Here performing at the Beaumont Nursing Home in Epsom, Surrey.
Christine is a semi-professional singer and entertainer. She performs for clubs, societies, retirement homes, day care centres, after-dinner events, WI groups, and for any organisation who would like a programme of songs, poems, readings, humour, and general chit chat.
The emphasis is on entertainment. Much of the itinery comprises well known items from the past. She performs either with a piano accompanist, or a-capella, as the organisation requires. There is no amplification.
Edinburgh Fringe 2023
The Edinburgh Fringe is an annual preformance arts festival which runs for the month in August, and typically features 60,000 performances of 4000 shows. Edinburgh is transformed during The Fringe with hordes of visitors. In addition to the performances in theatrical venues, various streets and become public venues for street performers.
Before it happened
Christine Hayward is set to take audiences back in time with her one hour solo performance, "Memories of the Early 1950s,"
This offers a unique opportunity to explore life in post-war Britain, where luxuries were scarce, some rationing was still in force and television and radio were only just beginning to make their way into people's homes, but where radio entertainment was paramount. Christine will take audiences on a nostalgic journey through her childhood, sharing stories and encouraging audience participation with shared memories and sing-alongs.
Audiences can expect to hear about everything from favourite radio shows to childhood treats at the cinema and song sheets will be provided to encourage everyone to sing along with the well-loved tunes of the era.
For those old enough, "I want to trigger memories," says Christine. "And even if you're too young to have lived through the early 1950s, you'll hear stories that will make you feel like you were there. And for those who do remember, I hope this show brings back fond memories of simpler times." The show promises to be a delightful and nostalgic hour of entertainment that will appeal to audiences of all ages. Don't miss this chance to step back in time and experience life as it was in post-war Britain.
In keeping with the show's theme of nostalgia and reminiscence, Christine will appear on stage dressed casually and unpolished, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of a comfortable living room. This is not a costume drama and this is not music hall, but rather a genuine and personal portrayal of a bygone era, as if the audience has been invited into Christine's home on any ordinary day.
As it happened
Christine’s show was called. “Memories of the early 1950’s”. The venue was The Caves, Niddry Street. She performed every day from 3 August to 27 August, at 1.00pm, for 1 hour, ie starting at 12.30 preparing the room, performing between 1.00pm and 2.00pm, and clearing out the room by 2.15. There was one day off when the venue was closed, so she performed the show 23 times. Her show comprised 10 songs plus chat inbetween. For the 1st week she had as accompanist Clive Pollard, a professional piano accompanist who lives in London who she knows from many singing courses she has attended (to read about Clive Pollard, see Google). After that Clive had to return to London. For a few days she used Frankie as accompanist. He was working at the fringe as a technician, but he was a very good pianist, and we were told that he would like the experience. But he was called away for other work, so after that we reverted to the music recorded on a laptop (put together by Kevin Jacot, conductor of Hart Male Voice Choir). Christine employed an agent, Jordan Mollineaux, who normally works in London, but who works in Ediinburgh for the duration of The Fringe. He is active in publiciity and marketing, and advising on marketing literature. The room in which she performed is a cellar with 50 seats. A technician is in attendance at each venue to control the PA equipment (sound and light) from a mixer unit at the back. The technician at this venue was a young female called Sahee, she was very efficient and very friendly. Between shows, the equipment (piano, music stand, our chairs, etc) were removed and stored in a basement, which we had to do. On two occasions some of our equipment had disappeared, we think “borrowed” by other performers, but Sahee found them.
Christine and pianist Clive travelled to and from Edinburgh by Easyjet, and Keith travelled by car to carry their luggage and the equipment including a piano and stand. On the way there Keith had a puncture, at 3am, in the rain, on the M1 motorway that was busy with fast moving heavy commercial traffic. Full marks to the AA for fixing it under these difficult circumstances, and keith was soon on his way again. Initially accommodation was booked at a hotel in the centre of Edinburgh, but the hotel cancelled the booking one week before the show was due to start. They then found accommodation at a Travelodge on the outskirts of Edinburgh (Dreghorn). The Travelodge also had the bonus of free parking, and the No 16 bus passed reasonably close to the motel and reached the centre of Edinburgh in 30 minutes. After 1 week, Clive returned to London, and Christine and Keith moved to Edinburgh University student’s accommodation in Guthrie Street, which was just a 5 minute walk from the Niddry Street venue. Two single rooms (£40 each) and a bathroom and kitchen shared with other residents, on the top floor of a tenement building (no lift, not good for Christine's knees). Long term car parking was found about a mile away (£300 for 3 weeks). These were lucky finds because accommodation and car parking are at a premuim during The Fringe.
Christine’s performances were very well received by those that attended. But the attendance level was very low, just several people for each performannce, and on some occasions nobody at all. Those that attended were usually elderly people who could remember the 1950s, ie people in their 70s and 80s. Demographically, the percentage of such people in Edinburgh is 2.5% of the population. Those people that attend events at The Fringe include very few elderly peolple. We joined with the many performers who handed out flyers in the streets, and Christine found that the hand puppet “Sootie” was well known by elderly passers-bye and often elicited a smile.
There were numerous press reviews of Christines show, some are published below, quote:
Some are good and one (Lost in Theatreland) is not good, so we will forget that. The reviewer thought that Christine should conform to the common level of crass content, shouting nonsense into a microphone, and a painful level of amplified sound.
There is more to do in Edinburgh beside performing or attending The Fringe Events. Edinburgh is a very interesting and attractive city.
We spent far too much money on eating out, and became experts on coffee shops, Pizza Express, and a cafe in the Royal Mile called "Copper Pot".
Christine and Sootie enjoying a coffee at "The Copper Pot"
The Caves Venue, with a bar and the caves ticket sales office. The alleyway is Niddry Street
There are seven caves in Niddry Street. This is a list of the performers.
|The door to three of the caves, with ticket sellers|
Christine with Sahee, Technician for "The Spare Room" cave
|The cave "The Spare Room" with Christine|
Programme“The Little White Duck”
“The Gypsy Rover”
“My Little Welsh Home”
“Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenelen Bogen By The Sea”
“Out Of Town”
“Little Things Mean A Lot”
“The Honeysuckle And The Bee”
“Memories Are Made Of This”
The venue will be:
Dates: August 3-13 and 15-27 at 1pm