Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Herts & District Branch First Anniversary Meeting and Party

28 January 2014

After a short meeting, it was time to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the Herts & District Equity Branch.  Members mingled and chatted as they munched the party food, provided by the committee members, before settling down to relax and enjoy the entertainment. 

It’s always hard to perform in front of your peers, but Brian Niblett bravely went first and performed a serious monologue from a play called Truth and Reconciliation. Lightening the mood somewhat, singing acapella, Merelina Kendall had us all joining in and clapping to My Old Man.

Committee Assistant Secretary, Karen Kennedy, entertained us with her comedy character creation, Victoria Sponge and sang a medley of songs including Knees Up Mother Brown, Yes Sir That’s My Baby and If You Knew Suzy.

New Committee member, actress and singer Yvonne Delahaye, sang a couple of musical theatre numbers Willkommen and Cabaret and a song from her jazz set, Nice Work if You Can Get It.

Chairman of the branch, Neil Wilkin (aka Jester Jim) told us an intriguing story about a picture in a suitcase and then Bob Harding-Jones read some amusing extracts from his poetry books (available at

Finishing off the evening, Elvis Schmelvis (recently seen on The One Show) sang Loving You, Blue Suede Shoes and Can’t Help Falling in Love.  For details of his latest gigs or to book him, visit

It was a fun evening, which gave branch members a chance to showcase their individual talents and learn a bit more about one another.  In such a tough profession as ours, Equity branch meetings give us all the chance to build a network of like-minded, supportive friends.  It’s also a chance to promote yourself to other members and Dawn Harvey told us she’s in the Ray Cooney farce, Caught in the Net, at the Pump House Theatre & Arts Centre in Watford from 26th Feb-1st March ( for tickets).

The next branch meeting will be on Tuesday 25th February at The Palace Theatre, Watford.  Due to theatre constraints, the start time has had to be brought forward to 7.00 p.m.  We hope to have a speaker for this event and further information will be sent out nearer to the date, but please put this date in the diary.  The following meeting will be a joint meeting with the Essex branch on a Saturday morning – watch out for further details.

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