What a wet February! But what better way to spend those rainy days than inside, in the warm, listening to a concert by Recitals for Wrigglers!
In February we entertained wrigglers both north and south with our first ever programme, The Hare and the Tortoise. The first time we played this programme was in 2014, when Recitals for Wrigglers was established. Louise had recently moved to Edinburgh, found Clea, whom she last met when they were on a summer school in about 1990, and pitched her idea of a concert series aimed directly at babies, toddlers and their carers. Between them, Clea and Louise wrote their first programme, The Hare and the Tortoise, and sold out two concerts in Cramond and Stockbridge. Six years on and eleven programmes later, the series has gone from strength to strength, holding branches in Edinburgh and South West London, having played worldwide; indeed, the last time they played The Hare and the Tortoise was at the Adelaide Fringe in 2019!
It was a joy to play this programme again, which is packed full of the best tunes ever! I mean, what is better than the sumptuous sound of the Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana while the rain is falling outside? Audiences in Weybridge, Whitton, Morningside and Linlithgow had the pleasure of listening to this and many other classical gems this February.
Looking forward to March, we have two concerts planned at Stockbridge and The Palace of Holyroodhouse, where Clea and Louise will perform the Jump Into Spring programme, with music from Vivaldi, Bach and many more, alongside the story of The Lonely Duckling. Then we have three more concerts in and around Edinburgh, where Aisling will join Clea in the same programme at Marchmont, Portobello and Linlithgow. You can follow the links at the end of the page to book tickets.
Before we know it Easter will be here, and we will have more concerts taking place in the north and the south. Do sign up to our newsletter if you would like to find out about our future concerts.
Wrap up warm and we look forward to wriggling with you soon!
Clea and Louise
Jump Into Spring!
Saturday 21st March 10.30am – Stockbridge Library. Book Here!
Sunday 22nd March 11am – Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Book Here!
Friday 27th March 11am – Marchmont St Giles. Book here!
Sunday 29th March 11am – Tribe Porty, Portobello. Book here!
Sunday 29th March 2pm – Old Pavilion, Linlithgow. Book here!
Happy New Year to all of our wrigglers and we hope that you had a magical Christmas. It’s a while since we wrote a blog, so here are several months worth in one hit!
We had a fabulous time at the Edinburgh fringe back in August. All of our shows sold really well, particularly at the weekends, and we made the decision to have a day off midweek, which meant that we were free to pack in other people’s shows on our days off! Both Clea and Louise were also performing in the evenings with the fabulous jazz pianist Ron Davis in his show SymphRONica, which made for a busy and fun couple of weeks.
One of the highlights for us was meeting Mr Bell, whose relatives built and named Bell Place at the Colonies in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. Bell Place is where Recitals for Wrigglers began and is home to one of our offices. Mr Bell attended one of our fringe concerts and allowed us to photograph both him and his grand-wriggler on the way out. It was really special for us to be able connect with a part of history in this way.
We also had the pleasure of inviting former wriggler, Oliver Thomson (age 7), to come and play with us. When we began Recitals for Wrigglers in 2014, Oliver was one of our first ever wrigglers, and it was a delight to welcome him back to show off his skills on the flute. He played The Sky Boat Song with us, as a surprise for his grandparents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on that day, and who had travelled from the USA especially to celebrate with their family in Edinburgh. We were honoured to have been asked to play a part in their special day and Oliver played like a dream!
In the Autumn, Clea and Aisling performed a fabulous array of concerts to Edinburgh audiences. Programmes included The Princess and the Pea and our Halloween programme, and they enjoyed wriggling at venues in Linlithgow, Stockbridge, South Queensferry, Marchmont and Portobello.
We also had two performances at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Louise travelled up to Edinburgh from London in September for The Princess and the Pea and Aisling, who is our fabulous local violinist, performed the Christmas programme with Clea in December. We will be returning to the Palace in March with our Spring programme. Ticket details here.
Louise had a very busy Autumn performing with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, which toured throughout the UK. As Louise’s time was very limited, there was only one concert in the south, at the wonderful Little Street in West Byfleet. Louise B and Louise D, our southern team, are looking forward to returning there, and to other venues in London and Surrey, in the Spring.
We are now organising 2020 and concerts in the north and the south, which we hope will start in February. We are also organising ourselves for the Palace recitals and we’re starting to plan for this year’s fringe. New programme or old programme? We have yet to decide. But one thing’s for certain – we couldn’t do it without your support.
Happy New Year and here’s to a wriggle-tastic 2020!
Louise and Clea
We had a busy month of concerts in June and July as we took our popular Wriggle Around the World programme on a tour of the south of England. It was so fantastic to share our music with new audiences and we had a really positive response.
We began the tour by playing at the Petworth Fringe. This is such a great festival in a beautiful location. We sold out our show and then managed to catch the wonderful singer/storyteller/composer/musician/musical genius Nick Cope. We loved catching up with him again, after performing alongside him last year at the Edinburgh fringe. Louise’s wrigglers loved meeting Nick and his show was as fantastic as ever.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, Clea and Aisling played King Arthur at Stockbridge and Marchmont, before Clea travelled down to Hastings for the next leg of our tour.
Clea and Louise B played two shows at The Beacon in Hastings. The first show sold out a few weeks before and the second sold out on the day, so we had lots of busy wrigglers to entertain! Our hosts Dora, Ben and Judy ensured that everybody had a wonderful time and we really felt that this was a special place to play. Ben Newman is the artist who created our bunny image and he continues to wow us with new designs along the way. We have booked him for some new poster designs in November, when he next has a window in his diary!
We then travelled to Dorset for a show at the first ever Broadstone Music Series summer festival. Our host, Alison Kaye, had worked really hard to ensure that the show was a success. She managed to reach a capacity audience with some really fun and lively wrigglers! We thoroughly enjoyed bringing our music to Dorset for the first time, where we saw friendly faces and colleagues from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the audience. We really enjoyed performing here and we hope to be invited back again next year.
We then had an early start at Luton, where we had a very small but enthusiastic audience. Luton Central Library is a wonderful venue and we enjoyed playing in the children’s area, in amongst the hundreds of books! There really is a lot going on here and it is well worth visiting this library if you live nearby or are visiting the area.
Clea then travelled to Croatia to be at a music festival and Louise B and Louise D finished off the week in Chertsey and Twickenham.
We had a really fabulous time and would like to thank all of our audiences in Scotland and England for coming out to wriggle with us!
Next stop is the Edinburgh fringe in August, where we will be playing Wriggle Around the World, featuring music by Eugene Skeef, a train journey by Louise B and the story of The Gingerbread Man. We will also be bringing our show Sail Away to the fringe for the first time, which features music by Paul Englishby and the story of The Toy Soldier, with music by Jeff Moore, which was first written for our sellout run at the Brighton International Festival in 2018.
Thank you for wriggling! See you soon!
Louise and Clea
Can you believe it, but this month marks the fifth anniversary of the first ever Recitals for Wrigglers concert, and what a journey it has been so far!
When Louise first approached Clea with her idea for an interactive live music experience directly aimed at babies and toddlers, she had no idea that it would grow legs and develop into Recitals for Wrigglers as we know it today. Louise was parent to a toddler and had recently relocated to Edinburgh. She had taken her daughter to live music events before, but felt a need for a more direct and interactive approach. There has been much research into the effect of live music on babies and children and Louise wanted to provide an experience that resonated with little ones, rather than being a more distant event which was in danger of becoming background music. Clea, as well as being a remarkable cellist, brought her wealth of educational experience in the world of adults and children with special needs, and together Recitals for Wrigglers was born. We now have eleven programmes, all based on different ideas, images and concepts and we have not finished writing yet, as programme number twelve is in the pipeline! We have worked hard to maintain our initial vision of bringing high quality classical music to the hearts, souls and ears of very small babies and toddlers and their carers by keeping our concerts small, by making them available to local communities, by travelling to them, and by keeping our prices as low as we possibly can.
In May we ‘Danced into Summer’ in the south, with concerts in Twickenham, Weybridge, Chertsey, Barnes, and then travelled up to Edinburgh for a week of concerts in Linlithgow, South Queensferry, East Calder, Marchmont, Portobello and Stockbridge as well as playing at the Kids Out day in Fife. We really enjoyed playing this programme, which features a Scottish ceilidh and a Mexican hat and a chance for parents and carers to play ‘find the baby’!
We developed this programme into a mini dance workshop, which took place at the stunning Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh this month. We wove dance music from the sixteenth-century into our programme and were taken through dance steps from the period by the lovely Neepa Patel. We all had fun learning the moves and it was a privilege to play in such beautiful surroundings. We look forward to returning to Holyroodhouse for a concert in September.
Currently we are organising concerts in the south and the north. In Edinburgh, Clea will be playing at Marchmont and Stockbridge with violinist Aisling O’Dea, before travelling down south for a mini tour with Louise, featuring two concerts at The Beacon in Hastings, one concert at the Broadstone Summer Festival in Dorset and three concerts at Luton Central Library as part of Luton Culture. Louise B and the cellist Louise D will be playing at the Petworth Fringe on June 30th, and also have concerts planned for July in Chertsey and Twickenham. If you have friends in any of these areas, do tell them about our concerts. See here for more details.
We are also organising our shows for the Edinburgh Fringe in August. We will be playing our sellout show Wriggle Around the World, which features music by the incredible South African musician Eugene Skeef. We will also be bringing our nautical themed programme Sail Away to the fringe for the first time, which features the story of The Toy Soldier, with beautiful music by the very talented composer and violinist Jeff Moore. This programme also has music by our wonderful friend, Paul Englishby, who is a well known TV and film composer, so it will be a treat for all! We can’t wait to share this music with you!
So, happy birthday to us, but a huge thank you to all of our wonderful audiences past and present for your incredible support in helping this little seed of an idea blossom into the global concert series that you have helped us to evolve. Without your support and encouragement we simply would not exist! Please do continue to spread the word about our concerts. We are always open to new suggestions of where to play, so keep them coming!
See you soon!
Louise and Clea
Concerts at a Glance
29th June 11am Stockbridge Library, Edinburgh.
30th June 10am Petworth Fringe; Leconfield on Top, Market Square, Petworth.
5th July 11am Marchmont St Giles, Edinburgh.
8th July 11am The Beacon, Hastings. LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING.
8th July 2pm The Beacon, Hastings.
9th July 1.30pm Broadstone Music Series; St John’s Church, 13 Tudor Rd, Dorset.
10th July 10am Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton.
10th July 11.30am Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton.
10th July 2pm Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton.
11th July 10.30am River Bourne Club, Chertsey, Surrey.
12th July 11.45am Twickenham Library, Garfield Rd, Twickenham, Middx.
Wriggle Around the World Book tickets.
Sail Away Book tickets.
After ‘Jumping into Spring’ in March and April, we’re now ready to ‘Dance into Summer’ with ten concerts this month in the south of England and around Edinburgh.
We had a great time last month playing our ‘Jump Into Spring’ programme to audiences in London, Surrey and Edinburgh and will be returning to nearly all of those venues in May. We will be playing our programme ‘Dance Into Summer’ which is filled with music from Scotland, Mexico and lots of other dance tunes including waltzes and minuets, as well as our version of the famous fairy tale ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’. So come along and bring your dancing shoes! Book tickets.
We have some brand new frisbee flyers, which you will see in and around Edinburgh soon. We are hoping that this will help us to reach more audience and will cut down on paper, as these are generic and therefore will never be out of date. They also look beautiful and would make great coffee coasters! We are now on Instagram so if you see our new flyers, take a photo and link it to us there, or post on Twitter or Facebook.
Behind the scenes we are organising a mini-tour of the south in July. We are excited to be returning to Petfringe on June 30 and to be performing at festivals in Dorset and Luton. We will also be playing at Hastings as well as our usual venues in London and Surrey, as well as playing in and around Edinburgh. We will be reaching our fifth anniversary of Recitals for Wrigglers this summer, so what better way to celebrate than to do a UK tour!
Do keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more details of any future concerts or you can receive our newsletter by joining our mailing list.
Bye for now!
Louise and Clea
May Concerts at a glance
22nd 10.45am Twickenham Library
22nd 1.30pm Weybridge Library
24th 10.30am Chertsey
24th 1pm Barnes
27th 11am Linlithgow
28th 11am South Queensferry
30th 11.30am East Calder
31st 11am Marchmont
31st 2pm Portobello
1st June 11am Stockbridge
Petworth Fringe Sunday 30th June 10am Book Tickets
Luton Culture Wednesday 10th July 10am, 11.30am, 2pm. Visit site
Edinburgh Fringe Aug 10-24 Visit site
We’re back in the UK, following a trip to Australia, and Spring has finally arrived!
March was an exciting month for us, as we made our Australian debut, playing at the world famous Adelaide Fringe Festival. We had been planning the trip for six months, liaising with the fringe team and venues down under on a daily basis, not to mention booking our flights and completing the necessary contracts and official paperwork. Finally in March our plans were put into action!
We had a fantastic time in Adelaide. We narrowly escaped temperatures of 40C the previous week, and instead experienced temperatures in the high twenties, which was hot enough for us! We arrived late on March 7 and the following morning, battling jet lag, made use of Adelaide’s fantastically efficient train and tram infrastructure, which got us to our first venue, The Bally at Gluttony. We were relieved that our banners had arrived in one piece on the flight with us. Clea’s sister, who was also our host, had collected some fabulous instruments for our wrigglers to play and had helped to spread the word about our concerts. It was great to see that our posters had been distributed, as instructed from over 10,000 miles away! Our fantastic technician, Kane Amos, was there to meet us and help us with our get in (or ‘bump in’ as the Australians call it!) and to help the shows to run smoothly.
The Bally was a great space to play in and we really enjoyed being part of the Gluttony family! Rymill Park is a vibrant area during the festival, with lots of shows happening in many venues, at all times of the day and night. We were extremely lucky to be able to see a handful of brilliant shows for free, courtesy of our Artist’s passes. We played nine shows at The Bally over the weekend. We didn’t have to change much about our shows, in terms of content, as we found that our music and concepts were just as relevant in Australia, and we found that our Australian audience knew many of the same nursery rhymes as our UK audiences and were just keen to join in! The only small differences were in our Lion and the Mouse programme, where some of our British birds were not known in Australia. We learnt a lot about Australian wildlife and our audience learnt a lot about British wildlife, which made it a fun cultural exchange!
We had a day off to explore the McLaren Vale, famous for wineries (for research purposes of course – and for Louise’s birthday!) before taking two of our shows to the suburbs. We enjoyed exploring Burnside Library, which is a lovely big space with a large children’s area, and even has a toy library! Norwood was a nice area and we had some really great audiences at our concerts in Don Pyatt Hall. We also enjoyed playing at the vibrant Holden Street Theatre, whose productions won several awards and earned some great reviews.
When we returned to Gluttony the following weekend, we took part in the family day and were filmed for the venue’s promotional video. By this stage we had received a really glowing four star review from the Adelaide Advertiser, so we set about adding the four star stickers to our posters. Following ten fantastic days in Adelaide, and twenty one concerts, we flew back to the UK. We enjoyed it so much and learnt a lot, and we hope to return to Adelaide in 2020 (fingers crossed!).
Louise B flew back to London for a concert with Louise D (our southern based cellist) at the lovely role play café Little Street in West Byfleet. We entertained a lovely audience with our The Lion and the Mouse programme and afterwards they were able to stay and play.
It’s so important to support small businesses like Little Street, and this has been highlighted by the closure of the soft play centre Kids ‘n Action in Berkshire last week. At Recitals for Wrigglers, we try to provide the most enjoyable and interactive experience, therefore we choose to play a smaller venue, rather than a large hall. Taking our concerts into the local community is paramount to us. It is wonderful small businesses like this which provide an essential service to the local community and for us we can share our music in the local area by performing here. We hope that you will support local businesses by visiting them, giving them a shout out and telling your friends about them!
Louise B travelled up to Edinburgh to play with Clea at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, followed by a trip to the seaside, playing at Tribe Porty in Portobello! This was the launch of this year’s Jump into Spring series which continued at Tots Spot Cafe in East Calder and Marchmont St Giles, with Aisling taking over on violin as Louise B flew back to London.
The series continues in the south in April and includes concerts at Twickenham Library, Kitson Hall Barnes and Weybridge Library, and in Edinburgh at Stockbridge Church. You can find out about our concerts here.
Meanwhile, we are organising our next concert series, as well as an exciting return visit to Holyroodhouse. We are also arranging a mini tour of the south as well as finalising our Edinburgh Fringe programmes, so keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest information, or to receive our newsletters, why not join our mailing list.
Bye for now!
Louise and Clea
We’re off to see the Wrigglers, the wonderful Wrigglers of Oz!
Well, what a lot of fun we had in the UK in fabulous February! First of all we brought our show The Lion and the Mouse to venues in Surrey and London and had a great time wriggling in Weybridge, Twickenham, Chertsey and Barnes, before a fun week in Scotland with King Arthur!
The last time we played The Lion and the Mouse was at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 and we love this programme, which is all about animals! Louise D enjoyed playing our arrangement of Saint-Saens’ famous cello solo, The Swan, and after every performance declared ‘I really enjoyed playing that piece!’. We had some very attentive wrigglers and their carers who enjoyed listening to it too, so it was a treat for all!
Louise B made the 420 mile journey to Edinburgh by car the following day with her wrigglers. The trip included an enforced three hour lunch stop at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, as her four year old decided to eat a coin on the way. Luckily all was well and the chunky £1 sized coin showed up nicely on the X-ray as having made it’s way to the coin eater’s stomach. We are still awaiting the clink as it makes it’s way out! A warning to all parents to check their wrigglers’ pockets for choke hazards. Fortunately it was a happy ending and Royal Lancaster Infirmary cheered up Louise’s wriggler with some cool stickers!
The rest of the week was less dramatic, thankfully, and packed full of exciting concerts. We performed our King Arthur programme, which features music by the wonderful Scottish composer Suzanne Parry John. She collaborated with us in our wriggler friendly version of the King Arthur legend, in 2017. I remember rehearsing this piece originally and it was interesting to come back to it. King Arthur requires us to talk/sing and play at the same time, which in our ‘other’ lives as orchestral musicians, is never required. I think that our multi-tasking skills have developed somewhat since then, as now these techniques seem to come more naturally to us. Suzy cleverly weaves her enchanted music throughout in this piece, which is a gift to play, and it is a nice contrast to the rest of our programme.
We performed King Arthur to a packed house at Tribe Porty, a great start to our week, and later in the week we made our debut at Tots Spot in East Calder. We will definitely be returning here, so keep a look out on our Facebook page and join our mailing list so that you don’t miss out! We had a great time at Honeypots in South Queensferry, and in Linlithgow, Marchmont and Stockbridge, and we are currently organising concerts here for later in March. In a few days time we will be flying to Australia to make our debut at the Adelaide fringe, and we are packing our cases ready for the big trip! It has taken a lot of organisation but hopefully we have covered everything; work visas, flights, concert venues, insurance, show registration, APRA (music licensing), biographies, show descriptions, press releases, poster design and distribution…yes, we have been rather busy. All we need to remember to bring is our music, instruments, costumes and our set. And our suntan lotion!
We are so excited to be performing at the second biggest annual cultural arts festival in the world (second only to Edinburgh) and we will be playing at four very fine venues in and around Adelaide.
We will be joining a wide variety of international artists at Gluttony, a cool venue within the popular and beautiful Rymill Park, in the East End of Adelaide. There are fourteen venues that make up Gluttony and we will be playing at The Bally. The entire area has been described as an ‘open air party in the park’, so I think that we will have a blast (once we have got over the jet lag!)! We will be playing fifteen shows at Gluttony and midweek we will be visiting three other fabulous venues in other areas within Adelaide; Holden Street Theatre, Norwood Concert Hall and Burnside Library. You can find out more by clicking here.
During our time off in Adelaide we will be organising our concerts back in the UK for the end of March/beginning of April. In the south we will be returning to Barnes and Twickenham, as well as making our debut at Little Street in West Byfleet. In Scotland we will be performing our Jump Into Spring programme at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (we usually sell out here, so make sure you book early) as well as playing many of our usual venues. You can keep up to date via Facebook and our Website.
Thank you for following us and ‘G’day’ for now!
Louise and Clea