Talk Catalogue

Music and Theatre

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Mirthy cannot guarantee the accuracy of information presented in the talks and we invite attendees to report any inappropriate content and behaviour by emailing alex@mirthy.co.uk

Music and Theatre

Musings from the amateur stage

Talk Description and preview

This talk includes anecdotes about some of the plays and shows Mike has been involved with during his 30+ years with Drama Groups in York and West Berkshire. Mike also gives a few performances of short comic pieces originally written and performed by some heroes of comedy, like Alan Bennett and Peter Cook.

Talk length - 25 minutes.

Mike Brook

Mike Brook is a recently retired Chief Librarian who enjoys playing a bit of sport and doing “Am Dram”. He started public speaking in 2009 and now on speaker lists for WI Federations for four counties and have given over a hundred talks. Mike's talks aim to entertain and make you laugh.

London's Theatreland

Talk Description and preview

Explore with us the evolution of the theatre in London with a talk illustrating histories of playhouses and stories about actors who have performed in them. We find out about some of the West End theatres and go backstage to see how the wonderful shows are created. As Alfred Hitchcock said, “Theatre is Life with the dull bits cut out.”

Talk length - 42 minutes.

Andrew Warde

Andrew Warde has more than 40 years experience as a London Blue Badge guide, with additional guide qualifications for the City of London and for Windsor & Eton. He presents illustrated talks and walks in and around London, telling all about historic buildings, curious survivals from times past, or special areas of London life and the Thames riverside. These talks reveal fascinating aspects of London’s past and the people who lived there.

The Magic of London Theatres

Talk Description and preview

This talk explores the history of the theatre in London from Shakespeare to the present day. It is fully illustrated with over 120 images displaying not only the sumptuous interiors of these "Theatres of Dreams" but with many etchings of by-gone London scenes. A colourful and informative presentation.

Talk length - 44 minutes.

Malcolm Meadows

Following Malcolm's retirement he has been able to follow his interest in Music, Art and a miscellany of subjects to inform and entertain.

Santa Evita

Talk Description and preview

Eva Peron was not just a character in a musical. This talk explores the true story of Argentina's charismatic and legendary First Lady. Was she a saint or a sinner? Hazel's research has taken several years and has included two visits to Buenos Aires.


Talk length - 50 minutes.

Hazel Griffiths

Hazel Griffiths has worked as a cruise ship speaker for a decade - providing interesting talks that help guests have an enjoyable time ashore. Considered to be one of the best at sea, she has now expanded her portfolio to speak on land too.

The Magical Mystery of Houdini

Talk Description and preview

A presentation on the amazing life of one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, magician that ever lived. The presentation from Joe Mendell includes some magical secrets.

Talk length - 40 minutes.

Joe Mendell

Joe Mendell - Born in the US, lived in the UK since 1978. Votes in both countries so the governments are both his fault. Has always been an active official in sports; qualified to officiate American Football, baseball, ice hockey, association football and basketball and has even umpired cricket matches. Worked in the computer industry for 30 plus years and retired as a truck driver in 2012. Is very much involved in local amateur dramatics as an actor and director and has even attempted to write 2 plays and 2 books; both yet to be published.

You're Never Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll

Talk Description and preview

From rocking in the cradle to rocking on television, Vince’s first talk covers his becoming one of Britain’s original teen idols with many appearances on top Saturday evening television shows such as the “Six-Five Special” and “Oh Boy” and his becoming part of the British rock ‘n’ roll dynasty alongside Tommy Steele, Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and Marty Wilde. Vince also reveals the mischief and mayhem created behind the scenes whilst touring with his pal Joe Brown.

Talk length - 44 minutes.

Vince Eager

During his 60 years in showbiz and cruise directing, Vince Eager has collected a wealth of stories, anecdotes, tales, call them what you will, that he enjoys talking and writing about. His on-stage popularity over the years has recently spun off into the success he’s enjoyed with his book, “Vince Eager’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Files” and his presentations. Along with his performing and writing, Vince is becoming more and more in demand for his talks and visual media presentations. Such is the wealth of material at his fingertips that he has three presentations. Two are based on his early years of recording popular music, television shows, concerts and cabaret shows he appeared on, and the third talk covers his performing overseas and fourteen years as a Cruise Director on-board luxury American cruise liners.

Songs of War

Talk Description and preview

The Bob and Dot Show: Songs of War – let Bob and Dot, (aka Graham and Bronwen of Sun Jester), entertain you with a classy touch of nostalgia. With Dot’s fabulous voice singing live, Bob’s anecdotes and the aid of a working 1934 wind up gramophone, they revisit the popular music of the Second World War and tell often amusing stories about the artistes who entertained the troops and those left at home. Guaranteed entertainment for those who remember and for those who do not.

Talk length - 46 minutes.

Sun Jester

The Bob and Dot Show - Sun Jester (aka Graham and Bronwen Harrison) have been working in history and heritage education for more than 20 years, delivering fun and informative talks and entertainments for all ages.

Singing my way to the stars

Talk Description and preview

Val describes in amusing detail the challenges of a life in show-biz and enriched by the experience, tells us she wouldn't change a thing!

Talk length - 45 minutes.

Val Wiseman

Award winning singer Val Wiseman began her career in the Midlands before leaving to seek her fame and fortune in 'swinging sixties' London.

An Entertainer's Life

Talk Description and preview

Shelley’s life in cabaret as a limbo dancer, fire-eater, belly dancer, illusionist, disc jockey and radio presenter to children’s entertainer, storyteller and balloon modeller.

Shelley shares her incredible journey and experiences through her showbiz career with inspirational and motivational stories from her life as an international cabaret artiste and entertainer, accompanied by photographs, funny stories and video clips. An amusing and entertaining look at life as an Entertainer in her varied and professional career.


Talk length - 41 minutes.

Shelley Lozano

Shelley Lozano has worked professionally as a cabaret artiste and entertainer for over 30 years which has taken her as far afield as Europe, Kathmandu, India and the Middle East. She is now an author and radio presenter with a weekly wildlife show and through her work, helps raise awareness and funds for endangered wildlife and offers fun and entertaining talks for a variety of functions and events to suit audiences of all ages.

Under the Influence

Talk Description and preview

'Under the Influence' features Andy playing an array of stringed instruments, including guitars, ukulele and mandolin. He sings and plays a selection of different musical pieces which have shaped his repertoire, playing and life….and explain why!! 

Lots of well-known songs by the The Beatles, Bob Dylan, John Denver and Jake Thackeray (to name but a few) - plus a few of his own. With his dry sense of humour, he makes his talks both amusing and entertaining. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!


Talk length - 45 minutes.

Andy Smith

Andy is a musician and writer. He plays numerous instruments including guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and piano. He is also an accomplished songwriter and has released several albums of his own material.

During Lockdown he has written a book, started learning to speak Welsh and grown his own vegetables!

Andy lives in Rugby, has a son, a daughter and has two three year old grandchildren.

Band on the Road

Talk Description and preview

Phil will take you back even to the dance hall craze of America in the 1930s. Then we will move forward to the “Crooners” of songs by Irving Berlin and Cole Porter.  Eventually all roads lead to the late fifties and the explosion of Pop and Rock’n’Roll onto our streets and into our halls, pubs and youth clubs. Singing unforgettable songs performed with his trusty guitar, Phil will rekindle memories you perhaps  thought you had forgotten. Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Marty Wilde, Bobby Darin and many others find their way into Phil’s Zoom world.  He will tell stories of his recording at Abbey Road,( search Phil Ryan and the Crescents – You tube), gigging with The Beatles, listening in awe to Ben E King and sharing the next dressing room peg to Bill Haley!


Talk length - 49 minutes.

Phil Rylance

After buying his first guitar and working as a stagehand at Crewe Lyceum Theatre after school, Phil knew exactly what he wanted to do as a career: to entertain people with his voice and guitar. Despite the careers people at his school not quite being on the same wavelength, he eventually became a professional musician and singer at the ripe old age of nineteen.
Hard work and perseverance paid off and Phil has recorded at Abbey Road, Radio Luxemburg, Granada TV, and travelled the length and breadth of Europe. Later on in life he became a teacher of English, music and drama! During this time he also wrote and presented Childrens’ Songs for BBC Educational Radio.

Milton Keynes to Mississippi

Talk Description and preview

As a guitarist and singer whose career spans fifty years and is still going strong, Saffron talks us through her journey from Milton Keynes to Mississippi. In this talk, Saffron plays Classical, Folk, South American and Mississippi Blues guitar styles while presenting a brief history of the guitar and sharing personal anecdotes and stories from her career in music. Her story takes us from tales of live performance on Bob Harris’ BBC radio show to writing music for two Channel 4 films; from playing with Long John Baldry in the USA to gigs at the Royal Albert Hall; from The Marquee Club to playing blues guitar in a Mississippi cotton field.

Talk length - 37 minutes

Saffron Summerfield

Saffron Summerfield is a singer/songwriter and guitarist. A self-taught musician who won an award from Arts Council England to study Jazz guitar in London. She has recorded nine albums, toured abroad extensively , performed in such diverse venues as Royal Albert Hall, Wormwood Scrubs Prison and Batley Variety Club as support to Harry Secombe. For many years well known on the UK and European folk scene, Saffron still enjoys performing live with her eclectic mix of acoustic music and creating new songs and tunes.

The Fabulous Fifties

Talk Description and preview

The Bob and Dot Show present 'The Fabulous Fifties'- the decade that gave birth to Rock & Roll. Looking at the often surprising events, from car crash to kidnap, in the lives of artistes such as Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Dean Martin.


Talk length - 39 minutes.

Sun Jester

Sun Jester (aka Graham and Bronwen Harrison) have been working in history and heritage education for more than 20 years, delivering fun and informative talks and entertainments for all ages.

A Very English Dynasty

Talk Description and preview

Many people will know the name D’Oyly Carte in relation to the Gilbert and Sullivan Comic operas.  However, there is so much more to their achievements and legacy than the operas, important as they are to the story.  In a story of success, failure and tragedy we explore four generations from the mid-19th Century to the late-20th Century.  We also get to the bottom of that very unusual name.


Talk length - 51 minutes.

Jim Stebbings

Jim retired after working in a business and commercial environment around the world. He is now developing a series of talks across a broad spectrum of social history for online and live presentation. With a special interest and experience in the musical theatre, some of these have a musical background.

A Tribute to the 1940s

Talk Description and preview

Be sure to have your red, white and blue at the ready as Miss Sarah-Jane takes you on a musical journey through the 1940s!

She’ll have you singing your way through some of the greatest songs of the era, from the up tempo dance hits of Glenn Miller, the iconic tunes of the Andrews Sisters or the messages of hope and joy from the late Dame Vera Lynn - all of which played a key role in raising the morale of Britain.


Performance length - 44 minutes.

miss Sarah-Jane

Miss Sarah-Jane has been performing as a 1940s tribute artist for almost 10 years. Music has always been a part of her life, and not just singing: since 2006, she has been a member of the Royal Air Force as a musician, performing all over the world.

Miss Sarah-Jane’s military background, musical skill set and passion for vintage fashion helped guide her towards becoming the act you see today.

www.the1940svocalist.co.uk

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