Event Reviews

To give an idea of what happens on a typical Boudoir Event here is a selection of write-ups about various Boudoir Events from the last few years.

 



La Cage Aux Folles Trip - Playhouse Theatre

by Deborah Loncraine

9.00am on one of the coldest Saturdays of the year, scraping ice off my car, ninety miles from The Boudoir. "What am I doing?" I thought, "I must be mad". Two and a half hours later, walking into The Boudoir, the gust of warm air, the familiar voice greeting me with "Hello Darling" and the big hug. Suddenly all is at peace with the world. What better way is there to spend a Saturday - a leisurely makeover, a walk through the streets of London, a good meal in Soho and a show in the West End; and all dressed as a woman. Perfection itself. On this Saturday that is exactly what Miss Amber Paris, Miss Stacey Dee Collins, Miss Angela Stevens, Miss Lisa Taylor, Miss Rachel Green and myself, Miss Deborah Loncraine, did. Once ready and into the taxi, set the GPS, destination ‘West End’, target ‘Old Compton Street’ and we were off. Women of the world out on the town!!

The Boudoir Girls

The restaurant tonight was Balans, one often visited on the Trannyshack nights but one I had nor been to before. We joined Miss Jessica who had made her own way there and mingled in amongst the mainly femme-femme and homme-homme couples. Great restaurant, with a warm atmosphere and very good food, though the music slightly redefined the wordambient’.

Stepping outside after the meal, the road seemed eerily odd just like a film set. There were no cars, just crowds of people walking on either side. I don’t know whether cars have been banned or not but there were not any at that point in time. It was not long before a taxi turned the corner; they seemed to be allowed. So a step out into the road, finger up and in true Hollywood-style a cry of "Taxi". In we got, "The Playhouse theatre please" and off we sped through the evening traffic.

Eating At Balans

"La Cage Aux Folles" was a great feel-good musical with Denis Lawson and Douglas Hodge. It had quite an emotional heart to it. As to the "gurls", their showgirl numbers easily stirred up ‘if only’ thoughts within some of us. The theatre was a fairly compact one in ornate Victorian style. To give it a nightclub feel, there were tables set up at the front so that the audience would feel part of the play. Because of its compact size, the orchestra did not have a standard orchestra pit but were up in the two side boxes; unusual but it worked. Jodie had got us some excellent seats in the rear stalls with a perfect view. It was a great evening out. After the show it was out into the night, a quick photo opportunity outside the theatre, then the taxi back to The Boudoir.

Outside The Playhouse Theatre

There is something about these sort of trips which really appeals to me. You are out amongst the general public doing very normal things, walking down the street, eating in a restaurant, watching a show, having a drink in the bar in the interval, all done with lots of people around and yet it all seems so natural, hardly anyone bats an eyelid, yet inside the adrenaline does run and you are filled with a warm glow.

I still remember very clearly my first theatre trip and the walk afterwards through the crowds at 5.00pm on a summer Saturday afternoon from Covent Garden to the restaurant in Soho. A few months earlier that would have seemed impossible. Yet, like a reality show contestant faced with stretching themselves in unusual circumstances, the challenge is there to be risen to. The rewards are great, your confidence improves and you soon feel at ease with the world. All this under the expert tutelage of Jodie.

The Playhouse Theatre

Forget bungee jumping and rock climbing, A trip with JL is the way to boost your confidence and pave the way to self improvement. So let’s hear Rita Coolidge as she expresses the feeling as you step out the taxi for the first time and click your heels as you mingle with the denizens of the metropolis. The action may not be quite the same as that on the video but the adrenaline rush is perfectly expressed -  click here to watch and listen. Thanks Jodie for everything!!

Back at The Boudoir the night was not quite over. While the others changed, I set off home still dressed and had the now customary stop at the M3 Services at Fleet just after midnight for a latte. Well, at that time of night, what else can a lady have to drink?

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The Sound of Music Theatre Trip - London Palladium Theatre

by Deborah Loncraine

It used to be "Sunday Night at The London Palladium" on TV. Now the Boudettes make it Saturday Night at The Palladium as Jodie takes a group of us to London’s premier theatre to see "The Sound of Music" starring Summer Strallen as Maria and Simon MacCorkindale as Baron von Trapp. It’s the sort of venue where everyone dresses up for an evening out so we all knew what was expected of us.

Earlier that afternoon Miss Amber Paris, Miss Emma Banin, Miss Dee Coe and myself, Miss Deborah Loncraine, gathered at The Boudoir for our makeovers - with just the four of us there was plenty of time. Boots seemed to be the order of the day,  and as all four of us has decided to wear them, Jodie thought she had better join in and wear a pair too.

Once ready, the taxi was called to take us to the West End. Jodie now has a regular driver (Code Name ‘01’) who is used to the multifarious trannies setting forth from The Boudoir. ‘01’’s mission tonight was to get us to the restaurant near Oxford Street without getting caught up in the traffic from the Arsenal game; quite a challenge, but  by zigzagging through the backwaters of NE London he managed it.

Arriving at La Strada, a nice Italian restaurant just off Oxford Street, we met Tessa Stevenson who was joining us for the theatre. She had had a reverse transformation and was going "en homme" even going so far as to have a stubble look for the evening. The lengths some people go to change their appearance - amazing!!

Pre-theatre meal at La Strada

After an excellent meal we walked the short distance across Oxford Street to The Palladium. Being a Saturday night the theatre was full. I’m sure you have all seen how big the place is on TV from all the variety shows held there. How Jodie does it I do not know, but we had a block of seats right in the centre section just 4 rows from the front. Better seats I would suggest than the Queen gets when she is stuck up in her box on the side.

At 7.30pm prompt the orchestra struck up and off we were whisked to the Austrian hills. I know "The Sound Of Music" has a bit of a reputation as being something belonging to a bygone era but this was a very effective reworking to bring it in tune with current times. It was a production on a big scale. The rendition of "Climb Every Mountain," the song before the interval, was an absolute tour-de-force nearly "raising the roof," to use the theatrical quote. In the interval it was either ice cream in the auditorium or a drink at the bar. For me it was the bar; where the public go, I go.

Back to the show where the unrequited love between Maria and the Baron gradually became requited as the dark shadow of the Third Reich loomed over them. The full cast and orchestra came to a rousing climax as every mountain was climbed just one more time to find freedom beckoning on the other side in Switzerland.

That was it; one of those shows that you cannot help but leave with your spirits lifted. On the way out, someone suggested leaving from the side entrance. "What," I said "Never. If the Boudettes arrive by the front, they leave by the front - standards, standards and standards!!

Deborah at The Boudoir

With Simon MacCorkindale being the ex-head boy of Tessa’s old school, perhaps it was just as well that he did not know that a fellow pupil was sitting just a few rows in front of him amongst a group of trannies. Obviously dressing up for the evening is imbedded as part of the school psyche. Sadly no VIP trip backstage afterwards. Tessa, I am sure he would have luvved to have met you with your gorgeous "friends". With that, off out into the night we went. ‘01’ was waiting for us, so back to The Boudoir it was.

While the others got changed there, the evening had not quite finished for me as I was driving home dressed. So an hour later at 00.30am there I was at Fleet Services on the M3 stopping for a coffee and a comfort break. Perhaps a little overdressed for the surroundings but nobody batted an eyelid. An interesting experience as it was the first time I had done that.

Outside The London Palladium

So yet another great Boudoir day out in the enchanting world of musical theatre. Thanks Jodie for arranging it. For all of us who enjoy and appreciate your trips, let’s end with the music and lyrics of Carly Simon to express our feelings -  click here to watch and listen. Until the next time...

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Rose's Repartee Harmony Weekend - Matlock Baths

by Deborah Loncraine

After many years in Scarborough and its surroundings, this year the Rose’s Harmony Weekend was held in the Derbyshire Dales. It was to there that Miss Zoe Snaggle, Miss Jill Kaylee, Miss Fiona Williams, Miss Angela Stevens, Miss Sarah Summers and myself, Miss Deborah Loncraine, headed on Halloween Friday to join Jodie and Maureen for our weekend of trannying. The venue was a fine Regency-style hotel just south of Matlock Baths built in 1802 to cater for the families of the prosperous industrialists who wanted to bathe in the thermal springs in the area. Even to this day, those springs help heat the outdoor swimming pool in the hotel in the summer.

The weekend got off to a dramatic start. As we were all just arriving we got a text from Jodie saying that she was on a breakdown truck being driven to Leicester as one of her tyres had blown out on the M1. Fortunately her guardian angel was with her that day and she had managed to safely bring the car to a controlled stop but she and Maureen were still a little shaken when they arrived at the hotel.

Jodie and a Red Devilette

There were no shaky hands as Jodie then transformed us one by one into flowering beauties for the night. Zoe looked exceptionally striking as black haired KGB agent and "femme fatale" Zoe Snagglenko, who looked as if she could easily have jumped out from any Bond movie. In a stunning backless black dress, commented on by many, I think she can now join that elite group of Boudettes who look very feminine from the back.

With the whole hotel taken over by Rose’s for the weekend, there probably were about one hundred of us together for dinner and the disco afterwards. One of the advantages of having the evening in the same hotel that you are staying in is that you can go back to your room and change as many times as you want to. On both nights there were a number of gurls who must have had at least three outfits on each evening. On the Friday, Halloween was the theme and after the meal the scary outfits appeared. Jill and Jodie appeared resplendent dressed as witches.

On the Saturday Zoe, Fiona and I took advantage of the free day and had a lunchtime makeover so that we could go off for the afternoon. We went to the Crich Tramway Museum, a piece of British industrial history. As a place where old wrecks are taken and transformed by skilled hands back into something approaching their prime, we felt quite at home there! We looked around the tram sheds, went for a ride on a tram, then escaping the brisk northern wind went into the tea rooms where I think we managed not to scare the children too much. One volunteer running the trams explained to us that they often left home for the weekend so they could come there, stay for a few days, dress up in their uniforms and pursue their hobby. "Well I never" we all thought!

Zoe and Jodie

On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at Arkwright’s Mill, another famous piece of Britain’s industrial past. This was the first successful cotton spinning mill in England powered by water. It was built in 1771 by Richard Arkwright and became one of a number in the area to harness the flows of the River Derwent. However, putting aside history, we had other pressing tasks to do as Zoe headed to the fabric shop to see if they had any double-sided tape to hold her bra in place for the evening. With three trannies in his mill, what would Richard Arkwright be thinking?

Back to the hotel to change for the evening. With the gorgeous dresses of "Strictly Come Dancing" on the TV screen, the bar area soon filled up with the equally gorgeous dresses of the "Strictly Come Trannying" girls. After the meal, there was going to be a Miss Rose competition for everyone in their evening finery. All six of us decided to enter, so just before the parade, there was the spectacle of Jodie showing Fiona, Zoe and me how to walk. All those years where we had just thought it was only a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and not falling over; how wrong we were. With about fifteen in the competition there seemed to be some delay in announcing a winner. We were later told that there was some confusion on how to proceed if each judge had chosen a different winner. In the end a (surprise) winner was chosen and our own Fiona was second. Well done, Fiona.

Maureen helps Zoe

A disco then rounded off a very enjoyable evening and a very enjoyable weekend. By request on both nights we managed to dance along to the sounds of the Queen of Pop herself as she sang The Boudoir Anthem - our token of thanks to Jodie for arranging another memorable Boudoir trip. Thanks Jodie.

Here she is, Miss T herself with her ode to JL, click here to watch and listen. Her lyrics say it all. What an entrance!! Turn it up loud ... and sing!!

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Wicked Theatre Trip - Apollo Victoria Theatre, London

by Jodie Lynn

The first theatre trip on The Boudoir's 2007 calendar was to Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. I had five gurls booked in to attend the event, namely Beth, Davina Daniels, Tessa Stevenson, Deborah Loncraine and a new Boudette to welcome onto the scene, Miss Jessica.

Things were slightly harder for me with this trip as I had an accident with a pane of glass and I had sixteen stitches in my left hand!! You can see my bandages in the Feel My Pain picture below. Thankfully, I am right handed so makeovers were still possible; however hair was proving to be a bit difficult, but with the help of my mother Maureen, and the understanding and patience of the gurls, we got there in the end!! They were scheduled for their makeovers at The Boudoir from 10am onwards at 45 minutes intervals. We thought we were going to have a problem as Davina got held up on the train and was running 30 minutes late, but thanks to Deborah Loncraine, (who arrived very early for her makeover,) we managed to switch their appointments around and it all kind of worked out. The gurls enjoyed croissants and muffins at The Boudoir which they really do need as they would not be able to eat again until much later that day. They had all chosen their outfits really well, and all were dressed perfectly for a day at the theatre and then dinner.

Sixteen Stiches!! Poor Jodie

Our people carrier arrived dead on time and we were on our way from Seven Sisters to Victoria with an hour to play with. Traffic was actually remarkably quiet considering it was a Saturday, and as Tessa pointed out, it was also Chinese New Year. We had a slight misunderstanding with our non-English speaking cab driver who thought that we wanted to go to Victoria Station itself, as opposed to the theatre opposite it. Therefore we decided to alight from the vehicle at the station and take a stroll across the concourse, and then cross the road and into the Apollo Victoria Theatre. It was a lovely sunny day and I think all the gurls enjoyed the brief walk. We were actually ten minutes early, which is unheard of with my theatre trips as something always happens beyond our control to make us late - but this time we nailed it with precision timing. Just enough in fact to grab a drink and then settle into our seats (we were in row W of the stalls on the right hand side) to read the programme before the curtain went up. The Apollo Victoria really is beautiful and a fabulous setting for productions.

Jessica's Wicked Ticket

Wicked is the story of the good and bad witches from The Wizard of Oz. The show has an excellent storyline and pretty much acts a prequel to the famous and much loved story. The show explains everything about why one witch was bad and the other was good, how they met and why a house was dropped on the wicked witch’s sister. Why there was a cowardly lion, a tin man and a scarecrow and even why there were flying monkeys that protected the wicked witch…you even find out why the monkeys had wings. There is a great twist at the end regarding the relationship with the Wizard of Oz himself and the wicked witch, and then there is an even bigger twist regarding the death of the wicked witch when Dorothy throws that bucket of water over her…but I won’t ruin it for those of you that want to go and see it. The songs were powerful in some places and light hearted and fun in others. The costumes were out of this world and the two lead actresses were phenomenal to say the least. I would definitely see this show again and I totally recommend it to everyone!!

During the half time interval, Tessa, Deborah, Jessica and I headed to the bar in the foyer for a drink. I have to say that these three gurls blended in superbly and no one really batted an eyelid at them. They just looked and behaved liked well dressed, confident women who were enjoying their day…and confidence really always is half the battle won. Jessica was doing so well considering it was her first public appearance of this nature…I think Deborah (who is a very experienced in these matters) was doing her bit to coach her along. I think the G and T’s from the bar also helped!!

The Fabulous Five

After the show, we headed over to Victoria Station and the black taxi rank where we joined the queue of people. It had turned quite chilly by this point (5.30pm) and we were relieved when we got to the front of the queue and a cab rolled along with its light on!! We arrived at Steph’s restaurant in Dean Street in Soho, which has to be the most tranny friendly restaurant in the world, at just before 6pm. We were the first ones in the restaurant and as usual, Steph’s boys took care of us beautifully. Boudettes have been frequenting this restaurant for many years now and it is one of our personal favourites as Steph herself, the flamboyant northern lass that owns the venue, always makes a point of coming over and making a fuss of the gurls, which makes them feel very welcome. I had the Leek and Potato Soup to start followed by the Chilli Con Carne with rice and for dessert, the White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake. All things that could be eaten with one hand and required no cutting up, remember I had sixteen stitches in my hand. Tessa and Jessica had the Chicken Schnitzel with Shoestring Fries which also looked lovely, and would have been my choice but for the fact that I would not have been able to cut it up. Three of the gurls ordered the Bread and Butter Pudding which takes forty minutes to prepare and when it arrived, it was huge!! The gurls tucked into it but seemed to be getting nowhere fast, and then our cab had arrived and was waiting outside when they were not even half way through.

Deborah and Jessica

We left the restaurant at just after 8pm with Tessa Stevenson this time (we left her behind once by accident…she went to the ladies and when she returned we had all left without her!!) Davina stayed at the restaurant to wait for a taxi as she was meeting her wife over in Green Park and then they were driving home together. I knew she would be safe with Steph until her taxi came. After a smooth drive back to North London, we all crashed over the threshold of The Boudoir. It always feels like we have crossed the finishing post when we arrive back as I have been worrying all day about timings and getting the gurls from A to B safely - when we get back I know I can finally relax.

Beth, Jessica, Tessa and Deborah

The trip was a fantastic success and we all had a really nice day. The fabulous five that attended this trip are a very nice group of people and everyone seemed to click. I would like to stay a huge thank you to all of them for making the day so lovely and for welcoming Jessica into the fold on her first Boudoir Event. Beth, Deborah, Davina, Jessica, and last but never ever least Miss Tessa…you were all a pleasure to be with and thank you for being fabulous in every way!! You were truly WICKED!!

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The Pigalle Club - Picadilly, London

by Jodie Lynn

When you’ve been in this business as long as I have, you get to the point where you have more or less done and seen everything, and some of my most regular clients were starting to get a little jaded with the same old nightclub trips month in and month out too. So, I guess you could say we were looking for something new and exciting to come along. After talking to a few of the Boudettes about the kinds of places that they would like to go, it became very apparent that what was needed was a place where we could go and see a show, have a meal and maybe a dance afterwards. One of them, the effervescent Miss Tessa Stevenson came up with the idea of a Supper Club. This was a concept that was big in the 40s and 50s but gradually died a death in more recent times; however there has been a recent revival of them along with the surge of interest in all things Burlesque!! I found out about a place called The Pigalle Club in Piccadilly that sounded just the ticket.

I had a date in November that I lined up especially for a trip. As it was a new venue for us, I wanted to keep the numbers to a minimum and take a fairly small group to the club to check out the vibe and reception for TG people before I went full on with my usual numbers. I ended up with a group of four gurls and myself. Miss Tessa Stevenson (who’s idea it was in the first place), Miss Ashley Monae (Miss TV Scotland 2006), Miss Amber Paris (Jose Mourinho’s gurlfriend) and Miss Michaela Marbella (Nemesis of Conran eateries). I booked a table for us at 9pm to coincide with the beginning of the show, a live set by a group called The Jive Aces who are, funnily enough are a jive band who play real upbeat and fun swing numbers.


We arrived to a very friendly reception by the door staff (much to Michaela’s relief as she had been unfortunately turned away from Quaglino’s a few weeks before due to ‘inappropriate’ dress, despite having had been there more than once before). We were shown in to an upper level area where there were booths and tables laid out where people were eating, along with many people standing and watching the band from the balcony overlooking the stage below. On the ground floor there were more tables and diners, plus the stage area where the band were performing and a dance floor. We were seated at a round booth table that was just slightly too small for the five of us but we all managed to fit round without too much discomfort. We ordered our food from a very nice menu with some great choices. I chose a spinach and goat’s cheese tart to start, followed by a rib-eye steak with a side salad, I had absolutely no room left for dessert!! The food was very good indeed, which was a bit of a surprise as the reviews on the web for the food at The Pigalle weren’t brilliant. Admittedly, it is more cut out to be a dance and cabaret club than a restaurant and the service in was a little slow. The waiter almost knocked my glass over twice when putting down plates, but he was very apologetic. All things considered I felt the food was very good value at £40 a head plus a service charge.

Ashley and TessaAmber and MMM

The atmosphere was fantastic. The Pigalle has to be the place where my gurls have received the least attention of any venue we have been to, and that really is quite something when you have Michaela with you!! She of course did her usual prancing around the club to very little reaction from anyone. People were there simply to enjoy the music and the atmosphere - there was no pretentiousness, staring or judgements being made from a distance…it was just a very cool, and fun ambience where we felt very safe and comfortable. The band was superb and created a great vibe amongst the patrons in the club. The dance floor was heaving with couples who take their jiving seriously…they were actually proper dancers who knew how to jive and were enjoying showing off their style. There were also hen parties and groups of people of all ages who were simply having a good time. All in all, it really was a great mix. Michaela joined the dance floor for a while and seemed to enjoy herself.

MMM

The rest of us were quite happy to have a little bop around from the balcony over looking the stage area. “Volare”, “Mack The Knife” and “Across The Sea” were just some of the numbers that The Jive Aces performed - their energy was incredible and also very contagious. They finished off the night with their version of “Minnie The Moocher” which had the whole place up and dancing - it really was fantastic!! We decided to leave at 1pm which was exactly the right time as the band had finished shortly before and the club had emptied a little. All of my gurls said that they had a fabulous time and would definitely like to go to The Pigalle the next time I organise a trip there. I was thrilled with the way the night went and really felt refreshed by the change of venue and I will definitely be planning another trip here in the near future. Many thanks to MMM, Ashley, Tessa and Amber for being such glamorous guinea pigs in my experiment at this fabulous new venue for Boudoir Trips.

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Miss TV Scotland 2006 - King Malcolm Hotel, Dunfermline

by Jodie Lynn

What can I say about this weekend? Apart from that it was not only fabulous but a very eventful one too!! No Boudoir trip is ever short of dramas and this really was no exception. Let’s set the scene

Loraine Walker of Hide and Sleek in Scotland is a fantastic woman and a real asset to the TG scene in the UK. In my opinion she stands head and shoulders above a lot of people in the TG scene even though she is physically tiny. Four years ago, Lorraine invited The Boudettes and myself to her weekend that she organises entirely for TVs and their friends, families and partners. This weekend at the beginning of October is held in a small hotel in Dunfermline just outside of Edinburgh and it consists of a Friday night “Ice Breaker” champagne reception followed by a fashion show of Loraine’s latest designs (she is a very talented dressmaker), followed by a buffet meal and a disco until midnight. Saturday there is a market type situation set up in the main function room during the day where there would typically be a wig supplier, a corset company, make up to buy and all sorts of TG related goods that one could get advice on and purchase. Saturday evening is the big night. A 3-course meal followed by Miss TV Scotland and Miss Hide and Sleek (older category) followed by a disco till 1am. So the stage has been set and now we shall move onto Act One of this very crazy weekend.

DJ Gladys and AshleyZoe and Sara Campbell

ACT ONE: Friday 13th would never have been my ideal date to travel anywhere especially on an aeroplane and even more so because I am terrified of flying, but this was the date that the Hide and Sleek weekend started so we really had no choice but to book our flights with the usually excellent British Airways. I had to find a flight that would get us into Edinburgh for roughly 10am so that I had enough time to get everyone to the hotel and start makeovers at 1pm sharp. On any of these weekends, I am on a very tight schedule to get everyone’s make up done on time so that they can attend whatever is happening that evening. After getting up at 4am to be ready to leave at 5.30am, myself and The Boudettes arrived in dribs and drabs at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3. Our flight was at 9.10am and we had to be there 2 hours before, due to the tighter security in place at the moment. We were informed that our flight was delayed by an hour. Great!! So now my comfortable schedule of arriving at the hotel, showering and being totally prepared for the first makeover seems less likely. “Never mindstay optimistic and take it all in your stride and smile” I told myself. We finally board the flight only to be told that the catering trolley with all the breakfasts on was stuck at security so to avoid any further delays, the captain was going to take off without it. Fabulous!! So now I had to go and work for the next 6 and a half hours on an empty stomach. Thanks BA!!

At Edinburgh Airport's Arrivals Lounge we stood at the designated carousel waiting for our luggage to materialise. All of the group's bags and cases arrived apart from one of Jill and Diane Kaylee’s silver ones containing some of Jill’s beloved wigs and most of Diane’s toiletries and clothes. So off we go to the BA office to report the missing case where we were at the back of a very long queue. The girl on the desk informed us that the case was still at Heathrow; she had no idea why but assured us that it would be on the next flight and hand delivered to our hotel by 5pm. By now, the coach that Lorraine had kindly sent to pick us up had been waiting for hours outside due to our flight delay and having to report the missing luggage.

We arrived at the hotel at 12.15pm and was met by the usual friendly faces that we see every year. The staff at this hotel really are excellent. We all checked into our rooms and I had a quick cup of tea with my Mum (who always accompanies me on these trips) and then started work on Miss Sarah Summers who had agreed to be the first makeover. Loraine gives us a small function room every year to do the makeovers in which really helps as at least we have more space to move around in than in a standard hotel room and it keeps the whole face powdery affair away from the place that we have to sleep in. I steadily worked my way throughout the day, not falling behind schedule once - in fact at one point we were slightly ahead. My Mum, Maureen was applying base make up and painting nails with me finishing the makeover and styling wigs. What a team!! The Boudettes are so caring and are always bringing us drinks and snacks to keep us going. Diane, a relatively new gurl, even went and bought me a stereo and some CDs so that I had some music to work to. It is actually little touches like that that keep me going when I am totally exhausted. All the gurls were made up to perfection, dead on time. This gave me huge confidence for the same gruelling schedule that I had the next day. I always bite off more than I feel I can chew on these events and I am always saying things like “Oh god, why did I book so many people in,” followed by “Well JL, if you can do this, you can do anything.” Although and despite my worrying the whole week leading up to these events, it always turns out fine even if there are a few dramas along the way.

Jodie, Miss TV Scotland 2006 - Ashley, Maureen

I didn’t make it downstairs for the Ice Breaker Party on the Friday night as Mum and I had to go back to the room to make ourselves look presentable. By this point we can barely walk and are totally shattered, but if there is one thing that my Mother has taught me it is that if you look good, you feel good. So we slapped on the make up, shook out our hair, put on our glad rags and limped down to the main function room to join the queue for the buffet meal. Now, over the years, one has perhaps become a bit of a celebrity on the TG scene. I guess you could say that I am a very large fish (a Koi Carp!) in a tiny pond…but it’s all fun so I play along with it. So standing in the queue for the food with my fabulously glamorous mother, feeling like shit on a stick, we can hear the whisperings start “That’s that Jodie Lynn,” “She’s fabulous…is she a man,” “How old do you think she is?”, “Is her mum a tranny as well?” I do find it totally hilarious and I never want this kind of speculation to stop as it makes Mum and I laugh no end. The DJ every year is Miss Gladys Allcock whom I adore!! She is big and glam and I just want to squeeze her every time I see her. Her big wigs, big lashes and big frocks are her trademark along with her very cool, calm demeanour. I love Gladys to bits!! All the familiar faces were there that we see every year. Miss Trudy (totally mad and loves The Boudettes and we love her), Loraine’s TV partner Louise (so tall and so gorgeous), Jennifer White (so chic!!) to name but a few.

The fashion show previewing Loraine’s latest designs and also some corsets by a company called Cyber was an absolute success and our very own Miss Zoe Snaggle was one of the models as she was the reigning Miss TV Scotland from the previous year’s competition. Zoe modelled the dress that Loraine had made her as her prize for winning the competition last year and she looked absolutely stunning. We (somehow) danced till midnight and then crawled to our beds ready for the big day ahead of us. Oh, by the way...Jill and Diane’s case had not turned up at 5pm as promised by British Airways and the phone number that they had been given to call was engaged constantly - so they were still none the wiser as to where their case was and when it was likely to turn up. We kept our fingers crossed that the case would appear at some point on Saturday.

ACT TWO: Jill and Diane set off early back to Edinburgh in pursuit of the vanished case. On this occasion they were told that it would eventually arrive in Edinburgh and then would be posted back to them in Oxford. Very logical and unlikely!!

I had a long hot bath and got myself ready to start work at 1pm. Miss Angela from Switzerland had agreed to be the first victim and I began working my way through the gurls. Zoe Snaggle arrived in the make up chair for my Mum to do her foundation and this was where our schedule began to fall apart. “Jodie, Zoe’s base is just not sticking!! It’s disintegrating before my eyes” yelped my Mum. I took a look and sure enough the foundation was just melting and lifting away from Zoe’s face with every touch. Nothing was working and we were completely puzzled. “I used a make up remover wipe just before I left the room” Zoe said sheepishly. She wasn’t to know but those wipes contain an element of oil that breaks down the make up and the traces left on her face were doing exactly that. We had to send Zoe back to her room to wash everything off so that we could start again. We were now way behind schedule and struggled to make the time up for the rest of the day but never managed to. The gurls entering the competition (Ashley Monae, Sarah Summers, Amber Paris and Jill Kaylee) were all pencilled in as the last makeovers so that they looked nice and fresh. Miss Angela was entering the older category and came back for a touch up nearer the end of the makeovers. She was wearing a stunning dress that she had bought in China with a black wig to complement the oriental look.

Angela in Miss Hide and SleekZoe in the fashion show

All the gurls were miraculously done in time for dinner at 7pm. After a dash back to our room, lashings of Mac make up and quickly throwing on our clothes, Mum and I made it just in time to catch the end of the first course. I wolfed down my soup as I was starving. The main course arrived, chicken in a spicy pineapple sauce and I took one look at it and suddenly felt sick. Nothing to do with the food, it was me and my nerves - I knew I would calm down after a few drinks. After the meal, I dashed back upstairs to tidy up my five contestants and make sure that they were looking perfect for the competition. The adjudicators were some hotel staff members and a gentleman that judges every year, I think he is a local hairdresser.

The daytime outfit for Miss TV Scotland was the first round, followed by the Miss Hide and Sleek section, followed by the evening outfit for the second round of Miss TV Scotland. Accordingly first up were the younger gurls - Sarah Summers, Ashley Monae, Amber Paris and Jill Kaylee all looked fantastic in their day outfits. I had drummed it into the gurls to smile at the judges. I have judged so many TG beauty competitions over the years and a miserable gurl staring into space like she so does not want to be there will be an instant deduction of points from me. Then Angela elegantly paraded into the room in front of the judges for Miss Hide and Sleek, spoke to the compere (Louise from Hide and Sleek) and then sauntered out of the room in a puff of fabulousness. Finally my  younger gurls sparkled and smiled, twirled and looked gorgeous in their evening wear.  As always, I was incredibly proud.

We then had a short break so that the judges’ scores could be added up and then the winners were announced - the Miss Hide and Sleek category was first. Angela did not get a prize in this category even though she did incredibly well. Then Louise got ready to announce the winners for the Miss TV Scotland 2006 competition. In 3rd PlaceMiss Lisa from Scotland. Thoroughly deserved as she was wearing the most amazing Princess Grace style dress that I have since offered to buy from her. In 2nd Place…“Miss Jill Kaylee from Oxford”. The Boudettes table screamed their heads off especially Jill’s wife Diane who just beamed from ear to ear. Jill came and took her place next to Lisa and Louise, “And the winner of Miss TV Scotland 2006 is...from Luton….ASHLEY!!!!” Oh my god, we could not believe it!! Ashley had entered last year and had never been placed and was convinced that she would not be successful again this year; in fact Mum and I had to talk her into entering earlier that day. Ashley’s name had been called, The Boudettes were clapping and cheering but there was no sign of her!!

Eventually she made it into the room to come and collect her sash and tiara and accept the honour bestowed upon her. It transpires that she was out in the street cooling down because she was so hot and one of the other contestants had to go out there and tell her to come in as she had won. Bless her, she was so happy. I have never seen a smile that big before and I could have cried for her because she is such a quiet, timid person who never really shows her feelings but at this point she just could not hold back her joy. Ashley is the third Boudette in four years to win the title and she is the first ever black Miss TV Scotland. She posed for all the pictures for the publicity as well as people who just wanted to take a photo of her. Both my Mum and myself love our Ashley and we were so incredibly proud of her. We immediately tried to phone her daughter Elaine who is very supportive of her Dad but she was not answering her phone so we sent her a photo message instead with the caption “Your Dad IS Miss TV Scotland XXX.”

We celebrated and danced our way till 1am. It was Tessa Stevenson’s birthday the next day and it had been Amber Paris’ birthday the week before so we had lots to celebrate. Gladys spun the tunes and we danced and danced until we couldn’t dance anymore!! Another fabulous night and another well deserved success!!

3rd place - Miss Lisa, Miss TV Scotland 2006 - Ashley Monae, 2nd Place - Jill Kaylee

ACT THREE: Getting home should have been the easy bit. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Jill and Diane’s case had still not turned up. We were booked onto the 5.15pm flight to land at 6.15pm at Heathrow. After a rather pleasant trip into Edinburgh city centre and a spot of lunch in Harvey Nicholls, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check in and relax in the departures lounge. Low and behold our flight had been delayed until 6.01pm. Ok, no big deal but we had a people carrier taxi meeting us at the other end. I called my boyfriend and asked him to let the driver know. We board the flight only to be told that we would now be taking off at 6.30pm. Ok, annoying but still not the end of the world, cue another phone call to my boyfriend to update him. At 6.30pm, the captain informs us that due to lack of communication with ground staff who hadn’t shut the luggage hold doors; we had now missed the 6.30pm slot and would not be taking off till 8pm. At this point we had all had enough of this shambles and people were getting out of their seats to complain to the cabin crew, meanwhile I was making yet another phone call regarding our cab at the other end. Everyone, including myself, was getting pretty irate!! About ten minutes later, the captain suddenly informs us that we would be taking off in the next few minutes after all. Another phone call to the BF who now thought I was mad and making it all up. We took off and the flight was pretty good in all fairness.

We landed at Heathrow at about 7.45pm only to be told that there was a shortage of stairs and we would have to wait on the aircraft until some became available. This took a further 25 minutes. My Mum and I ended up having a sharp exchange with a snotty female cabin crew member who was so far up her own backside it was unbelievable. We told her that we would never travel BA again as we had endured one disaster after another, it wasn’t her fault of course but I do tend to find that BA staff have this air of superiority about them that just makes me want to bring them down a peg or two. We arrived in the terminal and waited a further 25 minutes for our luggage carousel to be announced. When it finally was, 3 cases at a time came round, then another 3, then another 3. It got to the point where I really couldn’t take much more and I was getting airport rage and just had to get out of the terminal into fresh air. Jill and Diane had gone off to try and locate their missing case and we said that we would wait for them as they were sharing our cab. I think we finally left the airport at 9.30pm…still no case for poor Jill and Diane. You couldn't make it up!!

I would like to thank Lorraine Walker, her partner Louise, all the Scots gurls and the staff at The King Malcolm Hotel.

THE END

 

THE CAST: My Mum (Maureen) – What would I do without you? Miss Angela from Switzland – Such an elegant lady. Miss Amber Paris – Can I stop sucking up to you yet? Miss Louise - A very welcome new addition to the Boudettes. Miss Ashley Monae – Simply the best!! We love you!! Miss Jill Kaylee and Diane – An amazing couple, so sorry you had so much hassle. Miss Diane – Thanks for the stereo and helping out Jill and Di. Miss Sarah Gray – My Grayers!! Love you gorgeous!! Miss Tessa Stevenson – Thoroughly naughty totty, what what!! Miss Sara Campbell – Always a pleasure and never a chore!! Thanks for the great photos in this report too. Miss Sarah Summers – Always entertaining especially on the dance floor!! Miss Zoe Snaggle – Tiny, pretty and a bundle of fun at all times. You are our 'it' gurl!!

The Boudoir's table

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Chicago Theatre Trip Review – Strand Theatre, London

by Jodie Lynn

The Boudettes attended a performance of Chicago at the Strand Theatre in the heart of London’s Theatreland on this very, very cold Saturday afternoon. We had a fantastic time, but in true Boudoir Theatre Trip tradition, the event did not run smoothly by any means. As usual, we chose a Saturday that was also the same day as a major event in London that would result in horrendous traffic and hordes of people lining the streets. This time it was the Lord Mayor's Parade...great!! Before that we have been disrupted by anti-war demonstrations, animal rights marches and just about everything else that is going on in the West End on a Saturday. Poor Franco (our trusty driver) tried his hardest to get us to the theatre on time and despite leaving The Boudoir over an hour before the start time, we were still ten minutes late for the start of the performance. In the end we actually got out of the people carrier and walked along the Strand as the traffic just was not moving. The gurls loved this of course…any excuse to walk through the West End of London on the busiest day of the week!!

Our party consisted of Beth, Beth's mum, Beth's friend Christine, Deborah Loncraine, Teri Amy May, Amber Paris and myself. We had good seats about fifteen rows back for one group of four and about twenty rows back for the others. We had to wait for the first applause from the audience before the usher could show is in to our seats. Once settled and comfortable, we sat back and enjoyed the performance. Jennifer Ellison belted out all the classic numbers from this very sexy, sassy show. This was the 4th time I had seen the show and I have also seen the movie version twice…so I guess you could say that this is my favourite musical!!

At the interval, we headed in two directions…the bar and the ladies loos. It always amazes me at these events at just how much attention we don’t get!! Sometimes it can be a bit of an anti-climax; people just get on with drinking their wine or discussing the show with each other and very rarely even cast a glance our way. Of course we get the occasional stare and a few whispers but that is fine…if I saw a group of trannies out at a theatre when I wasn't working…I'd probably stare too. People these days are more fascinated then offended.

After the second half of the show, we headed out to the street to try and hail two taxis to take us to Soho and Steph's restaurant. We stood more chance of a magic beanstalk suddenly appearing on The Strand that we could all climb up to be transported to there. The people on the street were filling the pavements and part of the road. Taxis with yellow “For Hire” signs lit were a total no show!! We decided that we would The Boudettes wait outside the Savoy Hotelwalk down to the Savoy Hotel where Teri Amy May said that we were bound to get a taxi, “There's always hundreds of them there” she quipped. Ok Teri, apart from on a Saturday at theatre chucking out time!! We gave up on that idea upon arrival at the Savoy so we decided (much to Deborah Loncraine's delight) to walk the distance to Soho. We actually had a very pleasant walk through Covent Garden, along Shaftesbury Avenue , across the road and through China Town and into Dean Street.

We arrived at Steph's at 6.00pm-ish and we were their first diners of the evening. We were going to be joined by the fabulous duo that is Miss Stacey Dee Collins and Miss Tessa Stevenson at about 7.00pm, so we decided to have a few drinks and wait for them to arrive. Teri Amy May and myself played a rather intense game of Jenga though I am sure that Teri cheated somewhere along the line…naughty gurl!! Teri won the gamebut I'm an icon in the transgendered community and the first ever person to be voted into The UK Angels Hall of Fame so what do I care...Bad loser? Moi? It was fun anyway

Stacey and Tessa finally arrived at the point we had given up waiting for them and decided to order and eat anyway. I had spicy lamb meatballs with a mint dip to start and then chili con carne with rice for the main course - both were very good. I was then very naughty and rounded off with a double chocolate mousse for dessert. We stayed at the restaurant until 9.00pm when Franco arrived in his people carrier to whisk us all back to North London and to The Boudoir.

We all had a fantastic time and the show was as usual, very very good. The gurls seemed to enjoy the walk through London most of all though. Hmmmm….maybe Boudoir walking tours of London may be my next venture!!

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Torture Garden Valentine's Ball - Mass, Brixton

by Jodie Lynn

One of The Boudoir's plans this year is to get to a few more fetish nights as they allow more expression opportunities and a real visual overload that the more conventional clubs don't, not that the clubs on our scene are that conventional really by most standards of course. Torture Garden is a monthly club has been established a long time and it hops around several venues during the year. Their Valentine's Ball was held at what many consider the best location, Mass in Brixton, South London. This club occupies a former church and is full of twisting stairs, three main bar/dancefloor areas and even spooky burial plaques describing whose remains lurk beneath. Sounds more suitable for Halloween in a way but Torture Garden’s take on the Valentine concept suited such a space.

Earlier in the day The Boudoir's list of clients gathered to transform into fetish divas with myself making those faces look double gorgeous and Maureen on talon tinting duty. Our gurls on this occasion were Rebecca Davids, Stacey Dee Collins, Sarah Gray, Sara Campbell and a very gorgeous new recruit Davina. As usual some of the gurls had been out shopping for outfits with Sara getting a gleaming PVC two-piece suit from Honour, Sarah went rubberised in a lovely mini dress from Showgirls while Stacey seemed to have raided every lingerie store she could find. The latter two also decided to teeter around on platforms they bought at Showgirls. Pizzas and wine were supplied to sustain the gurls because looking fab just eats up energy and it would be a long night. Once all of us were looking utterly stunning, if not dressed to kill we certainly looked dressed to do GBH, it was time to give another of London's finest taxi drivers a fare he would remember forever and we sped off to go south of the

Torture Garden Gang

Once there we explored the main rooms - one offered pounding techno which we shied away from, the other was a much more enjoyable and unpredictable mix. Intriguing fetish images were projected on numerous screens, and 2 pole dancers inspired more manageable moves on the dance floor. As always beautifully dressed girls and boys mingled with the bizarre and unpalatable. We even saw Lionel Ritchie and Marylyn Manson doppelgangers!! Every so often there was some cabaret which wasn't too exciting, though the ‘vicar' who presided over the mock wedding cut a hilarious figure when I spotted him later on pole dancing in full regalia!! The final band we saw was perhaps the most ear splitting cacophony I've ever heard!! Luckily that was very late on and we were all feeling it was time to make a move homeward bound and relieve our weary feet. A great night of amazing, inspiring and baffling sights as you would expect and my posse of happy gurls had plenty to talk about on their way back to The Boudoir to change.

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Back To School With The Boudoir - Sound, Leicester Square

by Jodie Lynn

On the 17th of January  I took nine very naughty school gurls to School Disco at Sound, Leicester Square in London’s crazy West End.

We began at The Boudoir with the usual frenzy of makeovers and preparation. Eyelashes were glued on, eyebrows shaped, nails filed and ribbons tied around pigtails as we set about making all our pupils look suitable for their night ahead. Stacey Dee Collins, Sarah Gray, Michaela Marbella, Emma Jensen, Debbie, Vicky, Deborah Loncraine, Sarah Hughes and Sara were all in attendance and ready for a night of misbehaving, dancing and serious drinking!! Not that I allow drunken gurls in my class!! All the gurls had matching ribbons and ties, apart from Ms Michaela Marbella who rebelled and demanded the use of her own special pink ribbons and pink school tie…oh there's always one!! Miss Vicky was almost reprimanded for excessive talking in class (The Boudoir) whilst the teachers (Maureen and I) were trying to mark papers (do makeovers) and Miss Sarah Gray was caught smoking in class and let off because she's sooooooo pretty….the teacher's pet!! Miss Stacey was the scruffy one whose hair kept getting very messy indeed and she needed constant attention and supervision…this one is an attention seeker I think. Miss Debbie was perfectly behaved as was Miss Jensen, Miss Sarah Hughes and the lovely, but very nervous Sara. Deborah Loncraine however had to be reminded that one must keep one's legs firmly closed if one is to insist on wearing such a short skirt for school!!

We headed out of The Boudoir after stuffing ourselves full of marshmallows, wine gums, popcorn and goodiesBoudettes at School Disco various, and whizzed through the streets of London in Franco's people carrier. We reached the West End and had a pleasant for some, terrifying for Sara, stroll in Leicester Sq. and over to Sound where School Disco is currently being held. Once inside, we took over a corner of the dance floor making that the area of the playground where the trannies hang out. Ms Marbella was straight up on the stage for a bout of her special dancing that we all love to mimic. Fingers to the ceiling Ms Marbella!! Deborah Loncraine quickly followed her. Then the naughtiest behaviour of the evening - both Ms Marbella and Deborah pretended it was their birthdays when all such celebrators were called onto the stage to do a special dance and then receive some special applause from the audience. Shortly after that, they were back on the stage for a 3rd time to enter the dancing competition where they had to do the YMCA and follow a very agile young man who took them through a series of dance steps. Deborah (bless her heart) won a prizefor the worst dancing and Ms Marbella…well she demanded a recount!!

We had another wonderful night, with lots of silly dancing and mucking around!! The gurls even managed to hook up with a netball team who seemed very fascinated by them. Girls you were lovely and my gurls adored you as I think you could tell!! At the end of the evening, we were whisked back to The Boudoir to get changed back and return to normal.Yuck!! We hate normal!!

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