Nearly back in Kansas

Hello lovely readers!

I am still far far away in the land of Oz, and only a few days until the official press night… It hasn’t been an easy run to get there. We’ve had ups and downs and dramas by the bucketload! On Saturday, The legend that is Michael Crawford was taken ill and with just an hour to go before the performance it was all systems go to get his understudy ready, who as we are so early on into the run has barely had a rehearsal but hey that’s showbiz! Of course while all this was going on I was in Ealing getting ready to perform with Ed Byrne on Let’s Dance For Comic Relief so really there was nothing I could do apart from bark instructions down the phone and keep my fingers crossed!

I had a great time dressing up as Julie Walters and doing the dance from Billy Elliot, I can’t believe we came last! The other acts were fantastic and it was great to meet Colin and Justin, what fun guys they are, and they told me they really wanted to perform as Hot Gossip, and Katie Price dressed up as Freddie reminded me of the wonderful times I shared with him.

Last Tuesday 15th we had a gala night at Oz for Great Ormond St It was such a special evening, and great to be part of something that makes such a difference.

As usual I’ve been keeping busy all hours with lots of magazine and radio events. Saturday Live on Radio 4 was really interesting to do, and great interview for Good Housekeeping and now just about to do an interview for the Observer.

Last weekend I was at the South Bank Chilcren’s Imagine festival reading an excert from my children’s book, and it was so lovely to meet some of the passionate young dancers who came along. If you missed me here then come visit me in Guildford on 25th Feb – TODAY and Bluewater on 26th Feb TOMORROW where I’ll be doing book signings and Bluewater: Come along and say hi!

A big congratulations to the fabulous Jerry Mitchell for his win at the What’s Onstage awards for his choreography in Legally Blonde, it’s such a great show and very well deserved. I was sorry I couldn’t make the evening.

Also this week I popped into the final auditions for the new Grease tour, wow there were some talented people there! It’s such a joy to be able to have difficulty choosing between great people, just shows how hard you have to work to keep on top. I’ll make sure I keep you all up to date when we’re allowed to reveal our Danny and Sandy…

I went for a new beauty treatment this week to see the eyebrow guru Trace Giles, and I last have eyebrows! I also got sent some beautiful Laura Mercier makeup this week, a new foundation called Creme Smooth, that contains argan oil to help keep skin hydrated. It feels so soft on your face, and has great coverage without looking too heavy so perfect for those HD cameras!

Finally, I think the most exciting thing for me this week was finding myself sitting at the next table to… Johnny Depp! I have to tell you he really is as beautiful in the flesh, and after tweeting about it I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people wanting to know where I was! (Ping Pong on Great Marlborough St… just in case he happens to go back!)

I’ll be following the Yellow Brick Road all the way back to North London after next Tuesday, so until then I’ll be somewhere over the rainbow…


oh and ps , keep an eye on my twitter where I’ll be launching a competition next week for World Book day on 3rd of March!

Nearly out of the woods…

Hi all,

Been meaning to check in but have been pretty much living in the land of Oz so not a lot to report but…
I did some filming for ITV’s Tonight programme chatting to the lovely Miriam O’Reilly last Thursday, I received lots of of lovely messages about the things I said so thank you for that.
I’ve also finalised some book events for my Alana Dancing Star series and so hope to see you there!
I finally saw the Guardian Weekend piece I did a shoot for a few months ago – I’d almost forgotten about it! It was a great shoot with some amazing women involved – here’s the link if you missed it! Plus they put me in some fabulous dresses I never thought I’d have the confidence to wear – really fitted!
Last Saturday was the first proper run through of Oz and I was allowed to ask a very few close friends and family to attend who loved it and gave me really great feedback in time for the first official preview which was on Monday 8th and it went off without a hitch, a stitch or a glitch!  We had a great mini review in the Sun although it’s quite scary to think we are already being reviewed on our first preview! Thank goodness for having such a wonderful and hardworking team… However we’re not ‘out of the woods’ just yet and still working towards our big opening night on the 1st of March.
My makeup artist daughter Alana told me off the other day about my new white nail polish, saying it looked like I’d had an accident with some Tippex! I like to be a bit different sometimes, so she told me to try maybe a mint green or lilac – but no more Tippex and took the bottle away! Hmmmmm, might have to start locking the makeup draw from now on…
Also over the last few days my other daughter Abi has been filming a Come Dine With Me with her friends. They all took it very seriously with the cooking, decor and entertainment and her friend Tully is editing the footage for them all to have a copy which is such a lovely idea.  Even though she didn’t win her table was still the most beautiful in my eyes with all the amazing flowers she put together for the night, which are still blooming beautifully in the kitchen.
Monday was a fun day shooting the TV trailer for the new series of So You Think You Can Dance, but boy was it an early start! On set at 7am and not only was it super early it was super cold in an old unused gymnasium!  It’s always so lovely to see the other judges Nigel, Louise and Sisco so we all huddled together in the corner by the one little heater laughing at each other trying to do our best serious faces. I’m really looking forward to the live shows starting, I just want to get involved in what I love the most – dance!

Anyway, I hope your week is positive and productive, and that you all had a wonderful Valentines!

Much love to all
Arlene x

Chasing Toto

Hey all,

So as we get closer and closer to our first preview Oz is getting more and more exciting. I spend my days with flying monkeys wandering down the yellow brick road and quite honestly I have to pinch myself to believe it’s all real! The cast and creatives did some interviews with G2 magazine that should be out this week if you want some more of the inside goss…

I’ve also been doing lots of interviews with magazines including the Guardian Weekend and Yours about women broadcasters and an ITV special coming out soon, read and watch…

The NTA’s last week were exciting and I’m so glad Brucie finally got the recognition he deserves – although this year I was holed up in the theatre instead of swanning down the red carpet, and I have to be honest and say it was actually a welcome break not having to glam up! It’s always lovely to attend those events, but sometimes it’s nice to just be Arlene Phillips choreographer in my jogging bottoms and no makeup chasing Toto down the aisles.

This week I’m adoring 2 new things I treated myself to, a gorgeous Monsoon Boucle Zip dress – so cosy but still chic and great to wear for those little lunch meetings I find myself frequently attending, and the other… Yes you guessed it my amazing new hot pink Mulberry Bayswater I have been tweeting about all week! My fabulous PA Coco managed to track one down for me from Net-a-porter and it arrived on Monday. It really is stunning, and the envy of both my daughters!

We Will Rock You opened in Oslo at the end of January and I wish I could have been there but I heard the show was fantastic so a huge congratulations to all!

I think the best part of the past couple of weeks has got to be having my family visit me. I’ve had both my brother and sister and their partners down to London over th weekends and it has been so lovely catching up. It makes me realise how important family is in your life, and I just wish I had more time to spend seeing them.

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy and healthy weekend with the people you love in your life.

Love A x

Hope it’s been a happy and productive week for you, it’s been busy busy for me as always, although I finally managed to fit in having my eyes tested, and I now have fab new glasses from Specsavers! Make me look quite serious!

The Yellow brick road is getting even more exciting as we dance our way into the Palladium, it’s like a magical dream ride going through all the different lands they visit. I also had a lovely work experience girl called Brodie with me at rehearsals, the passion of the young in today’s Arts is so exciting and inspires me to continue creating.

On the work and family balance… After drama of daughter No1 being rushed into hospital (thank goodness she’s on the mend!) daughter no2 came down with a bug, I just wished I could be home to look after them but both on the mend now.

Sadly, Flashdance closed on Saturday, and I just wanted to thank all the amazing, creative and talented people who worked on the show. Thank you all for your hard work and energy, and I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you go on to do.

Sunday was a really fun day, I was part of a Heart Radio competition where 17 families from all over the country got to come down to Pineapple Studios and some of the dancers from Grease the Musical and I taught them ‘You’re The One That I Want’ and I judged them performing it! It was amazing to see some really talented kids, and the mums, dads and even a Grandma took part and gave it their all. Lots of fun was had by all. It was a really special day. Thanks Dads for being such good sports.

This week and the next few continue to be rehearsals for Oz, but I know I’ll be squeezing in some more activities along the way and reporting them straight back to you as they say – variety is the spice of life, and I like it spicy!

Have a fabulous weekend whatever you’re doing.

Love Arlene x