Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Regal Entertainments Ltd to Present a Free Easter Pantomime: Rapunzel - The Lockdown Panto

This Easter, despite the lock-down, Regal Entertainments Ltd have created a free online Pantomime for all the family to enjoy, and what better fairy-tale to be presented during a lock-down than that of a young girl locked up in a tower?

Rapunzel: The Lockdown Panto will live stream daily on St Helen's Theatre Royal's Facebook and Instagram accounts from Sunday 12th April to Saturday 18th April 2020 at 1:30pm.

The uniquely filmed production will star a host of the regular stars that appear at St Helens Theatre Royal. Olivia Sloyan will play Rapunzel, James Lacey as the Witch, Lewis Devine as Daft Dave, Samantha Palin as the Queen, Warren Donnelly as the King, Andrew Geater as the Prince, Abby Middleton as Fairy Anna(logue) and Jenna Sian O'Hara as Pixel the Pixie.


For this special production, each cast member has recorded their own section of the pantomime at home, and, through careful editing, the story is brought together, to create a unique online pantomime that the whole family will enjoy. The pantomime is written and directed by James Lacey and choreographed by Sarah Walker.

Regal Entertainments had to reschedule their usual Easter Pantomime at St Helens Theatre Royal, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which will now take place in the Autumn.

Producer and Director at Regal Entertainments, Chantelle Nolan says: "During the national lockdown we wanted to reward and entertain families for being responsible and isolating. So many of our customers were disappointed not to be able to come and see our Easter pantomime in St Helens, so we thought that, this year, we would bring the panto to them.

"We have an incredibly talented cast, who are more than up to the challenge of creating a unique, new show and we're going to put on a fantastic online show that all ages can enjoy."

Rapunzel tells the tale of a young girl stolen from her family and locked away from the world in a tower by a wicked witch. Unable to leave, she must let down her golden hair for the witch to climb to bring her food. One day a handsome prince discovers the tower and sees the beautiful girl. Will Rapunzel and the Prince find their freedom? Will they live happily ever after? Or will the wicked witch catch them?

To watch the show, viewers will need to become a fan of the St Helens Theatre Royal Facebook or Instagram accounts where information to view will be posted, the show will launch daily at 1:30pm from Easter Sunday.

Listing Details

Show - Rapunzel: The Lock-Down Panto
Dates - Sunday 12th April to Saturday 18th April 2020
Time - Daily at 1:30pm
Tickets - Free online performance

This show can be watched online for free on Facebook (@StHelensTheatreRoyal) or on Instagram (@TheatreRoyalStH).


*Disclaimer: This post has been written based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. 


Friday, 28 February 2020

Beauty and the Beast at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this Easter

*Please note that this show has now been postponed

Get ready to be swept off your feet this Easter as the timeless classic Beauty and the Beast brings magic and adventure to the Epstein Theatre.

This enchanting, family-friendly panto production will run from Friday 10th April until Sunday 19th April and Regal Entertainments Ltd have recently announced a fantastic line-up of stars.

Channel 5 Milkshake's Amy Thompson will appear as Belle opposite Timothy Lucas as the dashing but troubled Beast.

They will be joined by Philip McGuinness as dastardly Gaston and Lewis Devine as French Frank, along with James Lacey as the hilarious Potty Polly and Sarah Walker as Fairy Rose.

Amy Thompson is no stranger to Beauty and the Beast having previously played Belle for Regal Entertainments at St Helens Theatre Royal.

The TV and stage actress's other panto credits include Sleeping Beauty (Malvern Theatres, Pavilion Theatre, Mansfield Palace and Floral Pavilion, New Brighton), Aladdin (Blackpool Grand), Cinderella (Blackpool Grand and Sunderland Empire), Snow White (Rhyl Pavilion) and Little Red Riding Hood (Hull Truck Theatre).

Timothy Lucas takes on the role of the Beast, doomed to roam his castle in hideous form until true love frees him from a wicked curse.

The Liverpool Theatre School-trained actor has recently appeared as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz at St Helens Theatre Royal. His other panto roles include the hilarious PC Noodle in Aladdin, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and the notorious Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Meanwhile Philip McGuinness returns to the role of the preening Gaston after playing it to acclaim at St Helens Theatre Royal. His other panto roles include Tin Man and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Captain Hook in Peter Pan and the villainous Abanazer in Aladdin at St Helens.


Lewis Devine makes a welcome return to the Epstein after winning the hearts of audiences playing the hapless Buttons in Cinderella at Christmas.

His career started at an early age when he first appeared on the first series of ITV's Kids Stars in Their Eyes, which he won with his impersonation of Donny Osmond. His panto credits include Muddles in Snow White and the title role of Peter Pan, both at St Helens Theatre Royal, and French Frank in Beauty and the Beast at Stockport Plaza.

Liverpool actor and producer James Lacey takes on Dame duties as Potty Polly. James has more than a decade of panto experience on his busy CV and in addition to that was the body double for Richard Madden in Sir Kenneth Branagh's big screen Cinderella.

And dancer and choreographer Sarah Walker will bring all-round sparkle as well as twinkle toes to the role of the goodhearted Fairy Rose.

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Andrew Geater and produced by Regal Entertainments Ltd.

Producer Chantelle Nolan said: "Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical fairytales with its beautiful and kind-hearted heroine and a troubled hero to root for, all surrounded by a brilliantly colourful cast of larger-than-life characters and with an important message for theatregoers young and old.

"I'm delighted to be working with such a fantastic group of actors, and I can guarantee Epstein audiences are in for an egg-stra special treat this Easter."

Beauty and the Beast tells the timeless story of Belle - the beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes.

Will the Beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after? Come down to the Epstein Theatre this Easter and find out.

Listing Details

Show - Beauty and the Beast
Venue - Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street, Liverpool
Dates - 10th April until 19th April 2020
Times - Times vary, so please visit the website to obtain the most up to date information.
Tickets - Tickets start from £13

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

For more details please check out www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk to join their mailing list. Alternatively you can follow them on Facebook or on Twitter @EpsteinTheatre.

*This post has been written based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. I would always recommend visiting the venues own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

The Indoor Funfair Returns to Liverpool - A Review!

Back in April we visited the Indoor Funfair which was taking place in the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool. My children had a fantastic time and we thought that it was a great idea that offered excellent value for money.

We were therefore really excited to find out that it was returning to Liverpool for the summer holidays, opening on Friday 23rd August and remaining at the Exhibition Centre until the 1st September. Of course I didn't need to ask my children twice as to whether they would like to visit again, so we went along yesterday to the 10am til 1pm session to enjoy some family fun and see if there were any new rides on offer.


The week-long event, is set across almost 60,000 sq.ft of space and is packed full of a huge selection of rides that will be popular with families of all ages. Each visitor session lasts for three hours and offers unlimited access to rides during this time. There is a choice of session times which run daily from 10am til 1pm; 2pm til 5pm and 6pm til 9pm. The entry prices are very reasonable with rider wristbands costing only £10 per person, with spectator tickets priced at £2.

Usually we catch the train to Liverpool and then walk along the waterfront from James Street station, however with it being the school holidays and my husband being off, we decided to drive this time and parked right outside the venue at a cost of £7 for 5 hours parking. We thought that this was really reasonable based on the location and also meant that we could enjoy a walk around the nearby waterfront after visiting the fair.

We arrived right on 10 o'clock and was surprised to find no queue to get in. There was security at the main entrance conducting bag checks which was reassuring to see and we also saw security staff walking regularly around the venue throughout our visit. We collected our wristbands from the box office and then made our way into the exhibition hall.


On entering the hall, it appeared larger than our last visit and it felt as though there were more rides. When we visited in April, my 11 year old son had an amazing day, but was slightly disappointed that there were no dodgems. He was therefore delighted when he spotted them in the far corner and there are no prizes for guessing which ride he headed to first. In fact he actually ended up spending the first half hour of our session completely on the Dodgems, something which would have cost me a fortune at a normal travelling fair, so he was certainly ensuring that he was making the most of his unlimited rides.

Whilst Ben was busy working on his driving skills, both Riley and Emma enjoyed the Fun House and the large inflatable bouncy castle and slide. Once they had each finished doing their own thing for the first half hour we then regrouped and made our way round the hall together. My two older children also enjoy going on the smaller rides with their younger brother, so they were almost able to go on nearly every ride in the hall, apart from a couple where they were slightly too tall. Riley therefore loved that he could enjoy the rides with his siblings, especially the Monster Truck and Bumper Carz ride.


I definitely felt that the layout this time was much better and we really liked the fact that there was a lot of variety in the choice of rides. There also seemed to be more seating than on our previous visit, which was also a big bonus. I also strongly believe that they listened to customer feedback from April, as popular rides like the Miami, The Dodgems and Bumper Carz were all in attendance and had definitely been missed previously, so the selection and options available were perfect for both children and adults.

There was another brand new ride which caught Emma's attention and this was the Megaspin. As you enter the hall, this is located just to the right hand side and at first glance it simply looks like a wheel that spins you around. However, it does much more including full on upside down spins at both fast and slow speeds, with lots of twists and turns along the way too. It is certainly a ride for the thrillseekers and Emma was the only one brave enough out of our family to give it a go!


As well as the rides, there are some additional games stalls which do cost extra for the chance to win some prizes. Fortunately my children didn't ask to go on any of these, but it's worth taking some change with you if you think your family may want to try their luck. Some food and drink stalls are also available offering a variety of different snacks and drinks. We didn't use these so I am unsure of the costs.

Overall we had a fantastic morning and believe that the £10 wristband charge offers excellent value for money. The event felt well organised, secure and safe and every staff member that we interacted with seemed very friendly and polite. The range of rides was fantastic and we felt that there was a great choice available for all ages. Ultimately it is a very fun event to visit for a really reasonable price and we would not hesitate to return!

For full information on this event or to book tickets, you can visit the Indoor Funfair website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - https://indoorfunfair.org/liverpool
Twitter - @indoorfunfairuk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/IndoorFunfair/
Instagram - @indoorfunfair


*Disclaimer - We were invited to this event and provided with complimentary wristbands for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Family Fun with Googly Eyes by University Games - A Review

Keeping my kids occupied during the school holidays can sometimes be quite a task. Whilst we enjoy regular days out, our budget will only stretch so far, therefore it means that occasionally we need to find some ways to entertain ourselves at home.

This is when I find that board games can be a great source of entertainment and they also provide you with the perfect opportunity to spend some family time together. University Games have a great selection available in the shops and when we were recently offered the chance to review their Googly Eyes game, I knew that the Easter holidays would most certainly provide us with the chance to try it out.

Googly Eyes is described as 'The drawing game of wacky vision!'. All of my children love to draw, so as soon as I discovered that there was an artistic element involved, I quickly realised that it would be the perfect game for us.


Googly Eyes by University Games comes in a brightly coloured and interesting box. There is a clear plastic window where you can see the glasses inside, along with some images of the contents and someone drawing a picture. This gives you a slight hint as to what the game involves.

On the reverse of the box there is a great contents picture which shows you everything that is included in the box. There is also a basic sentence that gives a simple idea as to how the game works which reads 'Put on the wacky vision-altering glasses and race against time to draw your team to the finish.'

The full contents include:
  • 1 x Gameboard
  • 1 x Pair of Wacky Oversized Glasses
  • 3 x Sets of tinted, interchangeable lenses
  • 4 x Plastic playing pieces
  • 1 x Drawing Pad
  • 1 x Pencil
  • 1 x Dice
  • 1 x Timer
  • 54 x Challenge Cards (this equates to a total of 162 challenges)
  • 1 x Instructions
Setting up the game was easy and was simply a case of removing all the items from the box, placing the board on the table and putting the cards in a neat pile. I then read through the instructions for everyone so that we had a clear understanding of how to play before we began. Each of my children were desperate to try on the glasses, so we actually spent ten minutes just wearing the glasses and seeing how the different lenses compared. Once we had taken some funny photos we made a start and Riley excitedly threw the dice.


To play the game the first player rolls the dice and moves their counter along to the corresponding colour. This can be green (easy), yellow (medium) or blue (difficult). Once you have landed on a space, you then select a card and need to draw the item that matches the colour your counter is on. Each colour is also allocated a set amount of time for your to do your drawing, with green having 15 seconds, yellow having 30 seconds and the most difficult of blue being given 45 seconds.

The players team mate(s) then need to try and correctly guess what is being drawn against the clock. Of course this sounds quite simple, but the glasses make the task quite tricky, especially if you are unlucky enough to land on the blue space where you also have to switch hands. This means that you have to wear the most difficult of lenses, whilst also drawing with the opposite hand to which you would normally use.

The glasses fitted Emma (12), Ben (11) and myself really well, however my six year old did need to hold them in place at times. Funnily enough he chose not to hold them in place when he had the blue lenses in, so I am convinced that he could see through the gap, though he would never admit to this. I really liked how it encouraged my youngest child to think how he could draw things, so for example he had the challenge of drawing a tree house, so he quickly thought about this and drew a separate tree and then a house next to it, which made it easy for me to guess.


If the team player guesses correctly then you roll the dice again to move along the board. The winner is the team that reach the Finish point first.

I seemed to find the blue lenses far more difficult than the children and some of my drawings were hilarious as I literally could not see what I was doing.

Overall we had a fantastic time playing Googly Eyes and it provided plenty of laughter. It is a great game to play as a family and would also be the perfect game to bring out at a party or family gathering. It is simple to understand and my six year old son grasped the concept of the game instantly without the need for much explanation. The contents were all good quality so I had no need to be concerned about any parts breaking. One thing that I particularly liked was that everything fitted back into the box really easily, which I have found can be quite a challenge with some other games and smaller parts often go missing. However with Googly Eyes, everything has its own place in the box so it is easy to store away safely ready to play again another day. My family and I would happily recommend this game to others and we have already decided that it is going to become our new travel game to take with us when we go on holiday.

The game has an RRP of £19.99 and is recommended for children aged 7+. It is available to purchase from most good toy retailers including Argos, Smyths, Sainsburys, Debenhams and Amazon.

For further information on Googly Eyes or other University Games, then please visit their website or social media pages which can be found on the following channels:

Website - www.university-games.co.uk
Twitter - @ugamesUK
YouTube - University Games


*Disclaimer: We were sent the Googly Eyes game free of charge for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link which means that I may receive a small commission should you choose to purchase from this retailer.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Indoor Funfair at Liverpool Exhibition Centre - A Review

With the ever changing weather at the moment, it is great to have the option of some indoor attractions. We were therefore really excited to learn that the Indoor Funfair was heading to Liverpool, which was perfectly timed with my children's school holidays. On Tuesday morning we caught the train into the city, to visit this brand new event and find out what was on offer for some family fun.

We travelled on the train from our home town via Chester and onwards to James Street station in Liverpool. I used our family and friends railcard (which has already more than paid for itself) and managed to get a return ticket for one adult and three children for only £9.40. Once we arrived at James Street we had an enjoyable walk along the waterfront towards the Indoor Funfair and it took approximately ten minutes at a steady pace.


We were booked in as guests for the 10am til 1pm slot and we arrived shortly after the start time at approximately 10:10am. Due to our slightly late arrival, there were absolutely no queues outside and we walked straight into the building. The first thing that I noticed were that there were good security measures in place and several security staff were on the door conducting bag checks. We also saw another patrolling the corridors to the attraction entrance and several more in the main hall, which I found to be very reassuring at a family event.

We collected our wristbands and made our way into the Indoor Funfair and my children were excited to see what rides were available. I saw that the cost for guests was only £10 per person, or £2 if just spectating, which for unlimited rides for three hours sounded great value for money. Under 3's are also able to visit free of charge, but understandably their are quite limited rides available for that age group.

Directly opposite the entrance were a selection of 2p machines which my children love, so before we even had the chance to walk around, my son had already put a pound in the change machine to try his luck at winning some sweets and chocolate that he had spotted on the edge. Once they had each played on here for a short while, we started to take a good look around the hall and had a walk around before choosing where to start.



It was slightly smaller than I expected and initially I was unsure if there would be enough to keep all of us entertained for three hours. However I needn't have been concerned, as it actually turned out to be the perfect length of time to enjoy everything a couple of times and my children had a great choice of rides to go on. Our only slight disappointment was that there were no dodgems, which is my eldest sons favourite, but he soon got over this after finding plenty of other fun things to do.

We started with the mini Dragon Coaster which was my youngest sons choice. This is basically a mini rollercoaster that travels at slow speed, making it ideal for little ones. Fortunately my older two children enjoy spending time with their little brother, so they were also happy to go on the smaller rides with him to keep him company.

We then moved on to the large inflatable slide which is recommended as being suitable for ages 5+. The member of staff running this controlled the queue well and would only allow one person up the slide at a time to ensure safety. My daughter also tried to go on this, but was slightly taller than the height limit so was turned away and although she was slightly disappointed, I was happy to see that safety rules were being followed and enforced. My two boys loved this slide however and travelled down really fast numerous times.

As Emma had been unable to go on the slide, I told her to choose where she would like to go next, so she picked the large swing chair ride and enjoyed a couple of goes on that whilst her brothers went on the mini train ride next to it. She then moved on to something a little more fast paced and hopped on to the waltzers, whilst her brothers had a second turn on the train. Before we knew it the first hour had passed so we decided to grab a seat and have a drink.


The food and drink costs would be my only complaint about the event as they were expensive. Obviously you dont HAVE to purchase anything and this is optional, but in three hours most people are likely to need a drink and I was a little annoyed at having to pay £2.50 each for a can. The food was also overpriced, but luckily my children have a good sense of value and refused to let me buy anything hot, instead suggesting that we went to a bakery on the way home to get some sausage rolls and cakes. I did however buy two bags of candyfloss for them to pick at throughout the morning which cost £2 per bag.

Once we had finished our drinks we continued around the funfair and Riley went on the Mini Miami which he absolutely loved. It would have been nice to have also had a full size version of this, as it is always a popular ride, but Riley absolutely loved the mini version and was even brave enough to put his arms in the air (well for a millisecond anyway)!

Other favourites included The Frogs, The Helter Skelter and The Funhouse, which my children went on numerous times. Again time had passed quickly and we soon realised that there was only half an hour left, so we made our way over to the Energiser Assault Course. This is an absolutely huge inflatable which took up an entire wall of the exhibition hall and is packed full of obstacles and slides. My children thought this was fantastic and spent the entire remainder of our time at the attraction on this inflatable, taking it in turns to race one another.


Overall we had a great time and felt that the £10 entry fee being charged was very reasonable for what was on offer. We have been to travelling funfairs before that tend to charge around £2.50 per ride, so considering that you can go on the Indoor Funfair rides an unlimited amount of times in three hours, it really is great value for money. I felt that the event was well organised, secure and safe which are all essential elements when organising a family event and all of the staff that we interacted with were friendly and helpful. My only criticism would be the costs of the food and the games because whilst these are optional expenses, it is highly likely that children are going to want to try them at some point during the visit.

The Indoor Funfair will be at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool until Monday 22nd April. There are three times slots available each day which are 10am til 1pm, 2pm til 5pm or 6pm til 9pm. Entry costs £10 per person for unlimited rides, £2 for a spectator and Under 3's go free. Height and age restrictions apply to some rides and there are also additional charges for the games and food stalls.

For full information on this event or to book tickets, you can visit the Indoor Funfair website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - https://indoorfunfair.org/liverpool
Twitter - @indoorfunfairuk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/IndoorFunfair/
Instagram - @indoorfunfair


*Disclaimer - We were invited to this event and provided with complimentary wristbands for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Our Visit to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall - A Review

On Sunday we were invited along to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the beautiful Ordsall Hall, so that we could experience two lovely family friendly attractions and have an enjoyable day out together. We have never visited either of these places before, so we were a little unsure as to what to expect, as we set off on the short journey along the motorway. The best thing about both of these attractions is that they are free places to visit (excluding parking/additional activities) and so they are ideal to keep families occupied during the school holidays.

We travelled to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery first, which opens at 11:30am on a Sunday. We thought that it was easy to find and the post code we entered into the sat nav took us straight there with no issues. I did notice that there were also plenty of signs showing the way as we got closer, so we could have also relied on these if we had needed to. 

We arrived shortly before it opened, so parking in the small pay and display car park was no problem, however there are limited spaces, so I would definitely recommend arriving early during peak periods to ensure that you can park. I do believe that there are alternative car parks nearby, though I am unsure of the exact location of these.

On entering the museum, my son decided that he would like to start upstairs first, so we made our way to the galleries. My daughter is a keen artist, so she was looking forward to seeing some modern art, whilst Riley finds really old paintings fascinating and likes to imagine what the people in the portraits were like. It therefore seemed an ideal place to begin and we entered the first hall.


We thought that this was beautifully presented, with a huge selection of art work featured on every wall. There was also a fun activity for children to enjoy, which involved selecting a hat and then trying to find a painting which had the same hat in it. Riley loved this and it really encouraged him to look at the pictures in detail. It would be great if more hats could be added to the collection as I am sure Riley could have spent quite a long time enjoying this activity.

Riley also spotted a large painting behind the Queen Victoria photo opportunity, which he was mesmerised by. He kept looking at it and noticing something different each time, whilst repeatedly calling me over so that he could show me his new discoveries. I had been a little unsure as to whether Riley would enjoy the art gallery initially, but he really loved it and had much more fun that I had expected him too. This gallery was also the perfect setting for an epic game of eye spy and he loved trying to find something really difficult for me to guess.


We then made our way to the next gallery which had a wide range of different art from over the years. My daughter Emma is a very talented artist, so this part of the visit really appealed to her. The art ranged from the beautiful to the peculiar and again Riley enjoyed looking at everything. One thing that I particularly liked about the museum, was that in each area, there would be a hands on activity for children to enjoy, so Riley liked trying these throughout the morning.


The last gallery we visited whilst upstairs was the A-Z exhibit, which featured a great range of items ranging from A to Z. We had fun looking at them all and Riley found some very fun and strange objects whilst we made our way around the room. It was an easy exhibit for children to understand and we really liked the way that everything had been displayed.


After spending a good length of time upstairs, we made our way down to Lark Hill Place, which is a replica Victorian Street. It really is a treat and my children absolutely loved looking through the shop windows and observing all the objects and clothing on display. As you walk up and down the street there is a great range of shops and living rooms all available to view and you could be forgiven for thinking that you had genuinely travelled back in time. 


My son's favourite part however, was getting dressed up in traditional Victorian clothing and visiting the sweet shop, where a lovely lady weighed out some sweets for us. Riley is really inquisitive so he spent some time asking lots of questions and looking at the weights and the choice of sweets available. He chose some white chocolate mice in the end, whilst my daughter selected a mixture of sweets. There is no specific price for the bag of sweets and instead visitors are asked to make a donation instead, which I thought was a lovely idea.


There were also some other hands on activities such as weighing out fruit and vegetables, but on the most part my children just really enjoyed looking around and imagining what life must have been like in the Victorian era. If you are up for a challenge though, then there are also some activity cards at the entrance to Lark Hill Place that give you some tasks to try and they are a great idea to get children interested and involved.

Once we had finished in Lark Hill Place we decided to enjoy some lunch and visit the onsite cafe, which provided some lovely light bite meal options, such as baguettes, sandwiches, toasties and soup. I chose the tuna mayo baguette with a cappuccino which was absolutely delicious. My husband chose the same, but with a slice of Victoria sponge cake too, whilst my children opted for the kids lunch box pack that included a nice variety of items such as a sandwich, biscuit, fruit juice and crisps.


After leaving the Salford Museum and Art Gallery, we made the short journey to Ordsall Hall. Distance wise, this isn't too far away, but due to the one way system in place and the traffic, it took us approximately 10 minutes to get from one site to the other. Initially I thought we were in the wrong place as it looked like we were heading into an industrial estate, but as we continued, I was very surprised to suddenly see the magnificent building and grounds right in the middle.

The car parking was pay and display again, but there were plenty of spaces available so we had no issue with finding a spot to park. It was then just a short walk over to the main entrance, which allowed us to view the exterior of Ordsall Hall on our way.


As we entered the property we were greeted by a lovely lady who asked us whether it was our first time visiting. She then proceeded to show us a map and also advised us on the best route to take and told us a little bit of history about the hall. However, Riley had decided that he wanted to be our tour guide and so the advised route was soon forgotten, as we were taken on a little adventure by our six year old. 

He absolutely loves pretend play, so he was in his element pretending to show us around and tell us some made up history. Fortunately there were plenty of display boards throughout the property so we were able to obtain the correct factual information in between Riley's little talks. It was great to see him enjoying himself and he had the opportunity to get dressed up again whilst in the great hall and enjoy a pretend feast.


We all found the property really interesting and despite it being busy, we were able to make our way around and enjoy the attraction without any issues. We also saw many families taking part in the Easter trail, where you had to search for some Easter bunnies and win a prize at the end, which we thought was a really good idea.

Once we had made our way around Ordsall Hall, we stopped in the small cafe for a drink and snack. My husband and I both enjoyed a caramel shortbread, whilst the kids opted for a muffin and a cookie, along with some cold drinks. Tables are limited indoors, but in the summer months I  would imagine that you could make use of the seating outside and enjoy the lovely surroundings. 


Overall we had a wonderful day out in Salford, especially as we were visiting two attractions that we had never been to, or actually heard of before. Both sites are places that we would definitely visit again in the future and we would most certainly like to return to Ordsall Hall on a warm sunny day with a picnic. I also believe that there are activities held at both venues throughout the year, so it will be great to see what is on offer during the summer holidays. We would recommend a visit to both venues, for a low-cost and interesting family day out.

For further information on the Salford Museum and Art Gallery or Ordsall Hall, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Address - Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, M5 4WU
Twitter - @SalfordMuseum
Instagram - @salford_museum

Opening days and times vary, so please check the attractions own website in order to obtain the most up to date information prior to visiting.

Ordsall Hall

Address - 322 Ordsall Lane, Salford, M5 3AN
Twitter - @OrdsallHall
Instagram - ordsall_hall

Opening days and times vary, so please check the attractions own website in order to obtain the most up to date information prior to visiting.


*Disclaimer - This is a collaboration post with Salford Leisure. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but information such as admissions, prices, or opening hours are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the attractions own website prior to visiting in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Dates for your Diary - Regal Entertainments presents The Wizard of Oz at St Helens Theatre Royal starring Linda Lusardi as The Wicked Witch - 6th to 22nd April 2019

Click your heels together and join Dorothy and Toto as they journey along the Yellow Brick Road with new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, to meet the Wizard so he can make their dreams come true.

Regal Entertainments production of The Wizard of Oz will be returning to St Helen's Theatre Royal this Easter between Saturday 6th April and Monday 22nd April 2019 following sell out seasons in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as a hugely successful Merseyside tour in 2017.

The show, complete with a brand-new script and music for 2019, will feature dazzling costumes and sets, show-stopping choreography and unbelievable special effects, which audiences have come to know and love from all Regal Entertainments' productions.

It has also recently been announced that star of stage and screen, Linda Lusardi, will be playing the role of The Wicked Witch in this wonderful pantomime, in a production that is sure to entertain families of all ages.

Linda Lusardi's career has spanned nearly 30 years, after first rising to fame in the 80's. Her major TV roles have included playing Carrie Nichols in ITV's Emmerdale, Maggie Lyons in The Bill and Frankie in Brookside. She has also appeared on numerous reality TV shows such as ITV's Loose Women, Dancing on Ice 2008, Come Dine With Me and Celebrity Masterchef 2011.

Her leading stage roles include; Funny Peculiar, Bedside Manners, Not Now Darling, No Sex Please We're British, and Rock with Laughter. She is also no stranger to panto and has played roles up and down the country since 1988. In her latest production she received five star reviews appearing as The Wicked Queen in Snow White at The Playhouse Weston Super Mare, which also broke box office records.

St Helen's Theatre Royal Manager, Chantelle Nolan said: "We are delighted to announce Linda Lusardi as our Wicked Witch - she has had such a prolific career and is a seasoned panto pro. I know audiences of St Helens will love her - when they're not booing her that is.

"The Wizard of Oz is a real favourite with our audiences, and I am certain they will love this brand-new version which includes a new script and lots of wonderful new songs to sing and dance to."

For further information on this wonderful Easter pantomime, please visit the St Helen's Theatre Royal website or their social media pages which can be found on the following channels:

Website - www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH

Listing Details

Event - Regal Entertainments presents The Wizard of Oz
Dates - Saturday 6th April to Monday 22nd April 2019
Times - Monday to Friday 1pm / Saturday & Sunday 1pm & 5pm
Tickets - From £13*

All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

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

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Jack and the Beanstalk at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool - A Review

We arrived at the Epstein Theatre yesterday afternoon after experiencing a very wet bank holiday journey to the venue. My daughter and I were very pleased to get inside the dry warmth of the theatre and took our seats in the stalls, just in time for the start of the show. The audience was full of excitement from both children and adults alike and we all sat in anticipation as the pantomime began.

LHK Productions Giant Easter panto of Jack & the Beanstalk features a wonderful cast that includes Ray Quinn as Jack, Claire Simmo as Fairy Moonbeam, Lewis Pryor as Silly Billy, Mia Molloy as Princess Jill, Lindzi Germain as Fleshcreep and the hilarious Michael Chapman as Dame Trott. Together they provide a highly entertaining show, which offers some excellent vocals, well choreographed dance routines and perfectly timed comedy throughout.

Ray Quinn stars in the leading role of Jack and several jokes were made throughout the panto that referred to his multi-talented skills. Ray is not only an incredible singer, but also an actor, dancer and ice skater. Apart from the ice skating, the audience were treated to excellent examples of his talents and it soon became apparent that he had been perfectly cast for the role of Jack. Ray Quinn exhibits such a friendly and likeable persona that his presence on stage was well received by audience members. All of his appearances during the show were performed with such confidence, that I think it would be quite impossible to not enjoy his wonderful portrayal of the character Jack.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Claire Simmo as Fairy Moonbeam provides Jack with a helping hand, ensuring that he has everything he needs to save the day! She excelled in this role and brought an element of magic and charm to the production. Although a familiar voice from Radio City's breakfast show, this was the first time I had actually seen her in theatre and was pleasantly surprised by her wonderful singing ability. Regularly accompanied by sparkles and pyrotechnics, her scripted rhyming lines, helped to build the perfect pantomime!

Mia Molloy stars as the beautiful Princess Jill who provided a beautiful rendition of the song 'This Is Me' which was just marvellous. Her voice was also well suited for duets with Jack (Ray Quinn) and both had an excellent stage presence when performing together.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

A special mention has to go to the hilarious Michael Chapman as Dame Trott, who had me in absolute stitches for the majority of the night. I had done a bit of research prior to the show and had seen some great reviews from some of his past performances, so I was excited to see if he could live up to my expectations.  The truth is, he far exceeded them, as even when not speaking on stage his facial expressions, dancing and costumes were just hysterical. So much so, that I struggled to take my eyes off him for the most part, with his dancing by Daisy the Cow being a particular highlight for both my daughter and I.

Dame Trott threw in plenty of innuendo for the adults in the audience and my daughter did ask on several occasions what I was laughing at. This is what makes the ideal pantomime though, something that can be enjoyed by all ages, with cleverly placed jokes that would simply go above a child's head, ensuring that us parents can have an excellent evening of entertainment too. Well done!

Michael Chapman not only stars in Jack & the Beanstalk but also wrote and directed the show too. He is clearly an extremely talented individual and I look forward to seeing him again in future productions.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Plenty of laughs were also provided by Silly Billy, who was played by Lewis Pryor. He became an instant hit with the children due to his high energy and enthusiasm. There was one part of the show where he was chased into the audience by Dame Trott and he climbed into our row of seats much to my daughters delight. His charm and wit made him instantly lovable and a fast paced, tricky musical number involving rap, helped to highlight his fantastic performance skills.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Of course no pantomime would be complete without a baddie and Jack and the Beanstalk is certainly no exception. Lindzi Germain plays the role of Fleshcreep, who is the evil accomplice to The Giant. Her powerful and assertive voice made her the perfect villain and she certainly encouraged many boos from the audience. Lindzi's musical performance of 'Evil' was brilliant and the well choreographed routine with the senior dancers, certainly helped set the scene for the wicked Giant's castle.

Both the senior and juvenile dancers all contributed enthusiastically to the show and it was lovely to see so many children enjoying their time on stage. I was also very impressed with both the sound and lighting as I could see and hear every cast member perfectly, which made the musical numbers very enjoyable to watch.

Overall we found Jack & the Beanstalk to be a fun, family-friendly pantomime that I would happily go and see again. The much loved fairy tale has been amended somewhat, in order to suit a pantomime version, however the basics of the traditional story are there and it works very well on stage. The show offers all of the much loved elements of a panto, with the closing applause demonstrating it's popularity amongst the audience. The show is taking place every day until Sunday 8th April and for further information or to book tickets, please see the listing details below.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Listing Details

Important Note: Ray Quinn will not be appearing in performances on the 6th, 7th and 8th of April.

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk
Dates - Daily until Sunday 8th April 2018
Times - Performance times vary so please visit The Epstein Theatre website for further details.
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Tickets - Adults £16.50 / Concessions £15.50 / Family £54
Groups - £14 each and 1 in 15 free.
There are also a limited amount of £11 tickets available on select performances.
*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

Box Office - 0844 888 4411
Website - www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Tickets can also be booked in person at the theatre box office (open 2pm-6pm Mon-Thu & 12pm-6pm Fri-Sat)

Alternatively you can book tickets via TicketQuarter by calling 0844 8000 410 or visit www.ticketquarter.co.uk.

*Disclaimer: We were provided with tickets for the press night, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the show. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Photographs taken by David Munn Photography.


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Cinderella at St. Helens Theatre Royal - A Review

Once upon a time, you would have to wait until Christmas if you wanted to enjoy the family fun of a pantomime. However, in recent years the popularity of these shows has certainly been recognised, with both Easter and Summer pantos now becoming more common. As a theatre lover, it is great to see an increase in family orientated shows being available throughout the whole year and a pantomime can also offer the perfect introduction to live entertainment for young children.

I have read many great reviews of pantomimes that have been held at St Helens Theatre Royal in the past, so when the opportunity arose for us to go and watch Regal Entertainments magical Easter production of Cinderella we literally jumped at the chance. We regularly review shows in the North West region, but this was actually the first time that we had visited St Helen's Theatre Royal, so it was also nice for us to be able to visit a venue that we had not been to before.

Cinderella has been described as a fun filled show that has something on offer for the whole family and I would definitely have to agree. It is packed full of comedy, music, singing and dancing that not only brings a smile to your face, but has you moving and clapping in your seat too! Magic and enchantment also features throughout with sparkling costumes, a fabulous fairy tale carriage and a stellar cast.

Lee Latchford-Evans 'steps' into the role of Prince Charming fantastically well and is really suited for the part. His charismatic and bright personality shine through and with a notably strong singing voice, his musical performances throughout the show do not disappoint. Despite being best known for his role in STEPS, Lee is also an accomplished actor who has starred in musical theatre, film, TV and pantomime over the years. His casting in this show certainly helped to make it a 'steptacular' one and the end performance that featured a STEPS medley, was an absolute delight to watch and sing along to.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
Georgina Parkinson plays the beautiful Cinderella and my children really enjoyed her vocal performances. She had many scenes with Lewis Devine as Buttons and we all felt that they both worked really well together. Buttons managed to build up a good rapport with the audience throughout the show with his comical timing and jokes which helped to ensure the pantomime tradition of audience participation.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
Starring as the Fairy Godmother is Samantha Palin, whose singing voice was so powerful and amazing that it was a pleasure to listen to. It was no surprise to then read in the brochure that she has starred as the lead vocalist on board some of the worlds most prestigious cruise liners. There was one part of the show where she wowed the audience and even my husband (who is not easily impressed) turned to me and said her voice was incredible. Andrew Geater also features in the cast as Dandini, who has a very commanding stage presence.

The highlight for me though was of course The Ugly Sisters who brought some added comical value to the show. Resident Dame Si Foster was wonderful and was already a favourite of ours from his appearance in the Wizard of Oz, that we saw during it's Stockport run last year. Teamed up with Mark Newell to make the Kylie and Kendall Ugly Sisters double act, they created some wonderful laugh out loud moments, that were matched by equally impressive costumes.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
The set worked well for such an intimate theatre and the closing scenes of part 1 where the fairy tale carriage was created was magical. My youngest son was captivated as he watched the transformation of the pumpkin and was completely surprised to see real Shetland Ponies up on the stage. Credit must also be given to the young dancers who help to make this particular scene so marvellous.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
After the interval, we were treated to a very special interview with Button's best friend. I won't reveal too much about this as I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, but my children thought it was absolutely hilarious. Comedy was a very strong part of the second half with plenty of entertainment to provide some good belly laughs. This combined with the dazzling ballroom display and the spectacular finale made it the perfect pantomime to enjoy together as a family.

The music featured during the panto had been selected well, with a combination of 80's favourites such as 'Holding out for a Hero' and some modern day chart toppers such as Rita Ora's 'Anywhere'. As the show progressed though I began to wonder why the audience had not been treated to a performance of a STEPS song, given Lee Latchford-Evans inclusion in the cast. However, this was simply a case of saving the best til last and sure enough the closing moments of the show provided the audience with an incredible STEPS medley. This not only sounded brilliant, but looked fantastic on stage too with the perfectly timed dancing of the whole cast.

Overall we think that Regal Entertainments Ltd have done a fantastic job of producing a family pantomime that is suitable for all ages. We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and with ticket prices starting from only £13, it is the perfect show to keep everyone entertained during the Easter holidays.

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd presents Cinderella
Dates - Saturday 24th March to Sunday 15th April
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Tickets - From £13*
*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

Box Office - 01744 756000
Website - www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH
Facebook - www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own unless otherwise stated. Photographs by David Munn Photography.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal - 24th March to 15th April

Boot-scoot on down to St Helens Theatre Royal this Easter as Regal Entertainments are egg-static to announce that Steps pop-group member Lee Latchford-Evans will play the role of Prince Charming in their panto, Cinderella.

Guaranteed to be Steps above the rest, the show will be on stage from Saturday 24th March to Sunday 15th April, and tickets are on sale now.

Best known as one fifth of pop-phenomenon Steps, Lee has and still is achieving incredible success with the Brit award-winning band, selling in excess of 20 million records worldwide with famous hits such as Stomp, It's the Way You Make Me Feel, 5, 6, 7, 8, and recent iTunes Number 1 single Scared of the Dark. The band recently released their fifth studio album, Tears on the Dancefloor last April which also hit Number 1 on the UK iTunes chart and has since gone Gold. Steps recently completed their Party on the Dancefloor UK tour selling out 22 arenas across the UK & Ireland.

No stranger to panto, Lee has starred in Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast amongst others. The star has also appeared on the St Helens Theatre Royal stage as love lothario Bob, in Regal Entertainments' 2015 production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too! Other stage productions include Bill Kenwright's All Creatures Great and Small, and the West End production of Grease the Musical.

Lee said: "I'm really excited to be back performing at St Helens Theatre Royal. I received such a warm welcome from audiences when I was there in 2015 in Rita, Sue and Bob Too! This time I'm playing Prince Charming, I absolutely love pantomime it's a great fun way to give the audience some escapism and the atmosphere is always incredible."

"What makes it that little bit more special, being from Ellesmere Port, it's like performing to a home-town crowd. I cannot wait! I'll be seeing you at Easter, St Helens!"

Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager added: "I am delighted to announce Lee Latchford-Evans is playing the role of Prince Charming in our magical Easter Panto this year. We can't wait to hear his fantastic voice, and see some of those classic dance moves he's been showing off on tour this last year!"

The rest of the show's STEP-tacular all-star cast will be announced in the coming weeks, so Lee will soon know who will be playing his Dancing Queen at the Grand Ball.

Cinderella tells the story of a beautiful girl who is reduced to a life of servitude by her 2 ugly step-sisters, but that will all change when an invitation to a grand ball at the palace arrives. With a bit of magic and some help from her friend Buttons, Cinderella is transformed into the belle of the ball. But what will happen at the stroke of midnight?

Enchanted pumpkins, glass slippers, a sparking fairy-tale carriage and lots of fun to entertain the whole family, be sure to book tickets early. It would be a tragedy to miss it.

Cinderella runs from Saturday 24th March to Sunday 15th April and tickets are on sale now!

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd presents Cinderella
Dates - Saturday 24th March to Sunday 15th April
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Tickets - From £13*
*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

Box Office - 01744 756000
Website - www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH
Facebook - www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - Jack & the Beanstalk at The Epstein Theatre starring Ray Quinn

Fe-fi-fo-fum - get ready for some panto fun! This GIANT panto will be coming to the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this Easter and LHK productions have now announced that Liverpool's very own Ray Quinn, will be leading the all-star cast.

This egg-cellent production will be scaling new heights at The Epstein Theatre from Thursday 29th March to Sunday 8th April and tickets are on-sale now. With a beanstalk reaching the heavens, golden geese and hungry giants, this show really is too big to miss.

Ray is a multi-talented singer, dancer and actor, who first came to attention in 2000 playing Anthony Murray on Channel 4's Brookside, and won the hearts of the nation in 2006 on ITV's The X Factor where he went all the way to the final, finishing runner-up. Following the success of The X-Factor, Ray's debut album Doing It My Way entered the charts at number 1, selling over 300,000 copies without even releasing a single.

He then skated to victory not once, but twice on the ITV show Dancing on Ice as Series 4 champion in 2009, and then again on the All Stars series in 2014. Ray is also no stranger to the theatre stage, having appeared in some of the biggest hit shows, including Grease, Dirty Dancing and Legally Blonde. Most recently he starred as Glen, in the UK tour of the smash hit musical The Wedding Singer.

On joining the cast, Ray Quinn said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be coming home to Liverpool and appearing on The Epstein stage. There is no better feeling than playing to an audience in your home town! Panto is great fun, I always have a great time and I can't wait to be back. I'll see you at Easter Liverpool!"

LHK Productions Managing Director Lee Kelly added: We are delighted to have cast Ray as Jack for our Easter panto. He is a local lad, audiences from Liverpool know and love him! He is a true professional, and has appeared in some of the UK's biggest stage shows, so I know he will be a great addition to the show!"

The full cast who will be joining Ray to tell this epic tale will be announced in the coming months, so watch this space!

Important Note: Ray Quinn will not be appearing in the show on the 6th,7th & 8th of April.

Listing Details

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk
Dates - Thursday 29th March to Sunday 8th April
Times - Performance times vary so please visit The Epstein Theatre website for further details.
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Tickets - Adults £16.50 / Concessions £15.50 / Family £54
Groups - £14 each and 1 in 15 free.
There are also a limited amount of £11 tickets available on select performances.
*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

Box Office - 0844 888 4411
Website - www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Tickets can also be booked in person at the theatre box office (open 2pm-6pm Mon-Thu & 12pm-6pm Fri-Sat)

Alternatively you can book tickets via TicketQuarter by calling 0844 8000 410 or visit www.ticketquarter.co.uk.