Read Away

Finally, I am back in the land of the living! That honestly was one of the worst times I can remember ever being that poorly, and although I still have the cough from hell, I’m back on my feet, back in rehearsals and back on the blog!

I have to admit though there’s not much to report thanks to being bed bound this past couple of weeks, but as always there’s so much hot gossip on the go here’s a little of what’s been going on around me!

You may remember I mentioned I’m working on a piece with Candoco, that I found the most fabulous little mention on, it really has been quite something creating this.

Candoco Evening Standard

I’m so in love with this gorgeous fashion feature I shot with my Alana for Good Housekeeping magazine, all about getting each other out of our clothing comfort zones and into something the other would like to see us in, and have to say I was thrilled with my new look Alana chose for me! I’d never normally wear such bright colours, pointed shoes or skinny trousers, but somehow the look was so flattering, and I was genuinely surprised at how good I felt. I think Alana was also pleasantly surprised at being put in something a bit more girly, no black skinny jeans allowed for her! The whole day was so much fun, and as always with Alana dong my makeup it made me feel even more confident, and I was really proud of the results.

I also have to give a mention to my actual makeup on the day that Alana was using from Studio 10, thanks to their gorgeous  Miracle Effect Priming Serum my makeup stayed put all day, something that rarely happens believe me! You can check out the rest of the range here, it really is up there with the best for all ages, no matter what your skin type.

Finally, I’ll leave you with an article about my father, and the new campaign I am involved in for Alzheimers, its one of the hardest things for me to talk about, and yet one of the most important and meaningful things I can do, so all your support means the world to me, thank you.

Hoping you all stay happy and healthy, and I’ll be back next week with more from the Jackie rehearsal room…

Love Arlene x


Good Monday Morning everybody!
Yes it’s the start of the week, I am up and at it, and ready to get stuck in to another week of madness in the world of AP…
But first, here’s the rest of what I’ve been up to over the past couple of weeks.
I had two very different opening nights to attend, the first a play so deeply moving, it was like watching my own life played out in front of me. The Father at the Wyndhams theatre is hailed as the most acclaimed new play of the decade, and is there for eight weeks only.
“Now eighty years old, Andre was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pyjamas and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control…The Father is the winner of France’s highest theatrical honour, the 2014 Moliere Award for Best Play, and in Christopher Hampton‘s crisp and witty translation, has dazzled audiences and critics alike at the Theatre Royal Bath and the Tricycle Theatre. It has received an unprecedented eight five star reviews from major national newspaper critics.”
More importantly, it reduced me to such floods of tears, I couldn’t even make the party and it was home to bed with a heavy heart, but also a sense of relief knowing I wasn’t alone in the struggle with my father, that I have spoken about so many times, and will continue campaigning to find a cure for this terrible and heartbreaking disease.
Anyway, on a much happier note, I had the most wonderful evening at the opening of the spectacular Kinky Boots, starring the divine Matt Henry as Lola, who I had the pleasure of working with in Saturday Night Fever many years ago. I also have to give a special mention to the diva that is Luke Jackson, another dancer who I worked with for many years in many different shows, and who in my eyes shone like a star and stole that stage! It was great to catch up with the creator Jerry Mitchell, and just being in the presence of Cindy Lauper made me feel like I was back in my wild 80’s all over again!
I can finally reveal some of what I’ve been up to in Cardiff… working on the most incredible new production of A Midsummer Nights Dream, alongside actors including Matt Lucas, Richard Wilson, Bernard Cribbins and Elaine Page to name a few! You can read more about it here – and see me hard at work in Cardiff here…!
IMG_2127 IMG_2128 IMG_2133 IMG_2144 IMG_2151
If you haven’t already noticed, the BBC is gearing up for another amazing Children in Need event, and I hope you are all out there getting involved. Make sure you check out the BBC website for fun fundraising ideas, and in the meantime, get your ears on!
I’ll leave you with my favourite photo from the week, of me with my darling boy and true inspiration Edward Watson, who I was privileged to celebrate his investiture with, alongside dance genius Matthew Bourne, who’s creativity and vision never cease to amaze me. We had a fabulous night at the hospital club, with dear friends and family, and as always it was hilarious catching up with fabulous author Matt Cain, and absolutely fabulous actress Harriet Thorpe. Ed, I quite simply adore you, congratulations. Edward Watson, MBE.
AP & ED Raven Girl
SO that’s it for now, and I’ll be back later in the week with news from the Inspiration Womens Awards, and also the RSPCA Animal Hero Awards, both truly moving and wonderful events, along with exciting news from Starlight Germany!
Love always,
Arlene x

Short and Sweet and Searching for Summer

So another couple of weeks have flown past, and what have I been up to? Well here it is. I have been Mrs Domestic, tidying, cleaning, sorting and giving. Yes, many clothes are now with friends and charities. As for work well here is some of it.

I did an article for the Times Body and Soul as part of my BUPA campaign I’m working on to highlight Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it. Here’s another piece I did in the Express, it has some helpful points on how to cope with Dementia.


I’ve been meeting up with my fabulous new friend Russell Grant on a regular basis, no, we’re not baking, but we’re certainly cooking up something and it’s going to be big!  

Part of the reason I realised the weeks have flown by is that I was mainly stuck to the sofa, glued to the fabulous Louis Smith and co for the breathtaking Olympic gymnastics.  I didn’t want to miss a second so there I was, glued to the TV, screaming and shouting at the stunning performances before me.  What surprised me  most was how much I got into so many other event i wouldn’t usually have looked twice at thanks to the incredible efforts of Team GB, drawing me in with their passion and determination to go for gold.  And gold it was!  As for the Olympic Ceremonies, the opening was an epic performance piece, with several very moving elements to it, and I thoroughly Loved it.  The closing however, all I will say is that it was a bit like marmite… However I adored the spectacular lighting created by my good friend Patrick Woodroffe, the calmest man I know when faced with huge challenges.  Speaking of ceremonies, I had lunch the other day with my dearest friend Julie Brooks who was visiting from Australia and we reminisced about the time we worked together on the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.  Now that was a ceremony, and a story for another time…

This week I have been raving about Aveda.  I was very kindly sent a beautiful bag of goodies, some heavenly smelling shampoos and face products, and I have been glowing from top to toe.  Click on the link to see their gorgeous things here…

One thing I am most definitely not raving about, and am in fact fuming about, is the uselessness of Addison Lee. And more so, their failure to accept their uselessness!  They have epically let down me, both my daughters and a few friends, and let me tell you, we are not impressed.  Ok rant over *deep breath out*

On a happier note, I managed to fit in a couple of trips to see family in Cheshire and Leeds, and as soon I feel myself leaving london and heading for the north, I breathe a sigh of relief, and my manchester tones start to creep back in, that my daughters find most amusing on my return home.

One thing I would love you all to do is join me and @savechildrenuk in the #raceagainsthunger. Let’s make sure #london2012 leaves a legacy, so PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

Big kiss and farewell for now.