Sunday, 29 January 2017
A Fantastic Afternoon with Fenella
Yesterday I ventured out once again to the Phoenix Artist Club in London's West End for another of Fenella Fielding's fabulous memoir shows. I had last attended one of these shows in November and as each show promised new material I couldn't wait to hear what Fenella had to say. As the Misty Moon's Curator was heard to say, it was "bloody brilliant"!
The intimate nature of the Phoenix's Members Lounge makes this show really special. Although the show in November was well attended, this one was packed out with not a spare ticket to be had. As ever, Fenella did not disappoint and presented three chapters from her memoir which were altogether funny, charming, surprising and at times moving. Fenella was quite obviously born to perform and she had the whole room on her side through the 90 minute performance.
This show covered three particularly interesting times in Fenella's life. We started off with a chapter entitled "Tarts and Gangsters" (that's all I'm saying on this one!) and this was following by a chapter dedicated to Fenella's experiences making her two Carry On appearances, in Regardless and most famously of all, Carry On Screaming in 1966. It was wonderful to hear Fenella recount stories of making these films and share some tales from behind the scenes at Pinewood Studios. After a short break, Fenella was back with her final chapter, discussing her incredibly diverse stage career during the 1960s, ranging from the musical Valmouth at the end of the 1950s through Shakespeare, Ibsen, light comedy and even a bit of Muriel Spark.
As ever there was a deftness and a lightness of touch throughout the reading which is very Fenella. Her unique delivery and some amazing tales make Fenella's memoir a must have. Afterwards there was an entertaining Q&A with a variety of questions bringing up stories on diverse aspects of Fenella's career including working with the late Patrick Macnee, Patrick Macgoohan on The Prisoner and Danger Man and one of Fenella's most recent television performances in the Channel 4 series, Skins.
The Phoenix Artist Club is the perfect venue for these shows and it was great to see the likes of David Barry, Anita Graham, Vera Day, Brian Murphy and Linda Regan gather there to support Misty Moon's endeavours.
The last show in the run is next Saturday 4 February however I'm told this has now sold out. I believe there are more shows in the pipeline for June this year so stay tuned for more information on those.
Fenella will also be appearing with Stephen Greif in their show Just a Little Murder at Crazy Coqs, London on Tuesday 28 February. You can find out more about this performance and book tickets via Fenella's website. You can also pre-order a signed copy of Fenella's audio book of memoirs over on her website by following this link
The memoirs are due out in May this year.