Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Story Pocket Theatre Present David Baddiel's AniMalcolm The Musical at The Epstein Theatre

Story Pocket Theatre are delighted to announce that AniMalcolm, based on the bestselling children's book by David Baddiel, will play at The Epstein Theatre on Thursday 28th February and Friday 1st March 2019 as part of a major UK tour and following a smash-hit premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.

Malcolm doesn't like animals, which is a problem because his family are wild about them. In fact, their house is full of pets of all shapes and sizes. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip, until he is on the bus, heading to... a farm. But on a school trip like no other, Malcolm begins to understand animals more deeply than anyone. Will he end up the same as before? Because sometimes the hardest thing to become is yourself.

A vibrant, energetic and gloriously funny musical from the award-winning Story Pocket Theatre, AniMalcolm combines physical theatre, puppetry and the company's outstanding storytelling style to bring David Baddiel's magical and wonderfully comic story to the stage.

Photo Credit - Steve Porter
David Baddiel is an award-winning comedian, author, screenwriter, director, and television presenter known for his work with Newman and Baddiel, Fantasy Football, Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned and his platinum number one single Three Lions. David has written four children's books which have now sold over one million copies, as well as four critically-acclaimed adult novels and the hit film Infidel. David's latest stand-up show, My Family: Not the Sitcom, premiered at the Menier Chocolate Factory before going on to run for 15 weeks in the West End.

David Baddiel said: "It has been such a thrill to see AniMalcolm brought to life on stage, and as a musical! Story Pocket have done a wonderful job with this adaptation, and it will be a real treat to see Malcolm adventuring around the UK with his menagerie of animals in tow."

Story Pocket Theatre is a company devoted to bringing both classic and original children's stories to the stage in a magical, inventive and exciting way. Previous productions include Michael Morpugo's King Arthur (Edinburgh Fringe and UK Tour) and A Pocketful of Grimms (Edinburgh Fringe and International Tour).

AniMalcolm is directed by Julia Black and Adam Fletcher-Forde with musical direction by David Perkins, set and costume design by Jacqueline Trousdale, lighting design by Declan Randall and movement direction by Shona Morris.

AniMalcolm is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Recommended for ages 5+

Listing Details

Show - AniMalcolm
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, Merseyside
Dates - Thursday 28th February and Friday 1st March
Times - Thursday 4:30pm/Friday 1pm & 5pm
Tickets - Adults £16 / Children £14 / Family £54

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or go online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk* or in person at The Epstein Theatre Box Office from 12pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday.

*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket restoration levy.

For more details please check out www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk and join the mailing list. Alternatively you can visit their social media channels on Facebook www.facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre and twitter @EpsteinTheatre.

Photo Credit - Steve Porter
*Disclaimer - This is a press release provided by BEA. Details provided believed to be correct at time of publishing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Dates for your Diary - Twirlywoos Live Comes To The Epstein Theatre and St Helen

My son Riley was only two years old when the Twirlywoos were first broadcast on Cbeebies in 2015 and it soon became one of his favourite shows. In 2017 it celebrated its 100th episode and this year it will be brought to life on stage, as Twirlywoos Live embarks on a UK tour.

MEI Theatrical are delighted to announce that the wonderful world of Twirlywoos will be coming to the Epstein Theatre on the 20th to 21st February 2019 and St Helens Theatre Royal on the 27th to 28th of April 2019.  Audiences will be able to join Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo as they set sail around the UK in a brand-new theatrical adventure.

The show will feature all the favourite characters from the hit TV show and audiences can expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises. With beautifully invented puppetry, Twirlywoos Live! promises to be a laugh-out-loud treat for little ones.

Twirlywoos Live! is being brought to the stage by MEI Theatrical, whose recent productions include Sarah and Duck Live on Stage (Polka Theatre and UK Tour) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (West End). It is written by Zoe Bourn, who has brought to life some of the worlds best-loved children's titles including Thomas and Friends and Fireman Sam Live!

The show is recommended for ages 1+ and babies in arms are welcome. The running time is 55 minutes with no interval.

For further information and full UK tour dates, please visit www.twirlywoosliveonstage.com/

Listing Details Epstein Theatre

Show - Twirlywoos Live!
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, Merseyside
Dates - Wednesday 20th February and Thursday 21st February 2019
Time - Wednesday 1:30pm, Thursday 11:30am/1:30pm
Tickets - Adult £14.50/ Child £12.50/ Family £50

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or go online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or in person at The Epstein Theatre Box Office from 12pm-6pm Monday to Saturday.

*Subject to a booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

Listing Details St Helens Theatre Royal

Show - Twirlywoos Live!
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal
Dates - Saturday 27th April and Sunday 28th April 2019
Time - Saturday 1pm/4pm, Sunday 1pm
Tickets - Adult £18/ Concession £17/ Child £16

Book in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1 LQ (Mon to Sat 10am til 5pm). Alternatively, call 01744 756000 or log on to www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.


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

Monday, 7 January 2019

Dates for your Diary - Regal Entertainments Brings Beauty and the Beast to the Stockport Plaza this Easter!

If you are a regular reader to the blog, then you will know that I am a huge fan of Regal Entertainment's pantomime productions. They are always packed full of comedy, singing and dancing and provide some really wonderful family entertainment. You may remember that back in October we reviewed Beauty and the Beast at St Helen's Theatre Royal and I can honestly say that it was one of the best pantomimes that we have visited. I am therefore delighted to share the news that Regal Entertainment's Beauty and the Beast will be heading to the Stockport Plaza for Easter 2019. Telling a tale as old as time, this fun packed production is suitable for all ages to enjoy and the audiences in Stockport will be in for a treat!

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
This magical panto version of the classic fairytale comes to Stockport from the 18th to the 22nd April 2019, so get ready to go on an adventure and follow Belle as she falls in love with the most unexpected of Princes, The Beast!

The show is set to feature a superb cast and will star the wonderful Kiera-Nicole Brennan as Belle. She is best known as the host of popular children's TV show Milkshake! and is currently the youngest presenter in Channel 5 history after landing the role at only 19 years of age.

Andrew Geater will be taking on the role of the Beast and when we watched the show previously, we thought that he played this part perfectly. He has extremely impressive vocal talents, which have also seen him perform across the globe as a member of world renowned group The 12 Tenors.

Returning to the role of Gaston will be Philip McGuinness, who will also be trying to win Belle's heart. Stockport audiences will also remember him as Tin Man in the 2016 production of The Wizard of Oz. His other panto appearances for Regal Entertainments include Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

The hilarious Lewis Devine is playing French Frank. He is a wonderful entertainer who has delighted audiences in many of his previous appearances including Buttons in Cinderella and Muddles in Snow White. Lewis is guaranteed to bring the same hilarity to Stockport this Easter.

Dancer and choreographer Sarah Walker will be bringing all the moves, as well as lots of sparkle, when she takes to the stage as Fairy Rose.

Completing the cast is the fabulous Si Foster, who will be playing Potty Polly, guaranteeing hilarious gags that are sure to keep the audience laughing throughout.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
This enchanting tale is filled with hilarious comedy, wonderful songs and a story which proves that even the grumpiest of Beasts can change his ways. So be sure to book, before the final rose petal falls!

Beauty and the Beast Producer, Chantelle Nolan said: "We're very excited to be bringing this production of Beauty and the Beast to Stockport. We had a brilliant time at the theatre when we staged The Wizard of Oz - audiences were fantastic, and the theatre staff were very welcoming.

"Beauty and the Beast went down a storm at St Helens Theatre Royal during October half-term so we can guarantee a magical panto time at Stockport for Easter 2019."

The Stockport Plaza Manager, Ted Doan added: "The Plaza has a history of providing the finest and most sensational affordable family entertainment for all ages to enjoy with our magnificent Easter Pantomimes and welcoming Regal Entertainments back this year with Beauty and the Beast will ensure that this annual tradition receives the right royal treatment that only Regal can provide!"

Beauty and the Beast runs from Thursday 18th to Monday 22nd April 2019. Tickets are now on sale. Book early to avoid disappointment. Please note that the cast is subject to change. For further information you can visit the following websites or social media channels.

Facebook - www.facebook.com/RegalEntertainmentsLtd
Twitter - @RegalEntsLtd
Stockport Plaza Website - www.stockportplaza.co.uk

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd presents Beauty and the Beast
Dates - Thursday 18th April to Monday 22nd April 2019
Times - Thurs 1pm, Fri-Sun 12pm and 4pm, Monday 1pm
Tickets - From £12 (prices are subject to booking fees)
Venue - Stockport Plaza Theatre, Mersey Square, Stockport, SK1 1SP
Box Office - 0161 477 7779

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
*Disclaimer: This post was written based on our opinion of the show which we reviewed in St Helens, as well as a press release provided by BEA/Regal Entertainments. Details believed to be correct at time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.



Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Happy New Year - It's 2019!!

I would like to thank each and every one of my readers for taking the time to support the blog during 2018. The site has grown from strength to strength and we have some exciting new projects planned for 2019 which I cannot wait to get started on. We have worked with some amazing brands, attractions and travel companies in the past 12 months and look forward to sharing more news and reviews over the coming year. We would therefore like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!


Monday, 31 December 2018

Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester - A Review

I always find that after a couple of days at home over Christmas, the whole family are keen to get out and about. So when we received an invitation to visit The Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, this sounded like the perfect opportunity to enjoy some family fun and get creative. We therefore decided to spend a morning at the attraction on Friday and see some of the new additions and changes that have been made since our last visit in early 2017.


The Legoland Discovery Centre experience begins with an introductory factory tour where you are welcomed by a Lego professor. A fun interactive demonstration soon follows where we learnt about how lego bricks come to be created and the process involved. My youngest son Riley loved participating, as all the children (and adults) were encouraged to jump, shout and wave their arms to get the machinery working. We followed the action through two rooms and once we reached the end, all of the children were rewarded with a Lego Duplo brick to thank them for their help.


As we exited the factory tour, we immediately joined a queue for the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. We remembered this from our previous visit, where we had enjoyed competing against one another for the best score. We were all able to fit into one car, which is a rarity at some attractions when visiting as a family of five, so we immediately liked the fact that we could enjoy the ride together. My children all really enjoyed this and my daughter managed to obtain the highest score, though I am convinced that I should have won! It is a great little ride for younger children as it isn't scary and the laser guns are quite light to hold, so my five year old was able to use his on his own without any assistance needed from me.


We then made our way into Miniland, which is an area packed full of recognisable landmarks, all built of Lego. I also found out from their website that this area is constructed from over 1.5 million bricks, which I think is incredible. My children enjoyed looking at them in great detail and we loved that there were some santa and elves figures peeping out of some of the windows. A Santa Dash had also been created near the Blackpool Tower which we thought was a lovely idea. My son Ben also spotted The Woolpack, docks and a yellow submarine. As we looked at all the creations, the lights began to dim and this provided the opportunity to see all the landmarks how they would appear at night time. The tower lit up lovely as a tram made its way up and down the tracks. It looked really beautiful and must have taken a very long time to build.


As we entered the main attraction area we came across the Space Mission Experience which had not been here on our previous visit, so it was fun to be able to enjoy a new activity that we had not seen before. Some of the creations looked absolutely superb and my children enjoyed pretending that they were astronauts navigating their spaceship. There were building areas where guests could create their own Lego rocket ships, planets or spacecraft and the mission control base offered a great opportunity for some pretend play. Riley really enjoyed this area, so we spent quite some time here getting creative with all the different Lego pieces on offer.



Once we had finally convinced Riley to explore the other activities on offer, we made our way over to the Merlin's Apprentice Ride where you could take to the skies by pedaling as fast as you can, which would then raise the vehicles up to the roof, whilst also spinning around. Each vehicle can seat two passengers and there are height restrictions which means that younger guests between 90cm to 120cm will need to be accompanied by an adult.


Riley then asked to go straight to the Lego City Forest Ranger Pursuit Ride where children can drive around in purpose built Lego police cars. Children have to be at least 4 years old to operate the vehicles and there are also height restrictions which apply. I think that this is because children need to be able to push the pedal down to make the vehicle move, as well as steer it around the course, so I can completely understand why the age and height restrictions have been implemented. There was only a short queue for this attraction, so my two boys didn't have to wait too long for their turn. Once you reached the beginning of the queue, a staff member provided the children with a safety briefing, before allowing them to enter the course and select their vehicle. Riley absolutely loved being able to drive his own car and because the road was in a simple oval shape, it was easy for younger guests to navigate their way around. It was also well supervised and we noticed that if any child appeared to be having difficulty operating the vehicle, then a staff member would go straight to them to assist.


After the excitement of driving his own vehicle, Riley decided that it was time to build one, so we moved over to the Lego Racers Build and Test in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover. This area allowed all my children to be both creative and competitive as they all challenged themselves to build the best Lego vehicle that was capable of taking on the ramps and the Land Rover Discovery Build Table. My son Ben really enjoyed this area and he was very pleased with his creation.



One area of the attraction that my children had really been looking forward to, was the Lego Ninjago City Adventure, which was under construction during our last visit. I had assumed that this would just be a soft play area, however it offered much more, with numerous activities being spread across three floors. Amongst the play zone was a build table, some ninja skill training areas, along with a reaction time board and a rotating climbing wall, though unfortunately the latter wasn't open on our visit. It was a great area to enjoy some interactive play as well as being able to let little ones imaginations run wild too, with lots of pretend play possibilities. Riley enjoyed pretending to be a ninja and imagined that he was in training to become the best ninja on the planet!


We followed this up nicely with a visit to the 4D Cinema Experience that was showing a Lego Ninjago movie featuring the Spinjitzu Master and his scroll. As we entered the screening area we were provided with a pair of 3D glasses each and we chose some seats central on the second row. This was perfect for families of all ages to enjoy and it was great hearing all the children in the audience laugh as the water and snow effects fell from the roof. The movie itself only lasted around ten minutes, so it was also the perfect length of time for smaller children to enjoy without becoming too restless. We had previously watched The Lego Movie so it was nice to be able to watch a different film which again added variation to our visit.


Unfortunately we ran out of time to check out the Creative Workshop as my children had been too busy enjoying all of the other areas, but from the outside this looked like a large classroom where guests could sit and be given top tips to help with their lego creations. We also didn't get to try out the new Great Lego Race VR Experience which was a shame as this looked fantastic and it is something that we would certainly try out when we return in the future. There is an additional cost for this of £5 per person, We finished our visit with a trip to the shop, where two of my children purchased some lego items with their Christmas money. There was a huge selection of products to choose from as well as some fantastic displays, including a huge Hagrid figure. This must have taken such a long time to build and I cannot imagine how many bricks it would have required. My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan so she thought this was magnificent.


Overall we had an enjoyable few hours at the Legoland Discovery Centre and it was great to see all the changes that have been made since our last visit in 2017, which show that it is an attraction that is always looking to make improvements for its guests. The staff we came across were all really friendly and also showed a lot of enthusiasm throughout the attraction, encouraging guests to enjoy themselves and have a great time. We regularly saw the Lego creation areas being checked and staff would pick up any loose pieces of Lego off the floor, helping to make it a safe environment to play in. My children loved the Lego Ninjago City Adventure area, which offered a whole variety of different activities to enjoy and to help improve on your ninja skills. Our favourite though had to be the 4D cinema experience which is really enjoyable for families of all ages. We had plenty of fun and a very creative time during our visit and would definitely recommend it to others.

Tickets can be purchased online here and you can also view the different combi tickets which are available. Children under 3 can visit for free! There are also some advantages to booking online as you can save money on standard admission and also scan your mobile ticket for faster entry. The Sea Life Aquarium Manchester is also next door, so by purchasing a combi ticket you can enjoy a full day out enjoying both attractions. It is important to note that adults are not permitted to enter the attraction without being accompanied by a child under the age of 17. However, they do run Adult only evenings on certain dates throughout the year, to cater for older Lego loving guests!

Attraction Details

Attraction - Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester
Address - Legoland Discover Centre Manchester, Barton Square, The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AS
Website - https://manchester.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/
Opening Times - Monday to Sunday 10am til 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Closing times may vary over the festive period. Closed on Christmas Day.


Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to Legoland Discovery Centre for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

The Snowman Tour 2018 at Parr Hall, Warrington - A Review

Watching The Snowman on television every Christmas has been one of our favourite festive family traditions for as long as I can remember, so when we learnt about the wonderful Snowman Tour earlier this year, we were very excited.

The Snowman Tour from Carrot Productions visits a total of 16 different venues from all across the country this December, including seven cathedrals in Blackburn, Chester, Durham, Gloucester, Lichfield, Liverpool and Winchester. The show brings the magic of the animation alive, as the iconic film is accompanied by a live orchestra and a young soloist who performs the song Walking in the Air. We were invited along to Warrington's Parr Hall to review the show on Thursday evening and it really was a wonderful experience.

 Photo Credit: ©Tom Bangbala
Unfortunately for me, I was informed by the doctor on Thursday morning that I have somehow caught chickenpox, so despite looking forward to this since earlier this year, I was personally unable to attend. I did however have a very willing volunteer to take my place and so my mother in law attended with my family instead and as such the remainder of this review will be written by my husband Mr.F.

The venue of Parr Hall is approximately a 30 minute drive from our home, however it is a venue that we had not visited before. It was very easy to find and with a stroke of luck, we were able to find on street parking right outside the entrance. My youngest son Riley was very excited and began to sing Walking in the Air as we left our vehicle and made our way to the entrance.

To begin with we were treated to a festive overture by the orchestra which featured a variety of well known Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. This lasted approximately ten minutes and it was a superb way to start our evening. I was pleased that they had chosen to play songs that the children would recognise and my youngest son loved listening to the music play and naming the tune.

We were then introduced to the different elements of the orchestra, which had been produced in an interesting, but comical way. The gentleman on the double bass began to tell a story as to how the orchestra had reached a venue after becoming stuck in the snow. An animation played on the screen as the narrator delivered an explanation of their adventure. The way it was told allowed children to identify with different instruments which I thought was particularly clever.

Following this was the heartwarming tale of The Bear and the Piano, based on the book by David Litchfield. This animation was narrated by Joanna Lumley, and being a story that I had not been familiar with before, it was very entertaining for my family and I.

It told the story of a bear cub who found a piano in the woods. Over time he grew bigger and gained fantastic musical talent that led him to the city to seek fame and fortune. Eventually he returned back to his home in the woods and was worried that his friends and family may have forgotten all about him, when in fact they couldn't have been more proud. The woodland had been covered with merchandise, surrounded by his friends and family, which led to him performing for the most important audience of all.

Photo Credit: ©Gareth Widdowson
There was an interval between The Bear and the Piano and The Snowman which lasted approximately 15 minutes. Given that the audience was predominantly families, I think that this interval was a good idea as it provided the opportunity for a toilet break or to purchase a drink. A character costume of The Snowman came out to the audience and waved to all the excited children as it made its way around the venue.

Soon enough it was time for the main event and the atmosphere was absolutely wonderful. My son was captivated by the animation on the screen, however I did try to take the time to also observe the orchestra, who were all extremely talented and quite fascinating to watch too.

A young soloist performed the solo of Walking in the Air and their voice was exceptional. Having watched the animation numerous times over the years, seeing this song being performed live was wonderful and is certainly something that my family will definitely remember.

Overall our family had a wonderful time at The Snowman Tour and it was a truly magical experience. It was the perfect opportunity for my youngest son to be introduced to an orchestra and learn more about the instruments and musicians involved. I felt that the way the show had been presented was really well thought out and the inclusion of the Christmas overture and The Bear and the Piano certainly added further enjoyment. It is the ideal show to get you in the festive spirit and we would like to thank Carrot Productions for creating such a beautiful presentation of this heartwarming animation.

If you would like further information on The Snowman Tour 2018 or to check remaining availability, then you can visit the Carrot Productions website here.

Photo Credit: ©Gareth Widdowson
*Disclaimer: We were provided with 4 tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Review written by Mr.F. Images are from previous tour and do not feature the Warrington Parr Hall venue.


Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse, Chester - Review

On Thursday evening we were invited along to the press night of The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse in Chester. This is one of our favourite venues in the area and we are very lucky to live less than ten minutes away from such a fantastic arts centre. We have been to a few performances here and have always been very impressed by the quality of the shows on offer. The Wizard of Oz was no exception and we followed Dorothy and her friends along the yellow brick road, in a wonderful and well thought out production.

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
The show was very similar to the film with only a few variations arising from some modern interpretations. We really enjoyed the staging from the beginning and it was great for my daughter to see how the story began and relate it to the characters that Dorothy would meet once in Oz. I did however feel that the introduction was perhaps slightly too lengthy, though that being said I can understand why they have chosen not to rush this part, so that the audience can fully appreciate the relationships between Dorothy, her friends and family.

Consuela Rolle has been cast in the lead role of Dorothy and her portrayal was magnificent throughout. Her energy and enthusiasm ensured that guests remained entertained as the story was performed on stage. I felt that she connected with the audience well and there was a believable vulnerability from the character. When her journey began along the yellow brick road, she was able to exhibit her fear of the unknown, whilst also ensuring that she had a vibrant and positive personality to help lead her new found friends to the merry old land of Oz.

Our favourite scene from the show was actually very early in the production, when Dorothy first met the Munchkins (performed by children from House of Dance). The talented skills of the children involved are highly commendable and their performance of Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead was absolutely superb. We loved that the choreography had a modern twist, featuring dance moves that the children in the audience could relate to.

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
The first friend that Dorothy makes on her journey, is that of the scarecrow, played by Natalie Woods. We all agreed that her acting was wonderful and it was great to see her interaction with Dorothy, which created a convincing friendship.

Ben Oliver's interpretation of the Tin Man brought happiness and laughter to the audience, especially during his explanation as to how he came to be created of Tin. Watching the friendships develop was exciting to see and although we were familiar with the story, there was still an element of intrigue as to what might happen next.

The cowardly lion (Richard Colvin) introduced an element of comedy, which I did feel was needed at times and this could have potentially been pushed further, with the inclusion of a few more witticisms. He played the role really well and soon established himself as a very loveable character. He was in fact our favourite performer of the show and we enjoyed the humour that he delivered.

Kenny Thompson appears as both Uncle Henry and The Emerald City Guard and admittedly we much preferred him in the latter role. We loved the powerful performance he presented in Oz, that made me want to sing and dance along. This was complemented by Natasha Bain who starred as Aunt Em and Glinda the Good Witch, who created a loving but authoritive figure in both roles.

Fergus Rattigan delighted as the intriguing and powerful Wizard of Oz as well as Professor Marvel and I really enjoyed both of his characters. The clever use of technology featured throughout the show, but I particularly liked how this was used to deliver his booming voice over video projection.

Of course the Wizard of Oz wouldn't be complete without The Wicked Witch of the West. This was played by Zara Ramm who had a very commanding stage presence. Her performance was strong, but at no point did I feel that it would be too scary for younger audience members, which helps to make it more family friendly.

I felt that all of the musical performances throughout the show were really entertaining and consisted of perfectly timed choreography, beautiful vocals and plenty of enthusiasm and gusto. Particular highlights included Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road and also the inclusion of Jitterbug.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the Wizard of Oz, but with a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes it is perhaps a little too lengthy for younger audience guests. I think if we had brought my five year old along then he would have definitely got restless at some point. For older children and adults though, then this is a commendable production with magnificent staging, lighting and sound. It was great to see a show of this quality in the local area and it also offers something a little different for a Christmas production. Ultimately it is a well written musical, with a credible cast that offer a talented interpretation of an iconic story.

The Wizard of Oz is appearing at Storyhouse, Chester on various dates until Sunday 6th January 2019, with ticket prices starting from £15. For the most up to date information or to book tickets, you can visit the Storyhouse website here: Storyhouse Chester

Image kindly provided by Storyhouse
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to the press night performance of The Wizard of Oz for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless stated otherwise. Images kindly provided by Storyhouse.