to get back if that flight hadn’t have taken off. At the airport something was obviously up, because we cued for well over an hour and eventually check in staff arrived about an hour and 40mins before the flight time.

I am excited about autumn, for no other reason than JUBILEE will be up and running, the leaves on the trees will be all my favourite colours and our Christmas decorations will be out by the 12th November!

Frippy is away until late November giving me plenty of time to create the Christmas Grotto I’ve been promising him all year outside our kitchen window.

It never occurred to me to light up the late afternoon darkness with a gaudy festoon of flashing Rudolf’s and Snowmen and fairy lights, so I am going for it. Currently I am looking for giant baubles to put on the winter trees. “Real Gert F——“ as my hubby would say…..that’s Dorset for BIG.

In the past month I have made a subtle change to my appearance that has had a substantial and positive response.

Realising that by today’s standards of “preening” I was falling way behind I decided to let my eyebrows go back to their natural colour of chestnut. Thinking nothing of this, people I haven’t seen in a while kept saying I was looking really pretty.

My eyebrows are thick and strong and would give any mono browed man a run for his money, so after decades of dying my brows blonde they are now dark and looking…well quite fab.

Isn’t it odd how something so seemingly insignificant can change peoples perceptions and first reactions to you, I am used to people looking at me disdainfully sometimes (mostly because I am short) but somehow my brows seem to have placated that reaction……we do look at faces first!

JUBILEE has started rehearsing and I am living in Manchester.

When I first visited Manchester, as a vegetarian punk rocker, in 1977 all I could eat was the mash potato off the top of Shepherd’s Pies. Now this city is super charged….Buddhist restaurants, Vegan restaurants, Prada, Harvey Nicks……its all shiny and new. If only I was into shopping.

So far rehearsals have been a joy. We are doing so much dancing and loving it.

Not wanting to give anything away, we are creating a sound track to our lives and characters. The show will have musical themes and undertones. The playlist is fantastic.

Why are we dancing?…..well come and see the show. If you like Michael Clarke, the Fall and other similar things this show is for you.

The original Derek Jarman film is the framework that this show hangs upon but it is very much a modern piece with modern politics and modern sexual exploration.

The cast are fascinating. Many are stand alone performance artists, political activists and social commentators. All of them are young and energetic but above all they are lovely, inclusive, interesting and talented people. Their company is invigorating.

In many ways they are reminding me of my first years in the business when everything was an exciting exploration of endless possibilities, full of personal bravado.

Last month I said to myself that I really need to find my personality again…it has become buried in a world of responsibilities and bureaucracy. My new work mates are leading me back to myself and I am not only loving it, I am extremely grateful too.

We start each day saying how we are feeling. No one ever asks me this else where in my life. There’s no time for starters.

There are no “blokes” in Jubilee……there are “She’s”, “Transgender”, “Drag Kings” and other non binaries…….I have learnt so much in the past week (and I am still learning) about new gender politics.

For example on the first day at the Royal Exchange Theatre we were all asked to fill out forms which asked us about our preferred gender and sexual preferences (oh yes) plus origins and orientation.

So I put down that I was a STRAIGHT, WHITE, CHRISTIAN , FEMALE…….I don’t think anyone else laid claimed to that!

My role as Queen Elizabeth 1st is mainly as an observer. In the original film this character makes very few appearances but I will be on stage for the whole of this show. My costume is stunning AND very tight AND very heavy… doesn’t give me much option other than to stand and stare at the action, though we do have a few fun things up our sleeves. 

It looks like LIES WE TELL will have a general release. Fripp and I went to the premier in Leicester Square at the Rain Dance festival. I spent all of one day on this film. Originally I was offered a larger role but my gig schedule meant I couldn’t do it, so I said I would come back on a day off and just do a walk on part. This led to me being Harvey Keitel’s wife and having a very brief appearance in the opening and all of one line half way through.

When I was told about the premier I asked the producers if I was still in the film at all and they said “YES! Your performance is one of the few still remaining!”

The film has been re-edited by Danny Boyle’s team and it is fantastic. Truly original, compelling and culturally surprising. I think it will do very well on its release on the 2nd Feb 2018.

IN EXTREMIS is to have it’s premier on the 4th November at Leicester Square, at the British Horror Film Festival, then is shows in Chicago. I loved doing this film, the whole way it came about is one of my favourite memories.

Steve Stone the director couldn’t find an actress to play a women who has been sawed in half! On hearing this I asked my painter/decorator Ian to film me doing the three page monolog from the script on his I-phone.

With much amusement he filmed me “dying” on the kitchen table at home and we sent the footage to Steve. Steve loved it so much he even though of using this actual footage in the film. When it came to actually shooting the sequence Steve had the make up department look at my make up on the phone footage and copy it!

RIGHT, presently I am at the Alternative Festival on Skegness and the Vapours are on stage sounding absolutely stunning.

I am on next!