I have been a member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain for the last 14 years, playing and singing in world class concert houses and theatres all over America, China, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Europe and of course, in the UK.
In recent Orchestral years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Meatloaf and Morph (not at the same time), as well as playing ukulele with Ant & Dec, Robbie Williams, Channel 4’s Jon Snow and The Queen!
It’s humbling to be part of a band that’s attracted so many fine supporters , including two of my own personal heroes – the late David Bowie and wonderful, Victoria Wood.
Photo Copyright Alli Burke
Along the way, I’ve also been an actor, director, comedy writer/performer and teacher.
One of the very first things I directed, was Oscar Wilde’s short story, The Selfish Giant, back in 1991. The main character was a gigantic puppet operated by 5 people – quite a handful! The show won The Lloyds Theatre Challenge and was performed at the National Theatre in London, with a ‘pre-Gandalf’ Ian McKellen hosting the event.
Since then, I’ve taught Stand Up Comedy at the Soho Theatre London, directed some highly acclaimed shows for other comedians and performed my own comedy stuff around the UK.
Once, I was one half of the double-act, Adams & Rea. We wrote manly songs together, gigged nationally and appeared on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7. In 2009 we won the very first Musical Comedy Awards, and shortly after that – quit!
Working in Comedy, I’ve met some amazing people, like my old spoof freakshow chums The Congress of Oddities, for whom I regularly transformed into a creature called The Biscuit-Eyed Lady. Yup.
Another of the comedy alumni I worked with back then, was Miranda Hart. I did a couple of theatre projects with her, wrote on her BBC Radio show, Joke Shop, and later on the BBC BAFTA nominated Miranda.
I’ve been an associate artist with multi-award winning Clod Ensemble, and I’m a creative consultant for several organisations offering training, workshops and help.
For relaxation, I play in an all female rockband with my friends. Well, it beats golf.
I offer solo and group lessons for Adults and Children of all abilities, from ‘never picked up a Uke before’ to ‘already rocking out in a band’ – plus everything in-between. Tailored to suit your needs.
A cost effective way for larger groups of uke players of all abilities to learn new tricks and get more out of playing together. Contact me if you have specific song requirements.
Want my help overcoming nerves, preparing for a gig, song writing or working on stage presence? Let’s silence those inner critics and unlock your potential.