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AGELESS AND TREADING THE BOARDS TO ENTERTAIN CARE HOME ELDERLY

January 22, 2016
John Dudman w 2

Mr Cab-Hoo-Ray, John Dudman wants to hear from more artists for his Care Home shows

Ageless and active is not a bad way to enter 2016 and a Havering Octogenarian could not agree more.

John Dudman, a sprightly 86-year-old, notches up four decades of bringing entertainment to his generation of peers less fortunate than himself and living in care homes and sheltered accommodation.

The former London Electricity board manager swapped the power accounts for entertainment Bills of talent and takes his troupe of entertainers into care homes across Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering giving shows for the residents.

“I started it back in 1976,” he said. “We called ourselves the Zodiacs and as a group of friends, used to tour the homes and sheltered accommodation for those we were not active and could not get out.”

Admitting to his singing ability with a facial wince and whispered ‘not really’, John’s talent is in hosting and organising performers to give their time and talents for the old folk every Friday throughout the year.

“No I don’t sing really, I stick to comparing the shows and telling the odd joke  with a bit of careful comedy. “

The last phrase is a reference to his standards where comedy is treated with total respect for the audience.

That's Entertainment

That’s Entertainment

“It is so easy to upset people with some of the stand up comedians of today, so we stick to pure entertainment of singers, musicians and dancers,” he said.

Speaking of which, John’s troupe of a dozen is in need of bolstering and he needs more talent for his free shows.

“We entertain,” he said. “That is what we do and we do it for nothing except a cup of tea sometimes.”

The rewards for the artists is in the total and instant appreciation shown every time by the audiences.

“We could not do this if money was involved,” he said. “We do it for the pure enjoyment and the thrill of entertaining appreciative audiences, and they all are very appreciative.”

Over the years his group, now called Cab-Hoo-Ray has been the launch pad for many young performers into a career in the entertainment industry.

“I am very lucky in that the people who join us are very loyal and so impressed with the amount of fun they get out of our shows.

One of the many show casts featuring all kinds of acts

One of the many show casts featuring all kinds of acts

“But it is also the opportunity they get to perfect their act and the magnanimous applause that captivates them every time.”

John is looking for singers, dancers, musicians and entertainers to fill the cast lists for shows throughout the year.

“Each show is fast moving,” he said. “I keep the momentum going with the next act in the wings as the others finish.”

The list of performing skills is limitless and the ages unrestricted with the only criteria being good solid entertainment and have fun doing it.

John would like to hear from any groups or individuals who are prepared to share their talent freely for a generation that has lived full lives and now gently resting.

He can be reached on 0208-551-6853.

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