Up till Midnight Tango

Hello again all!
I left you last week with my return from Barbados and the sunshine (which I am fully pining for…) and the crazy week ahead of me.  It continued in the same vein with meetings galore in London, one with the very fabulous Russell Grant, who is becoming a permanent fixture in my life these days – and who is about to appear in the amazing new production of Midnight Tango with Vincent and Flavia, providing his sprained ankle heals up quick! http://www.midnighttango.co.uk/?gclid=CL-VpPOnjbUCFfHJtAodExMAfg
 A weekend is never a proper “weekend” as there’s always something to do, and last Saturday was my appearance on Gaby Roslin’s Saturday Show, on Radio 1. It was lovely to spend the morning gossiping away, and seeing as I was in town anyway, it would definitely have been rude not to hit the shops for a bit afterwards! A relaxing afternoon and then Sunday followed, and before I knew it, it was Monday and the start of my ‘Workshop Week”.
Although I can’t say anything at the moment, I’m working on a very exciting new musical project, and I spent all of last week surrounded by the most wonderful and creative people, all bouncing ideas off each other, dancing and singing, and generally having a wonderful time.  I feel so lucky to be able to say how much I love what I do, and sometimes it’s easy to loose sight of that when you’re tired or having a bad day, and it’s week’s like this that really remind me how fortunate I am to have a career that I love so much.
Although I was busy dancing around all day every day this week, I managed to fit in a few extra things as well. Meetings with Producer Supreme David Ian, lunch with my Barbados cohort Nigel Wright, and then my dear friend Louanne arrived from Fabulous Las Vegas to stay for the night while she was working here. We stayed up chatting long and late, as its not often we get to see each other, and then before I knew it she was off to travel round Europe on the next leg of her work trip. I know I’ve mentioned her many times before, but incase you’ve forgotten, Louanne and I go way back many years, having worked together on a huge range of productions in the US and Germany, and I consider her to be one of my nearest and dearest.
Friday was a crazy dash from the end of the workshop to Channel 5 news, where I was talking about being an ‘older mum’. Having had my girls at 36 and 47 which was quite rare 20 odd years ago, new statistics show that almost half of new mothers are now aged 30+.  What you do think about this? I’d love to hear your views, so tweet me @arlenephillips, or leave a comment on the blog!
A couple of things to keep a look out for are articles I’ve written for the Observer, and Good Housekeeping magazine, both of which I shall keep you up to date with when they’re published…
So it’s a busy few days catch up in the office with Coco this week, who I’m glad to say is feeling much better after her awful bout of norovirus last week, which left her in bed, and Alana in the office fielding calls and emails, whilst running between her makeup jobs, and Abi dealing with all my online enquiries – it was hectic to say the least! Coco what would I do without you…
I’m off to a very exclusive and currently top secret party this year, and all wil be revealed next week about that and what else I get up to this week, so make sure you check in…
Until then
Much love, Arlene x

Over the Rainbow in Paradise

Last week has been a mix of crazy times, lazy times and work times!  I’ve been to glorious Barbados to stay at the home of The Andrew Lloyd Webber, where our search fro Dorothy for the Wizard of Oz Canada has begun.  Twenty girls flew from Toronto to Barbados and sung their hearts out to me and  Andrew, ten girls were sent home with broken hearts, leaving our final ten Dorothys to battle it out over the next eight weeks. They’ll be appearing live every week on the Canadian version of Over the Rainbow, and your’s truly here will be head judge, in charge of finding the perfect one.  We found some incredible talent, and I can tell you now it’s going to be hard to choose!  I’m not allowed to show you yet, but as I soon as I can I’ve got some amazing pictures of our ten girls to post, so keep an eye out for them…

Barbados was paradise indeed and there are no better hosts than Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber.  On the Island, I was lucky enough to have dinner at the world famous Sandy Lane Hotel, enjoy it’s glorious food and drink champagne and rum punch, and take a tour of the incredible beauty around me.  Partying went on late into the night, and at one such evening which included the dreaded Jeremy Kyle, I got everyone up singing and dancing to So Long, Farewell from The Sound of Music, as nobody wanted to leave so we tried to make it last as long as possible!  Oh and for the record, Jeremy Kyle is in fact, a pussycat!  (but don’t say I told you so…)

All too soon it was back to London, life, and work!

This past week I’ve been campaigning for Save the Children, and highlighting the fact the HOW MANY MILLION children are living in unbelievable poverty right here in the UK, and just how shocking it really is.  I went from BBC Breakfast in Manchester, to BBC news in London, to Alan Titchmarsh, to Channel Five, meetings galore – even to the Serpentine Gallery to record a podcast with the gorgeous Lauren Laverne (you can listen here) It’s been a whirlwind few days, and my head is spinning with facts and figures, and yet all I can think about is how else to get the message across.  Please check out the campaign here, and do what you can, it shouldn’t happen here.

Who saw the Celebrity Antiques Roadtrip I filmed a couple of months ago, that was shown on BBC2 last Wednesday night?  Me and Anton Du Beke, some antiques, some vintage cars, and some hilarious banter. You can watch it on catch up here.

I finished my week with a day in Bochum at the incredible production of Starlight Express, WOW is all I can say! Image

So I hope you have all enjoyed the attempt at Summer, and best of luck to all starting back at school!

Until next time…

Love A x