For years, there was no cabaret section at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. To find out if we were appearing, you had to look under Comedy and/or Music. Now, cabaret is alive and well and positively thriving, alongside its sister, burlesque.
|From the left: Dillie Keane, Liza Pulman and Adèle.|
|With her first role model April Ashley after|
the show of Fascinating Aïda.
Back then, though, the general public was uniformed about the subject so, if anyone did find out, I always had to answer a barrage of questions. These days, most people (children included), take the news in their stride.
Then there was my hairdresser. She had the daintiest hands I’ve ever seen and looked every inch a pretty young woman. Later, a fabulous American, who had transitioned in her teens, became my mentor. She was a make up consultant and taught me everything I know about how to apply it to the best possible advantage.
I did once protest successfully over a passport. I was renewing my female passport and was told I would have to go through the whole process of providing a doctor’s letter attesting to my surgery. I pointed out that I had done this when I obtained the first passport and that my circumstances remained unchanged. Also, other people renewing passports did not have to provide documentation every time they renewed. I won but this was before the days of terrorism; I think everything is much stricter now.
Seriously, I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked with two other women for thirty years who, when the going has got tough, have been staunch allies. I have learned from them not only how to be a performer, but also a woman.