Thursday, 12 October 2017

A NIGHT OF DIRTY DANCING - CREWE LYCEUM


In my eyes Dirty Dancing is the Ultimate feel good movie, it has great songs, romance and lots of dancing. Last night I spent the evening at the beautiful Crewe Lyceum watching 'A Night of Dirty Dancing', the ultimate tribute show.

I didn't know what to expect but the show had its own storyline and also retold the original story. Baby and Johnny were sizzling on stage, one of the scenes was very sexy! The dancing was brilliant and I know how tricky it is to dance on that stage, the steep is horrendous! The leads were strong with their solo songs and had the audience hooked till the end.  There was lots of banter with the audience and especially when there was a technical fault with the lights. 2 of the cast did so well ad-libbing to keep us entertained. 

The show was comical and entertaining and it was a great way to spend a rainy Wednesday evening.
It was a must-see for any Dirty Dancing fan! Go to the fanpage on Facebook for more details:-






Thursday, 5 October 2017

AWFUL AUNTIE LIVE ON STAGE


Luke has always loved the David Walliams books, we read Demon Dentist together but he generally reads the books with daddy. As I knew I was coming to see Awful Auntie I thought I'd better speed read it myself and finished it in 3 days. I went with two 10 year olds and his biggest fans, it was nice to hear them discussing how it would be portrayed on stage.

The story is set in Saxby Hall owned by Lord and Lady Saxby and their 12 year old daughter Stella. After a visit to London with her parents, Stella wakes up to find her 'Awful' Aunt Alberta is caring for her and that her life is in danger. With the help of a ghost and a very large owl Stella fights for her life and manages to outwit her Aunt.

The larger than life Awful Auntie was played by Timothy Speyer, he was a comical but also quite menacing at times. The scene where Stella and Soot played tricks on Aunt Alberta was slapstick and had us belly-laughing.

Georgina Leonidas played Stella Saxby, Luke was most excited that she had been in the Harry Potter movies and also voiced a part in the video game. The banter between the posh young lady and 'cockney' Soot (Ashley Cousins) was funny and they had great chemistry. The revolving scenery and the car chase was absolutely fantastic.

Aunt Alberta's sidekick was Wagner the Owl, he was a life-like puppet controlled by Roberta Bellekom. Gibbon the butler was Richard James, he is exactly how I had imagined him to be from the book. We giggled as soon as he walked onto the stage as we knew he was going to do something ludicrously funny.

Birmingham Stage Company did a fantastic job and Neal Foster captured all the elements of the book and there was only a few adaptations which we reviewed on the journey home. I can't remember the last time I saw something at the theatre without them breaking out into a song and dance. Maybe that is something Mr Walliams might consider doing next! Mr Stink the Musical perhaps?

Click on this link for tickets to the Regent Theatre, its on until the Saturday and its less than 2 hours with an interval so not a late night for the little ones.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

FLASHDANCE - WHAT A FEELING!


I grew up in the 80's and love anything to do with the 80's. As a dancer I absolutely fell in love with Flashdance - The Movie when I saw it for the first time.  

The story is of an 18-year old welder, Alex Owens, who's dream is to go to dance school, her evening stint dancing in Harry's Bar does not fulfil her so she is encouraged by her best friend, Gloria to audition. It features the songs "Flashdance... What a Feeling", "Maniac", "Manhunt", "Gloria" and "I Love Rock and Roll".

Joanne Clifton plays Alex, anyone who's a Strictly Come Dancing fan knows she won last year with Ore Oduba and also the Christmas Special with Harry Judd. She is a truly amazing dancer but I wasn't aware she had such a magnificent singing voice and superb acting skills too. I'm always apprehensive when I know the performers have to put on an American accent but  Joanne and the whole of the cast were flawless.
Ben Adams plays Nick Hurley, Alex's love interest and Boss's son. Adams was the lead singer of pop group A1 (who I saw on tour a few years ago!) The chemistry between the two was sizzling and they made a very convincing couple. 
The ensemble had many different roles including change of character, costume changes and also doubled up as stage hands. Scenery was switched around the stage creating clever backdrops. The dancing was phenomenal and entertaining.
It is a heartwarming story with a very strong dance routines and emotional songs. It had us up on our feet clapping along to the reprise.
Flashdance  is on until Saturday 30th September. Go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/flashdance/regent-theatre/ to buy your tickets now

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

WONDERLAND


I was lucky to take Luke to see the truly Wonderful Wonderland  at the Regent Theatre in Stoke. The auditorium was packed and full of children so I knew Luke was going to enjoy it.

Wonderland is the modern day version of a mixture of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Fast forward to a now 40 year old woman, Alice's miserable life takes an interesting turn after she follows the White Rabbit through a broken lift into Wonderland, along with her daughter, Ellie from a failed marriage and her neighbour, Jack. She comes face to face with familiar characters who we know and love from the original books including the Queen of Heart, Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.

The singing and acting was superb, Kerry Ellis plays Alice, her voice was strong and powerful, Naomi Morris plays the stroppy teenage daughter, Ellie, very true to life and funny. For me I was pleasantly surprised by Wendi Peters who played the Queen of Hearts, as a lifelong Corrie fan I wasn't expected too much but her voice was amazing and she portrayed the character well. The mad hatter was not the usual 'male' but played by Natalie McQueen who belted out some outstanding numbers.

The set and costumes were colourful, it had us totally engaged throughout the show. It was great to see Luke recognise the different characters too. A fun evening for the whole family.

Wonderland is on until 15th July in Stoke http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/wonderland/regent-theatre/

Friday, 23 June 2017

FAITH - GEORGE MICHAEL The Legacy

In the 80's my sister and I spent many a time pretending to be Pepsi and Shirley (the backing singers from Wham). We were totally besotted with George Michael, he was our first Pop Idol and we were totally besotted with him. We knew all the dance moves and song lyrics.

On 25th December 2016 the devastating news that George Michael had passed away at only aged 53 was shocking and the worst end to a crazy year where we lost many legends. 

Faith - George Michael The Legacy is currently touring and we were lucky enough for them to visit Crewe Lyceum Theatre. The 2 hour show is packed full of George's best loved hits including Outside, Freedom, Careless Whisper and Faith, and also including my favourite Wham! songs. Wayne Dilks performs exactly like George and has his dance moves and mannerisms to perfection, his voice was spellbounding. The backing singers Sofia Wilks and Annette Campbell were superb, as was the very talented Saxophonist and Flutist Jo Ashcroft. The whole production was professional and all the musicians were amazing. 

It was a celebration of George Michael's talent and was both emotional and uplifting. Dilks had us up out of our seats singing and clapping along and then we were just captivated with his heartfelt renditions of Jesus to a Child and Different Corner. 

The atmosphere in the Theatre was buzzing and I would highly recommend to any fans of George Michael. 




Monday, 8 May 2017

SUPERSTARS OF WRESTLING AT CREWE LYCEUM

Well I have had some eventful Saturday nights in my time, but last night was a first, I can honestly say I have never spent one watching men in lycra wrestling! Luke (now 10) has always been a fan of Wrestling on the TV and has a box full of figures so to see some high impact wrestling for real was going to be fun. We were intrigued how it would be set up, the ring took up virtually the whole stage which could be seen from all seats in the auditorium.

The atmosphere was electric, it was great to see so many youngsters dressed up in masks, head bands and foam fingers. There was so much excitement whilst waiting for the show to start.

We were encouraged by the MC to shout as loud as we could, stamp our feet and that is just what the audience did. There were lots of boos for the baddies and big loud cheers for the good guys. Our favourite was the local from Stoke, Deano, his match ended up in the aisle amongst the audience, we got to see the action very close up!

We were treated to 4 energetic matches, the camaraderie between the wrestlers and audience was entertaining and panto-like. The last bout was the Battle Royal, where all 8 wrestlers are in the ring at the same time, their aim is to throw their opponents out over the top rope, a little predictable but the good guys always win....don't they?

It was an amusing and enjoyable night with my little man and he revelled in it which was the main thing. For anyone who has young children who are obsessed in Wrestling, this show is an absolute must.



https://crewelyceum.co.uk/Online/https://crewelyceum.co.uk/Online/


Thursday, 30 March 2017

FUNNY GIRL


It's not often I don't know the story-line or many songs from a musical, so although I'd heard rave reviews about Funny Girl, it was nice to go along without any expectations and try to predict the storyline (which I got completely wrong!)

The movie version brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including People and Don't Rain on My Parade. It tells the true story of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star.

West End star, Natasha J Barnes played Fanny brilliantly, her voice was captivating and her
american accent was spot on, her comedy expressions and mannerisms had the audience laughing out loud. Recording artist Darius Campbell (of Pop Idol fame) played a charismatic, handsome and very charming Nick Arnstein. The chemistry between them was believable and romantic.

Set in the 1920's the costumes were colourful, scenery was incredible and I was impressed with the amount of quick changes including footwear. 

The ensemble entertained us with their tap and ballet numbers and Joshua Lay showed off his talents as the lovable Eddie Ryan. Rachel Izen played Mrs Brice (Fanny's mum) surprised me with her energetic dancing, she obviously wasn't as old as she looks!

Barnes was genuinely humbled and emotional with her standing ovation, which was well deserved. Funny Girl is on until Saturday.