All posts by AlanFletcher

Iceland – Part 1

When I mention Iceland  to anyone I get one of two responses. The people who have never been there, express a strong desire to go. The people who have been there express a desperation to return!
In January 2015 I took my first trip to Iceland and, yes, I am desperate to return because I could not have enjoyed my trip to this amazing country more.
Why Iceland? Well, as a photography enthusiast I wanted to explore the amazing scenery that develops  in a country containing such a significant proportional of the world’s geo-thermal activity. This truly is a land of Fire and Ice with spectacular waterfalls, volcanos, seascapes and glaciers. The added bonus is the opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

(But more about that in Blog Post 2 on Iceland.)

Iceland (12 of 38) cropped

Not only is Iceland host to some of the greatest scenery in the world it’s capital, Reykjavik, has a reputation for being one hell of a party town.  And I was also aware that almost 50% of Iceland’s population watch Neighbours! So I hatched a plan – visit Iceland for a week, play a gig in a cool venue in Reykjavik and then explore the sights.

To play a gig in the right venue I would need a couple of magicians on the ground who knew Reykjavik and how it works.

Darri MacMahon and Birgir Ragnar Birgisson from Reykjavik by Night were the men for the job.

Reykjavik by Night specialises in showing the thousands of tourists who flood to Iceland in search of it’s  legendary party scene a great time! Then after the party they can help you explore all the country’s scenic delights.

Darri and Birgir organised the venue for the gig, SPOT club in Kópavogur, the ticketing and a storm of publicity. To ice the cake they organised Iceland’s premier outdoor clothing company ZO-ON to outfit me in the very best cold weather gear. Without their incredibly warm and practical clothes I would not have survived the outdoor photo shoots.

Right Gig sorted now for a band!

Straight onto the phone to my great mate Johnny Lucas who, with bandmates Sam Weston, Jonathon Brister, were on board to play the gig immediately.

Band and Darri and Biggi

The Gang: Darri, Johnny, Me, Birgir(Biggi), Sam and Jonathon.

Next I needed someone to help me document the gig and I turned to a new found connection – photographer Matt Spracklen. Matt had made contact with me earlier in 2014 to introduce me to a band he frequently photographs and films called the Computers. Seeing Matt’s amazing work I knew he would not only do an awesome job documenting my Iceland adventure,  but he would also prove to be a fantastic companion on my photographic journey into the hinterland.

With all these talented  people at my back nothing could go wrong and it didn’t. I met hundreds of Neighbours fans in a meet and greet session at Spot. The gig was loved by all who came. I was welcomed with open arms by the people and press in Reykjavik who couldn’t get enough of Neighbours talk.

Matt put together this video compilation of the tour for you to enjoy and I have also placed a gallery of shots below that document the first instalment of my Iceland adventure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. The first part o my trip to Iceland was a dream come true. But the journey had only just begun! Next blog I will share the photographic adventure up country!

Links:

If you really want to enjoy Iceland’s party scene check out Reykjavik By Night : http://reykjaviknightlife.net

If you want to be warm in Iceland check out Zo-on clothing: http://www.zo-on.is/um-zo-on-is.html

If you are looking for a truly superb photographer – weddings a speciality check out : http://www.mattspracklen.com/musicandpromo/iceland

Flashback to 1994 – Alan’s Showreel

So, At work the other day I was handed a copy of the showreel I submitted to Grundy Television in 1994 as my application to audition for Neighbours. To be honest I had forgotten all about it.

What was I thinking?! Even then I couldn’t resist the temptation to send myself up. The video features a skit from the hit Aussie comedy show Fast Forward entitled “Reach for the Bucket” , scenes from the ABC drama “Embassy” in which I appeared for three seasons, the feature film “Gross Misconduct” with Jimmy Smits,  the mini-series’ “All the Rivers Run 2” and “Snowy”, the NBC Telemovie “Mercy Mission” with Scott Bakula and the feature film “Beyond My Reach”.

The video also features my beautiful wife Jennifer Hansen in her guise as newsreader for Channel 10 Melbourne.

Enjoy a little blast from the past!

 

Big Day for Robin Hood

Robin Hood Sparkles in Dunstable.

The Magic Beans Pantomimes production of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood opens it’s season on December 12 at the wonderful Grove Theatre in Dunstable.

A few days before opening the cast took to the streets of the town on a flat bed truck to spread the Christmas Sparkle message.

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We travelled all over Dunstable visiting sponsors like Specsavers, Costa, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The response from the citizens of Dunstable was warm and appreciative with much hilarity when Steve Hewlett’s “dummy” Arthur Lager chatted up the lady folk!

A huge highlight for me was meeting a gentleman who had a copy of the programme from my 2002 panto season in St Albans.

St Albans programme

It was a hugely successful  day culminating in a special Christmas Sparkle concert in Grove Park.

Here’s some pics of the day.

 

It’s Beginning to look a lot like (Panto) Christmas

A White Christmas?

My bags are packed, passport is in the pocket. UK here I come for pantomime in Dunstable. Question is …. Will it Snow, Will it Snow , Will it SNOW?”

I am really looking forward to another Festive Season in the UK working with great mates on a fun show. If you are anywhere near Bedfordshire I would love to see you at the show. I will be posting regular panto diaries. All the deets on my panto HERE.

Now, last Christmas I made this video of the Xmas song I wrote and performed with The Pacific Belles ” If You Want a Happy Christmas”

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This year the song remains available on iTunes BUT I am including a CD copy in every personalised Christmas Card I am sending out.

My Christmas Package of card and CD for only £10:00 (Only £8.50 for my subscribers) is proving a big hit. If you are looking for a cute, reasonably priced gift for friends or family look no further!

You can purchase HERE.

Merry (Panto) Christmas!

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Big Month for Neighbours and Music

My Big Month

The last four weeks have been a wonderful creatively. The crowning event has been the 20th Anniversary episode of the Kennedy family arrival on Ramsay Street. The episode ran on Australian TV on October 3rd and on UK TV on October 17. I hope you managed to catch it. If not it is worth a look if only for all the fun and saucy flashbacks covering 20 years of the family’s involvement with the fabulous Neighbours. My time on the show has been the highlight of my career and every day I count my blessings for the opportunities and professional satisfaction the programme has brought me.

I have created a Dr Karl Kennedy page on this website to celebrate our 20 years with lots of fun photos and interesting links.

You can view that here: http://wp.me/P4xVQG-9h

20 Happy On-screen years

Musically things have been as fun as they have been varied.

I joined with the Pacific Belles and the U.F.O. (Ukelele Family Orchestra) to record a version of the old Bing Crosby/ Andrews Sisters classic “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.” This project was to support fundraising for Creativity Australia’s support of community singing.

Here’s our work for your enjoyment:

Lastly I stepped into the Fox FM Studios in Melbourne to record a cover version of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” for the Fifi and Dave Breakfast show.

Here’s how that came out.

http://www.fox.com.au/shows/fifi-dave/videos/dr-karl-sings-taylor-swifts-shake-it-off/#ooid=M1M3l5cDoCXrllqVfO__-kU8MmTgF044 …

I hope you are enjoying Neighbours and my website news.

Coming up…. I’m am off to gig in Iceland!

 

 

 

Neighbour’s Cast rise to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Neighbours Cast get wet for ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been sweeping the world raising much needed funding for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In the UK participants donate funds to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

For the uninitiated the challenge involves dumping a bucket of icy water over the participant’s head. The participant, ideally,  also makes a donation toward research.

Saskia Hampele (Georgia Brooks in Neighbours) nominated me to Thanks Rebekah Elmaloglou, Harley Bonner and Tim Phillipps for the help. (If you look closely you can see Tim’s reflected wave in the Grease Monkey’s window as he films.)be involved and this is the result.

If you are nominated for the challenge join in and have some fun – but don’t forget that the object is to raise money!

Check out Stefan Dennis and Rebekah Elmalogolou’s combined challenge.

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Here’s some more from

Saskia Hampele   http://instagram.com/p/sB2L9BTXx6/ 

Ariel Kaplan http://instagram.com/p/sCG616rbvV/ 

and Scott Major.

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Neighbours for Inside Soap Awards 2014?

Inside Soap Award nominations honour for Neighbours.

Nominations for the Inside Soap Awards 2014 have just been announced and Neighbours has been recognised in two categories. The show has been nominated for best Daytime Soap and Jackie Woodburne, Alan Fletcher, Chris Milligan and Jenna Rosenow for best Daytime Star.

FletchJAckieWe would love you to vote for us!

Voting Link:

https://www.demographix.com/surveys/2KVG-RM5T/AEEMYXKF/

Best Daytime Star

Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy)

Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy)

Chris Milligan (Kylie Canning)

Jenna Rosenow (Amber Turner)

and Best Daytime soap for Neighbours

 

Film making in St Kilda (with unexpected guest)

I have just been working on a short film for my best Buddy Stig Wemyss of Mezzanine Productions. Stig is making a film for Tropfest 2014 and asked me to do a cameo for him.

Brilliant day filming some madness with a brilliant cast and crew including a talented goat.

(BTW Stig shot and edited the Xmas song video clip I released with The Pacific Belles last year. IF YOU WANT A HAPPY CHRISTMAS – See Below)

So I was inspired to head down to St Kilda and make my own short film promoting the advantages of subscribing to alanfletcher.net.

My little film is an homage  to Bob Dylan’s famous clip for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues.

What I loved was that a random passerby unwittingly appearing in the film with me so I had a cast – just like Bob.

Enjoy and if you would like to explore the benefits of subscribing click here.

Speaking of the wonderful Pacific Belles, they have been selected to be part of Team Australia in The World Championships of Performing Arts in LA in July!!! However they need to raise $15000 to fund the cost of the trip. You can help the gals get to LA through Pozible.

Christmas single ITunes Artwork800x800

I’m excited!

The recent revamp of alanfletcher.net had one key goal in mind.

To improve and personalise my communication with friends, followers and supporters.

So far everything is running to plan beautifully.

Since updating alanfletcher.net and inviting people to subscribe to my website I have had over 150 people sign on. All these new subscribers received my first music blog featuring UK muso Denny Lloyd and including a free download of his song “Shadow.

Denny Lloyd Pic                     Denny Lloyd

12 subscribers have also received emailed birthday messages from me and I have mailed as autographed card as promised.

All my subscribers will shortly begin to receive my exclusive blog about life on and around Ramsay Street.

And, of course, all my subscribers get a hefty 20% of all non-digital product in the af.net store.

Thanks for the support and if you would like to subscribe just click here.