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Bye-bye Charlotte

2018 Posted on Thu, October 25, 2018 12:30:03

It was with great pleasure, but also with mixed emotions, that the very last performance of TRULY YOURS, C.B. took place at the Wellington Arts Festival last week. It is always sad to say goodbye to a show, but especially one that has been around for so long…the first performance was in 2002!

The show has had a very good run, and been all around the country. I am sorry that it did not have more performances in Yorkshire, where the Brontes lived most of their lives.

However, Wellington (near Telford) turned out to be a suitable place for the show, as Patrick Bronte, Charlotte’s father, spent time there as a curate early in his professional life. Apparently he had his poetry published there, too. My performance was part of a season of events to mark the Bronte connection with the town.

Writing and performing a show about such a British icon has been a pleasure, although always nerve-wracking, as some people feel very strongly about the Brontes and their works. No-one has ever criticised the play, but I was always waiting for an angry fan to turn up! Since the show was based on Charlotte’s own words, I hope it was a fair and balanced portrayal. Anyway, it was my best shot!

Time to pack away the costume, ditch the set, and move on to the next…..

Bye-bye Charlotte. You will be missed.


2018 Posted on Mon, October 01, 2018 18:59:37

….and just to confirm: the several-times postponed show at Chelmarsh finally went ahead without further mishap, and a good time was had by all!

Thank you to the Chelmarsh organisers for persevering, in spite of everything the Snow-Gods threw at us. It was a pleasure to perform the show at last!


2018 Posted on Fri, June 29, 2018 12:49:03

2018 will see the final performances of “TRULY YOURS, C.B.”, which tells the extraordinary story of the Brontes.

This show has been seen in countless venues, and has run for many years. Charlotte Bronte was only 39 when she died, and Alison Neil is sadly now getting a bit too old to continue convincingly portraying this icon of English literature.

However, Alison continues to champion great English women writers, with her new show about E. Nesbit: “LARKS AND MAGIC”, and “THE JUST-WILLIAM LADY” about Richmal Crompton.

“TRULY YOURS” has its final three performances coming up:

August 8th
Church Stretton Arts Festival

August 23rd
Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival


October 20th
Wellington Arts Festival

Details are on the ‘Show Schedule” page.

A lovely ‘thank you’

2018 Posted on Wed, April 25, 2018 11:05:33


One of my ‘try-out’ performances of the new show, LARKS AND MAGIC, was at
Cadbury Hall, Frampton on Severn. I did not charge for the performance – more than grateful to have an audience and a lovely Hall in which to perform an untried show, and very grateful to the organisers for all their time and effort to make the event happen.

The organisers cleverly managed to make a profit, and very generously donated the proceeds to the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity Grant Appeal. Who then provided me with this rather splendid certificate!

Chelmarsh – Third Attempt!

2018 Posted on Thu, March 29, 2018 15:34:18


Following the unprecedented cancellation of both previous bookings for “MRS BEETON, MY SISTER” at Chelmarsh due to snow, even though the bookings were several months apart, a third date has now been arranged…..

2nd September 2018


with a Victorian Tea at 5pm

Whether this means that there will definitely be a huge snowfall the day before, or whether it means that there cannot possibly be snow for the third time, we will wait and see….but fingers a very firmly crossed that this time, the Show Will Go On!

Mrs Beeton – Beaten by the snow… AGAIN

2018 Posted on Sat, March 03, 2018 12:36:57

MRS BEETON, MY SISTER fails to get to Chelmarsh… for the second time!

What are the odds of two performances of the same show, in the same place, four months apart, being cancelled because of snow?

Huge apologies to the organisers and audience for the performance of MRS BEETON, MY SISTER at Chelmarsh Parish Hall on Sunday 4th March, which is now officially CANCELLED. Due to snow. For the second time.

Last time, back in December 2017, Chelmarsh was under seige by thick snow. This time, Alison Neil and her van are unable to get out of the Forest of Dean, where the snow is currently piled high in spectacular (and impassable) snow drifts. Alison lives up a small lane, which has completely disappeared beneath the snow. It would take a snowplough to get to the nearest road.

We very much hope that Chelmarsh and Arts Alive Rural Touring Scheme will take a chance on booking MRS BEETON, MY SISTER for a third time……it will certainly be a red-letter day when the show finally makes it to the Parish Hall!


2018 Posted on Mon, February 26, 2018 12:44:24


LARKS AND MAGIC, the new show about E Nesbit, opened at the Backwell Studio Theatre on 8th February.

HUGE thanks for the Backwell Drama Group for hosting the show for its first three performances at the lovely studio theatre, and for finding large and enthusiastic audiences – very much appreciated!

The show then had four more ‘try-out’ performances at:

The Pludds Village Hall, Forest of Dean
Cadbury Hall in Frampton-on-Severn,
Coytrahen Community Hall
Mackenzie Hall, Brockweir

HUGE thanks to the four organisers of these halls for their hospitality and help with launching the show. Thanks also to Lynn at Air In G, Gloucestershire’s Rural Touring Scheme, for finding halls that were willing to participate in this venture.

I had a great time performing the shows, and I hope the audiences enjoyed seeing this brand new play.

The Questions and Answer sessions after the performances were lively and varied, and there certainly seemed to be plenty of interest in E Nesbit and her extraordinary life.

Performing in a selection of varied halls helped us prove that the show is fit for touring to tiny libraries and museums, village halls with and without a stage, as well as purpose-built theatre spaces.

LARKS AND MAGIC is now ready for bookings all over the country…..


2018 Posted on Tue, January 23, 2018 17:44:50

THE MAGIC begins…..

We are now in rehearsal for the new one-hour show: “LARKS AND MAGIC”, about E. Nesbit, writer of many famous children’s stories. Or as she herself might prefer; poet.

We are delighted that the play will premier at the lovely

Studio Theatre

near Bristol

on 8th, 9th and 10th February

at 8pm

These performances will be followed by a Question and Answer session.

Alison is performing as the guest of Backwell Drama Club, and is very grateful for their support and enthusiasm for her shows.

Contact Alison for details, or information on how to obtain tickets.


LARKS AND MAGIC continues its tour with several more performances the following week, and Alison is extremely grateful for the chance to try out her new show in such wonderful venues:

13th February at 2pm

The Pludds Village Hall
Forest of Dean
GL17 9UQ

followed by refreshments and a Question and Answer session

15th February at 2pm

Cadbury Hall

followed by refreshments and a Question and Answer session


16th February evening performance – time to be confirmed

Phil Squires Community Hall
nr. Bridgend


17th February at 8pm

Mackenzie Hall
NP16 7NW

followed by Question and Answer session

for information or tickets for any of these shows, contact Alison


2018 Posted on Tue, January 23, 2018 17:28:11

CHELMARSH – second attempt!

We are deilghted to have another opportunity to perform “MRS BEETON, MY SISTER” at

WV16 6BA

on Sunday 4th March 2018

at 6.30pm.

The show will be preceded by a Victorian Tea, starting at 5pm.

Fingers crossed that this time, the snow will keep away, and audience, organisers and performer can all make it to the Hall!