RSS Feed

Tag Archives: ww2 events

2013 Performance Dates Added!


kitten-von-mew-vogue

Kitten von Mew modelling Heyday Trousers and blouse in a 1930’s Vogue style

Hello Catnips and welcome to 2013!

Please take a moment to look at my dates page for this year’s performances. I am determined not to burn the candle at both ends this year as for the past 4 years at least I have overdone it. I still have exciting things planned such as the Cold War Express in June which will be amazing (and over my Birthday!) and hopefully the new War and Peace Revival in July too! I have 1 performance a month from March to November (some are private bookings) so that suits me just fine.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. Here is to a new start, clean slate, a year that will be what YOU make it. Go get ’em!

 

War and Peace Revival Website


Many of you may have heard that the War and Peace Show is being transformed next year to War and Peace Revival at Folkestone Racecourse, with many new exciting features!

I have just seen the website and SHAZZAM! Yours truly is on there! Eeek!

War and Peace Revival Website

War and Peace Revival Website

So take a look at what exciting things next year’s show has in store and get ready for some brilliant changes. Don’t worry, you can still dig your trenches, camp and enjoy brilliant entertainment. The facilities themselves with be far better and with access to the train station it is a no brainer!!!

 

 

 

 

Hazards In The/ In My Field


On a rather soggy weekend at Wartime in the Vale (June), Mother Nature slapped me round the face with the back of her gale-force hand and tested my hairspray and heels to the limit with rain. It then struck me how different and more prepared you have to be as an entertainer at WWII and other open air events.

Walking around as a visitor, you bask in the glory of vintage vehicles, reenactors, stalls and entertainers, but forget that those singers, dancers and models that enthrall their audiences aren’t effortlessly immaculate. They have to walk the same cobbled streets you walk, brace the same weather and still have to look as if they stepped out of a magazine or movie, no matter how boggy the fields.

Image donated by Lola Lamour

Lola Lamour in the rain, by kind donation of her good self (please do not use without her authorisation!)

I always love watching such performers as Lola Lamour, who (like me) is a complete devil for iconic 1940’s fashions, but to abandon her original snakeskin heels for a pair of wellies would degrade her star-like status and outfit. So we must hop, wobble, hobble and skip to dodge the hazards that may turn our nylons into “Goodbye, so long!”s and beloved pinup shoes from ‘irreplaceable’ to ‘untraceable’ under the mud. I stare enviously at those wearing military gear and warm boots, but am hell bent in wearing my lovely hats and 40’s dresses! Sure I could shelter in a tent for the entire event, but what would the fun in that be? I want to be out, meeting people, seeing things and buying bargains!

Portaloo’s can also be a strategical nightmare as you force your layered outfit into the confined space, dodge the floor of mass disruption (the glory of mud caught in the deep tread of boots), try and balance your handbag as you struggle with your straight-jacket underwear and test the endurance of the wall and door with many an accidental elbow ‘thwack’ as you try and rearrange your outfit again. You either exit looking as if you have been wrestling hippos in there or with an upturned nose and shudder. Classic signs of a girdle struggle is when you can hear the lady in question jumping up and down in the cubicle and she comes out all red faced and puffed out. I almost feel like waving a little flag and giving a cheer to those poor souls that survive the porta-hoopla.

Performing at field events can be the most tricky of all, especially if the changing room is in a completely different area. I say room, when this could actually be a tent depending on the event. I remember fondly getting ready in the back of the USO tent with just a gas lamp and tiny compact mirror; ducking and diving behind stacks of debris to change into my Burlesque outfits and praying that my pasties would be somewhat even…

My most recent event was a huge challenge because of the weather! Getting changed in a nice large mess hut was great, but then negotiating the journey back to the performance tent (where I would have to wait outside to make my entrance) in the mud and rain was a different story. I had decided to do my Pipe Dreams act, which is a gorgeous, sparkly WHITE costume (silly, silly kitten….), which would also showcase my new, spangle-tastic silver shoes from Johnson’s Originals (yes…I know…).

Kitten von Mew, 1940's Burlesque 'Pipe Dreams'

Pipe Dreams being performed at War and Peace Show 2011 – Image by Mr Mew

As I hid beneath my ghillie ‘tobacco’ cloak and staggered towards the entrance of the tent, a rather lively German reenactor didnt realise I was creeping up behind him and gave me a prompt kick on the knee (He was performing an energetic Morecombe and Wise dance move that would have been impressive without the plastic beer glass in hand). As the mud gave me friendly pat on the back of my fishnets and greeted my NEW SHOES with as much enthusiasm, I suddenly realised that the front of my white panel skirt also now resembled a piece of used toilet paper and I hadn’t actually started my performance yet. So what happens in this sort of situation? Do you storm off like a big stroppy Diva? No, you ruddy well get on with the show and laugh it off. Yes there were swear words later and even a disgruntled huff with furrowed brow (I know, stand back when you see these signs), but those are the hazards you have to face when working in these environments. They still enjoyed the show and I fear most of the audience were more ‘moths to my light bulbs’ than my disgraced shoes, but that is all the better. More importantly the shoes are now clean and lovely again! Huzzah!

More War and Peace Show Photos!


Thought I would share a few more snaps with your from Beltring. Enjoy!

Air Raid Shelter Manhole Cover

This Air Raid Shelter Manhole Cover was for sale in the market place. Was very tempted to put a decimal point between the 4 and 55 so I could take it home. An amazing piece of history!

WW2 ATS Girls and Pinup

Such lovely girls! ATS reenactors in uniform and a thorn between them 😉

darren, lewis and kitten-von-mew

Was fantastic having my step sons at the show on the Saturday. Such lovely boys and they really enjoyed the show!

sue-hodge-and-richard-von-mew

Mimi and Mew Mew!

Not-Forgotten-Charity-association-pinup

The Not Forgotten Association and Kitten von Mew in the main marquee

kitten-von-mew-war-and-peace-show

It’s parading cats and dogs! You can see the slight ‘Please don’t bite my face off’ look in my eyes. This is because the owner handed it to me whilst saying “Just don’t look him in the eyes and you’ll be fine…”

vintage-pinup-war-and-peace-show

Kitten von Mew with two VERY handsome gents.

vintage-pinup-girl-war-and-peace

Posing on top of some ammunition boxes near the main marquee. Wearing a new playsuit from Big Beautiful Barbara Brown!

allo-allo-mimi-and-kitten-von-mew

Sue Hodge with my 2013 calendar. She loved July! Can’t wait to see this lovely lady next year.

paul-renshaw-kitten-von-mew

Awww…My little cousin Paul, who came to the show on the Sunday. Was great to see him at his 1st WWII event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wartime in the Vale Video


I wanted to share this video with you, taken by Olivia Orchid of Shadowflower Photography at Wartime in the Vale 2012. It is the first time Ive seen a proper video of Mr Mew and I dancing and it was so nice to see!

War & Peace Show 2012 – Boggy Beltring


ello-ello-cast-kitten-von-mew

All I can say is BRING YOUR WELLIES (or your ‘Rubbers’ as my American friend Stephanie calls them…hee hee hee!).

The fields are water-logged, the dirt will be churned from vehicle movement and foot glamour will be on hold this year!

Contrary to most people’s thoughts on the classic green, the first Dunlop Wellington Boots were matte black rubber, so if you have some, bring them for an authentic touch!

1940’s Dunlop Wellington Boot Factory, Liverpool

Why not tuck some trousers into them for a Women’s Land Army Look? Don’t forget to carry some dance shoes in your bag/ wicker basket for some much needed dancing in the main marquee!

Also, more great news is that some of the original cast from ‘Allo ‘Allo will be doing a skit in the main marquee at around 2pm on a  few days of the event! Im mortified that I will be getting changed for my performance at 2.30pm at that point, but so glad they will be back again as they were a hoot last year!

Well, I will be there from Wednesday to Sunday, performing every day and some evenings, so I hope you catch a performance. Most of the child friendly performances will be my Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy performance, with an improved costume! This was the first act I ever did with the USO Shows and it will be nice to bring it back again. My new Lili Mewleen act will mostly be used for the adult evening shows, but I will do some family friendly shows too.

See you there Catnips!

Kitten will be at Retro Revival, 22nd Sept 2012!


Retro Revival 1940s Event

So Mr. Moo emailed me earlier today and said something on the lines of “Well gee-whizz Mrs Mew, did you see the fabulous image Retro Revival are using on their advertisement of you?”

As I had never heard of the event I went and had a peek…Low and behold it is being organised by my gorgeously purrfect pals at Friends of the 40’s!

I have performed in Manchester and Sheffield, but never Liverpool and Ian and Sam have invited me to make an appearance at the event! I will be performing at Goodwood Revival the weekend before and am determined NOT to get laryngitis this time, so hopefully I will be singing for you at Retro Revival and will pose for photos too! You will see me in my ATS corset along with another vintage outfit (coverage will depend on the weather).

So if you are around the Merseyside area or looking for a 1940’s event more “Up t’ North like”, pop along to this Saturday event!

CANCELLED EVENT: Malmesbury Blitz Ball this Saturday!


raf-kitten-von-mew-ade-pitman

Malmesbury Town Council are creating a wonderful 1940’s dance at the town hall to help raise funds for one of my favourite charities – Help For Heroes this Saturday (5th May)!

I will be joined by the D Day Darlings, the Royal Air Force Red White a Blues (by fabulous permission of the Air Force Defence Council) and the JB Jazz and Blues Band!

All this live entertainment (and yes I will be doing my RAF Fan Dance!) AND food rations only costs £35 a ticket with some of the cost going to charity.

Put on your glad rags and dance the night away, catch up with reenactor friends before our hectic events calendar starts and enjoy some amazing music and this wonderful location!

For more information…

Phone: Louise Arkley on 01666 822143
Email: louise.arkley@malmesbury.gov.uk

Face Book Event Page

WWII Weekender – Rockford Illinois


On 23rd September Mr. Mew and I jetted off to Chicago to a WWII event in Rockford Illinois. This was a huge excuse to meet up (for the very first time) with 2 friends from Facebook who’s friendship became so great that I felt like we were long lost relatives.

Unfortunately for everyone else I had over done the drama of my diva bride role at Goodwood Revival the weekend before so ended up with Laryngitis and lost my voice. I was mortified as I was supposed to be singing and performing in Illinois and felt like I was letting a lot of people down. Don and Stephanie did their best to put my mind at rest and were so incredibly generous and sweet to Richard and I.

Kitten von Mew, Richard, Don and Stephanie Pitchers

I couldn’t have been the best company with sniffles, coughing fits and temperature, but everyone made us feel so welcome and the event itself was spectacular. Based at an open air museum in Rockford, there was a large wooded area where camps had been set up and a few trenches dug throughout. There also a huge expanse of ground with around 7 old wooden slatted buildings ranging from homes to a hospital and church. There was also a large straw barn, water tower and stable block and a street with a blacksmith, cafe, bank and shops. This street was also where a battle reenactment took place!

Battle Reenactment down the main street taken by KvM

Attending the wounded taken by KvM

Certain groups were stationed in the houses including the WACs in the old hospital. In the central grass clearing there were more army tents set up and towards the barn/ stables were a few vintage military stalls.

Kitten and Richard at the Rockford WWII Weekender

Inside the Rockford Hospital - WACs Post taken by KvM

It amazed me that some things you can get over here are quite expensive (OTT 1940’s swing ties £20 and up) but over there you were looking at the equivelant of £5. Apparently civilian fashions in South America in WWII were muted colours of grey, navy and black; not like the glamorous pieces in Hollywood films I innocently thought were factual. People seem to be more into the military side of things and civilian are only lightly touched upon. Even then, they tend not to go for the garish ties that I love (hurrah for Mr. Mew who snapped up 2!).

Reenactors enjoying the sun at Rockford WWII Weekender taken by KvM

One of the best parts of the weekend (other than the wonderful hotel room that aided my poorliness) was a right on top of a Sherman tank through the woods! Richard sat astride the great gun barrel and I batted away branches with 4 others right on the very top of the tank. It was a wonderful feeling and you got a great view of people’s camps.

Richard on the Sherman Tank! Taken by KvM

On the first day I was only well enough to stay for 2 1/2 hours before retreating back to the hotel and to bed. We had been  up for 24 hours with 3 hours sleep after that, so needed rest! The next day we went to the event early and even got to visit the Rockford Museum – Home of Sock Moneys and the Rockford Peaches Baseball Team!

Kitten von Mew and Richard at Rockford Museum

We got to meet the apposing team (well, 2 of) when enjoying a rest in the woods. They get the uniforms specially made for each girl, don’t they look authentic?! We missed the game itself which was a shame, but greta to meet the girls.

1940's Womens Baseball Team and Kitten von Mew! Taken by Richard

I loved seeing their cavalry horses, which is something we don’t see in British WWII events. Of course the Polish and Germans used horses at the beginning of the war (including other countries). It was a wonderful site, although strange seeing Americans dressed as German soldiers. On speaking to an Iraqi veteran about this, I was informed that the Germans had actually taught the American armies battle techniques, how to march and fight in the 1700’s and that some of their ancestors had been German.

WWII German Cavalry. Taken by KvM

WWII German Car and Soldier. Taken by KvM

On the Sunday, just before leaving, Richard and I decided to go for a stroll in the woods. It was gorgeous and we spotted some Chipmunks! There were also a couple of baby squirrels that had obviuosly fallen out of their nest as they were too young. They kept following our shadow until 1 climbed up on Richard. Weirdly enough this isn’t the 1st time this has happened to me! Stephanie and Don didn’t believe us when we came back with the excuse that we had been attacked by baby squirrels…Until they saw the evidence…!

Baby Squirrel on Richard's Back! Taken by KvM

Richard and I would like to say a HUUUUUGE thank you to everyone for making us feel so welcome, despite being unable to perform or speak much. I promise that I will make it up to you all and will be back…fit and healthy!!!