Friday, August 15, 2014

The Uke Of Edinburgh Awards 2014 - All-Star Line-Up Announced!



Helen Arney
Joby Mageean (Three Shot Mockery)
Amy G (Entershamement)

Vicky Arlidge (Guilty Secrets)
Eleanor Morton (Lollipop)
Eva Von Schnippisch

Mike Belgrave (Mike Belgrave's Krazy Komedy Show 4 Kidz)
Liberty Hodes (Jack Gardner & Liberty Hodes On Ice)
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (Chap Hop Superstar)

Second place: Amy G
Third place: Mike Belgrave


EVENING SHOW: 10.30pm-12am

Thom Tuck (The Square Root Of Minus One)
The Creative Martyrs (Cabapocalysaret)
Mike 'Dr Blue'

Laurence Owen (Lullabies Of Pervland)
The Ukulele Evangelists (The Ukulele Evangelists Bang One Out)
Michael Griffith (In Vogue: Songs By Madonna)

Lady Carol (Lost And Found)
Sh!t Theatre (Guinea Pigs On Trial)
Johnny Setlist

Second place: Johnny Setlist
Third place: The Creative Martyrs


...Who will win the Uke Of Edinburgh Award and strum the golden ukulele on Tricity Vogue's head?

Come to the New Empire Bingo hall to find out - and you could WIN your own ukulele to take home with you!

If you have a uke, bring it along to join the mass strumalong to "You Are My Sunshine" at the start of the show. Here's how to play it:

The Uke Of Edinburgh Awards is generously sponsored by Rae Macintosh Musicroom, who have donated a beautiful ukulele as the grand prize for each show's raffle.


Tricity Vogue: The Uke Of Edinburgh Awards 2014
Saturday 16 August at 4-6pm & 10.30pm-12am, 
Laughing Horse @ New Empire Bingo (Venue 110), 50 Nicolson Street, EH8 9DT
Book in advance to be sure of a seat 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Songs For Swinging Ukuleles - Reviews & Audience Feedback

"Songs For Swinging Ukuleles" at the Not Television Festival, Chelsea Theatre, 30 August 2014

"Tricity’s show, Songs for Swinging Ukuleles, marks the flowering of a longstanding interest in man-drag: earlier in the year, she chopped off her very long hair and bought a very nice suit and the rest is history. It’s a charming suite of songs, a slow-burner that eases you in with a couple of saucy call-and-response numbers about swinging of various kinds then starts to soar. It reaches a dreamy new plane with an infectious waltz about joining the circus (enhanced by audience bum-bum-bumming along), goes dark (red bike light excepted) for a bedroom thriller, tugs the heart with a love song of impossible simplicity then sends you out with a foot-stomping anthem backed by volunteer voguers. Throughout, there are opportunities to lend a hand, in gentle yet essential ways: singing along here, using keys and change as percussion there, being dragged on stage to do drag on stage for a couple of brave souls at the end."
Ben Walters,

 "Songs For Swinging Ukuleles" at the Edinburgh Fringe, 1-17 August 2014

Here are some audience and published reviews for my solo show, 8.45pm nightly in the Lounge at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House. Full show details here:
“Full disclosure: I’ve been working alongside Tricity Vogue for a couple of years now, and this year had the honour of being the technician for her show, Songs For Swinging Ukuleles. Consequently, this meant I heard each of the nine songs in the set sixteen times, which some might consider a way of killing any kind of music. Repetition might satiate that fix you need to hear a hook again, but it can kill even the best songs.

And yet I would wake up every August morning with one of the songs from Swinging Ukuleles playing in my head, and I would still be happily singing along later that evening when watching the show. It’s a testament to Vogue’s songwriting skill, crafting a set of songs that are friendly, catchy, humorous, and lasting beyond the end of the show. In most cases I’m not one for live albums, but with Swinging Ukuleles, I have come to relive the live experience over and over, enjoying the audience participation or additional backing vocals and, consequently, would love such a product to come about. Indeed, even Vogue seems to thrive with a live audience before her. A small crowd of people who sit, smile, and won’t turn their noses up at some audience participation seems to be the impetus that allows Vogue’s personality to shine.

Transferred into studio time, though, the songs are a delight. Though just Vogue and her ukulele, the sonic effects play a key role: On “The Bedroom In A Dangerous Place” Vogue’s voice is affected to sound like a muffled trumpet in the dark distance; and the cheeky yelp on “Bad Showgirl” is a delightful detail. But sweet numbers like “Run Away And Join The Circus”, the alliterative double entendre of “My Favourite Fanny”, or the delicate “I Spent The Night With You” stand on their own. She slides between personal intimacy and rousingly relatable choruses at the flick of a wrist. All this might be criticized as being the subject of bias, but I’m not lying when I say that weeks on from the last performance of Songs For Swing Ukuleles, I still wake up in the morning to the chorus to “Don’t Let Them Drag You Down” playing in my head.”
Ray Finlayson, Unrecorded

“Bowled over by Tricity Vogue's ingenious mixture of her own songs coupled with costume flair (loved the suit!) on the theme which amusingly explored gender. She cleverly entertained us with a collection of original lyrics on varied topics from 'Swing' with delightful sexual innuendos, through educating us on alliteration (focussing on 'Fanny'!) and scary tales of nightmares, whilst allowing us to evocatively share her personal experience and romance. All the while the audience was happily drawn in and encouraged to participate by her spontaneous warm and witty interaction with them, singing along with choruses no more taxing than "Bum,bum,bum!! The tunes resonated and entertained and we all loved it. This was a consummate performance. Miss Vogue you are a star.”
Jo Millar via

“Great show, great entertainment. Audience very happy to 'bum' along! Also wonderful ukelele playing - better than other ukelele players charging much more in the fringe... Enjoy the circus! Thanks!”
Fiona and Aileen via

“An hour in the company of the most charming, witty, entertaining cabaret artist. The intimate venue encourages frequent audience participation and you will want to join in. An hour is not enough and we would have happily spent another hour in the company of Tricity Vogue.”
Keith Phillips via

“It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing... And Tricity NEVER fails to disappoint... With more witty self-reinvention than Madonna ever envisaged, and command of her small instrument, she will woo the crowds at the Fringe once more with her delightful one-woman show. We sat in a first night throng, overflowing from the small room, in sweltering heat, but even that could not dent the lady's 'cool'. It was a charming delight of a show. And the singalong chorus from the Circus song had everyone happily 'bumming along'... For days afterwards in fact, as my hosts could not stop singing and at any given moment that refrain would be trilled along to. Gorgeous. And as ever, hilarious, and poignant too. Tricity takes you on a journey. And you will only ever leave entertained and upbeat. And that, in the world at large at the moment, is a gift. Keep strumming, you talented plucker, you. :)”
Amelia Clark via

“Tricity Vogue is one of those performers who I would travel anywhere to see, Her Songs are Beautiful and memorable, I have been singing them in my head all week now...”
Steve Mackenzie via

“I turned up at this show and was greeted by the most charming lady herself in a three piece suit. She looked so cool. Before the actual snow started Tricity was charming the audience with her cheeky ways and hit. The show itself is a delight. It went by too quick as Tricity played her funny and catchy tunes and encouraged the audience to join in with her, which I find always such fun.”
Clive Holland via

“The sheer number of shows at the Fringe can make it hard to truly find a niche, but Tricity Vogue has managed it with her ukulele drag cabaret. Playing songs on a variety of themes, it’s impressive how much enthusiasm she’s able to eke out of the cramped room her audience were up for it within minutes. Vogue involves them in almost every song: two people are hauled up as drag backing dancers, one is the object of a love song and another provides atmosphere by holding up a bike light (why yes, this is a free show!). Vogue ends on a number from an in-progress “drag action musical” that I’m now desperate to see. A storming slice of cabaret.” **** 

"Great show this evening, loved it!
Came away thinking about 3 things: Victor Victoria (predictably); Regina Spektor (your scary night song); and Chaucer\'s Wife of Bath:
Gat-tothed I was, and that bicam me weel;
I hadde the prente of seinte venus seel.
As help me god! I was a lusty oon,
And faire, and riche, and yong, and wel bigon.
Good luck for the Uke of Edinburgh... "
Fiona via email

“Tricity Vogue, well known for her cabaret shows accompanying herself on the ukelele, has staged a preview of her new show to be taken up to the Edinburgh Festival.

Playing with the concept of cross-gender and drag, she dresses up in a beautifully tailored suit and, displaying great commitment, sports a slick man’s haircut – cut live on stage in a previous show at the same venue.

Songs for Swinging Ukeleles consists entirely of her own compositions, with anecdote and changes of costume, at one point re-applying her own shorn hair. The atmosphere created evokes a feeling of 1920s Weimar, though with less of the darkness associated with that era, and is refreshingly light and charming.  The theatrical effect takes us gently into another world where we willingly suspend our disbelief.

As the title suggests, she sings of swingers (both of the sexual and dance kind), showgirls, sartorial elegance, love and her fear of joining the circus- she has been invited by a French one, it transpires.

Throughout the show, Vogue uses various devices to keep the audience participating and investing in the piece, and such encouragements are subtly and playfully done. She is a very engaging performer, cheeky without being crude and quite delightful.

The standout items, though, were the ones that struck a different note.  The song on nightmares changed the tone of the piece reaching a deeper level, demanding a greater degree of attention, and her ballad on a date starting as a one-night stand and leading to a declaration of love added contrast.

The preview was performed in a South London pub, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, on one of the hottest nights of the year, thus attracting very little audience.  Nonetheless, Vogue was able to sweep the small rather disparate group along and it was clear everyone had a very enjoyable night.
Both Vogue and the show deserve bigger crowds up in Edinburgh – she should do well.”

With at the counting house at the fringe festival.Women in suits and good make up are very attractive.

Tessa Bamkin via twitter

The sheer number of shows at the Fringe can make it hard to truly find a niche, but Tricity Vogue has managed it with her ukulele drag cabaret. Playing songs on a variety of themes, it’s impressive how much enthusiasm she’s able to eke out of the cramped room her audience were up for it within minutes. Vogue involves them in almost every song: two people are hauled up as drag backing dancers, one is the object of a love song and another provides atmosphere by holding up a bike light (why yes, this is a free show!). Vogue ends on a number from an in-progress “drag action musical” that I’m now desperate to see. A storming slice of cabaret.
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, until 17 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Jon Stapley]
- See more at: 

"Tricity Vogue's new show is sublime. Edinburgh-ites, you are in for a treat.  *# proudoftalentedmate ,.  *# wishididnthavetoleavethelockin ,... the ballad, and lovely circus song were highlights, plus all the lovely naughty you come to expect. Night terror song also hilarious well done Uke diva, well done!!! Xxx lovely company, host, and audience too... "
Amelia Clark
Photo by Clive Holland

"Our thanks to the funny, flirtatious and frankly 'fenomenal' Tricity Vogue. Another winning show."
Anne-Sophie & Emma-Jane Dallison

"Thoroughly enjoyed @tricityvogue's preview last night. Favourite songs were the soppy ones. Oh how I've changed as I've gotten older."
@maaaud via twitter

"Tricity Vogue re-defines entertainment with a ukelele! A truly unique, charming and funny show."
David Carr

"Tricity Vogue's show is great fun. It's glitzy and glam with catchy songs and lots of opportunity for audience participation. A definite must see!"

Helen Morrissey
Photo by Clive Holland

"What A Show, What A Gal, What A Great New Look… Tricity Vogue: Sharper Than Ever!"
Alastair Choat, Landlord, Coach & Horses

"Your manner is so fun, you can get away with anything."
Heather Uprichard

"I really enjoyed your show and was glad I went. It had a genuine Music Hall feel with a modern twist. You are clearly a talented player of the ukulele and singer. I particularly liked the audience participation elements - it was great fun and perfect for the venue and size of audience. Your play on drag and gender was very tastefully done and I thought you looked fantastic - the make up must take some practice!"
Rachel Bull

Photo by James Millar
"Tricity vogues new show  "Songs for Swinging Ukuleles": it's not what you think, it's even better. You'll have the most swinging, tuneful, fun-filled night you can have with your clothes on. Tricity Vogue is cabaret's answer to Eurovision, but wth so much better songs. She's part showgirl, part sharp dressed lady in a mans suit (without a beard!). This is a show that make you want to swing and sing and laugh and smile. Tell all your friends about it. Don't miss."
Clive Holland

"Loved the show... you create such a special atmosphere. I came away with a lovely nice glow." 
Pete Saunders 

Photo by Clive Holland

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Cat On The Fence: A Fairy Tale


There was once a prince who banished his minstrel wife for deceiving him with a cat. It's a fine story, but this story begins where that one ends. The cat was also an enchantress who had once imprisoned the prince in a tower for seven years. That was a fine story too, although the prince didn't think so.

Because the prince's minstrel wife tricked him into releasing the cat from the bag in which she was imprisoned, the prince cast his bride outside the the thick stone walls of his castle, to survive as best she could in the harsh winter of his land.

But no sooner had the prince sent his minstrel wife away than he began to pine for her. "What ails you, my son?" asked the Queen. "Your hounds grow restive in their kennels and the hog roast shrivels on its spit."

"Mother," said the prince, "If I had not sent my wife away, but put her in irons for a time, that would have avenged me just as well, would it not?"

"My son," said the Queen, "I wish you luck if you ever hope to receive love again from a woman you have cast in irons."

"But mother, she tricked me, and released my foe from imprisonment!"

"Child," said the Queen, "You released your foe yourself, and if you would punish any woman who can outwit you, then your bride has done well to flee these walls."

The prince thought on his mother's words, and went to his father the King. "My Lord," said the prince, "I wish to ride out in search of my bride and bring her home."

But the prince's father did not wish to lose his son a second time, after seven long years without him, while his son was imprisoned in a tower. "Son, you may ride out by day, but each night you must return to the castle by sunset."

So each day the prince rode out in search of his minstrel bride, and each night he returned to the castle unsuccessful.

Meanwhile it so happened that the cat, who was also the enchantress who had once imprisoned the prince in her tower, was roaming the prince's kingdom, and heard tell of the prince's quest to find his bride. The cat would return each night to whichever inn the prince's minstrel bride was to be found in earning her bread by playing her instrument, and would curl herself at her feet before the fire.  The cat listened to the minstrel's songs of loss and yearning, but the cat kept her counsel, and did not tell the minstrel of the prince's change of heart, nor did she tell of the prince's daily quest to search his kingdom for his lost bride. Yet, whenever the minstrel talked of leaving the kingdom, the cat would dissuade her. For the cat had all the wiles of her feline nature as well as all the powers of an enchantress, and even though the prince had kept her trapped in a bag for seven long years, the cat had not tired of him yet.

And so the cat began to put her plan into action. She began to stalk the prince each day on his search for the minstrel, and would listen in to find out where he planned to search the following day. Then the cat would persuade the minstrel to go the next day to the place where the prince had searched the day before. And so the prince could never find the minstrel, though he searched his kingdom high and low.

At the same time, the cat began to boast to the minstrel about her wonderful cat life. While the minstrel struggled to sing for her supper, and sometimes went hungry in towns where music was not loved, the cat grew sleek and fat on the mice she caught beneath the inn's floorboards, and on the treats given to her by the innkeeper in exchange for the mouse-kill she presented. The cat would curl up, purring, by the fire, while the minstrel shivered in the farthest corner, and sleep on a fine pillow while the minstrel suffered hard floor.

"How I envy you," said the minstrel to the cat at last, "For although you come and go as you please, you are welcomed where I am shunned. I wish that you and I could change places."

"So be it," said the cat, "For I am not only a cat but also an enchantress, and need only your wish to make it so." And there was a crack, as of thunder, and the minstrel looked out through the eyes of the cat and saw her own human face looking back at her. The minstrel tried to protest that she had meant it only in jest, but when she tried to speak only mewing sounds came from her throat.

"Only an enchantress can make a cat speak," said the enchantress, in the minstrel's own voice. "Enjoy your new life. I must go."

The enchantress hurried from the inn and began her journey to find the prince. The minstrel-cat was left alone in the inn.

The innkeeper picked up the cat by the scruff of her neck. "Enough lazing by the fire, cat," said the innkeeper, "Earn your keep and catch me some mice!" And the innkeeper threw the cat out into the street. The cat looked along the road and saw her own former body walking away in the distance, so instead of catching mice she followed the enchantress.

The enchantress walked through the night until dawn, then she cast herself down by the side of the road and lay quite still. Shortly after dawn the sound of horses' hooves approached, and the prince rode up. He saw the crumpled body of his minstrel wife by the side of the road and jumped down from his horse to attend to her. The enchantress groaned and held her head. When the prince spoke to her she tried to speak, but seemingly could not.

"My poor dear wife," cried the prince, "You have fallen and you are wounded!" And the prince lifted the enchantress gently onto his horse. Now when the cat-minstrel saw the prince she was so full of joy that she forgot she was not in her own body, and ran towards him. The prince saw only the cat enchantress who had one imprisoned him for seven years, and who he hated, so he grabbed the cat by the scruff of her neck and threw her far from him. Then he carried the woman he thought was his bride away on his horse, back to the safety of his castle, leaving his true bride behind.

The minstrel-cat wanted to sing of her pain, her longing and regret, but when she opened her mouth, all that came out was a cat's yowl. The enchantress, in exchange for the minstrel's help in freeing her from captivity, had exiled the minstrel from hearth and husband, then stolen her very minstel's art from her, leaving her with nothing. The enchantress had imprisoned her as surely as she had once imprisoned her prince, and now she had stolen him from her too. The minstrel-cat turned her limping paws towards the castle, for she had no heart left to go anywhere else.

The prince had already returned with his bride to the castle, where he laid her upon her bed. His mother came to nurse her son's returned bride, but even though the enchantress did not speak, feigning sleep, the queen knew at once that this was not the same bride her son had first brought home. Yet her son would not heed his mother's words.

Now it so happened that the queen had a secret herb garden outside the castle walls, where she went to be alone. Only the king, the prince, and the prince's minstrel bride knew about the garden and how to enter it. So the queen told her son to send his bride to her in her herb garden as soon as she awoke.  The prince gave the message to his bride as she was rising and dressing. The enchantress did not know the way to the secret garden, so she walked out through the castle gate and began to search.

The enchantress saw the minstrel-cat sitting outside the castle walls, staring up at the prince's chamber window. She offered her a deal: "Show me how to get into the queen's secret garden, and I will return you to your own body." The minstrel-cat turned and led the enchantress down a long passageway to a door. The enchantress eagerly opened the door and stepped through - only to fall into a cess-pool. For the minstrel-cat had tired of the enchantress's bargains, and preferred to remain a cat for the rest of her days than strike one more deal with the deceitful enchantress.

The minstrel-cat jumped onto the top of the wall and down into the secret garden on the other side, where the queen was waiting on a bench As soon as the cat approached her, the queen picked her up and carried her into the castle to the prince. For she had known love for more years than her son, and she knew that it is not always with the eyes that we recognise our beloved.

"This is your bride," said the queen. "She has been enchanted to look like a cat, but it is more than looks by which a good husband knows his true wife." The queen turned to the cat and spoke to her as if to a woman. "You have been wronged by my son, who has cast you from him, and who does not know you now. But if you will forgive him then I would be glad to welcome you back to this hearth." The cat twined herself about the legs of the queen, then she climbed onto the prince's lap. The prince stroked the cat that looked like the enchantress he hated, and as soon as the cat began to purr, he recognised the music in her voice as the music of his minstrel bride. He said her name out loud in recognition, and by naming her he broke the enchantress's spell. At once the prince found his true bride sitting on his lap, in her own true form.

Outside in the cess pit a cat yowled as she struggled to swim out of the liquid filth in which she was mired. But none came to her aid, for none heard her cries over the shouts of joy and celebration that rang through the castle for the return of the prince's minstrel bride.