“The Olivia Colman of WI speakers”

Anita Smillie – President Newbury WI

“A very amusing lady”

Chazey WI – as told to Henley Standard

In September 2016,  to a packed Memorial Hall in Thatcham, I began to tell a story that I called “From Council House, via Corporate, to Comic”.  A mixture of spoken word, poetry and stand up, it was a look at my experiences in life so far with a firm focus on making light of everything – from big scary stuff like death to trivial things like tights.

The event was the Berkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Speaker Selection meeting. The result was a swathe of bookings that has turned into a ‘tour’ – taking in groups across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire and incorporating a second poetry-focused performance entitled “I Need a Wife”.

So far I have performed for more than 30 groups (and harbour an ambition to perform at the National conference!). In the process, I have met women who were coders before it was cool, groups who have more energy and enthusiasm than a club full of millennials, and the lady that used to run the pub I met my husband in.

I have bookings up to 2021 but can always find space for more. To book a date for your WI, email me at toni@tonikent.co.uk.

Performances so far

  • Basildon
  • Binfield
  • Beenham
  • Calcot Afternoon WI
  • Charlton
  • Chazey
  • Chieveley
  • Crowthorne
  • Falkland
  • Holyport
  • Hurley
  • Lambourn
  • Leckhampstead
  • Littlewick Green
  • Newbury
  • Pound Green
  • Radstock
  • Redland
  • Sulhamstead & Ufton
  • Swallowfield
  • Thatcham
  • Woolhampton
  • Woosehill

Performances scheduled

  • Andover
  • California
  • Mortimer
  • Rosehill
  • Sandhurst
  • Yateley & Yateley Green

Gallery