Showing posts with label Family Entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Entertainment. Show all posts

Friday, 15 April 2022

Jack & The Beanstalk at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool - A Review

My family and I were very excited to return to the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool, to enjoy Regal Entertainments fabulous Easter pantomime production of Jack and the Beanstalk, which is running until the 24th April. This giant panto spectacular tells the story of a young boy named Jack, who sells their family cow for a handful of beans. During his adventures, he falls in love with the beautiful Princess Jill, who is then kidnapped by the evil Mrs Fleshcreep on behalf of the wicked Giant. However, the beans transpire to not be as worthless as initially thought, as a magical beanstalk soon grows up into the sky, allowing Jack to not only rescue the Princess, but to help his family too in the process.

Jack and the Beanstalk features a wonderful cast, a great selection of music, dazzling scenery and exceptional choreography, which all make this pantomime a pleasure to watch. From the opening scene, my youngest son was captivated and we were all extremely impressed by everyone involved in creating this family show. Not only did this production tell the story of Jack, but it did so in true Liverpudlian fashion, whilst also paying tribute to local legends both past and present, which we thought was a lovely touch.

Timothy Lucas is absolutely fantastic as Jack Trott and having seen him on stage previously in other panto roles, we knew we were in for a treat. His stage presence is simply superb and his comedic timing, facial expressions and delivery are just hilarious. Jack's brother, Simple Simon is played by Lewis Devine and the pair of them together provide laughter in abundance. Lewis has been a panto favourite of ours for years and he supplies non-stop entertainment with his loveable charm and humour.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Dame Trott is played by Mark Two and he provides plenty of amusement throughout the show with his quick wit and cheeky innuendoes. It was a pleasant surprise to read in the programme that Mark's costumes are exclusively made and designed by himself and his wife Dee. Their talent and creativity was definitely highlighted in the extravagant styling of Dame Trott's outfits.

Princess Jill is played by Maddie Hope Coelho who brought sweetness and charm to the role. She worked well alongside Jack and their performances together were fun and enjoyable. 

Abigail Middleton did a superb job as Mrs Fleshcreep and I was left particularly impressed by her wonderful performance in the opening scene of Act Two, which was outstanding. She played the villain well, but wasn't too scary for the younger guests in the audience which I felt was just the right balance for a family friendly show.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Fairy Mary was due to be played by Jenna Sian O'Hara, but due to illness on the day, the show director Olivia Sloyan brushed off her fairy wings and stepped into the role as a last minute replacement and highlighted her outstanding talent once again. We have had the pleasure of watching Olivia perform many times before and have always been blown away by her beautiful vocals. This pantomime performance was no exception and we also loved the sassiness she brought to the stage. 

The chosen musical numbers were definite crowd pleasers and my family and I particularly enjoyed the school scene in the first half of the show, where the cast deliver an excellent rendition of the song Revolting Children, which is extremely well presented with wonderful choreography.

Jack and the Beanstalk offers families a fantastic source of entertainment this Easter, and features all the must-have characteristics of a fun and exciting pantomime performance. It is wonderfully presented by an incredibly talented cast and crew, who deliver a show that is fast paced and packed full of energy from start to finish. The comedy and jokes that were showcased throughout had guests of all ages laughing out loud. It was also great to see audience participation return after the restrictions of the past couple of years and it was lovely watching everyone shouting, cheering and getting out of their seats to dance, which together created a brilliant atmosphere. Tickets are on sale now for this incredible show, so don't miss your chance to enjoy this giant spectacular pantomime this Easter. 

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

You can find out more by visiting The Epstein Theatre website at www.epsteintheatre.co.uk

You can also follow The Epstein Theatre on the following social media pages:

Facebook - facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre

Twitter - @EpsteinTheatre

Listing Details

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Regal Entertainments Ltd

Venue - The Epstein Theatre, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Dates - Wednesday 13th April 2022 to Sunday 24th April 2022

Times - Show times vary, therefore please visit the venue website for the most up to date information.

Tickets - From £14

How to Book

Book online: www.epsteintheatre.co.uk

Telephone bookings: Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm call 0844 888 9991 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge).

Group and School Bookings: Available by calling 0844 888 9991 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge).

In person: The Epstein Theatre Box Office is open Monday to Saturday between 12pm and 6pm, or two hours prior to the performance time on Sundays or Bank Holidays. Please note there is a £1 per ticket transaction fee when booking in person at the box office.


*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary family ticket to the press night performance, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show and our experience. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 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 venues own site in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Dates for your Diary - Jack and the Beanstalk at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool this Easter

Audiences are invited along to Liverpool's Epstein Theatre this Easter for a giant adventure packed with fun, laughter and magic, as Regal Entertainments presents its first Epstein Theatre panto of 2022 with family favourite Jack and the Beanstalk.

The cast have recently been announced as Lewis Devine as Simple Simon; Timothy Lucas as Jack; Mark Two as Dame Dolly Trott; Abigail Middleton as Mrs Fleshcreep; Maddie Hope Coelho as Princess Jill; and Jenna Sian O'Hara as Fairy Mary.

Jack and the Beanstalk tells the rags to riches story of a boy who sells the family's cow for a handful of beans, getting him into a lot of trouble with his poor mother. The tale takes a magical twist when the beans sprout into a magnificent beanstalk that reaches up to a mystical land high in the sky.

Audiences will join Jack on his gigantic journey up the beanstalk as he discovers geese with golden eggs, a magic harp, and a close encounter with a very hungry giant. But he'll need to tread carefully as the villainous Mrs Fleshcreep is hot on his heels, determined to stop him in his exciting tracks.

Jack and the Beanstalk is produced by Regal Entertainments Ltd; directed by Olivia Sloyan; written by Reece Sibbald; choreographed by Nazene Langfield; with musical direction by Callum Clarke. 

The pantomime will run at The Epstein Theatre from Wednesday 13th April to Sunday 24th April 2022. Tickets are priced from £14 and are on sale now.

You can find out more by visiting The Epstein Theatre website at www.epsteintheatre.co.uk

You can also follow The Epstein Theatre on the following social media pages:

Facebook - facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre

Twitter - @EpsteinTheatre

Listing Details

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Regal Entertainments Ltd

Venue - The Epstein Theatre, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Dates - Wednesday 13th April 2022 to Sunday 24th April 2022

Times - Show times vary, therefore please visit the venue website for the most up to date information.

Tickets - From £14

How to Book

Book online: www.epsteintheatre.co.uk

Telephone bookings: Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm call 0844 888 9991 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge).

Group and School Bookings: Available by calling 0844 888 9991 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge).

In person: The Epstein Theatre Box Office is open Monday to Saturday between 12pm and 6pm, or two hours prior to the performance time on Sundays or Bank Holidays. Please note there is a £1 per ticket transaction fee when booking in person at the box office.

*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. 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 venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Dates for your Diary - Peter Pan Flies Into St Helens This Easter

Hot on the heels of the half-term pantomime The Wizard of Oz, St Helens Theatre Royal has recently announced a fabulous cast for its Easter extravaganza.

Regal Entertainments is delighted to announce the full line-up for panto Peter Pan, which will entertain audiences during the Easter holidays. The show is part of the venue's exciting Spring Season 2022 programme.

Peter Pan will run at St Helens Theatre Royal from Saturday 2nd April to Monday 18th April 2022 and tickets are on sale now starting from £13.

Based on J.M. Barrie's timeless classic about the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan is the second Spring panto from Regal Entertainments, promising a family friendly swashbuckling show featuring fabulous flying scenes!

With a sprinkling of fairy dust, audiences are invited to join Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, Tinkerbell and friends as they leave St Helens behind, flying past the second star to the right and straight to Neverland, to enjoy daring adventures battling the evil Captain Hook and his hapless henchman. Along the way, theatregoers will also meet Pirates, Fairies, Lost Boys, Indians and of course one tick-tocking crocodile.

The title role of Peter Pan will be played by Harrison Vaughan from the television show The Greatest Dancer. He will be joined by a whole host of St Helens favourites returning to the stage for another spectacular panto.

Harrison trained at Liverpool's Jelli Studios, which was founded by Brookside's Jennifer Ellison. The accomplished dancer finished runner-up on BBC 1's The Greatest Dancer. His television credits include Taking the Next Step; The Next Step; Harrison Vaughan The Winner's Story; Peaky Blinders; Why I Dance? by Harrison Vaughan; and short film Saturday. Theatre credits include Matilda the musical at London's West End, and Peter Pan in Liverpool.

Harrison Vaughan said: "Peter Pan was my first panto as a child, I played Nibs the Lost Boy. It's crazy to think I'm now playing Peter all these years later. It's been so long since I've been on stage due to Covid, I'm so excited to be back performing in a theatre so close to my heart."

Harrison will be joined on stage by St Helens' favourites Lauren McCrory as Wendy; Mia Molloy as Tiger Lily; Reece Sibbald as Smee; David Phipps Davis as Mrs Smee; Scott Gallagher as Captain Hook; and newcomer to Regal Entertainments, Hayley Russell as Tink.

Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan commented: "Peter Pan is always a fabulous family favourite - you have the good characters, the mischevious characters, and the magical characters. It's a real show of pure escapism as we set off on a thrilling adventure with the Darling family and their new friends, and the exciting flying scenes are not to be missed. We're gearing up for a St Helens extravaganza this Easter."

St Helens Theatre Royal Spring Season 2022 brochure can be found online by visiting https://sthelenstheatreroyal.com/digital-brochure/ 

You can also follow St Helens Theatre Royal on the following social media pages:

Facebook - facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH

Instagram - @TheatreRoyalStHelens

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments present Peter Pan

Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Dates - Saturday 2nd April - Monday 18th April 2022

Times - Show times vary, therefore please visit the venue website for the most up to date information.

Tickets - From £13* (*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat booking fee. Online bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat online processing fee.)

The telephone ticket booking line can be contacted on 01744 756000 between 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday, or alternatively visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.


*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. 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 venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Full Cast Announced for The Wizard of Oz Panto at St Helens This February Half Term

Spectacular family pantomimes produced by Regal Entertainments are back at St Helens Theatre Royal for 2022 - with the first of four fabulous shows taking to the stage during the February half-term holidays.

The Wizard of Oz is a tale of love and friendship, and it continues to be a firm favourite with theatregoers of all ages. The show is part of the venue's exciting Spring Season 2022 programme which was announced in January. 

Join Dorothy and her trusted dog Toto on their epic adventure along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. Along the way they meet all those incredible characters including Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion - who all have their own special wishes which they hope the Wizard will grant when they reach their destination of Oz. 

Mia Molloy will be wearing those iconic red shoes and takes the lead role of Dorothy, joined by Abigail Middleton as the Wicked Witch

Everyone's favourite trio - Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion  - are sure to capture the hearts of audiences as they join Dorothy on her journey in their quest to gain a brain, heart and courage.

Reece Sibbald who starred in Regal's Jack and the Beanstalk in October, is Scarecrow; Tin Man is Harry Moore, who appeared in Regal's Goldilocks And The Three Bears in December; and Scott Gallagher as Lion after also appearing alongside Harry in Goldilocks And The Three Bears.

Glinda will be played by Jenna Sian O'Hara, who also starred in Jack And The Beanstalk and Goldilocks And The Three Bears last year. Adam Melville will play The Wizard

The Wizard of Oz is the first of four Regal Entertainments' pantomimes being staged at St Helens Theatre Royal during 2022 - with all shows sure to capture the magic, excitement and memorable experience of a family coming together to watch live entertainment. The programme also includes Peter Pan at Easter, Sleeping Beauty during October half-term and Cinderella at Christmas 2022

Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan commented: "It's always such a joy to announce a classic show. The Wizard of Oz really has stood the test of time on stage and silver screen, wowing youngsters and grown-ups alike. Seeing children sat in the auditorium alongside their parents and grandparents all enjoying the show is so special.

"This year Regal Entertainments will also be bringing Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to the St Helens stage - all iconic and real classics. But for now, click your heels together as we join Dorothy and Toto on their colourful adventure." 

St Helens Theatre Royal Spring Season 2022 brochure can be found online by visiting https://sthelenstheatreroyal.com/digital-brochure/ 

You can also follow St Helens Theatre Royal on the following social media pages:

Facebook - facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH

Instagram - @TheatreRoyalStHelens

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments presents The Wizard of Oz

Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Dates - Friday 11th February to Sunday 20th February 2022

Times - Show times vary, therefore please visit the venue website for the most up to date information.

Tickets - From £13* (*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat booking fee. Online bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat online processing fee.)

The telephone ticket booking line can be contacted on 01744 756000 between 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday, or alternatively visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.

*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. 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 venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Aladdin at St. Helens Theatre Royal - A Review

Regal Entertainments' pantomimes at St. Helens Theatre Royal are renowned for their fantastic productions and this years Christmas offering of Aladdin is certainly no exception. From start to finish the show is packed full of comedy, stunning vocals and plenty of dance moves that are strictly fabulous.

This pantomime tells the story of Aladdin, his quest for the magical lamp and his love for the beautiful Princess Jasmine. However, the evil Abanazar wants the lamp and its powers all to himself and sets up a cunning plan to become its owner. The Genie of the Lamp is on hand to grant three wishes to its bearer, whilst the Slave of the Ring is full of helpful wisdom and advice. Aladdins family Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee ensure that Aladdin gets all the help he needs and together this creates a fun re-telling of this age long story.

St. Helens is one of our favourite theatres and as we took our seats in the circle, we could feel the excitement throughout the building with a lovely atmosphere that continued throughout the show. There was plenty of audience participation and children (plus adults) loved joining in with the traditional 'It's Behind You' and 'Oh Yes He Did' scenes.

Image credit: David Munn Photography

Robin Windsor stars in the lead role of Aladdin and suits the role perfectly with his charm, wit and exceptional dancing ability. I thought his on stage partnership with Princess Jasmine (Olivia Sloyan) worked well and we really enjoyed her exceptional vocals, which really make her shine like the star she is, when performing on stage.

Resident Dame Si Foster plays the glamourous Widow Twankey and we loved his character and cheeky personality. His humour was complimented well by Scott Gallagher, who starred as Wishee Washee who delivered his scenes with perfect comical timing. We also thought that his interaction with the children in the second half of the show during the 'Floss Like a Boss' competition was brilliant. Friendly and hilarious, which was perfect!

One of our panto favourites Philip McGuinness gives an amusing portrayal of the wicked Abanazar. We have seen him in numerous pantomimes previously and he never disappoints. He is great at providing is own interpretation of a character which is very enjoyable to watch.

Image credit: David Munn Photography

Kai Jolley stars as the Genie of the Lamp and we thought that he was great, with a very clear and strong voice, along with the enthusiasm and warmth that you would expect from the genie. We really enjoyed his moments on stage, along with The Slave of the Ring played by Jenna O'Hara who suited the supporting role well. A special mention also has to go to both the senior and juvenile dancers who exhibited their wonderful skills superbly throughout the whole show.

The stand out character for us though, was the wonderful Timothy Lucas, starring as PC Noodle, who we found to be highly entertaining and we felt he was the perfect addition to a stellar cast. He delivers countless comical performances which provides families with plenty of laughter. His vocals are strong, which were evident during a particular scene with Abanazar, where a musical mash-up of well known songs is delivered flawlessly.

Image credit: David Munn Photography

The scenery was bright and eye-catching, whilst the costumes were glamorous and extravagant, ensuring that the cast most definitely looked the part. The clever and witty script was delivered with excellence and the comedy scenes were hilarious, especially a funny sketch that took place in the laundry, as well as the moment that the audience were soaked with water guns. We thought we may have been safe from this being seated upstairs, but the cast ensured that we didn't miss out on the fun, much to my children's delight.

The inclusion of a 3D scene was wonderful and the audience were taken on a magical carpet ride. I found the quality of this scene to be superb and despite knowing that it wasn't real, I will happily admit jumping a couple of times as creatures came flying towards me.

Overall we had an absolutely wonderful time watching Aladdin and feel that it truly offers something for the whole family to enjoy. With jokes for the kids, some cheeky innuendos for the adults, stunning vocals, creative choreography and plenty of fun for audiences of all ages. We would absolutely recommend this show to everyone, so don't miss your chance to see this fabulous pantomime and be sure to book your tickets very soon!

Listing Details

Show - Aladdin
Venue - St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1LQ
Dates - Saturday 7th December 2019 to Sunday 12th January 2020
Times - Times vary so please visit the St. Helens Theatre Royal website here to obtain this information.
Tickets - Prices start 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.

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

Image credit: David Munn Photography

*Disclaimer - We were provided with press tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the production. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise. Details provided are believed to be correct at the 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.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Stellar Cast Revealed for Cinderella at The Epstein Theatre This Christmas

Epstein Entertainments Ltd have recently announced the first wave of stars confirmed for their debut panto production, coming to The Epstein Theatre this Christmas. Audiences are guaranteed to have a ball when the greatest rags to riches tale opens from Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020 and tickets are on sale now!

Emmerdale's Sammy Winward; Benidorm's Crissy Rock; and Brookside's Sarah White are all set to appear in Cinderella at the Hanover Street venue later this year.

Sammy Winward, who trained at the Academy of Classical Dance and Stage and is most notable for playing Katie Sugden in ITV's Emmerdale, will lead the cast in the title role of Cinderella.

It is also certain to be a White Crissy-mas, with Brookside's Sarah White and award-winning actor and comedian Crissy Rock appearing as the Ugly Sisters.


Crissy's screen career began with an award-winning performance in Ken Loache's 1994 film drama Ladybird, Ladybird. The Liverpool native is also renowned for her role as Janey York in ITV's Benidorm, and most recently took part in The All New Monty: Ladies Night which saw a group of celebrities strip-off to raise awareness of the importance of early health checks in preventing breast cancer.

Crissy's stage credits include Escorts: The Musical, Dirty Dusting, Rita, Sue and Bob Too! and Achy Breaky Bride, and panto credits include Ugly Sister in Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal and Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty at The Brindley.

Whilst Sarah White is best known for her character Bev McLoughlin in Brookside, where her controversial and dramatic storyline saw her have a baby with her boyfriend's son. Her theatre credits include Margy in The Morris at the Liverpool Everyman, Rita in three UK tours of Naked Truth, and Sheila in The Salon at both The Epstein Theatre and St Helens Theatre Royal.

Further casting will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Cinderella is produced by Epstein Entertainments Ltd, a joint venture between Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph from Regal Entertainments Ltd and producer Bill Elms.

Epstein Entertainments' debut production at the venue promises to be a festive extravaganza.

Producer Chantelle Nolan said: "We are very excited to finally reveal the first stars confirmed for our debut panto at the Epstein Theatre. Our beautiful leading lady, Sammy Winward, was on our screens in one of the UK's biggest tv shows and will dazzle as Cinderella.

"It was important for us to bring local talent to the Epstein stage and Crissy and Sarah are revered Liverpool household names. It promises to be a tremendous show for audiences young and old this Christmas."

Director Jane Joseph added: "It is an absolute joy to be returning to direct the Christmas panto at the Epstein Theatre. I directed my very first panto here in 1994 when it was The Neptune, so this venue holds a very special place in my heart. We have a fabulous show lined up for audiences this year so be sure to book your tickets."

Cinderella tells the story of a beautiful girl who is reduced to a life of servitude by her two ugly stepsisters. That is all set to 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 sparkling fairy-tale carriage - Epstein Entertainments' version of this classic tale has something for the whole family.

Be sure to book your tickets early and get ready to be whisked off to the most lavish panto in all the land.

Listing Details

Show - Cinderella
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Dates - Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020
Times - Times vary so please visit the Epstein Theatre website for the most up to date information.
Tickets: Various tickets available starting from £11

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit 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.

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

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.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Zog Flies Into Storyhouse, Chester from the 5th-7th April 2019 - Preview

My family and I are huge fans of books written by Julia Donaldson and all three of my children have grown up enjoying her wonderful stories of fun and adventure. We were therefore really excited to learn more about the hotly anticipated family stage show of Zog, which will be flying into Storyhouse in Chester, next week!

Tickets are on sale now for this wonderful production of Zog, which is based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler. The show is currently embarking on a UK tour, which started earlier this month in Leeds and it will be at Storyhouse from Friday 5th of April to Sunday 7th April for a total of six performances.


The stage adaptation of the book is suitable for children and families of all ages. It will tell the story of Zog who is large in size and very keen in nature. He is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon's school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet.....a duel with a knight, Sir Gadabout the Great!

The world of Zog will be brought to life on stage by a skilled team of actor-puppeteers, using handcrafted puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright. It is adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd (founder and artistic director of Kneehigh), with an original folk score by Johnny Flynn (currently starring in True West in the West End), and designs by Katie Sykes (Jane Eyre at the National Theatre).

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

The cast features Elliot Mackenzie (professional debut) as Zog; Emily Benjamin (Bat Out Of Hell) as Princess Pearl; Robert Ginty (Salome and Coriolanus, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Sir Gadabout the Great; Euan Wilson (Stick Man, UK Tour) as Madame Dragon; and Dixie McDevitt  (National Youth Theatre alumni) as Ensemble.

Zog is produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston. Freckle Productions' most recent show is Tabby McTat, an adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson, following their acclaimed productions of Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Stick Man.

Completing the creative team are movement director Tom Jackson Greaves (Billionaire Boy, UK Tour), lighting designer Ric Mountjoy (The Play that Goes Wrong), sound designer Julian Starr (Violet, Charing Cross Theatre), puppet designer Lyndie Wright (Little Angel Theatre), puppet director Sarah Wright (Kneehigh's Brief Encounter), and movement and circus consultant Tina Koch.

Tickets for this wonderful production are on sale now, priced at £16 for adults and £14 for children. Each ticket is also subject to a booking fee of £1.50. Group rates are also available.

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Listing Details

Show: Zog
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Friday 5th April to Sunday 7th April 2019
Times: Friday 5th April - 4:30pm / Saturday 6th April - 11am, 2pm, 4pm / Sunday 7th April 11am, 2pm.
Tickets: Adults £16 / Children £14 - each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee / Group 10+ £12.50 each.
Duration - Approximately 1 hour.
Booking: This can be done online at www.storyhouse.com, by calling 01244 409113 or by visiting the ticket kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

For further details you can visit the Storyhouse website, or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.storyhouse.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/storyhouselive
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

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

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dates for your Diary - Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom at St Helen's Theatre Royal - 23rd to 24th February 2019

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom takes to the stage at St Helens Theatre Royal on the 23rd and 24th February 2019 in a show that is sure to delight the whole family!

Holly is a young Fairy Princess, who is still learning how to fly and her magic doesn't always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn't have wings and he doesn't do magic, but he runs very fast and flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure. So be sure to join Ben, Holly and their friends on their exciting, enchanting and magical musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter this February.

Photo by Dan Tsantilis 
Entertainment One's (eOne) Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom hails from the award-winning animation studio Astley Baker Davies, creators of the global preschool phenomenon Peppa Pig. Currently a top-rated show for pre-schoolers Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom airs daily on Nick Jr and on 5's Milkshake and has picked up numerous accolades including a BAFTA award, British Animation Award and an Emmy Award.

Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager said: "We are very excited to welcome Ben and Holly to St Helens Theatre Royal. It is certain to be one of the highlights of our season of family shows for 2019!"

For further information you can visit the Ben and Holly website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website: www.benandhollylive.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/benandhollylive
Twitter: @benandhollylive

Listing Details

Show - Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal
Dates - Saturday 23rd February and Sunday 24th February
Tickets* - Premium - Adults £21 / Child £19
Band 1 - Family (2 adults & 2 children) £60 / Adults £17 / Child (up to 16 years) £15 / Child (6-12 months) £11
Band 2 - Adults £15 / Child (up to 16 years) £13 / Child (6-12 months) £11

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

To book tickets you can visit the Theatre Royal Box Office, Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ (Mon-Sat 10am til 5pm). Alternatively you can call 01744 756000 or visit the website at www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com


Lauren Martin as Holly - Photo by Dan Tsantilis
*Disclaimer: This is a press release. Details provided believed to be correct at time of writing, but are subject to change so would always recommend visitng the venue's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal - A Review

On Wednesday evening, St Helen's Theatre Royal & Regal Entertainments Ltd took us on a swashbuckling adventure, when we attended the press night for this years Christmas pantomime of Peter Pan! This was our fourth visit to St Helens Theatre Royal this year alone and if there is one thing we have learnt, it's that they certainly know how to put on a fantastic show! We know from past experiences that their pantomimes are always superb, but having never seen Peter Pan in panto form before, there was an added element of excitement as we took our seats ready for the show to begin.

The production features everything you could hope for - from upbeat well known songs to some musical favourites, exceptional choreography to fantastic flying, plenty of laughter and even a 3D scene thrown in too. Their pantomimes never disappoint and it is very clear to see that they have a fantastic team that have recognised exactly what families want, when coming to see their shows.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
The whole cast were excellent from start to finish and they are evidently a very talented team. Georgina Parkinson stars as Wendy Darling and she has the most beautiful singing voice making her vocal performances a pleasure to listen to. She suits the role perfectly and works extremely well alongside Peter Pan.

Kristina Rihanoff sparkles as the loveable but tempremental Tinkerbell and certainly adds some fairy magic. At one point during the show, she takes part in a dance off and being Strictly fans, it was great to see some wonderful moves on stage. Everything she took part in was done with elegance and pizzazz and we really enjoyed all of her performances!

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
Captain Hook is played by the magnificent Louis Emerick who delivers the perfect pantomime villain. Although he is the ultimate baddie, his witty remarks, powerful confidence and comical relationship with Mrs Smee made him very entertaining to watch. The St Helens theatre-goers never failed to shout Boooooo when he took to the stage and it was great to see a lot of audience interaction throughout the show.

It was fantastic to see the lovely Lewis Devine playing the starring role of Peter Pan and having always viewed him as a comedian, we were intrigued as to how he would play a more serious role. Whilst there was less of the slapstick style comedy that we have seen from him in previous productions, his portrayal of Peter Pan showed that there is far more to him than just creating a giggle. He consistently wowed us on stage whether acting, singing, or simply interacting with the audience members. He definitely knows how to keep a crowd entertained and can always be depended on to deliver a wonderful performance.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
Resident Dame Si Foster has also become one of our panto favourites. In this years Christmas production he stars as Mrs Smee and his interaction with Captain Hook was absolutely hilarious at times. We loved his performance of Fernando & Gimme Gimme Gimme, which was a scene that I could have quite happily watched several times over.

Tigerlily is played by Abigail Middleton who has a fantastic stage presence and great vocals too. The pantomime also features some extremely talented children who were certainly stars in their own right. The two young boys who played John and Michael were wonderful and it was great to see some younger performers trusted with main roles. The show also involved plenty of fast paced dance and the juvenile dancers completed the choreographed moves with ease and always with a smile on their faces.

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
We felt that there was a great music selection throughout the pantomime with something for everyone to enjoy. A particular highlight for me was seeing the whole audience sing along to George Ezra's Shotgun song, which had a lot of the children up on their feet singing and dancing away. My youngest son Riley absolutely loves this song, so he was delighted when it began to play. Be warned however that Baby Shark is also on the playlist, so parents be ready to get involved and sing along!

The 3D scene added a new element to the pantomime and it was great to have this incorporated into the show. One thing that I would say though is that if you are attending with very young children who scare easily, then it maybe best to watch without the glasses. There are parts where sharks, fish and crabs do jump out at you, which even caused some screams from the adults too. It is a lot of fun and the audience loved it!

Overall we had a wonderful time watching Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal and we haven't stopped talking about it since. We enjoyed it so much that we have already planned a return visit in the New Year. We cannot wait to see the show again and we also intend on bringing several other family members for a fun filled afternoon. This production provides so much for families to enjoy, making Peter Pan the perfect pantomime to visit this Christmas.

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd present Peter Pan
Dates - Saturday 8th December 2018 to Sunday 13th January 2019
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 £11*
*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 invited to attend the press night for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Disney on Ice presents Dream Big at the Manchester Arena - A Review

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will already know of my love for Disney On Ice. We have attended numerous productions over the years and I can honestly say that I will never tire of watching the amazing dancers bring the Disney characters to life. It is a personal highlight on the calendar for me and we were very excited to be invited along to the Manchester opening night to experience Disney On Ice presents Dream Big!

From the moment we arrived, the Manchester Arena was full of smiles and excitement. There were children in costumes everywhere we turned, as princesses, heroes, flashing wands and twinkling lights filled the arena. Guests both young and old beamed with happiness waiting for the show to commence and as the lights began to dim, a wave of anticipation swept across the audience as the music began to play and the dancers took to the ice.

After a brief introduction by Mickey, Minnie and friends who encouraged the audience to get up on their feet and dance, we were treated to the main event, which kept the crowd captivated from start to finish. Mickey and Minnie did of course make regular appearances throughout the show and helped to connect each of the stories to the next.

First to take to the ice was Aladdin and we absolutely loved the fun and craziness involved with the opening market scene as Aladdin was trying to escape. This act went to another level though as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine performed a duet to a Whole New World which was absolutely amazing.

Exhibiting the most beautiful and skillful skating as they glided across the ice, my family and I were mesmerised and my youngest son Riley, could not believe his eyes when Aladdin skated around the ice rink holding Jasmine in the air using only one hand. The strength, skill and practice which must have gone into this routine must have been incredible, to make it appear so flawless thoughout. We have been hugely impressed by the skills shown in previous productions, but this one certainly stood out for us right from the start.


The Beauty and the Beast segment of the show was a real crowd pleaser, however I was left slightly disappointed mainly because the Beast didn't actually feature (well not in Beast form anyway). Whilst I really enjoyed the performance of Be Our Guest I felt that this could have been followed up with a Belle and Beast duet to the full song of Tale As Old As Time before concluding, which I am sure would have looked incredible upon the ice.

My personal favourite from the whole night was Moana and demigod Maui whose costume alone was extremely impressive. The duo were making their Manchester debut and Riley was delighted as we watched the fantastic routine to How Far I'll Go, which combined incredible ice skating moves with a powerful choreography that was mesmerising to watch. It was a performance that I am sure will inspire and encourage others to Dream Big and it is certainly one that my family and I will be talking about for some time.


The Little Mermaid has always been one of my favourite acts in previous Disney on Ice productions and so I was really happy to see that the Under the Sea routine had been included as part of Dream Big. The ice was full of bright colours and everyone clapped and danced along to the music as The Little Mermaid, Sebastian, Flounder and friends took us on a journey beneath the waves.

Other performances included Tangled, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, with the latter featuring a spectacular fire breathing dragon. The clever use of pyrotechnics creates small flames across the ice as the Prince battled with the dragon. My children were fascinated by this and kept asking me why the fire didn't melt the ice. To be honest I am not sure myself!


The final act was one that we have come to know and love from our last few visits to Disney on Ice and it never disappoints. It was the moment my youngest son Riley had been waiting all evening, as sisters Elsa and Anna took us on an icy adventure to the town of Arendelle, in a shortened version of the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning animated film Frozen.

Audiences sang along as stunning performances to Love Is An Open Door, For The First Time In Forever and Let It Go took place within the ice rink. Although there wasn't a large amount of scenery to support these performances, the music and skating was more than enough to keep us entertained in a routine packed with high flying spins and dance moves galore. Snow fell from the rooftop which added to the magic and created a beautiful wintry sight.

I had read a couple of reviews prior to attending the show, that stated that Disney on Ice presents Dream Big was more suited for girls, due to the amount of princesses that feature throughout, however I would definitely have to disagree. As well as the stunning princesses, there are also many heroes, stunts, and even a fire breathing dragon, to ensure that there is plenty to keep everyone entertained regardless of gender or age. My youngest son's favourite acts were from the Moana and Frozen characters and his highlight was singing Let It Go with his dad as Elsa took to the ice.


Overall we found Disney On Ice presents Dream Big to be absolutely incredible. This show has pulled out all the stops in creating something so magical and entertaining, which was an absolute pleasure to enjoy with my family in Manchester last night. Everything flowed so well and none of the segmented stories felt too long. I loved that Dream Big featured a wide range of characters so that audiences could be treated to a whole host of Disney stories on the ice, ranging from the classics such as Cinderella, to the modern day wonders such as Frozen and Moana. Last night's production literally blew me away and Feld Entertainment certainly did Dream Big when putting this magnificent show together.

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will be in Manchester until the 14th October, before continuing on their UK tour. For the complete list of tour dates, please head to www.disneyonice.co.uk. You can also keep up to date on the latest developments through social media by visiting:

Facebook - www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIceUK
Twitter - @DisneyOnIce #DreamBig
YouTube - www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce
Instagram - @DisneyOnIce

Listing Details

Show - Disney On Ice presents Dream Big
Dates - 10th to the 14th October 2018
Times - Wed, Thurs, Fri: 6:30pm / Sat & Sun: 10:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm
Venue - Manchester Arena, Manchester

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big UK Tour Dates

Manchester Arena - 10th October to 14th October 2018
Birmingham, Arena Birmingham - 19th October to 28th October 2018
Belfast, SSE Arena - 2nd November to 4th November 2018
Dublin, City West Hotel - 9th November to 11th November 2018
Sheffield, Fly DSA Arena - 14th November to 18th November 2018
Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena - 21st November to 25th November 2018
London, The O2, 26th December 2018 to 6th January 2019


Disclaimer: We were invited to Disney on Ice presents Dream Big, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show. Thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Images provided by Disney on Ice. This post does not contain affiliate links.