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Performances Offered:  Anything for a Tenor Madame Galina Ballet Star Galactica!

Anything for a Tenor: My Tutu’s Gone AWOL.  Written and performed by Iestyn Edwards 

Accompanied by harpist Louisa Duggan, subject to availability.

As heard privately by Her Majesty, and on Desert Island Discs, Midweek, Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends, part one is a musical revue.  Hearing along the way songs by Richard Rodgers, Shermann and Shermann, Cole Porter, Ivor Novello et al, we follow Iestyn in his tutu on Combined Services Entertainment tours through Iraq and Afghanistan in the company of Her Majesty’s Finest.  Hoiked onto the “Naughty Tank” on base in Iraq for being lippy to Royal Marines Commando ‘Stacks’, Iestyn had to sing for his supper – or at least to be lifted down again.

The above is a link to Joanna Lumley's Desert Island Discs programme.  My recording is played approximately eight minutes in.

Anything for a Tenor can be performed entire in a double bill with Madame Galina Ballet Star Galactica, or in sections on variety bills or after dinner with as many songs you may require framing the relevant comic anecdotes, lasting anything up to an hour. Its subject is me touring with Combined Services Entertainment to Iraq and Afghanistan, and it strongly features a Royal Marines Commando nicknamed 'Stacks'.

Click on the link for an excerpt from the show recorded live:


The Story behind this show.

In May of 2005 I went onto HMS Victory to rehearse the pieces I was to sing at the official supper marking the two hundredth anniversary of The Battle of Trafalgar, in the presence of Her Majesty.  On guard in the corner of the Great Cabin was a Royal Marines Commando.  He was six feet four.  Baby of face.  Blue of eye.  Rocky of outcrop. 

Lord West introduced us.  ‘Stacks.  About to be deployed to Iraq.  Meet Iestyn Edwards, who’s going to sing for Her Majesty on the big day and is also known as – and we must as a matter of necessity keep this from the press – Madame Galina, Ballet Star Galactica, drag ballerina.’

Stacks nodded, shiny eyed. 

And lo and behold after the wires got crossed so crazily and I flew out to Iraq to perform for Combined Services Entertainment as Madame Galina, who should invade the stage during my very first set out there, but Stacks himself?  When he hoiked me onto the tank for being lippy to him, he refused to let me down again until I had song whichever song it was that he had particularly liked from the rehearsal when he had been on guard on Victory.  He couldn't actually remember its title, so I ended up singing through everything from that night until we came to it. 

Stacks looked after the CSE tour in Iraq for a week.  He was also out in Afghanistan and has kept in contact ever since.  We have performed together at a Naval Supper in Greenwich, and I’ve written the show Anything for a Tenor about him as well as a book:  My Tutu’s Gone AWOL.  He turned up to watch the show in Barnstaple and sat correcting details, prompting stories that he thought I might otherwise miss and adding stories of his own!  I’ve since incorporated all this…


Madame Galina Ballet Star Galactica

Again, the whole show, or a variety turn, you choose. 

This interactive, high energy, tour de force bridges the gap between the glory days of variety and the present day daring of the Blackpool scene.  With spectacular ballet skills, a barrage of one-liners, Madame takes the classic ‘I need a volunteer from the audience’ conceit and knocks seven holy bells out of it.  She is the perfect Maitresse D’. 

'Part panto dame, part clown, part stand up - total hit!   This extraordinary character has to be the result of a drunken one-night stand between Anna Pavlova and Captain Mainwaring.’

                                                                                            Liverpool Post

The above is a link to some of Madame filmed at a private party at the Cafe de Paris.