NEWS: Happy International Dance Day, 29th April 2014


Happy International Dance Day! Dance is an overwhelmingly positive force in my life and today the art form will be celebrated all over the world (and shared with anyone and everyone!).


Happy International Dance Day 2014.



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NEWS: Afternoon Tea Outing with Carole Matthews, April 2014


Gossip, giggles and gourmet goodies: Afternoon tea with Carole Matthews


Queen of romantic comedy fiction Carole Matthews may be an internationally bestselling author but when she isn’t penning her page-turners she loves nothing more than to have a good old gossip with the girls – often over afternoon tea.

Carole’s posts and updates on Facebook and Twitter are always sure to raise a smile. In fact, her popularity has meant she has had to resort to having two Facebook profiles to accommodate a rapidly growing friendship network. Bonding over social media is one thing – and I am fortunate to have stayed in touch with Carole, since first meeting her in person in 2009, through my work for the Milton Keynes Citizen (also Carole’s local newspaper) – but there really is no substitute for being in the same room as someone.

Imagine her readers’ delight, then, to be given the opportunity to take afternoon tea with the woman herself. Those invited to attend – including this lucky writer! – had a wonderful time with Carole and her partner ‘Lovely Kev’ (and yes, he really is lovely).


Afternoon Tea with Carole Matthews at Hotel La Tour, Birmingham. Georgina Butler with Carole Matthews, April 2014.

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NEWS: So, that was Christmas – December 2013


Lots of dance on television makes for a cracker of a Christmas


Christmas makes its presence felt as soon as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing waltzes onto our television screens. When the sequin-covered participants take their first tentative steps onto the dance floor, I just know that the final quarter of the year will whizz by and, shortly, the winner will be lifting the coveted glitterball trophy, before the nation frantically finishes decking the halls.

Pantomime season means flocks of families visit the theatre for some festive cheer, while traditional productions of The Nutcracker (on stage and on screen) attract balletomanes and newcomers alike.

But, once cosseted in our homes for the celebratory period (whether just for the big day itself, or for an extended break), it is more often than not the television that we rely on for entertainment. Dance fans were spoilt for choice with plenty of telly treats this Christmas. If this time of year is all about indulging in what you enjoy, I certainly fulfilled the brief when it came to setting time aside to view some gorgeous productions.


Alina Somova in the quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from

Alina Somova in The Mariinsky Ballet’s 2011 production of The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from

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NEWS: Musical stars prove to be “purrfect” personalities for raising awareness of busy RSPCA rescue centre – Milton Keynes, July 2013




Feline fans are being urged to dig deep after performances of Cats at Milton Keynes Theatre in a bid to help abandoned moggies. A bucket collection is being held throughout the show’s two-week run to raise funds for the Milton Keynes & North Bucks RSPCA rescue centre.

Milton Keynes Citizen Leisure Editor Sammy Jones and I joined cast members posing onstage with some adorable rescue kittens in order to highlight the centre as part of the Citizen’s Citikat appeal.

Stars Rum Tum Tugger (played by Oliver Savile), Jennyanydots (Alice Redmond) and Victoria the White Cat (Alicia Beck) were more than happy to bond with the 6-week-old kittens as they scampered around the junkyard set of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit musical.


Cast of Cats join kittens onstage at Milton Keynes Theatre for RSPCA fundraising.


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NEWS: English National Ballet to return to Milton Keynes Theatre with ‘Strictly Gershwin’ – November 2011


Strictly Gershwin dance show is guaranteed to get toes tapping and spirits soaring!


Billed as a dazzling homage to American composer George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of musical motion pictures, Strictly Gershwin is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre.

The piece was premiered in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall as part of English National Ballet’s hugely popular and successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations.

Now, this month, the full company of 67 dancers and a live jazz orchestra are bringing a proscenium arch version of the show to the new city.


English National Ballet dancers in Strictly Gershwin, a dazzling homage to the American composer.

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