Monday, 22 April 2013
Home at last and I have never been so happy to see my family and my home. Sam was all over me and instantly wanted me to play with him, it was lovely to go back to taking him to school and picking him up again, and what is this with the weather, its so cold, I mean 1c and at the best 4c in March? What’s going on? My Blackberry died in Darwin, I know that sounds like an old Country Song but that’s what happened to it and it is, well, knackered and I have lost all my contacts, so with twitter and Facebook’s help I’m slowly getting a good few back, a new phone has been sent for Marie and I and we now have brand new shiny iPhone 5’s a white one for her and black one for me and as I already have an IPad it was straight forward to use so we are now well and truly “Apple” it’s great stuff a brilliant product and I love it. I had to go for a meeting with Trade Centre Wales and a recording session is booked for another batch of ads for the company, I have to say they have some amazing deals down there, I do not know how they can do it! I had two concerts to do, the first was a really brilliant night, it was at the old Bedwas Hall, we had to go there as we were originally booked at the Blackwood Miners Theatre but as they are having a massive refit they moved us to Bedwas and what a beautiful place, a huge thank you to Robin and the crew from Blackwood for looking after us technically you did a 100% fab job. The crowd were fab too, what a great night, I would love to go back there next year, hey Caerphilly and Bedwas you have a great venue on your doorstep, go support it, you won’t be sorry I promise! The next night we were in one of my most favorite theatre’s in the land the Borough Theatre Abergaveny, they have one of the best stage managers and crew in the country, thank you Iowan top man. My eldest son Tom also took care of out lighting for both shows so thank you son for that. We had a brilliant night at both venues and I had a brilliant support act called LaSe yes that is right LaSe…four sisters and four amazing voices. Easter Time and an Easter Egg Hunt at Bryngarw House, what a great time we had, some of Sam’s pals from his school and their parents and us all got together and had a truly wonderful (despite the cold) time in what can only be described as a beauty spot and only 10mins from home, here are some of the photos from that day. I have only a day now to relax before I fly away again to join the huge Queen Mary 2 in Mauritius. Thanks for following me on my blog and indeed on twitter and facebook. See you on Queen Mary 2.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
I flew back from Malta and said goodbye to P&O Oceana and to my good mates on there especially my pal Executive Chef Trevor Connolly, he is one of the best guys I know, it was also great o share time with another great guy Rob Linacre, he is a top class singer and a very good golfer I have to say, his mate is Lee Westwood I’ll have you know! Also on the ship was yet another great mate Steven Garcia, a true friend if ever there was one! It was lovely as always being home for a few days with my loved ones, Sam is doing so good at school and I love being home with him and my eldest son Tom who will be 24 soon, oh my goodness where is the time going? It was soon time once again to fly away to distant lands, this time I flew to Borneo via Kuala Lumpur, the flight over was fine, I watched loads of films and the time soon passed, it was a 12hr flight and only 45mins in-between flights, I only just made my next flight. I arrived in Sandakan Borneo and guess what…my luggage didn't make it and as the ship “the Silver Whisper” was to sail at 4pm for Manila I had to join the ship with no luggage, it is an awful feeling to have no clothes and personal things, you miss so much. The cruise director Fernando was great and arranged for some clothes for me, it transpired that the ITN news reporter had left loads of shirts and chino’s onboard and I was given them so at least I had something to wear other than the clothes I turned up in. I met a an entertainer called Garrin Bader who is a concert pianist who has played Carnegie Hall in New York, he is also an amazing magician and a marshal arts expert, what a guy, so I had a buddy to hang with. My luggage did indeed turn up three days later in Manila, thank you to the Port Agent in Borneo and the ships officers who worked hard to make sure my luggage made it to the ship in Manila, thanks guys without you I would have been in a stick position. The weather in Manila was really bad with heavy rain all day long but that didn't spoil anything there as most of the staff onboard are from there and they brought there families on for the day and they couldn't help introducing them to all of us, it was a magical day. I worked that night as we set sail for Hong Kong and had a great night, working on Silverseas is a little different to lots of other ships, it’s a 6 star product and not many come to the shows, but I had a good ¾ full house and went down very well, so I hope to be going back next year for the world cruise once again. The winds got up that night and being only 24,000tons boy it felt bumpy to say the least, we went through a force 10 that night and it lasted for 3 days before we finally made it to Hong Kong. Garrin Bader and I got off the ship for a look around Kowloon, we went to see the Bruce Lee statue, the photo says it all. Hong Kong is the most vibrant and exciting city in the world with so many people dashing around like crazy. I even bought my new camera there my new Canon G13. Hong Kong is close to my heart as I once had family living there, my Uncle Steve and Aunty Babs, my cousin Tommy went to Army school there, they lived in Port Stanley on the other side of the Island, I first came to Hong Kong in 1982 on the old Oriana where I managed to find my way from Kowloon and across on the famous Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island, into a taxi to my Uncle’s house, there were no mobile phones then and all I had was a crumpled piece of paper with his address on it that my mother had written down for me before I left for Sydney Australia to join Oriana. I knocked the door and a Chinese lady answered the door, I asked if Steve Doyle lived there and she ushered me out the door but in the distance and through the hall I could see my uncle and I shouted at the top of my voice STEVE!!!!!!!!! I said “its me…nephew Michael” well he could have fallen over. I was lucky because in those days the ships used to stay for 3 or 4 overnights in Hong Kong and the Captain granted me local leave as they call it and I stayed with my family in Hong Kong for 2 nights, I will never forget my time with Steve and Babs way back then in 1982 Hong Kong. So now when I go back I kind of now where I am and it doesn't faze me at all. Time to fly again and this time it was to Brisbane Australia via Auckland New Zealand to join the beautiful Cunard Queen Victoria. The flight to Auckland was a long drawn out flight, the weather in Auckland was pure blue skies but I was only at the airport, I had some good luck there as I was upgraded to business class for my flight to Brisbane and that was very nice. I arrived at Brisbane and a very nice driver picked me up and took me to the not so nice cruise terminal, it was the grain terminal as our ship Queen Victoria is too big to get under the bridge to the main cruise terminal in the city we had to dock there. The weather wasn’t good either as Brisbane had had an awful lot of rain and the skies were dark and overcast and threat of rain was all around us. However, I did have a fantastic time in Brisbane, all through Facebook. Along time ago infact it was 1971, I had a school friend called Camilla Conti we were only 11yrs old and that was the last time I saw her 1971, until Brisbane, you see she found out through Facebook I was to be in Brisbane and she came to the ship and met me there and took me for lunch, we hadn’t seen each other for 42yrs, it was so lovely so see her again after all this time, I know her family very well as they still live in my home town of Carmarthen. It was a lovely time chatting away and catching up on everything that was our past, we also spoke of our present lives, she has done so well, Camilla emigrated when she was just 24yrs old and is now a Hospital Manager. We said our goodbyes and we look forward to seeing each other again when she comes back to Wales on a visit where I can then introduce her and her family to mine. Here’s a photo of the two of us taken up on Mt Kootha in Brisbane. Back in my cabin and there’s a knock on my door, what a lovely surprise it was my dear old pal and brilliant comedian Richard Gauntlet, what a great guy and excellent company, we were on our way to Darwin calling at the stunning Whitsunday Islands on the way. Queen Victoria is just stunning and I am so pleased to be here, the food is excellent and so the service, the Entertainment Director is another old pal Sally Sagoe who I first met back in 2002 on P&O Oceana, she is always smiling and has a “want to make it work” attitude which I love. Whitsunday Islands came and Richard and I went ashore and what a pretty place with perfect beaches and the sort of palm trees you see in holiday brochure’s just the perfect holiday destination, one problem though, it’s the other side of the world. Here are some photos of the place. We sailed very close to the Great Barrier Reef and soon were in Darwin and boy did it rain there, I disembarked with Opera Singer Benjamin who is just amazing and we were both to stay in a hotel for the night as out flights were the next day, we only went and found an Irish Bar called Shenanigans and what an afternoon we had there. The next morning as I was packing up and getting ready to leave the hotel for the airport as my next leg of my around the world was back to Brisbane and then on to Hawaii, but disaster struck just before my driver arrived, I looked at my mobile phone which was a Blackberry 9900 and all I did was try to change the date and time for UK time and it just died on me so I was now without a phone and being on the other side of the world it was a daunting feeling let me tell you. Lucky for me I had an IPad and an iPod Touch and they both have Wi-Fi so that was how I kept in-touch with my wife and the office. I get to the airport and start the checking in process, I tell the girl behind the desk I’m travelling to Kahului in Hawaii vis Brisbane and Honolulu but she couldn’t get her head around that so had to call her boss for help, I was told there that my luggage was to be tagged through to Honolulu and I was to pick it up there and re check it in for Kahului. I get to Brisbane and had 5hrs to wait there and thought at least there is plenty of time for my luggage to make the Honolulu flight, I did the face time with my wife at the bar and then went to get another boarding pass for the next flight, another pleasant surprise awaited me at the check in and that was a great old mate Stuart Gillies was there checking in for the same flight as he too was joining the same ship as me Queen Elizabeth also I met another act who I had never met before a brilliant magician Tom “The Amazing Guy” we all had a coffee and were soon on out way to Hawaii. The day we left was a Wednesday and due to the international dateline when we arrived in Hawaii it was Wednesday “again” so I had two Wednesdays, how about that. It wasn't a great start in Honolulu as my luggage wasn’t there, it had happened again, this time I could have cried, in-fact I did a little, the lovely Stuart Gillies helped me with the filling out of the forms and as I had 2 nights in a hotel in Kahului my luggage arrived the next day. My hotel was brand new and the cleanest I have ever seen, that night with the same clothes I arrived in I went to explore, I took a taxi to a beautiful little place called Paia, it was kind of “old school” Hawaii with old architecture and fab bars and café’s, there was one bar Willie Nelson himself performs in as he lives there and when he is home he gives free shows, another great place was the Flat Breads Bar with the biggest pizza oven made of clay I have ever seen, they kindly gave me a t shirt to wear as I told them of my misfortune and they wanted to help me, how nice! Soon on the ship and of for lunch with some ship mate Trevor and Albert from the band and what a great day we had there, we call that going “up the road” in ship speak! My shows on both QV and QE couldn't have gone any better, with Australians, Americans, Kiwi’s, Germans and Brits on both ships it was a delight to entertain them. We were next in Los Angles and the sun was at last shinning brightly and Stuart, Tommy (one of the ships officers) and I decided to go and see the old Queen Mary in Long Beach, wow, take a look at these photo’s, it was such a thrill and a great honour to board this old ship, it has so much style and grace and to be allowed to just walk around and explore was a dream come true, she was launched in 1936 and the very day I went on her it was Boxer Tommy Farr’s 100th Birthday had he lived, I played him in a musical called Contender written by Mal Pope and this was the very ship he sailed on to New York in 1937 to fight Joe Louis for the World Heavy Weight Championship and where he met his wife Muriel Montgomery Germen who he called Monty, I sang a song that Mal Pope written for the show “Happy Am I” in the very ballroom they met, what an experience and one I will never forget. We sailed that night for Mexico and as a mark of respect our ship Queen Elizabeth went over to the Queen Mary and a firework display was put on as the two mighty ships were in salute to each other, the ships horns went on and on and on, it was a true tearjerker. I met up the next day with one of the best entertainers in the world Allen Stewart, he was to take over from me but came on in LA so I got to spend some time in his company, we did laugh a lot with sharing stories, his Harp tuning story I will never forget, so funny, so very funny! Mexico, time to go home after what seemed to take forever to get to this moment, I have missed my wife and boys very much and was ready to get off the ship and head home. This time it was a flight to LA and then the long flight back to Heathrow…BUT…here we go again. On arrival at the airport in Puerto Valetta there was no flight to LA with aero Mexico, oh boy, I didn’t need this, it was hot and sticky, I managed to speak to my wife with my iPod on face time and explained, I spoke to a guy there and after what seemed hours it worked out I had been given the wrong flight info and I was on an Air Alaska flight to LA, soon in LA and soon on the flight home, never been so happy to see Heathrow, my driver from www.executivecars.com was there to meet me and take me home. HOME….AMEN
Monday, 24 December 2012
So sorry to hear the devastating news that Ian Sandy has passed away. The nicest man I have ever had the pleasure to know and work with. My sincerest condolences to his family and many, many friends. The world of theatres loss is heaven's gain ~R.I.P. I appeared in panto with Ian at the Birmingham Hippodrome in Goldilocks and the 3 bears in 1997. I never saw him without a smile on his face. He was also one of the most encouraging people I have ever met.
Sunday, 23 December 2012
Just when we thought our Panto at the Swansea Grand couldn't get any better, last night's audience were amazing, big belly laughs from the off, Kev Johns and I are having the best time in panto ever! My Shirley Bassey Impression is going done a storm, I have been doing an impression of her for years but never in the clothes she wears and the wig, it really adds to it! Thank you Qdos for having me back, I am loving every second! Christmas Eve is tomorrow and before I go to the theatre via Port Talbot to pick up our fairy the brilliant Di Botcher I have to go to our butcher in Cowbridge to pick up the Christmas 16pound Turkey, I am very excited this year for Christmas as we will have a houseful, will it be stressful, I hope not! Don't forget I have my own show coming to the beautiful Borough Theatre Abergaveny on the 18th January and then back to the Grand Theatre Swansea on the 21st January 2013, then very soon after that I will be flying to the Caribbean to join an old friend of mine P&O Oceana for three weeks, sailing around in the sunshine for a bit then making the trans Atlantic crossing back to her home port Southampton. I have loads of mates on there so I'm really looking forward to going back on her! Thank you for visiting my website and following me on twitter @MikeDoyleComedy and also on facebook Mike Doyle. Massive thanks to my personal manager Ian Parsons for looking after things for me and keeping me focused! I would like now to wish you all a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a PEACEFUL NEW YEAR!
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Last nights audience were just fantastic from the moment the lights went down, you could feel the magic straight from the off, thank you so much, we as a cast just loved telling the story and making you and ourselves at times laugh. It's my first time playing Ugly Sisiter and I have to say I am really enjoying it, I thought I would miss playing Buttons but I am just so happy as an Ugly. Playing a part like that is hard work but it has given me the chance to act in a different way, I love being nasty when I tell Cinderella to tear up her Invitation to the Ball, its such a powerful scene and the kids boo like mad, some can't believe I've told her to tear it up! This is a new beginning for me in Pantomime and I look forward to playing Dame now for many years to come, having said that I would love to play the villan one day like Abanazar in Alladin or Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk! I have been in Panto for 22yrs and have played some amazing theatre's like the Hippodrome Theatre Birmingham which is huge, there's 1500 seats in the circle there and 1000 in the stalls its massive, the Lyceum Sheffield is a very nice theatre quite ornate, New Theatre Cardiff is a favourite with the city on your door step, the Mayflower Theatre Southampton is another great theatre it was strange performing there as Southampton is a city I associate with Cruise Ships and I have joined and disembarked ships there for 18yrs, The Lyric Carmarthen is a wonderful theatre to play as its in my home town, I used to go there as a boy to watch films, I even had my first kiss in that theatre, I always think of dear Liz Evans OBE who gave her life to the youth of Carmarthen and she gave me my very first taste of the theatre by giving me the part of Lunta the young lover in "The King & I" and also her husband David, both are no longer with us and are so very much missed, there boys Mark and Wynne I grew up with and they have both done so very well Mark (Mark Llewellyn Evans) has done brilliantly with his albums and even had a part in the lastest Sherlock Holmes film and Wynne (Wynne Evans) a brilliant opera singer and of course his tv role as Go Compare, I have toured around the UK in so many fab theatre's but I have to say Swansea Grand is my most loved and it feels like home, I have had the same dressing room every time I have been there and I love the place. Don't forget I have my own one man show there on th 21st January which is already selling fast and also my show will be at another wonderful warm theatre the Borough at Abergaveny on the 18th January. Thanks for following and visiting the site...see you soon!
Saturday, 15 December 2012
Panto is here at last, we had a tough weeks rehearsal and an even tougher tech run, but as if by magic we opened last night to a packed Swansea Grand Theatre crowd who where behind us (oh yes they were) all the way. This is my first time playing Ugly Sister and I have really embraced the role and its great to be playing this role alongside my old pal Kevin Johns. We had one or two tech probs last night but other than that it was a great success, thank you to the management for the after show party, the food was fantastic, we all had a great time. Chicho is having a ball (well it is Cinderella)and loving being back in his country of birth and wants to stay over at our house to see the sights around Bridgend! Today I have to say my legs are killing me, its the heels you see, you poor women what you have to go through! Back to the theatre now for two shows, come and see this panto YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! We are here untill 13th January 2013...see you there!
Sunday, 21 October 2012
I had a great week at home, the weather wasn’t good but it didn’t put me off enjoying some quality time with my family. I had my birthday on the 1st October and to celebrate we went to one of my most favorite country pubs “The Rose & Crown” in Nottage and had a lovely lunch and a few beers, it was made even more fun by the fact my mate Sam Kane rang while we were there and we laughed out loud for a good 30mins reminiscing over our time together the other week. We are also having some building work done on our house, it’s something we have been trying to do for years and it has finally began. We also have a new shed at the bottom of our garden and that’s something I have never had? I spent a whole day with my son Tom, he is about to start a new venture as a mobile Disco Service as part of his newly formed company www.nosdaentertainment.com, which is a production company, based in Cardiff and will offer a range of services to the entertainment industry. We purchased some brand new speakers and also met with another production company M&M Productions based in Cardiff Bay and they have kindly offered Tom some work and also offered me some too! (Watch this space). We also had the Panto Launch where I got together with Chico, Kevin Johns and Gemma James at the Mayors House in Swansea and in full make up and costumes we walked around Swansea Market and went on local buses to promote our panto which is a Qdos production of Cinderella which runs from 14th December 2012 to 13th January 2013 at the beautiful Swansea Grand Theatre, then just a few days after that I have my own show there on the 21st January 2013 as part of a short tour before I fly off again around the world to join cruise ships on their world cruises, starting off with P&O Cruises, Cunard and Celebrity Cruises. It really is a shock to the system having to put make up on and walking in high heels and wearing wigs, but once its on I’m fine and kind of enjoying it, put it’s the going from he to she I find strange, oh well, I am an actor at the end of the day and that is what I’m going to do…act!