So, as it has been a while since I wrote on my blog, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give you my latest news… 
 
After a few years hiatus, I am pleased to say that I am back working the cruise ships! I have a great new cruise agent (Dean Partleton from Excellent Entertainment) who managed to secure me three cruises this Summer. I had a great time performing on the Saga Sapphire and the P&O ships Britannia and Arcadia. 
One of the best things about working the cruise ships are other guest entertainers that you meet and become friends with. I had a great time on P&O Brittania with Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel who perform a Morecambe and Wise tribute act – Eric and Little Ern. They are absolutely brilliant and when you see them perform you really seem to forget that they are not the original duo. They tour all over the UK so definitely with looking out for. http://www.ericandlittleern.co.uk 
 
 
On the Saga Sapphire I was delighted to be sharing the stage with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and was amazed when my wife Trudy told me that she went to school with the leader of the band and singer Duncan Galloway! A great bunch of blokes and brilliant musicians who the passengers loved. 
 
On the P&O ship Arcadia I was joined by my wife Trudy as we sailed around the Baltics, visiting Skägen, Fredericia, Klapedia and Helsinki. On that trip we were joined by very funny man Phil Melbourne and the lead singer of the Hollies Peter Howarth. 
 
 
Peter has real star quality as well as an amazing voice – watch out for him as he tours the UK with the Hollies https://www.peterhowarth.com 
 
As well as performing on the cruise ships, I had a lovely time performing at a wedding in Pisa, where I was invited to be a guest for the weekend and perform my show at a Sunday lunchtime meal at a local restaurant. A great location and a fantastic response to the show which I tailored specifically for the wedding couple. 
 
The Stress and Resilience workshops are going from strength to strength. With sessions for University Student Union staff, Foreign Aid relief workers, software and engineering companies and more. The diversity of the groups I work with means that the pressures are often very different, and I love the challenge of helping them to become resilient and preventing stress in some difficult situations. For more about my stress workshops, check out my other website: http://www.stressboffin.com 
 
Now we are back into the corporate season with Awards nights and conferences and I’m looking forward to performing at many of these over the coming months. 
 
 
On a personal note, I have a very talented brother Grant Olding who is an amazing composer, mainly working for theatre and TV. I was delighted to be able to fit in time to see two shows he composed the music for – Midsummer Night’s Dream at the new Bridge Theatre and Bartholomew Fair at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre. Midsummer Night’s Dream has now finished its run but they have recorded it for NT Live to be shown at cinemas later this year and I would highly recommend it. An amazing production and definitely the best version of the play that I have ever seen. For more information click here: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/ntlout35-a-midsummer-night-s-dream 
 
 
Bartholomew Fair has only just started (I was lucky enough to be invited along to the press night). The Sam Wanamaker Theatre was built making use of 17th-century plans for an indoor theatre and the playhouse recalls the layout and style of the Blackfriars Theatre. It can be found next to the Globe on the Southbank. The play is by Ben Johnson who was around at the same time as Shakespeare. Originally 5 hours long with 50 characters, the play has been cut to 2 hour 15 minutes with 12 actors playing all the parts! Very funny and chaotic – don’t expect to know what is going on, but a very enjoyable evening nevertheless. Check it out here: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/bartholomew-fair-2019/ 
 
 
I have also moved! No longer in Kent, I now live in Windsor. It is an ideal location with easy access to the motorways and Heathrow airport as well as an easy journey into London. We also have a castle! Well, not me, but the town – and also a few famous neighbours, although I’ve not been asked by them in for a cup of tea yet! 
 
That’s about all the news for now. I have to go and get ready for a 50th birthday party I’m performing at this weekend in Budapest – it’s a hell of a job but someone has to do it! Don’t forget that Christmas will soon be with us, so if you haven’t secured your entertainment yet for your party, best not leave it too late to avoid disappointment. Contact me now to find out more! 
 
Alex 
 
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