JUNE 2018 UPDATE
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 Brighton box office number is in the April update. Here is a web link for booking. http://www.sweetvenues.com/events/too-young-to-stay-in-too-old-to-go-out/ Hope to see some of you in Brighton. I'll be performing the show in London in August, but I'll tell you about that later.
APRIL 2018 UPDATE
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.
DECEMBER 2017 UPDATE
I have got the new show into some sort of shape. The written material is all done. It awaits the completion of a couple of melodies. I have come up with one, and might manage the other too. As I can't write music, I have to record myself singing them and get someone to turn them into something playable and singable.
The show is now called `Too young to stay in (too old to go out!)'. That is also the title of the first song and is a clue to the theme of the show. It's about the challenges and opportunities we face as we get older. Portrayed in an entertaining way I hope! I still intend to do `Angel to vampire!' from time to time, but I want to get this show launched and will certainly be doing four performances towards the end of May at next year's Brighton Fringe.
I have a tiny bit of filming later this month and will do a couple of items at a Punk 4 mental Health evening. I've had to turn down a short film role because filming will take place outside while I'm still losing my battle with some evil lurgy!
NOVEMBER 2017 UPDATE
I have recorded `Don't label me', the first song in `Angel to vampire!' The piano is played by Tom Wakeley who wrote the melody as Mole. I think it's sounding pretty good.. You can listen to it by going to the stage page and following the link. The recording was at the studio of the amazing Ays Kura.
I'm now working on a new show. It will incorporate some material I have already performed, but it will mostly be material I have never performed before or have written specially. The working, and may be permanent, title is `The seven ages of Nigel - part 2'! I'll say more when it's a bit further on. However, I am rather excited, as until recently I wasn't sure what the next show was going to be. Now it has a theme and it's almost complete.
OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE
I took part in Pubk4MentalHealth on the last weekend in September. It took place in the Old Mortuary, Bermondsey, which seems an appropriate place somehow. Of course, when in alternative mode, I am more goth than punk, but it really didn't matter! My main memory of the event was of a warm and supportive group of people. Joel Vos, known as the Punk Professor (he is both), introduced many of the acts. He spoke passionately about acceptance and self understanding. This is me waiting dreamily to perform. Well that's what I was intending to convey!
Photo by Patrick Griffin
BB Cooper and I have decided to simplify the title of `Goblins don't scare us' to `Magic'. As this is the first word in the title of my original story, this does seem to make sense.
SEPTEMBER 2017 UPDATE
The two shows at Upstairs at the Gatehouse went well. It was a much bigger stage than I usually get for this show, so I needed to add to the simple set and reposition some of the characters, but that was fairly straightforward. The Gatehouse lighting was particularly good and it was a pleasure performing there. However, I was annoyed by the failure of two reviewers to turn up. One had not put the evening in his diary, the other got the time wrong. Amazing! The rewards from Fringe shows are rarely financial, but can include increased recognition. Reviews are part of this. In fairness, the person who had tried to send the forgetful reviewer was very upset. He has promised me an interview the next time I run `Angel to vampire!' in London, so I had better do it again at some point. There are plans ----
Below is a photo of me as the last character in the show. It was taken by Angie Lawrence, my production assistant. I don't usually look that glamorous!
Photo by Angie Williams
On 31st August I was invited to read two poems at a memorial service for Princess Diana at the Mildmay Hospital in London. It specialises in HIV and related health issues. There were fond memories of Princess Diana's visits and Wayne Sleep reminisced about dancing with her in Covent Garden. Most moving in a way was the choir formed of patients who sang two songs. It was a huge achievement for them and acknowledged as such.
AUGUST 2017 UPDATE
Just two performances of `Angel to vampire!' at the Buxton Fringe in July. I was in a very well designed performance space in the Old Clubhouse. However, a 10PM start made mine the last show of the day on the whole Fringe programme. 10PM on a Monday and a Wednesday in Buxton was a trifle optimistic! Nevertheless an audience did arrive and they really enjoyed the show. The Buxton Fringe reviewer was very positive and ended by saying: `his sweet and funny characters will stay with you afterwards like old friends.' Especially pleasing was my nomination by the Buxton Fringe as a recognition of excellence for new writing.
As well as the main performances, I sang a couple of songs on several days in or by the bandstand in the Jubilee Gardens. This was a promotional event organised by Keith Savage, the terrific Chairman of the Fringe. It was a good spot to perform and people actually came to listen!
The next (and probably final) performances of `Angel to vampire!' in 2017 will be on 26th and 27th August at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate. They will be part of the Camden Fringe. The Gatehouse is in Highgate Village, N6 4BD.
Box office 020 8340 3488 or on line at
JUNE 2017 UPDATE
I enjoyed my time in Brighton. Audiences there really got 'Angel to vampire!', so it was a real pleasure performing to them and answering questions afterwards. I caught up with old friends and made new friends. Following one contact, it really looks like I'll be performing the show in New York next year and then I'll take it to New Orleans. And I made a good decision renting a little mews cottage for my nine days there. I'll definitely be back in Brighton, either in or out of the Fringe.
Below are two live performance shots by Peter Williams.
photos by Peter Williams
There are more performances ahead, but I'll just mention the Buxton Fringe for the moment. I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' there on 10th and 12th July. I'll be at Underground at the Old Clubhouse on 10th and 12th July at 10pm, with tickets priced at £8 (£7 concessions). Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070.
MAY 2017 UPDATE
So my week at the Brighton Fringe Festival is almost here. I'll let you have the information again and this time I'll get it right! Keen readers can check to see where I went wrong before. I'll be at Sweet Waterfront (Venue 18), Jury's Inn Hotel BN1 2GS from 8th to 15th May at 8.30pm. The tickets are priced at £8.50 and £7.50 concessions. Box Office 01273 763235.
I enjoyed performing at the Renaissance Alternative Rock Festival. It was an interesting experience doing cabaret in two short sets between the rock bands, but there were those who really liked it and the atmosphere at the whole event was friendly and supportive. Well done to Ays Kura for setting up the Festival. This was the seventh and there will be an eighth next year. Below is a photo of me performing.
photo by Veronique RoseNoir Stage Photography
APRIL 2017 UPDATE
Last month I played a small part as a porter (at the gateway to a furnace!) in a short film. The director, Zoran Trajkovic, produces amazing looking work, so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. I can show you how I turned out in the film as I was given sideburns and a moustache. Looks amazing but I never want to look like this for real!
photo © Melike Cinpolat
This month I'll be performing at two events, including the all day Renaissance festival at Kolis nightclub in Archway on Sunday 23rd. It's mainly rock groups so I'm not sure how I'll go down, but it will be interesting!
And of course, it is nearly time for the Brighton Fringe, where I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' for a week. Here's the information you've been waiting for - haven't you? I'll be at Sweet Waterfront (Venue 18), Jury's Inn Hotel BN1 2GS from 8th to 15th May at 8.30pm. The tickets are priced at £8.50 and £7.50 concessions. Box Office 01273 763235
MARCH 2017 UPDATE
Unexpectedly, I got involved in a very special event, a rehearsed play reading in the National Portrait Gallery. The play is `Colour in the darkness' by Giles Smith, who also directed it. The play is set in 1808 and is about portraits, artists, patrons and society - telling a fascinating story. It was produced jointly by the So and So Arts Club and the National Portrait Gallery. The cast included Ann Mitchell and Ian Reddlestone. We rehearsed in a lecture theatre at the NPG, which looked after us wonderfully. As you can see from the photo, the reading took place in a gallery full of eighteenth century portraits and busts. I was really delighted to be part of this.
From time to time I'll be posting a link to some individual videos of songs from `Angel to vampire!' This is `Don't label me', the first song in the show. It was recorded at Jamboree in Limehouse. My lyrics with a melody composed by Mole. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNRvLcINiE0&t=7s
FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATE
I enjoyed performing at the Distraction Club. Both the organisers and the audience are warm and supportive. One member of the audience wrote afterwards that my `performance was studied, entertaining and clearly from the heart.' This was kind of him. it was a very successful bill overall, headed by Paul `Silky' White. I always enjoy watching and learning from entertainers who know exactly what they are doing. Below are two photos from the evening.
photos by @taylorandy
Next month I have a cameo in what could be a very funny short film. In April I'll be taking part in an all day event called the Renaissance Alternative Music Festival, but more about that later.
JANUARY 2017 UPDATE
Another new year. I wish all of us a good one.
Here is the link to some glimpses of `Angel to vampire!' The show was filmed by Dominic Hicks and his crew at Jamboree in Limehouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5QHRj6cE7c&feature=em-upload_owner I'll be performing `Angel to vampire!' at various places this year, including the Brighton Fringe, but more of this in later months. I'll also add links to videos of individual pieces.
And a reminder, I'm performing next at the Distraction Club on 10th January. A link is in the December 2016 update.
DECEMBER 2016 UPDATE
I have just had `Angel to Vampire!' filmed before an invited audience at Jamboree, the atmospheric music bar in Limehouse. It was a very supportive and patient audience, as they saw several songs twice! All went (mostly) to plan and to time. To be honest, usually I never like my videos! That's got nothing to do with the quality of the filming, which will undoubtedly be good on this occasion.
I've also had my film showreel updated and trimmed. Very pleased to have lost a minute. It does seem much sharper. The new link is on my film page.
On January 10th I'm on the bill at the Distraction Club at the Phoenix in Cavendish Square. Please see https://www.facebook.com/distractionclub/ It's a monthly musical comedy night and the only one I know of in central London. Come along, it's always an eclectic night.
Wishing you the compliments of the season.
NOVEMBER 2016 UPDATE
A very lively and appreciative audience at the St James Studio and I loved playing there. Thanks again to the wonderful tech who was happy to go with all the lighting changes proposed. Note to self though - next time you use a head mic, think of all the hidden pitfalls - putting on angels' wings for example!
The Musical Theatre Review critic said: `When he is in his element, delivering some deliciously barbed lyrics and lines from his stories, Osner's face literally lights up and it's a genuine joy to see him revel in being onstage. --- Osner's steely determination to entertain is writ large across his face from the first line he delivers to the last note he sings. As an audience member, you cannot ask for anything more from an actor than that.'
OCTOBER 2016 UPDATE
Next up for `Angel to vampire!', I'm delighted to say, is a performance at the St James Theatre Studio in Palace Street. The theatre is near - well there's a surprise! - Buckingham Palace. The show is at 8PM on Thursday 13th October. This time I'll be accompanied by Tom Wakeley. I'm very pleased indeed to be working with Tom again. If you would like to book, please phone 0844 264 2140. Alternatively, here is a direct link to `Angel to vampire!' on the theatre website. https://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/studio/angel-to-vampire/
SEPTEMBER 2016 UPDATE
So back from the Edinburgh Fringe, exhausted but with a huge sense of achievement. Lots of nice things said in reviews and they are set out on the Reviews page. Paul Levy in the Fringe Review got the show so completely and expressed his views so thoughtfully that I'm quoting what he said in full.
I was interviewed for a TV programme called Edinburgh Fest Live, which went out on a Sky Channel. You can watch my performance and the interview on
Happily the interviewer didn't mind being bitten!
Where next? Well I was offered a venue in the Adelaide Fringe at the beginning of next year, but I'll delay that. I would like to put the show into the Brighton Fringe next May and there are a couple of European Fringes I'm interested in. Obviously I'll be looking for other opportunities. I will keep you posted.
AUGUST EDINBURGH UPDATE
As well as the great four star review by the Grumpy Gay Critic, I have just had a perhaps even more enthusiastic review by the Fringe Review where Paul Levy described me as a hidden gem. Come find me! http://fringereview.co.uk/review/edinburgh-fringe/2016/angel-to-vampire/
AUGUST 2016 UPDATE
So finally time for the Edinburgh Fringe! Not much to say as I'm writing this on 1st August. However, there is a long interview with me in the Jewish Chronicle. http://www.thejc.com/arts/theatre/161300/angel-wings-and-vampire-fangs There are a couple of other interviews for anyone really keen! Also here is the very first review (of the second preview show.) A longer version is coming.
` "Angel to Vampire" @NigelOsner is a sparkle of light entertainment. A gem of old school variety cabaret: pristine piff and pathos.' James Waygood @GrumpyGayCritic.
JULY 2016 UPDATE
I have been planning for the Edinburgh Fringe for over a year and now it's just a month away! Here is the specific link to my show on the venue website: http://www.thespaceuk.com/shows/angel-to-vampire/ . More booking information can be found by clicking on my poster below: The show is listed on page 12 of the Fringe programme.
In `Angel to vampire!' I'll be taking a wry look at the yearnings in my life and illustrating them with original songs and stories by a series of male and female characters. These include a rebellious Archangel Gabriel who has left a bureaucratic heaven to join a jazz band in New Orleans; a charming vampire who has his eye on the audience for his next feed; and an angry goth who hates being labelled.
If you can't get to Edinburgh, I'm doing a second preview show at 8PM on Thursday 28th July. It's upstairs at the Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JB. Doors open at 7.50 PM.
JUNE 2016 UPDATE
Nobody told me quite how much there is to do to get ready for Edinburgh! However, in a real piece of good news, a director has come on board. Janine Wood, the actress - remember `After Henry' on TV? - came to see my show and thought it was terrific. She offered to work with me to help sharpen and enrich what I am doing and I am delighted. We have already begun and I am finding this so helpful. And the piece which didn't quite come off in May? Well, I've rewritten it as a rhyming monologue, changed the character and begun exploring it with Janine. I think, fingers crossed, it's going to be very much OK.
Another thing. I was looking for some sort of gorgeous coat for a female character. Well, I went to see a musical the other day and the woman playing the villainess was wearing the most amazing, long, fake fur coat. I hadn't realised until then that was exactly what I was looking for. Well, the show has ended and I know the producer, so wrote to her. Dear reader, I bought it and it's amazing. Just wait until you see it!
MAY 2016 UPDATE
The Edinburgh preview at the CAA went pretty well, even if I had a bit of trouble remembering the order! But I did remember the script. Thanks to everyone who came and I'm grateful for your feedback. There is one piece which doesn't quite work and just at the moment I haven't sorted out what to do with it. Below are extracts from three photos taken on the night by Mitsuka Oda. Two are of Prince Osnovski, the vampire. The third is of the woman who sings `There's only me to love'. This is my very newest song and I also composed the melody, by singing it into my phone! Tom Carradine kindly listened to this, turned it into proper music then recorded the accompaniment. (Looking at the photo of the woman I see I need a bit more make-up!)I'm doing some of the show again on 3rd June and then looking to do the whole show in July.
© 2016 MITSUKO ODA
APRIL 2016 UPDATE
Why did I decide to write a monologue for an angel and then decide to wear wings! Anyway, after a certain amount of effort I found and bought twenty metres of white feather trim and have given this to a tailor who is willing to make the wings. He has only himself to blame. I was just talking about my show and costume requirements when all of a sudden he produced a pair of black feather wings from under his workstation! They were for a drag act. Mine will be less glamorous, more celestial!
I will be doing a first Edinburgh preview on 11th May. This will be at 8PM in the Concert Artistes Association, 20 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HP. Free entry. Doors open at 7.50 PM. You are welcome to come but must let me know by midday on 9th May. If you don't have my personal contact details, please go to http://nigelosner.com/contact.html .
My Edinburgh Fringe tickets are already on sale. Please see the information below. This will appear again!
MARCH 2016 UPDATE
Last month Pat Garrett and I played a married couple for a viral promotion. We had to be a married couple expecting to be picked up by a nice man in a BMW who would take us to Gloucester. Instead we were met by a young man in a beaten up car with a design taped on to it. We got in - why, I never would have! Almost immediately he picked up a friend and the two of them never stopped talking and going on about hip hop and singing and being immensely irritating. They were brilliant. We were filmed in the car. None of this was scripted and our task was to react as naturally as possible. This could have been the journey from hell if real and was pretty much that during the time we were filmed! It turned out the driver wasn't taking us to Gloucester but to a street with the same name, where he abandoned us. Various other couples were filmed doing the same thing. When it was all over the film crew appeared, applauded and - forgive me - told us we were the best couple of the day. May be they said that to everyone, but their words were appreciated! The shoot was stimulating and exhausting in equal measure.
Also last month I had some photos done for `Angel to vampire!', my Edinburgh Fringe show. They were taken by the wonderful Victor Kurzweil with make up by the talented Dave Darko. Below is a detail from the photo which I'll be using for the posters and flyers. It's amazing work!
FEBRUARY 2016 UPDATE
I'm delighted to say I have found my Edinburgh Fringe venue and signed the contract. It is the Space Triplex Studio, which is pretty central, just off Nicholson Street, and part of the Space Venues. There are lots of these - all central - which allows for publicity in all the other venues. Charles Pamment, the Director, is extremely helpful and, obviously, a man of excellent artistic judgement! So it's all going to happen. Two important next steps are getting photos done for the flyers/posters and getting some angel's wings made. Well, the show will be called `Angel to vampire'! These wings need to be made in a way that allows them to travel without damage. This is not a problem I ever thought I would have in my life!
JANUARY 2016 UPDATE
Happy 2016. This is the year I'm planning to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which will be a first for me. It might seem a bit late coming, but it now feels the right time. I'm already working on the show. I went back to Edinburgh a couple of days ago to look at a few more venues. It was a cold, grey, wet January day, but the magic is still there - just! And I did have a companion, my talented friend Victoria Jeffrey, who also intends to perform this year. Anyway, as long as I get a suitable venue, I'll definitely be there in August.