Mike Brook

Location: Thatcham, West Berkshire
About me...

I’m a recently retired Chief Librarian who enjoys playing a bit of sport and doing “Am Dram”.

I started my public speaking in 2009 and am now on speaker lists for WI Federations for four counties and have given over a hundred talks.  I like talking to all audiences be they female, male or mixed.

My talks, which aim to entertain and make you laugh, last between 40 and 60 minutes – I’m happy to suit your requirements.

About my Talks...

I’m a Stand Alone speaker – I don’t show slides or use any other paraphernalia in my talks, so no equipment is required.
I am usually available at short notice and have sometimes taken up same day bookings.  So, if there’s time to drive to you, I can probably be there!

My talks are very suitable for virtual delivery and I am delighted to offer this service (zoom) for all of my talks.


For an audience of 100 plus, my fee is £100 ; when the audience is less than 100 my fee is £80. ( plus 25p per google mile).
Zoom fee £70.

My Contact Details:

01635 821307

07848 976717

Musings From the Amateur Stage - Part 1

This talk includes anecdotes about some of the plays and shows I’ve been involved with during my 30+ years with Drama Groups in York and West Berkshire.  I also give 2 or 3 actual performances of short comic pieces originally written and performed by some heroes of comedy, like Alan Bennett and Peter Cook.

This has been my audition talk for the Women’s Institutes in Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, and it tends to generate a lot of bookings.

Musings From the Amateur Stage - Part 2

A follow up talk for audiences that have already enjoyed part 1, this again emphasises the laughter in the Am Dram hobby and features more performance pieces.

A Christmas Miscellany

Suitable for your November or December meeting, this selection of seasonal readings includes an 8-minute potted pantomime for 6 volunteer audience members to read along with me.  The poems and prose pieces are mainly humorous, and most will probably be new to most listeners.  Add in some Betjeman and T. S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi for a fun filled and meaningful recital.

Not Just Cricket!

The humorous point to this talk lies in the question it poses.  What makes middle aged men play cricket when there are so many less dangerous, frustrating and humiliating ways to spend the weekend?  There’s also a focus on the, often unintentional, humour in broadcasting commentaries on cricket and other sports.  Plus an insight into the important role women have played in the development of the most English of sports.


Top of the Greasy Pole


When Benjamin Disraeli first became Prime Minister he coined the above phrase to describe his achievement.  I pinched it to entitle this collection of amusing stories about some of the 54 individuals who have served in 10 Downing Street.

Non partisan, affectionate and gently stopping short of present controversies, this is almost as popular as my Am Dram talk.  You may like to tell your group the title but not the subject.  One enterprising WI branch once used it as their monthly competition – guess the subject of tonight’s talk!

So here is a political broadcast on behalf of all parties and none!


Shelf Life: My Glamorous Life In Libraries

This talk covers some of the more interesting parts of my career working as a Librarian in four different parts of England. Between the ages of 17 and 60 I rose slowly from Saturday Shelver to Chief Librarian, and got involved in many activities across Great Britain to promote the Public Library Service. And I reveal my favourite Library jokes, who dubbed our Mobile Library Conference “Hells Angels With Shelving”, and what Tommy Cooper used to say to his local library staff!

Testimonials & Reviews

“Wantage WI are grateful to Mike for stepping in at VERY short notice to give us is excellent talk on Prime Ministers from Walpole to Margaret Thatcher. Mike set out his criteria to be, interesting, amusing and fair/unfair to all political parties in equal measure! He certainly achieved his goal particularly where interest and amusement was concerned. His funny and well presented anecdotes about each of the former PM’s added personality and a human side to them. Ask him about Lloyd George and the lunatic asylum?!!! He had us all laughing and wanting to hear more about the idiosyncrasies of our great and powerful leaders.
Wantage WI would be more than happy to invite Mike back to give us a talk in a couple of years time when he has updated his talk to include the current political personalities. what will that reveal? We can’t wait”

Rita – April 2022


Mike entertained us with a very humorous talk on his experiences in ‘Am Dram’. His light-hearted and enthusiastic recollections, came from his long association with this medium of theatrical entertainment. This is all just what we needed at this particular time and have received some excellent feedback from our Group.
In response to this, I have already booked Mike again for next year.

John – Thame & District u3a – January 2023


Mike came and gave his talk “Musings from the Amateur stage Pt1 to Camberley U3A two weeks ago. his talk was very well received and he told us some very amusing stories as well as performing short sketches first performed by Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Rowan Atkinson. His talk also went out on Zoom and was very much enjoyed by the viewers.

Carole –  u3a – May2023

Mike Brook Contact Details:

01635 821307

07848 976717

Send a message to Mike Brook