Friday, 4 June 2021

Disney Classic Plush Collection - A Review

During the most recent lockdown, my family and I subscribed to Disney+ which not only allowed my children to watch some of their favourite films, but it also gave us the opportunity to rediscover some Disney Classics together. I was therefore really excited to learn about the Disney Plush Classic Range from Simba Toys, which features iconic characters from films such as 101 Dalmations, The Aristocats, Lady & The Tramp, Dumbo and even more. 

Riley recently received three plush toys from the collection with the first one being the stunning Dumbo. I used to love this film as a child and each of my children had a small Dumbo soft toy when they were babies, so this particular item brought back some really nice memories for me. My son is still at the age where he loves pretend play, so from the moment it arrived, he immediately began to run round the garden with Dumbo, trying to teach him how to fly. 

The quality of this product is absolutely superb and the stitching is very neat and detailed, which really contributes to the character likeness. Riley loves how cuddly it is with the material being so soft. My son enjoys placing his face next to Dumbo's ear as the fabric feels so lovely and it is such a nice item to snuggle up to.

The second toy Riley received was the beautiful Marie from The Aristocats. She is so snuggly and features a pretty pink bow. Like the other toys in the collection, Marie is hand wash only, but given their size, this shouldn't be too difficult a task and in the summer months they can easily dry outside in the sunshine.

Riley hasn't actually seen The Aristocats before, so he is now intrigued to see the film and find out more about Marie. In the meantime he has been enjoying plenty of pretend play and cuddling up to the adorable snuggly fabric.


The Dalmation is so huggable and this was Riley's favourite of them all. He has watched the film 101 Dalmations numerous times, so he was delighted to have a plush toy of a beautiful dalmation pup. The fabric is so gentle and incredibly soft and even the little red collar is nice and smooth. The collar is also centrally stitched at the front and rear, so no worries about it coming loose or being removed.

The attention to detail is fabulous and Riley enjoyed counting all the spots over it's body. He kept losing count of how many there were, but I am now reliably informed that there are 30 spots in total.

Overall I absolutely love this range of soft toys and they are the perfect gift for both children and Disney fans of all ages. They are beautifully made, super soft and there is a great selection to choose from. They can be purchased in a range of different sizes which include 17cm, 25cm and 35cm. The toys featured in this review are the 25cm size which I felt was just perfect for playing with at home, or for taking on our travels too. 

The toys are really light and comfortable to hold, so Riley has already decided that the Dalmation will be coming on holiday with us in the future. One thing I really liked about the soft toys in this review, was that they can also be displayed nicely without just falling over, which is a common problem I have had with other toys. I feel that these plush toys offer excellent value for money and they can be purchased from Amazon.

If you would like to find out more about Simba Toys UK or the Disney Plush Classic Range then you can visit their social media pages on the following channels:

Facebook - Simba Toys UK

Instagram - @simbatoysuk

*Disclaimer - We were gifted three Disney Classic Soft Toys for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Sleeping Beauty at The Auditorium Liverpool - A Review

My family and I were so excited to be returning to the theatre and it is fair to say that I definitely became a bit emotional as we sat down in the auditorium waiting for the show to begin. It has been such a long time since we were able to enjoy the glitz and glamour of a good old pantomime, but Shone Productions' Sleeping Beauty certainly made up for the wait, in a show that was packed to the brim with singing, dancing, magic and plenty of laughter.

Before I begin my review of the show, I did just want to highlight the excellent Covid-safety procedures in place at The Auditorium venue. Guest safety is clearly of great importance and there are excellent measures being followed throughout the building that ensure the safety and comfort of all guests. This includes hand sanitisation stations, social distancing, reduced capacity seating and staggered exits to name a few. Masks are to be worn for the duration of the show for guests over the age of 11 years, however they can be removed for eating and drinking. The climate in the auditorium also seemed well controlled, so although I was a little apprehensive about wearing a mask indoors for so long, it was more than comfortable and I didn't feel too hot at any point. The staff were also really welcoming and friendly and they were visibly present should you have any queries or require assistance. My family and I felt very safe from the moment we arrived which immediately put my mind at ease.

This pantomime version of Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Beauty who is cursed by the Evil Carabosse to die on her 21st birthday. However, Beauty's fairy ensures that she only falls into a deep sleep which can broken with a kiss from her one true love. A handsome prince must therefore battle against the Evil Carabosse and her dragon, in order to come to Beauty's rescue and save the day. There is plenty of fun, comedy, singing and dancing along the way in this enchanting and entertaining production.

Gareth Gates is fabulous as the charming Prince, who falls in love with Princess Beauty (Emma Grace Arends) soon after they first meet. It was great to see him performing on stage, and he was clearly a firm favourite with the audience. He worked well with Beauty and their singing vocals complimented each other perfectly. 

Emma Grace Arends is stunning as Princess Beauty and her voice is absolutely mesmerising. Her rendition of Don't Stop Believin' was both beautiful and captivating. My youngest son even commented that she was amazing and I completely agree. She had a superb stage presence that grabbed my attention every time she sang.

Bippo was an excellent entertainer throughout the show and was able to showcase some of his many talents. Yes there are innuendos a plenty and some of the jokes are definitely aimed at the adults in the audience, but this is one of the things I personally love about pantomimes and the fact that they provide entertainment for all ages. There were plenty of jokes for the younger members of the audience too and Bippo encouraged children and their parents to dance along to some popular well known tunes. Both of my sons enjoyed watching his juggling skills and it added something a little extra that we hadn't seen featured in a pantomime before. 

The wardrobe team should definitely take a bow as the extravagance of the costumes was simply superb. Queen Fanny of Fazackerleys' outfits were absolutely outrageous and my son kept bursting into fits of giggles each time she appeared. The Prince and Princess Beauty, along with the dancers, dazzled in their beautiful array of outfits which glistened beautifully against the impressive backdrop of the stage. Carabosse's outfit was devilishly divine and whilst they may have been the baddie in this production, there was certainly nothing bad about their attire, which highlighted both their wickedness and glamour.

Sleeping Beauty features everything you could hope for in a pantomime and with a strong cast delivering a wonderful performance, this show is sure to put a smile on your face. Despite a smaller audience due to the social distancing measures, there was still a fabulous atmosphere and the show had implemented a great variety of different ways to allow for audience participation. The lighting effects are spectacular and the skilled live band exhibit their musical talents throughout the show. Overall this is a fabulous production and I would happily recommend it to others for an enjoyable half term treat. Tickets are still on sale for the remaining shows and you can find further details on the dates and times of the performances below.

Listing Information - SLEEPING BEAUTY

Dates

Tuesday 1st June - 3pm and 7pm

Wednesday 2nd June - 3pm and 7pm

Thursday 3rd June - 3pm and 7pm

Friday 4th June - 3pm and 7pm

Saturday 5th June - 11am

Tickets 

Ticket prices vary.

Venue Details

The Auditorium, M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, L3 4FP

Booking website: www.mandsbankarena.com/

*Disclaimer - I was provided with a complimentary press ticket for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, however I would always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Biggest Indoor Funfair Yet Returns to Liverpool This August! - Competition

It is so exciting to see a whole host of events being prepared for this summer, and like most families we cannot wait to enjoy plenty of time together visiting some fun attractions and enjoying ourselves. A couple of years ago we visited the Indoor Funfair in Liverpool and I am delighted to announce that it shall be returning once again for a spectacular 12 day event this August.

The UK's biggest indoor funfair is coming back to Liverpool later this year and this time it's even larger and visiting the city for longer. There will be more than 25 rides and inflatables that will feature across the full 90,000 sq. ft of space at Exhibition Centre Liverpool for the 12 day event in August.

It is an ambitious move for the organisers, but the extra space will not only mean more room for bigger attractions, but will also allow people to move around safely.

More than 25 rides and inflatables will feature across the full 90,000 sq.ft of space at Exhibition Centre Liverpool for the 12 day event in August.

Tickets are now on sale for the Indoor Funfair, which is filled with everything from dodgems, waltzers and The Twist to the cup and saucers. The UK's largest travelling funhouse will also be making its debut at this wonderful Liverpool event.

More rides and inflatables are set to be announced for the event, which takes place from the 11th to the 22nd August and offers unlimited access to rides during each session.

John Lowery, director of Indoor Funfair said: "We're looking forward to taking over the whole of Exhibition Centre Liverpool on the waterfront and bringing the biggest Indoor Funfair the city has ever seen.

"We know people are looking forward to finally having fun indoors without having to worry about the weather outside."

Faye Dyer, managing director of The ACC Liverpool Group, operator of Exhibition Centre Liverpool, said: "Indoor Funfair has become a firm fixture at Exhibition Centre Liverpool and we're looking forward to welcoming the organisers and visitors back.

"It's yet another example of a recognised brand showing confidence that our team will deliver a first class experience."

Fun for all the family at Indoor Funfair this August in Liverpool

Pre-booked tickets cost £10 for unlimited access to a three-hour session with spectator tickets priced at £3. There is also a special online offer of four riding wristbands for £36. Refreshments and any prize games are not included in the ticket price. 

Sessions run daily from 10am-1pm; 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm.

There is an early bird offer of evening session tickets for just £7.50 until 11th June.

Between 6pm-9pm on the 12th and 19th of August, there'll be autism-friendly sessions for those with sensory needs where the venue lights will be switched on, music will be turned down, ride lights switched off and rides slowed where possible.

For more information or to book, please visit the homepage: www.indoorfunfair.org, or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

We also have a very special competition to give you the chance to win a family ticket to the Indoor Funfair in Liverpool. If you would like to try your luck, then please read the terms and conditions and then enter using the gleam form below. Good Luck!


Win a Family Ticket to the Indoor Funfair Liverpool

Terms and Conditions

  • There is 1 (one) prize of a family ticket to the Indoor Funfair Liverpool
  • A family ticket is for 2 adults and up to 4 children
  • The winner may choose the date that they wish to attend with the exclusion of the opening session on 11th August (10am-1pm).
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 24th June 2021 at 11:59pm.
  • A winner shall be drawn within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries
  • The winners details shall be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment. 
  • The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • In the event of cancellation no alternative prize will be offered.
  • Additional Terms can be viewed on the Gleam entry form.
  • Entry to this giveaway confirms your acceptance of these terms and conditions.
*Disclaimer - This is a collaborative post. The details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events/attractions own website prior to visiting in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Top Magicians Line-Up to Re-Open Liverpool's M&S Arena with Spectacular Show

Shone Productions are bringing a spectacular magic show, which is set to be the first performance of the year at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena this Summer to mark the venue's post lockdown reopening.

The show will form the first live programme taking place at the waterfront venue when Covid-19 restrictions are eased following 17th May.

Liverpool-based producer James Shone is delighted to reveal that X-Treme Magic will be staged on Saturday 22nd May at 7pm in The Auditorium at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena, and tickets are on sale now.

This is no old-fashioned, rabbit-out-of-a-hat magic, this show is a spectacle, designed to thrill with death-defying edge-of-your-seat stunts, grand stage illusions, daredevil escapology, and mind blowing magic all within a fast-paced performance.

Organisers are keen to reassure theatregoers that all necessary safety measures - including social distancing - will be in place to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable return to indoor live entertainment.

Producer James Shone commented: "I am delighted to be bringing the very first live show of the year to The Auditorium at the M&S Arena. Audiences have missed out on so many live experiences over the last 12 months, so it is a real privilege that we will be presenting shows once lockdown restrictions are eased.

"And what a show it is, we have some of the leading magicians and illusionists in the industry, we have created a spectacular production for all the family to enjoy. We want to reassure theatregoers that social distancing and safety measures will be in place to ensure Covid-secure performances - audiences, cast and crew safety is paramount."

X-treme Magic - The World's Most Dangerous Thrill Show is packed with fire, illusion and death-defying stunts. Master illusionist Richard Cadell will be joined by a full supporting cast of magicians including Pete Firman (Tonight At The London Palladium), Elizabeth Best (Britain's Got Talent) and Craig Christian (Evolution of Magic), as well as fire artistes, speciality acts and dancers. The show is billed as being unlike any other magic show ever seen in the UK. Created in Las Vegas, it was then brought across the pond to entertain UK audiences. Highlights include making a motorcycle appear from nowhere; Russian roulette with sticks of Dynamite; and even trying to escape from a straight-jacket while hung from a burning rope.

To book tickets please visit: www.mandsbankarena.com

Listing Details

X-Treme Magic

Date - Saturday 22nd May 2021 at 7pm

Venue - The Auditorium, M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, L3 4FP



*Disclaimer - This post is written based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. All details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venue's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.