I love Lettice. Let me explain. That isn’t a mis-spelling of the little green salad star, but the first name of an amazing star whom I first saw on Britain’s Got Talent. Her full name is Lettice Rowbotham, and she is the most talented eccentric I’ve ever come across in song and in story.
She sings, she plays a mean rock violin. She’s got all the modern moves. Still, she plays The Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) on the violin with a depth of feeling and passion that belies her “with it” persona.
Lettice has a string orchestra which plays at various venues, and I hope that someday I’ll be able to be among her audience, whether in Chelsea or some more obscure hostelry in her native Surrey.
I watched her being interviewed by a young lady of her own age group (early twenties, I’d guess), and it was, as the blurb said, hilarious. How much was “put on” and how much the real Lettice, one can only guess. However, I doubt that anyone could be consistently “eccentric” without having at one’s core the heart of a true eccentric. For some reason, it warms the cockles of my heart to come across someone who is simply and profoundly eccentric. Perhaps it is more and more important—and rarer —in this overwhelming world of “Apps” and digital conformity, to find someone who is naturally outside of collective culture.
Nowadays, though, people don’t seem to notice very much. Everyone has access to communication devices, which are very useful and even essential for modern living, but which are also high-tech toys that are fast becoming our ball-and-chain. Governments love it. Security firms are in ecstasy over it all. So, I say, thank heaven for wonderful folk such as Lettice Rowbotham.
Why, even the very name itself is nothing if not an eccentric nomenclature. And it’s real. At least, I haven’t heard of anybody who says otherwise. Lettice, when being interviewed, has a head of iceberg lettuce on her lap and which she adverts to at the smallest opportunity. “My little lettuce,” she coos, obviously quite happy to send herself up. And that is very much a part of her charm.
She reminds me a little bit of Susan Boyle, in character, and in the amazing talent at her command. It’s a great pity Lettice didn’t win the final of the competition. But then, neither did the singing Scot.
Lettice also sings in a very good operatic voice; Susan has a voice that, when she touches a high note, seemingly borrows the wings of angels to reach truly celestial heights of performance. I feel, though, that Lettice’s talents are being overshadowed by her eccentricity, whereas Susan’s blessed simplicity and charm of personality are an integral part of her persona on and off the stage. There is also a ‘vulnerability’ about Susan that endears her to us; there is no such sense of vulnerability about Lettice Rowbothan as far as public performance goes.
But there is, however, a danger that Lettice’s talents may play second fiddle to her eccentric persona.
That would be a shame. Much as I love the idea of her eccentricity, this multi-talented young lady has a great capacity to enrich the world of art and entertainment. As well as being a virtuouso violinist, she is also a visual artist, and has a fine operatic voice (as she showed for a few brief seconds in her semi-final performance on Britain’s Got Talent). She writes songs, too.
There’s a video of her on YouTube, from a few years back, performing her own composition ‘In The Orcan’ (apparently a place specific to orchids).
A bit on the naive side, perhaps, but an indicator of the kind of talent that peeps out from behind the eccentric blonde bombshell named Lettice.
By the way, I love lettuce too.