What does a vegetable entertainer do?

Madame Zucchini's Story

Mme Zucchini sprang from the loins of Jeffrey, a fen potato merchant and Eithne, daughter of an Irish railroad worker. Eithne became a wig seller, with her shop “Bewigged by Eithne” and Jeffrey took on the reins of the family fruit importing business “W Hunt and sons”. Thus Mme Zucchini’s character was forged in a fen town where a box of vegetables was a treat on a Saturday night, and glamorous hairpieces and kinky boots her mother’s stock in trade. Lifting her up one day as a baby, her father said “One day you’ll be a vegetable entertainer my girl”. She was encouraged to make vegetables her playmates – her dad would kiss the tomatoes and say “you beauty!” – with younger brothers Liam and Harry, they used to dance to the test card music on Saturdays and act out improvised dramas in the front room.

She spent many a happy hour in the vegetable warehouse, with the chill musty smell of the cold room, dusty potato bags, picking fruit and veg and playing in the orchard. She explored tomato based comedy in the polytunnels, made a name for herself riding the school pig and falling in the pond in Rural Studies, watching her family weighing potatoes or as they called them, “attractive oval round tubers”, grumbling about customers, daydreaming in the outside toilet and going for a swing under the trees in the Bramley orchard.

Her uncles and aunties would have tea breaks in the caravan down the yard, and later be called to dinner by granny Elsie swinging her brass bell, enticed by her melt in the mouth lemon curd tarts.  A pleasant Sunday would be spent licking out Victoria sponge mixture from mixing bowls and snitching uncooked pastry, listening to radio 4 amidst the rising aroma of roast beef and sprouts bubbling on the rayburn. Her vegetable persona was nurtured under the steady gaze of the vegetable merchants and her imagination soared with the encouragement of Irish uncles and aunties, Mary, Leo and JJ, “Be true to yourself, climb that bean pole and reach for the stars” they would say.

So Madame Zucchini burst forth from this fine fen tilth and came to the hills of Sheffield with her vegetable tiara, green gowns, and basket of edible actors and to share the fruits of her burgeoning vegetable entertainment. Imagine her delight at finding Cabaret Boom Boom in her very own Walkley, and realising that vegetables were calling her to the stage and were in fact her passport to fame and life in the footlights.

Mme Z’s offers you quality fruit and veg entertainment, an economic and low carbon medium; vegetable cabaret with firm toms, juicy ripe quips, banter with the piquancy of a kumquat. She sings and dances, and is available as a courgette walkabout for festivals, community events, encouraging young and old to enjoy vegetable stories and make their own vegetable creatures in a vegetable gameshow.

Some of her relatives and friends have joined her in the act. The rather bulbous and malodorous form of Mrs Turnip, the altogether slinkier French cousine Mlle Chouffleur, expert in all things rude,  ..and love interest in the form of Lord Parsnip.

A recent sponsor ship deal fell through with the closure of Mr P’s fruit and veg in South Road, Walkley but Beanies wholefood co-operative have stepped into the breach providing her with local organic produce where possible.

Interests: allotments, gardening, all things local, veg shops and Weasel her cat


Fave music: Get it on(ion) – Trex, Over and Over, Hot Chip, Ruby don’t take your leek to town, Kenny Rogers

Fave actor: Sean Bean

Fave veg: Jerusalem artichoke – lovely warty shape, a fine tuber, “I enjoy nothing more than a good artichoke soup, though cleaning them is laborious and they disturb some people’s stomachs! – Local lore says dig them 2 or 3 times before and their wind inducing qualities can be modified”

Friends: include the Bawdy pirates the Molly Rogers, Thorsson the disco dancing fisherman, Madam Mango, Maynard flip flap, Zoot, Mr Jules, Micky Bimble, Cleaver Sisters, Lucy-Lost-it, and Lord Parsnip