Friday, 24 February 2017

FOREVER JACKSON - LEGACY OF A LEGEND

I introduced Luke to Michael Jackson about 2 years ago and he was instantly hooked, I grew up listening to his music and its hard to believe the Bad Album first came out 30 years ago, so when a friend told me that Forever Jackson was coming to Crewe Lyceum I knew I had to get tickets. An even bigger bonus was it was during half term so the late night didn't matter!

It was lovely to see so many other children dressed up as the man himself, don't think Luke would have forgiven me if he was the only one with the black fedora and sequin glove. You could feel the excitement in the theatre waiting for the show to start. It was an amazing atmosphere when Robin Parsons stepped on stage for the first time and opened with 'Wanna be starting something'. His look and his moves were identical to Michael Jackson and it gave me goosebumps as we have watched many videos and live show recordings to compare. My personal favourite is Smooth Criminal and when he performed the 'lean' we were highly impressed.

The costumes were also a carbon copy of the originals, there was lots of quick changes but we were entertained with dance breaks by the talented 4 Hip Hop Pop dancers. The musicians were equally outstanding and the guitarist for Dirty Diana was incredible.

After the interval we were treated to some oldies from the Jackson 5 and an acapella version of 'Why' which dispelled the rumours that Robin lip syncs, there was certainly no doubt about him singing live. We weren't disappointed by the Moonwalk during 'Billie Jean' and the whole dance break section under the spotlight.

At the end, Robin does a Free meet and greet for the fans, he said that he would not leave until the last person had had their picture taken. It was a real treat for Luke and such a nice thing to do for the fans as I'm sure after an energetic 2 hour show all he wanted to do was take off the make up and costume and get home!

Making memories with my son is what I love doing best and I think I succeeded, with the help of this stunning performance of the legend, Michael Jackson. We hope Robin returns to Crewe next year, we will certainly be back again!

Check out his website for updates of forthcoming shows
http://www.foreverjackson.co.uk/



Thursday, 22 December 2016

WINTER WONDERLAND - SNOWDOME, TAMWORTH

Monday, 12 December 2016

ALADDIN - CREWE LYCEUM


We 'flew' into Crewe Lyceum on Saturday for the opening night of Aladdin, we arrived early to try out Wishee Washee's Street Food which was tasty and good value for money.

I grew up watching Cannon and Ball and saw them on stage when I was around Luke's age, I even had the 'Rock On Tommy' braces! 30 years on (and a bit!) I still found them hilarious and they're clever one-liners and banter had the audience chuckling at PC Tommy & PC Bobby.

Dan Walter of Stage School fame, was a charismatic Aladdin and his partnering with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, Danielle Chupak gave us a convincing romantic storyline. Their dancing and singing enthralled us.

Wishee Washee was played by CBeebies, Sid Sloane, he was great at involving the audience by shouting out 'Hiya Wishee' whenever he walked onto the stage. Their mother, Widow Twankey was the funny Malcolm Lord, the striptease was very funny and I almost had to cover Luke's eyes!

Mark Turnbull was the perfect Panto baddy as Abanazer and his sidekick Scheherazade (my hubby's favourite character!) was Lauren Mobley.

Without giving away too many spoilers, Dooby Duck and his friends put on an impressive show, it has us all captivated.

The costumes were stunning and colourful and it was lovely to see the theatre so full and buzzing.
I hope they sort out the sound issues as there was a bit of reverberation and the music seemed to drown out the singing at times but other than that, I would recommend as a great family entertainment show.

Go to https://crewelyceum.co.uk/Online/crewe-pantomime for tickets.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

CINDERELLA - The most magical pantomime


As each year passes by, I wonder how long it will be until the 'magic' of Christmas disappears, especially as Luke is now 9. There is one thing that will never die because I won't let it, and that is an annual visit to the Panto.

This year it was a family affair as Mark was able to come along too, there was such an exciting vibe walking into the theatre with a red carpet and gold tinsel curtain and lots of little girls wearing princess dresses .

Cinderella's theme remained traditional throughout with the odd 'modern' twist that had Luke and his friend in stitches. References to the Poo emoji, dabbing, mannequin challenge and Pineapple pen was 'down with the kids' whilst the adult innuendos had the grown ups 'lolling'! 

The lovable and very popular Jonny Wilkes played Buttons also directed the production, his character as always was cheeky and hilarious. The chemistry between him and the talented Christian Patterson is slap-stick entertainment, he was Beyonce one of the Ugly sisters and also wrote the script and directed too. The other Ugly sister, Rihanna was the comical Simon Nehan, I loved how Luke explained to his friend that they were both men!

Finley Guy played the beautiful Cinderella, her voice was magnificent and I was emotional with the transformation before the ball, I literally had tears rolling down my face. The story telling between her and Prince Charming (Owen Broughton) was romantic. Ian Stroughair played a camp and humorous Dandini, we enjoyed singing along to his YMCA.

The 'Who, What, I don't Know' was my favourite sketch and had me literally splitting my sides, it included Dandini, Baron Hardup (Michael Geary) and Buttons. 

It was an incredible show, full of laughs for all the family, the best one yet!

To book your tickets if you haven't already go to:-



Tuesday, 15 November 2016

THE COMMITMENTS


The Commitments is one of those films that I always meant to see but never got round to it so last night I went into the theatre not really knowing the main storyline. I was familiar with the famous songs “Mustang Sally”, “In the Midnight Hour”, "I heard it through the grapevine", "River Deep, Mountain High" and “Try a Little Tenderness" so quite surprised why I'd never seen it before.

The story is set in Dublin in the 1980’s when an ambitious band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte (Andrew Linnie) and a group of aspiring musicians get together in the hope of forming a band. Jimmy wants to manage the world’s greatest soul band and holds auditions at his dad's house played by Kevin Kennedy of Coronation Street Fame. He calls the band “The Commitments” and together they attempt to head up an Irish soul revolution.

The band is made up of egotistical lead singer, Deco played by a brilliant Brian Gilligan, when he belted out Proud Mary in the opening number as a drunk at the Christmas party, I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. The talented band members were all musicians playing their own instruments too, pianist, drummers, guitarists, saxophonist and trumpeter. Each and every band member had their own hilarious character. The 3 backing singers had superb voices and dance moves to match.

I loved how we were their audience at a gig, they certainly deserved the standing ovation at the end, it was a fun and feel good show, I can't wait to watch the film now.

So in the words of 'Wilson Pickett'.......Do you like Good Music, Sweet soul music?.....if so you need to get your tickets before its too late. At the Regent Theatre until Saturday 19th November http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/regent-theatre/

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

VERY DIRTY DANCING


Dirty Dancing is back this week at the Regent Theatre, I was gutted to miss it last time so absolutely thrilled to have been there last night on opening night. I invited along my friend Yasmin, who I know is a big fan of the film, she was mega excited as it was also her first visit to the Regent Theatre, I'm certain it won't be her last either!

Anyone who is a fan of the movie will not be disappointed, the dance routines, songs, dialogue and costumes was true to the film. The revolving stage setting was incredible and you felt like you were being transported round Kellermans the main setting of the story.

It's set in the Summer of 1963 when a 17 year old Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Katie Hartland) is on holiday with her family at the Holiday park, Kellermans. Bored and inquisitive, she manages to find the Staff Quarters where she 'carried a Watermelon' to an all night dance party full of raunchy moves. This is where she encounters her first dance lesson from resort dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Lewis Griffiths). There are challenges and lots of dance tuition along the way but these two determined young spirits find romance.

Griffiths played a charismatic Johnny, he oozed sex appeal and there were many wolf whistles in his topless scene and even more cheers when we caught a glimpse of his bare bottom! Katie was impressive as the lead, 'Baby', there were moments of comedy that she played outstandingly.

Penny played by Carlie Milner was a superb dancer and her high kicks were thrilling. Lizze Ottley played Baby's sister, Lisa Houseman, she treated us to Hula Hana which was hilarious.

The water scene 'lift' in the movie is transformed onto the stage and cleverly convincing. The final scene where we hear the famous line 'nobody puts baby in the corner' was greeted with cheers, it gave me goosebumps and then we watched in absolute awe as they danced to 'The Time of My life'.

You need to get your tickets now if you want to see this breathtaking performance on until the end of the week.



Tuesday, 6 September 2016

CATS


CATS was my first ever West End show, I remember vividly travelling to London with a group of my dance school friends as a child and being very excited by the whole experience, the lights, scenery, costumes and make up. I was around 10 and instantly fell in love with the show, it is up there with being one of my favourite childhood memories. Last night was my 8th time seeing it again, my first at the Regent Theatre Stoke though.

I got goosebumps walking into the theatre with the scenery of a backstreet alley littered with cereal boxes, crisp packets, tyres and a car boot and when the music started and the cats creep round the audience and onto the stage I was totally transfixed. 

The storyline is set on one special night of the year when all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball and their wise leader, Old Deuteronomy makes a choice of who will go to the Heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life. Along the way, each cat is introduced, showing their character and personality. The songs are taken from a book called 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' by TS Eliot, I had a copy of this book as a child but mislaid it, gutted as I never managed to learn the songs!

Each and every cast member mimicked the cats so realistically, the costumes and make up was life-like too, I couldn't help but study it, especially being a facepainter. You could really believe they were real life cats. The dancing and singing was energetic and breathtaking, everything was so colourful you could not take your eyes away from the stage.

There was an update to the Rum Rum Tugger character, I remember he was a cheeky chappy but the street dance moves and rap was a welcome modern version. 

The white cat was captivating as usual and the Magical Mr Mistoffelees was worth the wait, I held my breath watching his turns and spins. The first time I saw it, he was played by Wayne Sleep and Shiv Rabheru who played him was as awesome. 

When Grizabella, played by Marianne Benedict belted out 'Memories' I was unable to stop the tears falling down my face, such a powerful and beautiful voice and it sent shivers down my spine. 

It will always be one of my favourite shows and to top it off, I even got stroked by a cat!

If you have tickets this week you will not be disappointed, watch out if you're sitting in the stalls!
You can see the show until Saturday 10th September, go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/cats-2/regent-theatre/