Wonderbirds is a unique and special show, created from love, kindness, and compassion. Why is it so unique? At the beginning of the March 2020 lockdown, the world was thrown into chaos, fear, and confusion. For many, it was a time of loneliness, darkness, and loss. This was certainly true of me; the overwhelming sensation of terror, panic, and the unknown. The feeling of being isolated and alone was at times almost too much for me to bear; a feeling I was unable to comprehend or put into words.
Amongst the chaos and the uncertainty, Wonderbirds came into being. By a fortuitous twist of fate, or serendipity, I discovered this beautiful online show. Created by Debbie Arnold, Dee Anderson, Harriet Thorpe, and Sherrie Hewson, the show addressed all the feelings I had regarding lockdown and the pandemic. At a time when I felt physically and emotionally alone, these incredible women were discussing every emotion that was swirling around in my head; it was as if they were talking to me, such was their empathy and understanding. I had discovered a very special show and I knew I was not alone. There were thousands, perhaps millions of people out there who felt exactly the way I did; Wonderbirds made me realise that. From the moment I first started to listen to these inspirational women, I was hooked!
The show immediately embedded itself in my life as a source of light and happiness during a tumultuous time. These incredible women exuded warmth, love, empathy, and a genuine sense of friendship and togetherness. The show not only gave me the feeling that I was not alone but also gave me a structure to my week. It gave me something to look forward to and, perhaps most importantly, kept me in a routine at a time when I may easily have fallen apart.
It’s almost two years since Wonderbirds began and I remain an avid viewer having watched every single episode since it started. For me, this is unusual but reflects the power of the show and my love for it. Listening to the words of the guests and, of course, Debbie, Dee, Harriet, and Sherrie, has supported me through some challenging times. Their words of wisdom have proved invaluable to me and have helped me to find strength and belief within myself. They have continually shown the importance and value of the entertainment industry, reminding us of how much strength and emotional support it brings to our lives. In times of hopelessness, a show such as Wonderbirds is a tonic that brings healing and strength to so many.
Wonderbirds is a show which has a very powerful connection with its audience. However, the show’s success is also due to the talent, skill and professionalism of its presenters, who put their heart and soul into each episode. The show opens with the jazzy theme, Bad Blood, written by Dee Anderson, keeping in ‘in house’ and adding to the feeling that this is very much their creation. These incredible women have demonstrated what can be achieved by taking back control during a time when so much seemed impossible and, in doing so, have created something magical and hugely successful. They are an emblem of the power of positivity, strength and determination.
Adding to the heart of the show are the guests who feature in each episode; all of them interesting, powerful, each with their own story to tell. A common bond – the ability to inspire, share and empower. Most importantly, they share the qualities which are intrinsic to the show; empathy, compassion, positivity, strength. The attitudes of the guests always remain in keeping with the ethos of the show; the soul of Wonderbirds is always maintained through the ever-present feeling that this is a show with a purpose and a heart. Each individual involved with the show conveys the Wonderbirds ethos of togetherness.
In June 2021, Dee, Debbie, Harriet and Sherrie transferred Wonderbirds to the stage in their live show at the Duchess Theatre in London. The fact that they succeeded in staging a show during a pandemic highlighted just how much determination and talent these women have. In taking Wonderbirds to the stage, they again brought, light, hope and optimism to a world steeped in darkness. The live show was outstanding and a true celebration of their talent and their love for their craft. Particularly noticeable, was the absolute love from their followers, and for these wonderful ladies which emanated throughout the theatre for the entire night. Their vibrancy encapsulated the audience and created an electric atmosphere. Debbie, Dee, Harriet and Sherrie proved that they bring light and happiness to wherever they perform.
Wonderbirds is a show which knows its audience; it bonds with its viewers and combats the sense of loneliness and isolation which has become so prevalent in today’s society. Wonderbirds challenges perceived and accepted ideas of how individuals should be, promoting acceptance and courage. This show demonstrates that it is important to be different; to be able to take a leap of faith and not be afraid to be who you are. It is about self-acceptance and the celebration of diversity and difference. Most importantly, it is about love.
By Alex Shewan