The show at Stephens House and Gardens had a full house and went very well. The weather was perfect for performing in the open air - not something you could often say this year! Thanks go to Melanie Wynyard at the venue for the publicity and Steve Somerset for sound and photography. Below are a couple of photos by Steve, one in the dressing room, where I look quite vampiric, though no vampires in this show!
As for future performances, I postponed the October performance to next spring and other arrangements are being made. In the mean time, my heart is being made fit for purpose by a different medical team. The new and improved me will be available by the end of November.
AUGUST 2021 UPDATE
Things went well in Buxton, though the general view was that audiences were still anxious so numbers were down. My feeling was that Ludlow was a bit more confident about seeing shows, but I'm not really comparing like with like. The Buxton Fringe reviewer made some warm comments about the show. He is quoted under Reviews. And thinking of warm comments, I must thank the audience members in Buxton who sent me an email about my `awesome' show. Nobody has called my show awesome before - clearly people are too reserved! - so this meant a lot.
As set out under the June update, the next performance, weather permitting, will be on 12th September outside at Stephens House and Gardens. The Hampstead and Highgate Express will be writing an article about me, so please look out for that.
JULY 2021 UPDATE
Back from Ludlow, where I got a great response and even did an extra show, as the first sold out. It's a friendly place and those running the Fringe are involved and supportive. And the weather was pretty good!
Significantly, it turns out I do have the energy to perform for an hour and am not wiped out at the end, so the experience was extremely positive for my recovery.
In mid-July I'm off to Buxton. To book tickets please see under the June update.
JUNE 2021 UPDATE
So does this count as a mini-tour? Hmm! Anyway, I will be performing `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' as follows:
June 29th at 7.30pm Ludlow Fringe, Feathers Hotel, Bullring, Ludlow SY8 1AA. Online sales: www.ludlowfringe.co.uk
13th and 14th July at 5.30pm and 15th July at 4pm, Buxton Fringe, Underground at the Clubhouse. For more information and online sales: www.underthefringe.com
3rd October at 3pm, Fellowship House, Willifield Way, London NW11 6YD - more information to follow
MAY 2021 UPDATE
Well, I'm actually planning some live performances of `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' More information about them in June. I have also recorded another episode of the podcast. This is a conversation with the brilliant actress, Alison Steadman. She talks about her approach to acting, why she will never perform in a musical and how she would like to direct again. Here is the link https://radiopublic.com/too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-g-WzBxqJ/s1!c1aba
Well this is not how I planned to start the year. I went to have a relatively routine heart procedure, but due to something going wrong, it led to my heart stopping. This resulted in open heart surgery with ribs being broken so it was possible to get to the heart and compress it until it started again. This took a long time. It is a miracle I'm still alive. However, I am and back home after 4 weeks. I owe my life to the skilful medical team and want to praise the nurses at the BMI London Independent Hospital for their loving care, followed by the physios getting me on my feet. Now follows a long period of reestablishing my strength and muscles.
I will of course see how I can reflect this in my creative work!
DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE
The latest podcast is with Lyn Ruth Miller, who at 87 is considered the oldest female stand-up comedian on both sides of the Atlantic. She has won many awards and accolades. She only started at 71, after a career as a writer, tutor and newspaper columnist. She was intending to write about comedy, went on a stand up course for research and fell in love with performing. She is self-mocking and wickedly funny. At 67 she published her first book, Starving Hearts, an autobiographical novel about her struggle with bulimia and an overwhelming mother. She followed it with a series of other books and articles. She is a speaker who has inspired others with eating disorders to believe that they can help themselves just as she did. Oh, and she paints. In the podcast she talks passionately about performing, individuality, the effect of Covid 19 on her career, her need to obtain a visa to go on performing in the UK and why she paints every day. Here is the link https://radiopublic.com/too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-g-WzBxqJ/s1!cdf81
I'm turning my attention to next year and thinking about performing again. In the mean time, I've been working on the third in the world of legends series, as I mentioned in the October update. I reckon I've nearly completed a third, so although the way ahead will still be bumpy, I should get to the end. Hopefully this one won't take another 18 years! I would like to be finished in the spring.
NOVEMBER 2020 UPDATE
My most recent podcast is with Tim Scott McConnell, the American singer-songwriter and 12-string guitarist who now performs under the name Ledfoot. He is known as the 'Master of Gothic Blues', a music genre he created. He started touring at the age of 15. His song High Hopes was released by Bruce Springsteen in 2013. For a period he headed the LA band the Havelinas. In 2007 he released his first Ledfoot album and started touring heavily in Europe as a solo performer. He talks about his approach to being a singer-songwriter, how he developed gothic blues and how, far from drying up as he has got older, he now has enough material to write about. The podcast includes two of his songs 'Wayward Son' and 'Shutup' from 'A death divine', his new album with Ronni le Tekro, soloist and lead guitarist with Norwegian band TNT. If you don't know him, cleck out this most arresting and talented performer. Here's the link to the podcast, which includes two of his songs: https://radiopublic.com/too-young-to-stay-in-too.../s1!31aa0
OCTOBER 2020 UPDATE
Having told you in August that I was starting a fantasy novel called `The Road to Transylvania' - and indeed I did start it - I've changed my mind and gone back to the world of legends series. I have started a third to make it a trilogy. I was rather surprised to be doing this, but realised I had invented a character in the second book who definitely had a story worth telling.
After a summer break, I have just recorded another podcast. I was speaking with Dillie Keane, songwriter, singer, actress and cabaret artiste - perhaps best known as one third of the satirical cabaret trio Fascinating Aïda, of which she was the founding member 36 years ago. To date, Fascinating Aïda has had 23 million Youtube hits. She is also an environmental blogger. Dillie talks most entertainingly about performing and writing; and passionately on protecting the environment. Here's the link: https://radiopublic.com/too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-g-WzBxqJ
AUGUST 2020 UPDATE
I am delighted to say I'll be taking part in the on-line Fringe arranged by an Edinburgh Fringe venue. I had rewritten some of my material in lockdown to look at the effect of the pandemic. I was invited to perform this on line in July at the end of the International Meaning Conference - Facing Covid-19 and beyond. I was also invited to submit it to Online@theSpaceUK. It is a 15 minute show called `Too bored to stay in, too scared to go out!'. It is live from 10 AM Saturday 8th August and will be available until 30th August. The direct link is https://youtu.be/xf4fxfdoeFg You will also find it by going to online.thespaceuk.com It is listed under `Cabaret'.
Let me point you to a couple of episodes of my podcast `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' In the first I talk with Tom Wakeley, who has often accompanied me. For many years he was the assistant conductor in `Chicago'. He is the vocal coach at RADA and has a great love for cabaret. He talks about the human voice and performing. You will even hear me singing one of the songs we wrote together! Also I speak with Alex Rotas, the celebrated photographer, who has produced some truly striking images of older athletes up to 100 years old. The Spotify link to all the podcasts is in the July update. You can also find them on https://radiopublic.com/too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-g-WzBxqJ/episodes - no subscription required.
I did say I might give you a synopsis of the sequel to `worldoflegends.com', but I think I'll leave that for now. Happily I'm still in a creative phase and have now started on another fantasy novel called `The road to Transylvania'. It is based on a screenplay I wrote and an embryonic stage musical. It will need some work, especially as I'm choosing a different central character, but at least I know how the story turns out!
JULY 2020 UPDATE
I am fairly busy at the moment. I have recorded several more episodes of the podcast. The 4th and 5th are already live. Here is a Spotify link to the whole series. https://open.spotify.com/show/1msEY0Qii5aTNzpAKmY5PO?nd=1 I'll be interviewing Maggy Pigott (who wrote `How to age joyfully' - podcast 4 https://bit.ly/Ep4MP ) when she gives a talk on Zoom about her book at a charity event. On 25th July I'm performing - on Zoom naturally! - at the end of an international conference on the pandemic.
I am also in a creative phase. Long may it continue! Anyway, I've now finished the first draft of my sequel to `worldoflegends.com' and feel slightly bereft. I might give you a brief synopsis of the story next month.
JUNE 2020 UPDATE
The third episode of the podcast is now live. In this episode recorded during lockdown from a socially acceptable distance, me in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Mary Clear in Todmorden, Mary shares her enthusiasm and infectious energy with us.
Mary has moved mountains in Todmorden and paved the way for many other countries to follow suit with her wonderful community based idea of growing and sharing fruit, vegetables and herbs whilst bringing the community together.
She also runs a wide range of events including cookery demos, harvest festivals, talks, walks, workshops and tours within Todmorden that help strengthen the local community. She also talks movingly of her work as a death doula
Mary has had her voice heard on TED talks. You find out more at www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk As for me, still too bored to stay in, too scared to go out - well lyrically that is! The link to episode 3 is bit.ly/TodmordenC19
I have been beavering away at the sequel to `worldoflegends.com'. It will only have taken me 18 years to finish this, but no point rushing! Have also turned up a couple of times on a Canadian radio programme.
APRIL 2020 UPDATE
The second podcast is now live. In this one I talk about Covid 19, lockdown and the trials and tribulations that come with it. On the upside, it could be worse, I could be stuck with Doreen...
Well it's a totally different world since my last update, but you are well aware of that. Nobody yet knows who can do what and when. However, I wanted to tell you about my new podcast, which is to support `Too young to stay in, Too old to go out!' It has the same name. In this new podcast, I aim to dispel the fusty myths and the apparent prerequisites of "old age". While looking at some of the challenges, in largely good humoured discussions, I want to talk to people and discuss their philosophy of ageing well. From time to time, who knows, I might insert pieces from the show!
A link to the first podcast is below. In it I have a conversation with Carole Stone, the networking queen, about friendship. You can find it on this link: bit.ly/2WwmNbx
JANUARY 2020 UPDATE
This year I am hoping to take `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' back to the Edinburgh Fringe. I have written a new piece, which I would like to try out and, if it works, I'll have to lose something to keep to a Fringe 60 minutes. I'll be performing the show upstairs at the Wheatsheaf in Rathbone Place at 8pm on Wednesday 27th February. Admission is free but I will take a collection at the end to help cover expenses.
I do have a new and very different show in mind, but that is for 2021!
DECEMBER 2019 UPDATE
Illness prevented me from doing much in November, but I am up and nearly running! Anyway, the show on 27th October went very well and it was interesting doing `Angel to vampire!' again after two years. I need to work on one of the characters.
I am now back with `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!', as I intend to focus on that in 2020. As to how, I'll tell you next year. In the mean time, here is a link to a new short and sharp show reel. It also contains some lyrics and quotes from reviews. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t38qglGNVk I am also writing some more material as at some point I want to expand the show.
OCTOBER 2019 UPDATE
I have decided to raise `Angel to vampire!' from the undead for one performance this October - near Halloween of course! There was interest and I wanted to perform it after a couple of years doing the other show. It will be at 6pm on Sunday 27th October at the Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU/Box Office 020 7482 4857.
SEPTEMBER 2019 UPDATE
The Edinburgh Fringe was challenging, intense, irritating, rewarding, exhausting - and completely energising. It's the need to be completely on it and energised which I find so positive. If you don't go that way, then the whole experience can be sapping and frustrating. Keep looking and learning, so that next year can be even more rewarding. I'll go back in 2020.
The show had been reviewed before of course, but I got a couple of four star reviews. [Please see the Reviews page.] I also had some very warm audience feedback, either after the performance or on the Edfringe page for the show - like this for example: `Absolutely wonderful, poignant, funny - for all ages, but especially for those in the title group! Nigel Osner was mesmerising in playing both a man or a woman. Strongly recommended by us and our friends. P.S. I have zero financial or other connections with Osner or the show.' [Every bit of that was appreciated!]
What's next for the show? Well I am investigating a couple of directions, but I'll tell you more if anything happens.
JULY 2019 UPDATE
So I had better give you the booking details for `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show will be on at Sweet Novotel (80 Lauriston Place, Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel, EH3 9DE from August 2nd to 18th (except 12th) at 17.45. So please note I am not performing in the last week of the Fringe. Here is the web link for booking : https://sw.tickets.red61.com/performances.php?eventId=18:2302
JUNE 2019 UPDATE
There are less than two months before the Edinburgh Fringe begins. At least the show is pretty much in its final fringe form (though I have plans to make it longer for non-fringe performances.) There will be a lot of work to do on publicity and making helpful contacts. But may be there's no need to panic. I see that an 89 year old has just won Britain's Got Talent. There is obviously still plenty of time to develop my career!
In a useful break from the show, this month I will be taking part in a music video and also playing a Jewish Polish junk shop owner in a short film. I say `Polish', but this is a tricky accent. It will be as near as I can get it.
MAY 2019 UPDATE
Already back from the Brighton Fringe, but very pleased to have taken part. The Sweet Venues team are friendly and supportive. (I'll be with them again in the Edinburgh Fringe.) Going so early meant I could take part in Sweet's opening taster event, which I enjoyed. Despite only three shows this year (there would have been none if I hadn't broken four bones in my foot last year in mid run) two reviewers came in. They both liked what they saw. Fringe Review said: `Nigel Osner is a beautiful and gentle performer that took hold of the tragedy of navigating love and connection in later years of life and played the strings of comedy. ---- This is a beautiful piece of solo work of an excellent quality.' Broadway Baby said: `Witty, bitchy, achingly sad and, finally, strangely uplifting'. Fuller extracts are on the reviews page.
I went to an interesting seminar on rural touring. While there are some potential problems, overall the message was extremely positive, both as to audience numbers and local reception. An interesting point made was that audiences are looking for a longer evening than a Fringe hour. They also welcome an interval. This would fit in with my wish to extend the show. I would then do the male characters in the first half and the female characters in the second after a helpful break to put on some extra make-up!
April 2019 UPDATE
So much for the new agent! They seem to be having some sort of crisis. Well their crisis can't be my crisis, so I have left and am working with Dympna Holland.
My spot at the Renaissance Alternative Music festival seemed to go down well. (Congratulations to Ays Kura who organised a 12 hour festival with some 20 bands, other performers and artists.) It allowed me to sing some songs from `Angel to vampire!' I've missed them. I do enjoy the current show but in `Angel to vampire!' not every character is ageing!
Next is the Punk4Mental Health event on Friday 22nd March at the Dublin Castle, Camden, London NW1 7AN. I'll do a couple of songs from each show. It's an eclectic occasion and well worth supporting
FEBRUARY 2019 UPDATE
At 6pm on a cold evening in February I had a really good turnout for the show. I really think the title helps bring people in. I do appreciate the support. The new song worked very well and I was especially pleased about that. At the moment I have no plans to perform the whole show again until the Brighton Fringe in May. However, I've been invited to sing some songs at the Renaissance Alternative Music Festival on Saturday 2nd March at Electrowerkz in Islington. Cabaret in the middle of a day of rock!
JANUARY 2019 UPDATE
Happy new year! I am starting 2019 with a new agent for an initial period of three months, so let's see what comes from that!
In the mean time, I'm still working on the show. I'm planning to take it to a couple of Fringes this year but want to perform it in as many places as possible. More immediately, as previously indicated, I want to see how the new song works. The song is partly about how older and disabled people can be ignored. It ends well though! I have hummed a melody to the wonderful Tom Carradine - http://www.tomcarradine.com/ - who is turning it into proper music. The song will be ready when I next perform the show on Sunday 3rd February in the Etcetera theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU. Box Office: 020 7482 4857 or book on line: https://www.ticketea.co.uk/tickets-theatre-too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-go-out-etcetera-theatre/
DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE
Good to report that the audience at the King's Head thought the show was a great success. I feel I am really getting into the heart of it now. It is interesting how things move on and you have to reevaluate all the time. I have been performing one song for years and thought it was all set. When I saw the whole video of the show in August, it was clear I needed to think hard about presenting this particular character, as the performance no longer worked. What used to seem strong was now weak. I'm not saying which character! However, I am much happier now.
I have written a new song which will be incorporated into the show. I'll be performing the show again at the Etcetera theatre in Camden at 6pm on Sunday 3rd February, mainly to see how this song works. More information about that and future plans in the January update. Happy Christmas!
OCTOBER 2018 UPDATE
If you would like to see `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' in October, here is what you need to know. I'll be at the King's Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street Islington, London N1 1QN on Sunday 21st October at 4pm. Tickets are £15 (£12 concessions). Box office: 0207 226 0561.
To whet your appetite, here is a link to a show reel with glimpses of the show. It was recorded at the Etcetera Theatre in August. https://youtu.be/vOMriKXkenM
The photo below is me singing during a short performance my birthday party - a change of decade!
Did you miss the show or perhaps you'd like to see it again? I'm performing it next on 21st October at the King's Head Islington at 4pm. So now you know how to have a perfect autumn Sunday afternoon! Details will be in next month's post.
The show was videoed and next time I'll give you a link to the showreel. For the moment, below is photo of me singing `Another show'.
photo by punkrocksaL
AUGUST 2018 UPDATE
I am pleased to report the broken foot is doing well. It's no longer in plaster and I'm walking around. Looking good for the show this month. As to that, the necessary information is in the July update.
I've now recorded the title song of the show, with the music arranged and played by Ays Kura.
JULY 2018 UPDATE
I am hoping all will be good with my foot by the time I do the August shows, but I'll be doing them even it's still not quite right. Later this month I'll discover how well the foot is healing.
Until an unfortunate event - see below! - the Brighton Fringe was going rather well. On a very warm Friday evening the first show was successful. On an even more humid Saturday evening the second show was sold out. I changed an accent and attitude for one character and this produced a much stronger piece. The Musical Theatre Review was very enthusiastic in its 4 star review: `Osner's characterisations are well drawn and excellently performed. The writing is clever with plenty of wit and humour even in the darker elements of his stories.' There might even have been other reviews except ----
---- overnight I managed to break 4 metatarsals in my right foot. When I went to A & E I thought it might be a bruise or a broken toe and would have limped on. But this brought things to a resounding halt. However, this show obviously worked. There will be more performances this year and I want to take it back to Brighton in 2019.
Below is photo taken during the performance by Peter Williams
MAY 2018 UPDATE
I've now made some tweaks to the show, adding a few more personal touches to the script, as that is what people asked for.
The trial run of `Too young to stay in, too old to go out!' on 11th April went pretty well on the whole. At any rate, although I was aware of some bumps, and will have to control a wayward necklace, I got very enthusiastic feedback. Several members of the audience told me they will be coming to see the show again, which is lovely. I'll be making a few tweaks to the show, but no major changes. That's a relief!
I will next be performing it in the Brighton Fringe at the end of May. It will be on from 25th to 28th May at 5.30pm at Sweet Werks (Venue 18), Werks Central, 15 - 17 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL. Tickets are £8.50 (£7.50 concessions). Box Office 07948 905541.
MARCH 2018 UPDATE
I've now started working with Janine Wood, who directed `Angel to vampire!' and who is now casting her eye over the new show. Very helpful. I'll be giving it a trial run on Wednesday 11th April. No stage lights, a simple sound system, but a chance to see how it works before a few people I've invited along. If you want to come along too, you'll be most welcome. It's upstairs at the Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JB London at 8PM. there's a modest charge of £3 to cover expenses. See https://www.facebook.com/events/2110903842467048/
I still need a couple more bits of costume so I'll be in search of those over the next week or so.
FEBRUARY 2018 UPDATE
Still working on the new show. I have spent some enjoyable and creative time with Ays Kura. He has put together a swing arrangement for the first song and has come up with a terrific and amusing accompaniment for my song about the perils of the gym.
I went to the Monarch bar in Chalk Farm with talented photographer David McConaghy, who shot publicity photos for the show. The image I'll use on posters and flyers is below.
Photo by David McConaghy
JANUARY 2018 UPDATE
Happy new year!
Continuing to develop the new show and this includes learning it. One piece is a very long monologue indeed and I'm not looking forward to that one. However, I do of course know the twists and turns of the story. Furthermore, it doesn't rhyme, which helps should I undoubtedly forget the odd word.
On Saturday 13th I'll be performing at the `For punk sake' festival, having been invited there following my slot at the punk 4 Mental Health evening in December. This is on both 13th and 14th January at the Gunners, 204 Blackstock Road, London N5 1EN.
'Pat Garrett's Just One More Night delivers a well crafted
performance from Nigel Osner as an aging entertainer, reflecting on a life less
than glamorous, but one convincing enough to appear that way to his public.
Osner also subtly scripted this performer's life, so it's doubly hard to
separate art from life. Which imitates the other? Hard to tell, in this very
enigmatic film performance. But that's the point isn't it?'