Diary 2018

65 Years Later

January 15th, 2018 The first Monday gathering of 2018 and we are joined by Hannah and Paul from Festival Theatre. We watched a video that had been sent to me before Christmas by dancers from Skånes Dance Theatre in Malmö, Sweden (I had been invited to work with them in December to mentor three ofContinue reading “65 Years Later”

The Slosh

January 22nd, 2018 Marie wonders where her white tap shoes are from her Raymond Sisters days and would like to see theml; “to see if my feet can still manage to do it”. She also asks for a tap on her heel. Time to order new tap shoes!  We watch video footage from our endContinue reading “The Slosh”

Waltzing in the Clouds

February 5th, 2018 We ‘discovered’ Deanne Durbin today thanks to Marie singing and “Waltzing in the Clouds” is brilliant for an energetic chair ballet. Also chatted about the possibility and skill involved in dancing at different speeds to the same music. The final edit of our book was today, ready for the launch on 27thContinue reading “Waltzing in the Clouds”

Happy Endings

February 19th, 2018 We got our ipad mini today! It is great for researching dancers, and dance film clips as well as for playing our music.  We watched clips of Wayne McGregor, DV8, Ana Teresa der Keersmaker, NDT, Gotenberg Dance Co., CanDoCo, Jerome Bel and Batsheva Dance Company, The Nicholas Brothers on you tube, clipsContinue reading “Happy Endings”

Launch Day

February 27th, 2018 What a day! 1 pm Networking lunch 1.45 pm Book launch (our An Audience With…book, along with two more from The Festival Theatre’s Forget-Me-Not programme) 2 pm Art Work in the Lift 2.30 pm Film Screening in the Main House “Reactions and responses from everyone were brilliant, lovely to see everyone thereContinue reading “Launch Day”

Hosting & Teaching

March 12th, 2018 The usual staff tap class (rewarding to see people progressing), and our first workshop for Glencairn Care Home. Four people are coming and we spent the morning planning music and content. It was a satisfying day and fabulous to host in this way, Marie’s new tap shoes arrived and she is chuffedContinue reading “Hosting & Teaching”

Conni From Vancouver

March 26th, 2018 “Last day of the season before a wee break for Easter, so invited a few of our colleagues and supporters along to celebrate with prosecco and chocolate eggs. We had also arranged to skype a colleague of Doreen’s, Conni Atwell, who now lives on Vancouver Island. This meant staying later than usualContinue reading “Conni From Vancouver”


April 16th, 2018 Back after our Easter break and ‘discovered’ The Truckin’ Dance. Doreen heard the lyric in ‘Macpherson is Rearsin’ to Swing (one of Marie’s dance numbers) “…truckin’ in the heather”. It is a fun dance and we had a real laugh recreating it. Both Marie and Doreen knew it instantly and were offContinue reading “Truckin’”

Maniacal Women

April 23rd, 2018 “Busy day! June is back with us after a spell of ill health and it is wonderful to see her. Today we are in the Millburn bar, which is a wee bit tricky as it is hard to get the tap-mats there, but everyone loves the space because of its openness andContinue reading “Maniacal Women”

Meeting Betty

May 7th, 2018 The wonderful Betty Clarkson visited this afternoon and caused a fabulous buzz of excitement around the building. We organized cabs to transport her to and from the theatre. She walked in like she belonged, which of course she does. Betty brought with her many photos and playbills from her collection and gaveContinue reading “Meeting Betty”

An Invitation

May 14th, 2018 Tremendous news, Doreen has been invited to contribute to the ‘Leith is Where the Heart is’ part of The Hidden Door Festival. The invite has come from the brilliant Heather Marshall, director of Creative Electric whose project it is. Heather joined us today to discuss possibilities and potentials. The thought is toContinue reading “An Invitation”


May 21st, 2018 Marie’s 95th birthday celebration, and while she says she doesn’t want a fuss, we choose to ignore that (she secretly loves a fuss!). Her family arrive in the afternoon to celebrate, bringing Marie’s suitcase of memorabilia with them, including the white tap shoes from her Raymond Sister days.  She has been askingContinue reading “Reunion”

On the Road

May 30th, 2018 Doreen’s ‘Leith is Where The Heart Is’ performance at the Hidden Door Festival was outdoors in the Courtyard of Leith Theatre. We decided to create a trilogy – a sound-loop of Doreen talking about Mood Indigo, followed by the re-created performance by Katie and the third part of our trilogy, written textContinue reading “On the Road”

Teach, Talk & Watch

June 11th, 2018 “A terrific first-class with actor Adam Tompa – Marie took him under her wing for a one-on-one tap lesson. They went on for over an hour! Adam is going to continue coming for a few weeks to get the basics under his wings. Later, we were joined over lunch by a PhDContinue reading “Teach, Talk & Watch”

Betty Joins the Troupe

June 18th, 2018 Celebrated June’s 91st birthday today, it is hard to believe that it is a year since her 90th. Paul Hudson from Festival Theatre gifted her with three framed prints of her father, Roy Don’s drawings that are part of the Festival Theatre’s archives. June was delighted and regaled us with the taleContinue reading “Betty Joins the Troupe”


September 17th, 2018 The first week after the summer break and upon meeting Marie this morning, she asks if she has lipstick on. She doesn’t and as we search, outside with handbag on the wall, for her lipstick, she says; “I always have lipstick in my bag. I think a bit of lipstick brightens upContinue reading “Lippy”

Jackie Dennis

September 24th, 2018 An unbelievable day and a privilege – joining us today is Scotland’s first pop star, the wonderful Jackie Dennis. Wow! A man of tremendous generosity, sharing many stories about his life in the limelight– how he was discovered, who was kind to him, what luck had to do with it, getting intoContinue reading “Jackie Dennis”


October 1st, 2018 Lots of chat about last week’s visits and how great they were – also, Jack Gillon wants to write us up for Lost Edinburgh on Facebook. We likewise started our Facebook posts via my Janice Parker Projects site and everybody is happy with that. Managed to film a fabulous duet by DoreenContinue reading “Facebook”

Doreen’s 87th

October 15th, 2018 “Caught up on social media and we were delighted and surprised at how far the post of Doreen and Marie duetting has been shared and how often it has been viewed (over 3,000!). Jack Gillon’s Lost Edinburgh Post is also on Facebook and is fabulous. A glorious start to the celebrations. DoreenContinue reading “Doreen’s 87th”

An Elegant Way

November 5th, 2018 “Betty reminds us that her father used to say that “she had been vaccinated with a gramophone needle”! True to form we chatted a lot today and Betty is a fountain of knowledge. She told us how splendid it was to be back in the atmosphere of the theatre, the same theatreContinue reading “An Elegant Way”


November 19th, 2018 “Met Betty at the stage door in conversation about days gone by. She’d been dropped off at the front door, where we’d arranged to meet her, and walked round to stage door! It wouldn’t be the first time she’s been brought up the stairs on the arm of a techie, having beenContinue reading “Winging”

Popping Up Again

December 10th, 2018 “As usual, we finished the year in style, inviting everyone we had worked with over the past year to join us for prosecco and cake, conversation, conviviality and dancing. We even had a piper, our production manager Fi Johnston’s partner Caileen piped for us. Thinking of the highlights of the year: ttheContinue reading “Popping Up Again”

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