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The World of Nina and Frederick
About Nina and Frederick
News Gossip
  Wednesday 07 June 2006  
  Visit here for information.  
  Saturday 20 May 2006  
  Dear fans and newcomers Please visit Gallery 1 The Herbert, Jordan Well to experience a live maquette of the whole tour of Hillfields, warts and all.  
  Wednesday 22 February 2006  
  Calling Mr Pollard  
  Monday 06 February 2006  
  Click here for details of Triangle's Museum Theatre Training Programme March 2006  
  Sunday 05 February 2006  
  For a pack about opportunities for artists on Chico Talks, contact us:

CHICO TALKS - Background

In 1930 Primrose Hill Street was a vibrant street with glass-fronted shops. Every Summer for the St Peterstide parade the streets were lined with people, two or three deep, watching the circus pass through. In 1940 Primrose Hill Street was bombed in the Coventry Blitz. One of its residents, owner of The Wondershop , a puppet-seller, and clown entertainer called Chico, was injured, losing his memory and voice. In 2005 Primrose Hill Street is a dilapidated no man’s land, awaiting large-scale reconstruction.

The amateur theatre performances, magic shows, and photography of Chico and his contemporaries is set against a backdrop of war and Orientalism. The project is influenced by Alf’s Button, a variation on Aladdin, and Chico’s experience as a soldier in Turkey and Iraq in the First World War, and his injury during the Blitz and subsequent recovery frame the historical focus of this work: the 1920s and 1930s. Themes will include memory (loss), trauma and fantasy.

Chico Talks will involve research and ensemble promenade performances in and around Primrose Hill Street, and end at The Colloseum, a former cinema and now a nightclub. In this production participants are integrated with professional artists in role and reconstruct Chico’s memories, in a combination of spaces. The work will involve a couple of days archive, and oral history work with senior citizens.
  Friday 27 January 2006  
  Thursday 26 January 2006  
  The Singing Nun was out to lunch at The Cathedral Quarter Art Festival
Suicide takes a degree of planning and determination. Is this the seduction of suicide ?

Scruffy theatricality, failed seriousness, the nostalgic pop music oozing out of the radio, - this grotesque nun is camp as Easter. She's wearing a silvery wig reminiscent of Andy Warhol (who is known for his reproductions of religious art), dressed in pleated skirt and a vast blood red jumper, bare footed, and speaking in a squeaking voice. This is a terrible performance by the criteria of 'normal' acting. S/he is calling for light changes and smoke, singing a bit and mumbling. S/he mutters to imaginary friends on the other side of ragged and stained curtain – it is as if we are backstage, at an actor’s walk-through, a sketchy reenactment of a scene that s/he is unsure of.

A video plays: the nun is cycling in Africa, playing football with children, it could be a celebrity charity event. The 'dead' body on the stage thinks: I should have done some shots of me hugging the children, ‘weighing the babies’; I should have had some close-ups. The audience is silent until the nun leaps off the ground in the video and head butts a ball, the video freezes on her suspended, spread image and the screen whites out. The figure on the screen, dressed in white, has found a kind of release: she has frozen before the video and soundtrack stopped.

The light on the stage still illuminates a another nun sitting in the clearing smoke. It is the guest participant, She is sitting on a camp chair, dressed in a veil, with Singing Nun T-Shirt over a guide uniform. This is Lorraine - administrator for the festival. She has long dark hair and big dark eyes, but she could be The Singing Nun. This is her comeback. She is staring unyieldingly out into the audience.

There are a few titters. It is a ridiculous idea.
  Friday 30 September 2005  
  Museum Performance is an emotional archive that gives house room to the stuff that never gets in, and could never be contained by, the formal “collection” : oral histories chopped about; precious objects used as living props; research materials out in the open; crowds, noise and mess. It is a container for what is easily, and sometimes deliberately, forgotten. In 2006 in collaboration with Triangle we are planning a new site-specific production: Chico Talks  
  Wednesday 24 August 2005  
  So good I did my high-pitched lady-laugh 23 Aug 2005 reviewer: Jonathan Harden, Belfast, N.Ireland A magical fringe show that deserves to travel. Widely. I haven't laughed so much, so hard, in a long time and with a 2 for 1 offer there's no excuse not to go. A brilliant, unashamed journey into the mind of a mad, BAD performer that verges on cringeable, defines the riddiculous and comes out smelling of incense. Thank you. Really.  
  Monday 22 August 2005  
  The Singing Nun is The Scotsman’s 'Critic's Choice'  
  Sunday 21 August 2005  
  'The Singing Nun' has been banned from the Royal Mile after staging a roof top protest against the costs of performing at the fringe. The 'nun' climbed onto the roof of the lower stage on the Royal Mile and dropped a banner with the words "I want my money back" written on it. She was told to come down by fringe stewards but insisted on staying on the roof to sing Kumbaya for the large crowd of fringe visitors. It took four police officers to remove the nun from the roof. She was then ushered into the narrow Jackson's Close off the Royal Mile, where she was interviewed by the police and told to stop talking in a 'silly voice'. The police said that they did not find the stunt funny, and that the nun was a danger to the public, although the nun pointed out that the crowds had asked her to stay on the roof and had laughed a lot at the protest. 'The festival provides jobs and employment for many non-artists, but the cost of bringing a production to the festival is exorbitant, and a lot of up-and-coming artists are paying to be here. The festival feels more like a marketing event than an arts event, to me' said the nun 'so you have to do bigger and bigger stunts to get noticed'. Last night she was threatening to kill herself if she did not get the attention she needed.  
  Thursday 18 August 2005  
  I only went to this show because I liked the flyer (see details here) - I know it's not the best reason but it always has worked for me in the past and it did this time too. It is hard to describe what makes this show good, yes the performances, the bundles of stage presence from Talbot and great presentation, but to be honest it was probably the fact that (dare I say it) I left with a tear in my eye, after laughing louder than I had done in years. The contrast was for me the thing that made this performace worth every penny, you go through the whole range of emotions and leave knowing you have seen something pretty darn special. A must see. Jason, Englandedfringe.com17/8/05  
  Wednesday 17 August 2005  
  Richard Talbot plays Johnny Haunt who plays the Singing Nun... Talbot – or Johnny Haunt – schizophrenically jumps from man to nun to man again as he gets inside the head (and wimple) of the Singing Nun to look at her life and suicide. It is all deeply weird. It is somewhere between deeply profound and moving and utterly incomprehensible insanity. It sort of works. God knows what the Minister in the front row thought...But then again, the Minister could well have been a plant. In the Singing Nun you quickly lose all sense of what is real and what is not and you can't take anything for granted. Highpoint: The video insert. Diane Maclean  
  Monday 15 August 2005  
  As the fringe progresses, the publicity stunts become increasingly inventive/desperate (delete depending on how charitable you're feeling). Take The Singing Nun, dubbed 'the worst show on the fringe' by The Stage. Its star, Richard Talbot, has taken to flyering the streets of Edinburgh wearing a t shirt with the review printed on it, shouting "come and see the worst show on the fringe !" This has worked so well, apparently, that Talbot has continued with the ploy despite getting a four star review elsewhere "oh they just completely misundertood the show" he told our Kate Copstick when she bumped in to him " they simply didn't realise how dreadful it is"  
  Saturday 13 August 2005  
  Eerie yet very clever piece of theatre.. skilfully transforms the mood from one of folly and serenity to regret and bitterness - profound, sincere and poignant. Esther Katz, Three Weeks  
  Thursday 11 August 2005  
  For fans of the kitsch camp and chirpily strummed religious pop tunes this is more than just your usual nun’s night out…revels in the ludicrous. Corrie Mills, The List  
  Wednesday 10 August 2005  
  The performance is excellent and the staging very funny. I recommend this show if you want to see something original and touching. Audrey,  
  Tuesday 09 August 2005  
  Excruciatingly bad. Gerry Berkowitz, The Stage  
  Friday 29 July 2005  
  Hear a Review of the life of The Singing Nun Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4  
  Tuesday 12 July 2005  
  Award-winning performer Richard Talbot is both the charming Singing Nun, and her obsessive fan Johnny Haunt, in this fabulous comedy about love, cults and pop songs. Johnny re-enacts the true story of the Singing Nun’s rise and fall from Number 1 to a tragic suicide, in a ridiculous tribute with disastrous consequences.  
  Wednesday 08 June 2005  
  Get The Singing Nun info, images and press pack here. See The Singing Nun at Smirnoff Underbelly. Or take a look at Our Diary Venue 61, 18:40 (1 hr).  
  Friday 03 June 2005  
  A hit in Halifax - "We want to see it again in Edinburgh. It's heartrending but funny - really stupid" Audience Member  
  Tuesday 29 March 2005  
  A great tour to Bath with James - on work experience ! "draws you in and repels you at the same time" Andrew Smaje, Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath.  
  Wednesday 12 January 2005  
  They are talking about us ! We're the stars of a chat room fantasy ! Get in touch, "D Sameboy" , you've got a screenplay there that will make us ALL famous. love Nina and Frederick X  
  Friday 31 December 2004  
  A Peaceful New Year to you all. . Lovers of the World Unite ! love Nina and Frederick X  
  Saturday 08 May 2004  
  Clive Barker, (Senior Fellow Rose Bruford College, actor with Joan Littlewood Theatre, and author of Theatre Games) writes: Miles Davis ... textured his music through brief chord or melodic sequences which seemed to be branching into different tunes...they left in the hearer's ear a faint memory complicating the enjoyment. (The Singing Nun) does something similar. There are quotations which take the audience... into other thoughts, feelings and reactions...It certainly is a technique I have never seen used before in theatre. It transforms a simple narrative, however funny and engaging into something much more complex and rich.  
  Friday 26 September 2003  
  in Berlingsketidende, Preview in Danish, in the paper that Nina's Dad used to edit and in the Jydske Vestkysten (you'll have to buy a copy though)  
  Thursday 24 July 2003  
  A Eurovision Comedy . Our delirious alternative tribute is a cabaret night with a difference. "I think you're brilliant !"Matthew Kelly, Star in Their Eyes presenter. We bring film & music together with an exquisite performance that is more real than the real thing. "Barmy",Clive Barker, theatre writer. The show includes genuine Danish songs like Lad Øs Flyvve Til En Stjerne from the beautiful and kitsch 50s film Verdens Rigeste Pige (see below), and a Calypso medley, including the inimitable Mango Vendor. "funny and ironic, without bitterness" Kazuko Hohki, artist and fan.  
  Sunday 13 July 2003  
  For CDs of Nina and Frederik please visit Jasmine Records  
  Wednesday 05 February 2003  
  Our tour to Denmark in the Autumn is taking shape. We can't wait to sing Lad Os Flyve Til En Stjerne from the film "Verdens rigeste pige" (The Richest Girl In The World)!!, and we can't wait to find out what we're singing about.  
  Tuesday 26 November 2002  
  Just opened the paper and saw this !! review in the Times: Finally a plug for real life as experienced by young British directors in the excellent Birmingham Film and Television Festival line-up (Nov 14-23). Debbie Isitt’s West Midlands documentary, Tribute, is a terrific zero-budget version of Spinal Tap, which charts the dismal fortunes of Britain’s only Nina and Frederik tribute act. Our deluded heroes play wobbly covers of the Danish duo’s drippy 1960s songs. Their Quixotic lust for fame takes 45-year-old Nina and 34-year-old Fred (complete with fake ginger beard) from pensioner tea parties to the pier end. Tragically, they are completely baffled by their lack of success. “We are unique,” says Nina, tearfully. “We know that, but nobody else does,” rants Fred, seething with fury that the Tweenies have poached his Little Donkey number. It’s delirious in every sense.  
  Tuesday 26 November 2002  
  Hello Nina & Frederick Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the N & F experience last Friday night at the UGC in Birmingham. When will we be seeing you again? Jay Francis  
  Tuesday 22 October 2002  
  Here's what they're saying at The Birmingham Film Festival. Come and see for yourself 15/11/02 7pm Birmingham UGC Broad Street. It'll be a red carpet night and I'm definitely going to be on the carpet - Frederick....... "You may not remember Nina and Frederik, but for fans of easy listening balladry there will always be a special place for songs like "Puff the Magic Dragon", "Little Donkey" and, erm, "You’ll Never Get to Heaven on Roller-Skates". For one Coventry couple, Nina and Frederik are an all-consuming passion, and in Debbie Isitt’s very funny and strangely touching film we see them attempting to carve out a niche as the UK’s only tribute act to the Danish duo. Scorning her sister’s predictable Abba covers group, Nina and her partner Frederick (note the extra ‘c’) choose the road less travelled, touring, recording and honing their act until they are rewarded with an audience at Granada Studios with "The King", Matthew Kelly. This very special evening will include short film Black Country Kings (Dir: Matthew Cope, UK, 10mins), about West Midlands Elvis fanatics, as well as a live performance from Nina and Frederick themselves!"  
  Monday 29 July 2002  
  We have just returned from two weeks rehearsing and gigging at the Lichfield Festival(s) with our new backing band Penfold aka Velvetine. Nina is very excited about it. We had 1000 people screaming for more thanks to a rockin' Mango Vendor and Puff The Magic Dragon with an Oasis riff. Frederick played electric guitar - quite a departure ! We're now planning our Christmas Tour Nina and Frederick's White Christmas"  
  Saturday 06 July 2002  
  Today we were presented with a mint condition Nina and Frederik Song Folio from 1961 at Staffs Bookshop. It is wonderful to see the dots and to sing new numbers like Me Pet Parakeet . There was some rude grafitti in it too !  
  Monday 24 June 2002  
  We had a great time on the Bob Brolly show today (BBC CWR 2-4pm). He was so taken with us that he's thinking about inviting us to appear with him and his band when they perform at the Belgrade Theatre on 24th August. (Just like back in 1967) Go on Bob make Nina's dream come true !  
  Saturday 22 June 2002  
  We have been booked to return to our home country (one year in advance !)- ..thanks to an old contact in Denmark  
  Tuesday 28 May 2002  
  Nina and Frederick met at a singles night. Nina says Frederick was the only man she'd met who knew ALL the words to Puff The Magic Dragon  
  Monday 29 April 2002  
  We are nearly famous ! Debbie Isitt's documentary TRIBUTE about our tribute to Nina and Frederik was a hit at its preview last Saturday. Nina and I sang If Dreams Came True, live, at the end. They loved us. We were so overcome with joy that we bought everyone in the audience a drink. Now we really are broke.  
  Thursday 18 April 2002  
  We visited Granada TV studios today and auditioned for The King (Stars in Their Eyes host, Matthew Kelly) in his dressing room. He loved us. He can't promise anything but we think we''ll now get the all important audition for the next series.  
  Friday 11 January 2002  
  We are now taking bookings from British holiday and cruise entertainment organisers, and festival and music programmers for self-contained lounge-style performances. Contact us for information.  
  Tuesday 25 December 2001  
  Little donkey, little donkey/ On the dusty road/ Little donkey, little donkey/ Got to keep on plodding onwards/ With your precious load/ Been a long time, little donkey/ Through the winter's night/ Don't give up now, little Donkey/ Bethlehem's in sight/ Ring out those bells tonight/ Bethlehem, Bethlehem/ Follow that star tonight/ Bethlehem, Bethlehem/ Little donkey, little donkey/ Had a heavy day/ Little donkey, carry Mary/ Safely on her way/ Do not falter, little donkey/ There's a star ahead/ It will guide you, little donkey/ To a cattle shed/ Ring out those bells tonight/ Bethlehem, Bethlehem/ Follow that star tonight/ Bethlehem, Bethlehem/ Little donkey, little donkey/ Had a heavy day/ Little donkey, carry Mary/ Safely on her way... / Safely on her way (Boswell-arr.Grauengard) Nina and Frederik 1960  
  Sunday 16 December 2001  
  Hallo Nina en Frederick tenslotte vond ik via het internet imand, van wie ik de gezochte elpee van jullie kon kopen. Die kwam uit de USA. Zoals bij alle oudere elpees zat er natuurlijk ruis in, en wat tikken. Met behulp van de PC kon ik dat eruit filteren en het prima resultaat op CD schrijven. De elpeehoes gebruikte ik om zowel op het schijfje zelf als ook in het CD-doosje jullie foto en de titels te schrijven. Nu ben ik dus de trotse bezitter van een CD van Nina en Frederik en heb em al heel wat keren gespeeld. Hartelijke groeten, Guus, Idstein, Germany  
  Saturday 15 December 2001  
  Dear Nina and Frederick At our local pub quiz tonight we were asked who recorded "Puff The Magic Dragon". I said Nina and Frederick but the quiz master said Peter Paul and Mary and he marked my answer wrong. Did you record and release this song ?  
  Thursday 28 June 2001  
  "If dreams came true/I'd wish you gladness/And all your days/ Be free from sadness/And as the days go by/ Your whole life through/I'd give the world/If dreams came true" (Van Pallandt, 1960)  
  Wednesday 27 June 2001  
  We are preparing yet another application for Granada TV's Stars in their Eyes. This time we'll be sending a CV and our latest beautiful photos  
  Sunday 17 December 2000  
  The West Midlands Textnet Awards panel have commended our beautiful website, saying that we were pipped at the post for "Most Creative" by Smallkat (you judge for yourself) and that they will be carrying out a thorough review of their judges behaviour so that we do win next year ! Smashing.  
  Thursday 14 September 2000  
  We are overjoyed to be able to report that Nina Van Pallandt has given her complete backing to our tribute. The Listen to the Ocean tour, a tribute to the famous and beautiful Nina and Frederik, will be hopping from lounge to lounge in October