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

Monday, 8 March 2021

St Helens Announce All-New Goldilocks for Christmas Pantomime 2021

St Helens Theatre Royal have recently announced that an all-new spectacular production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears will be its Christmas pantomime 2021. It will run from Friday 10th December 2021 through to Sunday 9th January 2022 and tickets are on sale now!

The annual panto family show has become a firm favourite with St Helens audiences, making it a real highlight of the festive season year after year. Producers Regal Entertainments are delighted to bring the exciting story of Goldilocks, her three furry friends, and all the fun of the circus to the St Helens stage this Christmas time. An all-star cast will be announced soon.

The show also promises high production values, stunning costumes, laugh out loud comedy, a smash-hit selection of chart hits to sing and dance along to - all highlights which regular Regal Entertainments' audiences look forward to experiencing.

Theatregoers are advised that Goldilocks had previously been announced as the Easter half-term pantomime, however due to Government guidelines still being in place, it is not possible to go ahead. However, an Easter pantomime will be available to stream online and details will be announced shortly. Customers who have already booked tickets will be contacted direct.

Theatre Manager Chantelle Nolan commented: "With the vaccination programme rolling out at a fantastic pace and the Government roadmap revealed, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Everyone is craving live theatre and escapism - and there's nothing quite like a pantomime to bring out your inner child.

"We are desperate to bring pantomime back to the St Helens Stage after having last year's Christmas panto run cut short. We've all missed out on making so many special memories - so let's make Christmas 2021 one to remember. We have an incredibly fun, exciting and magical show in store for audiences, and we cannot wait to see the auditorium filled with joy and laughter - just as it should be."

St Helens Theatre Royal will ensure that any Government guidelines still required in December will be in place to ensure the safety of theatregoers, venue staff, cast and crew.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears will run at St Helens Theatre Royal from Friday 10th December 2021 through to Sunday 9th January 2022. Tickets are on sale now starting at £16.

Tickets can be booked over the phone or in person at the box office between 10am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday. Tickets can also be purchased online. For more information, please visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.

You can also find St Helens Theatre Royal on the following social media channels:

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

Twitter: @TheatreRoyalStH

Instagram: @TheatreRoyalStH

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd Present: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal

Dates - Friday 10th December 2021 to Sunday 9th January 2022

Tickets - From £16*

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


*Disclaimer - This post is written based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. All information is believed to be correct at the time of publishing but is subject to change. I would 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. 


Thursday, 30 January 2020

The Wizard of Oz at St Helens' Theatre Royal this February Half Term

A wizardly February half term panto is coming to St Helens Theatre Royal and its producers are delighted to reveal its wonderful cast. Click your heels together and join Dorothy and Toto on the Yellow Brick Road in Regal Entertainments' The Wizard of Oz from Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd February 2020.

Rising young star Mia Molloy, steps into the red slippers as she takes on the lead role of Dorothy. Mia has played the lead roles in both Sleeping Beauty and Snow White at St Helens Theatre Royal and was first cast as Amy Chandler in the original production of Our Day Out - The Musical at the Royal Court Theatre aged just 14.

Samantha Palin plays The Wicked Witch. Samantha is also no stranger to St Helens Theatre Royal as her recent theatre credits include the villainous fairy Carabosse in October's Sleeping Beauty and - by contrast - the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool.

Reece Sibbald plays The Scarecrow who wants a brain. County Durham born Reese has played the Scarecrow at Whitley Bay Playhouse in 2018, in 2013, 2016 and 2017 and his roles include Baby Bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Ratty in Wind in the Willows and Buttons in Cinderella.

Harry Moore is The Tin Man seeking a heart. No stranger to panto, Harry has played both The Wizard and Tin Man in previous productions of The Wizard of Oz and Dame Dotty Trott in Jack and the Beanstalk. His theatre credits include Yakov in The Seagull, Cridle in St Joan of the Stockyards and Father Bojovic in Pentecost.

Returning after his memorable role as PC Noodle in St Helens' 5 star panto Aladdin, Timothy Lucas plays the Cowardly Lion who wants some courage. Trained at Liverpool theatre school, Timothy has played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast in 2017 and the notorious Captain Hook in Peter Pan in 2018.

Another St Helens alumnus Abigail Middleton, returns in the role of the Good Fairy Glinda. Abigail has played Tiger Lily in Peter Pan at St Helens and her recent credits include Lucy in Pig, Sister Mary in Scouse Pacific and Nancy in Kiss Me Quickstep.

James Lusted completes the cast in the titular as The Wizard. James has worked as an actor and TV presenter for 10 years. His theatre work includes Follow Me for Theatre Brycheiniog and The Funfair at Home Theatre in Manchester, as well as several appearances in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Audiences are invited to join Dorothy and Toto as they follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, so Dorothy can ask the Wizard to help her return home. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Man who desires a heart and the Cowardly Lion who needs courage.

Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager, producer and director said: "We have a fantastic cast for The Wizard of Oz, featuring many familiar faces that our audiences know and love. The show is packed full of great jokes, brilliant songs, dazzling costumes and show-stopping choreography. It's a 'wonderful' show, with something for the whole family to enjoy. Tickets are already on sale so make sure you book yours now!"

The Wizard of Oz comes to St Helens Theatre Royal from Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd February 2020. For more information you can visit the St Helens Theatre Royal website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - https://www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sthelenstheatreroyal/
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH

Listing Details

Show - The Wizard of Oz
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ
Dates - Saturday 15th February to Sunday 23rd February 2020
Times - Times vary, so please visit the website to obtain the most up to date information.
Tickets - Tickets start from £12*

*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.

Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the box office, or alternatively you can call 01744 756000 if you would like to book over the phone.



*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.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

My two eldest children are now both in high school, where they have quickly found that subjects are far more focused than they were in primary. They find History absolutely fascinating, but with so much to remember it can be hard to retain some of the factual information at times, especially when delivered in a traditional classroom setting. One thing that has always helped them in relation to their History topics, is the Horrible Histories series of books, which deliver history in not just an educational way, but also in a manner that is fun and enjoyable too. We were therefore delighted to attend Storyhouse in Chester last night to see Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors!

There was grisly gags and bloodthirsty battles galore, throughout this action packed show that was cleverly delivered by a talented trio of actors from the Birmingham Stage Company. There was never a dull moment as we were taken on a journey through the Terrible Tudor times and learnt about the murderous monarchs, manky medicines and perilous punishments that were typical of this historical era.

Image credit: Mark Douet

The show began with Richard III and a brief comical portrayal of the Battle of Bosworth, where we were then introduced to Henry VII also known as Henry Tudor. As the show progressed we learnt more about his successors and of course the fiercesome Henry VIII and his six wives. My children particularly enjoyed this part of the show, especially the very easy song which had all of the audience singing along and joining in with some simple choreographed moves.

We were initially surprised at the minimal use of props, as I had envisaged there being quite an elaborate stage setting due to the stories that would be told. However, this quite simplistic appearance actually worked fantastically well and ensured that the focus was on the actors and the exciting way that they were delivering the show. This compacted telling of British history was extremely enjoyable and we remained fascinated through the show, right up until the demise of Queen Elizabeth I.

In between learning about the Tudor monarchs and their families, we were also provided with some very disgusting facts about how life would have been. My son chuckled at the idea of Edward VI's whipping boy, whilst my daughter and I laughed through the comical rendition of Greensleeves.

The crime and punishment scene left us all shocked at just how horrific the sentences were, whilst the manky medicines left us equally disgusted at their choice of treatments and potions. We were amazed from start to finish and remained engaged and excited as our historical knowledge increased by the minute.

A particular highlight for us all though, was the Elizabeth I and Will.I.Am Shakespeare scene which made us want to get on stage and dance along with them. It was fantastic and certainly very memorable. We also enjoyed the added novelty of Bogglevision 3D effects during the second act, which provided yet another exciting element to the show.

Overall we had a wonderful time at Horrible Histories Live on Stage - The Terrible Tudors and we were very impressed by the cast and their performances throughout the show. It was educational, entertaining and most of all fun, with plenty of audience participation too. Packed full of facts, jokes and a colourful script, we all came away from the show having learnt something new, as well as a song that will be stuck in our head for weeks to come!

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is currently performing BOTH the Terrible Tudors and the Awful Egyptians at Storyhouse this week at varying times, so make sure you don't miss out and check out the listing details below for the remaining dates.

Listing Details

Horrible Histories 
Performances until Friday 8th November
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets: £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 Adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8th November 2019 at 10:30am

Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 10:30am
Friday 8th November 2019 at 6pm

Tickets can be booked online at www.storyhouse.com, or by calling 01244 409113. Alternatively you can visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

*Disclaimer - We were provided with press tickets for the purpose of reviewing the show. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the M&S Bank Arena 13th December to 24th December 2019

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it's off to panto land we go as Shone Productions' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs comes to The Auditorium at the M&S Bank Arena from Friday 13th December to Tuesday 24th December 2019.

This magical tale sees Snow White flee to the enchanted forest to escape the clutches of the evil Wicked Queen after the Magic Mirror foretells that Snow White is the fairest of them all!

Image credit: Activate Digital

The show will feature amazing 3D special effects along with plenty of laughter, music, comedy, breath-taking sets and costumes. So be sure to book early for this festive panto extravaganza.

Union J's JJ Hamblett will lead the all-star cast as the Prince; the hilarious Mark Hudson as Dame Dolly; local talent Ellie Turner plays Snow White; the Scouse queen of panto, Radio City's Leanne Campbell returns to play The Wicked Queen; and comedy star Bippo is back to play Muddles. Plus, it has recently been announced that Radio City Talk presenter, performer and media personality Pete Price will be the voice of the Dragon.

Listing Details

Event - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Date - Friday 13th December to Tuesday 24th December 2019
Times - Times vary so please see the website for the most up to date information.
Tickets - Prices start from £12.50
Booking - Tickets can be purchased from the website www.mandsbankarena.com/snowwhite or call the M&S Bank Arena Box Office on 0344 8000 400

Image credit: David Munn Photography

*Disclaimer - This post is written based on details 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.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Dates for your Diary - Mr Popper's Penguins comes to Greater Manchester this Christmas

For the past couple of years my family and I have enjoyed visiting Waterside in Sale over the festive period, to enjoy some fabulous Christmas productions. Our first experience back in 2017 was to see The Bear, which was an absolutely beautiful show, that was brought to the stage by Pins and Needles Productions.

Their return the following year in 2018 delivered a stunning adaptation of Father Christmas, which was based on the well known story book by Raymond Briggs. I can honestly say that this show was one of my favourite theatre experiences with my youngest son, as it felt so magical and special.

We were therefore really excited to hear that this years show is Mr Popper's Penguins which is a Kenny Wax and TC Beech production adapted for the stage by Pins and Needles Productions.

Puppets, penguins, packing crates and pure magic abound in this phenomenally popular and successful production of Mr Popper's Penguins, which returns to Manchester this Christmas. Running from Tuesday 26th November through to the 31st December, acclaimed children's theatre company Pins & Needles bring their award-winning and smash-hit show to Waterside in Sale for frost-filled, festive fun for all the family. Pppppop online as tickets are now on sale!

Painter and Decorator by day, Mr Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic Adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep - and out of which waddles a penguin...

With original songs and performing penguin puppets to charm audiences of all ages, this delightful and action-packed musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater's book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey as Mr Popper) is the perfect family treat to warm hearts and souls on a cold winter's day.

Darren Adams, Manager of Waterside says: "We are so thrilled to welcome back Pins & Needles to Waterside after two hugely successful and record breaking years which saw unprecedented sales and responses to their stunning and charming productions of Father Christmas and The Bear. This year, we are delighted that their internationally acclaimed Mr Popper's Penguins is making its way back to to the UK after a successful New York run on Broadway and right on to our stage for the first time to thrill and delight our audiences."

Mr Popper's Penguins opens to the public on Tuesday 26th November and runs until the 31st December. Schools performances are also available - for a full breakdown please visit watersidearts.org/popperspenguins

The show is recommended for children aged between 3 and 11.

Cookies and milk packs are also available to pre-order along with your tickets for just an extra £2.50 each for all shows.

Children (and adults too!) are invited to come in their PJs and bring a favourite bedtime teddy to the 6pm Slumber Shows to make their theatre experience a real bedtime treat!


  

Listing Details


A Kenny Wax & TC Beech Production adapted for the stage by Pins & Needles Productions: Mr Popper's Penguins
Venue - Waterside Arts Centre, Sale,
Dates - Tuesday 26th November to 31st December
Times - Times vary so please see the Waterside website to obtain the most up to date information.
Tickets - £16.50 / £14.50 / £12.50
Schools - £10 (1 free teacher with every 9 students booked)
Duration - 60 minutes with no interval
In the Robert Bolt Theatre

*This post is written based on a press release provided by Waterside. Images do not feature the Manchester cast.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Emmerdale's Sammy Winward And Full Cast Officially Launch Cinderella Panto At The Epstein Theatre

The paparazzi were out in full force yesterday as Christmas arrived early at the press launch for Epstein Entertainments' debut panto Cinderella, which comes to The Epstein Theatre from Friday 6th December to Sunday 5th January 2020.

The venue had been decorated by The Festive Decorators and guests were greeted with mince pies and mulled wine upon arrival to set the yuletide mood, before The Guide's Jay Hynd began proceedings by introducing the full cast.


Emmerdale's Sammy Winward will lead this year's star-studded cast in the title role. She will be joined by Benidorm's Crissy Rock; Brookside's Sarah White; Shameless' Warren Donnelly; Andrew Geater; Samantha Palin; and Lewis Devine.

Sammy Winward trained at the Academy of Classical Dance and Stage and is most notable for playing Katie Sugden in ITV's Emmerdale, a role she played for 14 years. Her other TV credits include Lucy Murdoch in Prey and Siobhan Murphy in Fearless for ITV.

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

Crissy's screen career began with an award-winning performance in Ken Loache's 1994 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.

Most notable for playing Stan Waterman in the Channel 4 series Shameless, Liverpool actor Warren Donnelly will play Dandini. No stranger to the stage, Warren's previous panto credits include King Rat in Dick Whittington and Abanazer in Aladdin both at Liverpool's Empire Theatre.

Also joining the cast is the talented Andrew Geater as Prince Charming. Andrew has recently played the Pharoah in the UK tour of Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His impressive vocal talents have seen him perform all over the world including as a member of world-renowned group The 12 Tenors. Other theatre credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls and South Pacific.

Bringing a sprinkling of magic to the show and making all of Cinderella's dreams come true will be Samantha Palin as the Fairy Godmother, whose theatre credits include the UK tour of Forever Dusty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Kings Theatre and Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal.

Completing the cast is the hilarious Lewis Devine who will play Buttons. Lewis' career started from an early age when he 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 in Peter Pan, both at St Helens Theatre Royal, and French Frank in Beauty and the Beast at Stockport Plaza.

Throughout the afternoon guests got to hear from the cast during a Q+A, with a first glimpse as to what to expect from Epstein Entertainments' magical production coming to The Epstein Theatre this festive season.

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

Producer Chantelle Nolan said: "The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! It was great to bring all the cast together today; everyone got in the festive spirit and it has made us all that more excited to bring the show to the audiences of Liverpool.

"We have a spectacular production in store this Christmas and are delighted to be able to bring even more magic to the production with the introduction of an interactive 3D scene which will make the action jump off the stage. With just 10-weeks until we open be sure to book your tickets early to guarantee the best seats!"

Epstein Entertainments' debut production at the venue promises to be a festive extravaganza, featuring - a first for the venue, a magical interactive 3D scene bringing the panto magic to life like never before!

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 - Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Dates - Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020
Times - Show times vary so please visit the Epstein Theatre website to obtain the most up to date information.
Tickets - Tickets from £11

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-Saturday.

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

For more details check out www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk to join their mailing list. Or alternatively you can visit their social media pages on the following channels:

Facebook - www.facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre
Twitter - @EpsteinTheatre


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


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Preview - The Snowman Tour 2019 comes to Chester Cathedral

As much as I love the summer holidays, I cannot help but get excited when it comes to the Autumn season and my thoughts quickly turn to the excitement of Christmas. My family and I love to attend various shows and events to get into the festive spirit and last year we experienced the beautiful Snowman Tour from Carrot Productions, which was really special.

My children and I always watch The Snowman on Christmas Eve every year and it has become one of our firm family traditions that we all really enjoy. However, watching the show accompanied by a live orchestra creates a whole new magical element to this Christmas classic and we were therefore delighted to hear that The Snowman Tour will be returning for 2019.

Tickets are sure to sell fast at venues across the country for Carrot Productions' presentation of the iconic film The Snowman accompanied by a live orchestra. Parents who are keen to treat their children to this magical show are advised to start thinking about it now to avoid disappointment

This is the seventh annual tour by Carrot Productions, the most prolific performers of The Snowman film with live orchestra in the world. The cathedrals of Salisbury, Coventry, Winchester, Chester, Lichfield, Liverpool and Ely are among the thirteen venues across the country welcoming the production, adding stunning surroundings to the whole experience.

© Tom Bangbala

We are very excited to be attending the Chester Cathedral venue this year, when it visits the beautiful city of Chester on the 20th and 21st December for six shows. We are also very happy to be part of the blogger team once again for this very special tour.

Chester Cathedral is located in the heart of the city and is therefore easily accessible by public transport. There are also numerous pay and display car parks within walking distance from the venue.

Visitors to the Chester performances will also be treated to the enchanting animation by Tom Scott to accompany that most Christmassy of seasonal pieces, The Nutcracker. My youngest son Riley was absolutely mesmerised by last years animation, in what was his first experience of a live orchestra, so I know that he will absolutely love watching this.

The Snowman Experience offers much more than a viewing of the beloved movie, itself made extra vivid by the presence of live musicians: a professional orchestra and a young soloist performing the famous Walking in the Air song.

Other key elements which make these Carrot Productions events so popular with parents include:
  • The orchestra drawn from some of the top musicians in the country, many of whom are members of such orchestras as The Halle and the BBC Philarmonic
  • Every performance features a young soloist local to the area, singing the haunting Walking in the Air solo which lies at the heart of the Snowman. Auditions are held in the Autumn, with local Music Hubs and Cathedral Choirmasters helping to find suitable soloists to take up this superb performance opportunity.
  • A rousing Christmas overture
  • A fun introduction to the orchestra
  • A visit from the organisation's very own snowman!
Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so for further information or tour details then please visit www.carrotproductions.com.

© Gareth Widdowson

If Chester Cathedral is a little too far for you to travel, then don't worry, as this magical experience is visiting 13 venues throughout the country in Derby, Chesterfield, Salisbury, Coventry, Buxton, Beverley Minster, Salford, Winchester, Bradford, Chester, Lichfield, Liverpool and Ely. A full list of all the tour dates and venues can be found here.

Each venue will feature a second animation, specially commissioned by Carrot Productions and audiences will be treated to one of three films: A Donkey's Tale a heart-warming story of Dillon the Donkey, an ordinary donkey with an extraordinary dream that takes him on a journey that will change his life which has been specially written and composed by Daniel Whibley; The Bear and the Piano, an exclusive animated film based on the award-winning book by David Litchfield with narration recorded by Joanna Lumley and music by Daniel Whibley which has become a family favourite for the next generation; or the most Christmassy of seasonal pieces, The Nutcracker, brought to life by Tom Scott's mesmerising animated film. The full tour listings here will advise which animation is being shown at your chosen venue.

If you would like to get a feeling for The Snowman Tour, then please watch the video below.


*Disclaimer: We are being given 4 complimentary tickets for the purpose of providing an honest review of the tour later this year. All opinions are my own. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the companies own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Annie the Musical at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

Annie was such an iconic film from my childhood and I have so many memories of watching the video repeatedly with my cousins, whilst making up our own dance routines to 'Hard Knock Life'.  It is a movie that I have never tired of and still watch regularly with my own children. Although the film was based on the Broadway Musical (and the comic book Little Orphan Annie before it), it is certainly the screen adaptation that I am most familiar with. As a result, I had mixed feelings of intrigue and excitement, as to whether the stage version could live up to my expectations -  well you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie the Musical absolutely did!

Annie the Musical tells the tale of a young red haired girl, who dreams of finding her parents and enjoying a life outside of the orphanage. Her determined attitude and loveable charm, lead to her finding a home with billionaire Mr Warbucks, though her quest to find her real parents takes a sad turn when she finds out they have sadly passed away. However, Annie certainly finds happiness in the end with her unexpected father figure Daddy Warbucks, along with his assistant Grace Farrell firmly by her side.

As soon as the show commenced, there was energy in abundance and we were quickly introduced to the fiesty and strong-willed attitude of the orphans. They presented an enjoyable rendition of 'Hard Knock Life' that immediately drew you into the performance and it was clear from the start that we were in for an enjoyable evening of entertainment. The younger stars of the show most certainly shine throughout, in what is an undeniable demonstration of exceptional young talent.

Annie was played by Ava Smith (one of three Annie's on the tour), who was magnificent in the starring role. She is clearly a child with extraordinary talent and this was undoubtedly obvious every single moment that she was on the stage. I particularly enjoyed the performance of  'I Don't Need Anything But You', where clever and well thought out choreography brought together a wonderful routine, with both Annie and the senior cast members.


I felt that the show was well paced and there was never a dull moment as we were taken from one showstopper to the next, with an impressive 30's flair. The set and costumes were all in keeping with the era and there has clearly been a great attention to detail in the wardrobe department, to ensure that the outfits matched both the story and time period that they were representing.

There was a static jigsaw themed surrounding which never changed throughout the show, but instead the sets and props would be moved and introduced on to the stage, which worked really well. I also felt that this was complimented skillfully, by the lighting effects that illuminated the sets and highlighted the characters superbly.

Prior to the show, I was initially unsure as to how I would perceive Anita Dobson as Miss Hannigan. Despite the fact that she has taken on numerous characters over the years, she has always stood out to me as being Angie Watts from Eastenders and I therefore had a slight concern that I wouldn't be able to see past that. However, Anita Dobson soon cast aside any earlier doubts that I had and convincingly demonstrated a child-hating, alcohol loving, orphanage owner. She was a delight to watch and made the role her own, whilst delivering powerful vocals and impressive choreographed moves with ease. My particular favourite of the night was 'Easy Street', when combined with the talents of Rooster (Richard Meek) and Lily (Jenny Gayner), provided a perfectly executed delivery of a thoroughly entertaining act. Her quirkiness and facial expressions added a comical element to her portrayal and she ultimately suited the role perfectly.


Carolyn Maitland excels as Warbuck's assistant Grace Farrell, with a stunning voice that immediately commands your attention. Her vocal skills are evident during the song 'N.Y.C' and her acting ability ensures that the warmth and kindness of the character are exhibited throughout the show. I loved her on stage chemistry with Mr Warbucks (Alex Bourne) who had the perfect blend of formidable businessman combined with charismatic charm. His soft side was soon displayed upon meeting the inquisitive and delightful Annie and he exhibited a believable father and daughter relationship.

A special mention also has to be given to the beautiful dog Amber, who was absolutely pawsome in the role of Sandy and if anything I would have liked to have seen more of her. I was surprised to find that the song 'Dumb Dog' had been omitted from the show, which I personally think is a shame as it would have been lovely to have seen more of the companionship between them.

Overall Annie the Musical completely lived up to my expectations and whilst the stage version differs somewhat from the well known movie, it did not disappoint. My inner-child was desperate to sing along and it was great to be able to enjoy some of the new musical numbers, with Hooverville and N.Y.C being particularly enjoyable. Featuring a wonderful cast and strong ensemble, Annie is packed full of enough upbeat performances to keep the audience captivated. It is a wonderful, feel-good, family friendly production, that is guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

Listing Details

Show: Annie the Musical
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Monday 25th March to Saturday 30th March 2019
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


Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets to review the show. Opinions and thoughts are my own. Images are from a previous show not the performance that we attended.

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.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse, Chester - Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas Comes to Waterside, Sale

Christmas fever is truly kicking in at Waterside in Sale, Trafford as it gears up to welcome Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas in just 4 weeks time! This heart-warming and much loved family tale is brought to you by the creative team behind last year's sell out, acclaimed and sensational show, The Bear.

Children of all ages will delight in Briggs' grumpy but loveable Father Christmas as he gets ready for his busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night.

Bursting with live music, songs, puppetry and enough theatre magic to win over and melt the hearts of any non-believers - this critically acclaimed adaptation of Raymond Briggs' cherished book is a delightful festive treat for all the family.

Photo Credit: Tom Gladstone
Darren Adams, Manager of Waterside says: "After a record breaking year and unprecedented audience response to The Bear (which has recently been shortlisted for Theatre Production of the Year in the Northern Soul Awards 2018), we are thrilled to be working with the same team to bring another Raymond Briggs' favourite, Father Christmas, to Waterside this Winter. Joining forces with Pins and Needles Productions are the highly prestigious Lyric Hammersmith, who have staged the production in London and around the UK, receiving critical acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. We are proud of our commitment to creating enchanting experiences for our young audiences, presenting work of the highest calibre and we cannot wait for Christmas to begin on 04 December."

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas opens to the public on Wednesday 5th December and runs until Monday 31st December. School performances are also available and for a full breakdown please visit www.watersidearts.org/fatherchristmas.

Cookies and Milk Packs are also available to pre-order along with your tickets for just an extra £2 each for all shows.

Children (and adults too!) are invited to come in their PJ's and bring a favourite bedtime teddy to the 6pm Slumber Shows to make their theatre experience a real bedtime treat.

The show is recommended for children aged between 3 & 11.

Listing Details

Event: Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas
Venue: Waterside, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF
Dates: Tuesday 4th December to Monday 31st December
Times: Times vary, so please visit the Waterside website for the most up to date information.
Tickets: Ticket prices vary £16.50/£14.50/£12.50.
School tickets available for £10 and 1 teacher free with every 9 students booked.

Photo Credit: Tom Gladstone
Disclaimer: Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of publishing but are of course subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. This post does not contain affiliate links. Images are not of the 2018 Waterside cast.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Preview - Disney On Ice presents Dream Big at the Manchester Arena 10th-14th October

The great thing about Disney On Ice, is that it is suitable for the whole family and can keep audiences both young and old entertained throughout. Whether you have memories of watching Beauty and the Beast as a child, or you are a fan of some of the latest blockbusters such as Frozen or Moana, then there is guaranteed to be something for everyone, when Disney On Ice presents Dream Big at the Manchester Arena from the 10th to the 14th October 2018.


Audiences will be transported to a magical world of imagination, as a combination of thrilling special effects and innovative lighting help to create the Disney magic that families love. The show will feature cutting edge figure-skating, eye-catching costumes and stunning set designs, which we have always been amazed by in previous shows. My youngest son Riley has always been captivated watching the skaters perform their incredible routines and high-flying jumps and we cannot wait to see this standard of skating again, when some of our favourite Disney characters come to life on the ice.


Disney On Ice presents Dream Big, aims to show that 'Every story beings with a dream' with a collection of inspiring stories that will be connected by a whole host of different Disney characters, who each have a desire to explore the depths, heights and horizons of their dreams. Moana and demigod Maui will be making their Manchester debut and they will be accompanied by some of Disney's most daring heroines.

Anna, Elsa and Olaf will tell a story of sisterly love from the kingdom of Arendelle, whilst headstrong Ariel will take audiences on a dive under the sea as she dreams about life above the waves. Belle, Aurora and Cinderella will be showing how to find the inner strength that comes from kindness and determination, alongside Jasmine & Rapunzel.

I was also delighted to read that Belle and her friends from Beauty and the Beast will also be taking to the ice. This story was my favourite as a child (and still is) so I cannot wait to see this being performed and I am sure my children will too.

There is also set to be a spectacular fire-breathing dragon which I am sure will be absolutely incredible to see.

Dream Big is certain to capture all the magic and adventure of Disney's immortal tales!


"Disney On Ice presents Dream Big was created with the intention to inspire everyone to explore their world by highlighting the defining moments of relatable characters who became their own heroes," says Executive Vice President and Producer Nicole Feld. "Having both a daughter and son at home, I knew it was important to present a variety of Disney stories as well as show the connection between these stories and illustrate how a journey can unfold in many ways."

"Our greatest wish for our guests is that they will be inspired by these tales of bravery and see that anything is possible if you follow your dreams," says Feld Entertainment Regional Vice President, Steven Armstrong. "Many of the stories we're presenting - like Cinderella and The Little Mermaid - have been around for generations and stand the test of time. Others, like Moana and Frozen, inspire a new generation of young girls through self-reliance and a belief in themselves."

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will be skating into Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and London from the 21st September 2018 to the 6th January 2019. For the complete list of tour dates, 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

Glasgow, Intu Braehead - 21st September to 30th September 2018
Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena - 2nd October to 7th October 2018
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: Details provided are believed to be correct at time of writing, however are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the shows own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Dates for your Diary - Guess How Much I Love You at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool - 16-17th October

The much-loved classic children's book, Guess How Much I Love You, will play across the UK this Autumn and visits Liverpool's Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th of October.

Following a West End run at the Arts Theatre and spring tour earlier this year, Selladoor Family and ABA International Touring UK announce the Autumn tour of the stage adaptation of this world-famous book, published by Walker Books - written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

Join Little and Big Nutbrown Hare, from the best-selling Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You All Year Round collection, as they leap off the page and onto the stage in this magical journey through the seasons.

Watch and join in as Little and Big Nutbrown Hare settle down after a bedtime story and re-awaken to discover the delights and colours of each season as they compete to measure their love for each other in this timeless loveable story.

Cast includes Gemma Higgins as Little Nutbrown Hare, Daniel Harkin as Big Nutbrown Hare and Jessica Dives as Mother Nature.

Photo Credit: Barry Rivvett
Guess How Much I Love You is directed by Anna Fox, with music composed by Harry Sever and movement by Lucie Pankhurst. Sound design is by Yvonne Gilbert and lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones. Explore this playful story of love and nature as it unfolds on stage through puppets, live music and interactive play for children aged 3 and up.

The family favourite is brought to life by Selladoor Family, the producers behind James and the Giant Peach, Seussical and The Owl And The Pussycat and ABA International Touring (UK) Ltd whose current tours include What the Ladybird HeardHairy Maclary and Friends, and Shark in the Park.

David Hutchinson Executive Creative Producer for Selladoor says "Following our short UAE tour in 2017 and a successful season in the West End and UK, we are delighted to bring Sam McBratney's beautiful story of friendship and discovery this Autumn, with Anita Jeram's beloved illustrations hopping from page to stage. Adapted faithfully from the household favourite book, Guess How Much I Love You is an affectionate, gentle and interactive story that both parents and children can enjoy together as the perfect introduction into live theatre."

You can find out more information on the following social media pages:

Facebook - www.facebook.com/guessuktour
Twitter - @GuessUKTour

Listing Details

Show - Guess How Much I Love You
Dates - Tuesday 16th October & Wednesday 17th October
Times - Tuesday 1:30pm & 4:30pm / Wednesday 11am & 1:30pm
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Tickets - Adults: £13.50, Children £12.50, Family Ticket £45

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

To book tickets you can ring the box office on the number below or visit the website.

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

Tickets can also be booked in person at the theatre box office (12-6pm Monday to Saturday)

Disclaimer - Details provided are believed to be correct at time of writing but are of course subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venue's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Paw Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" - Review

After a very early start this morning, we made our way on the train to the James Street Station in Liverpool, which is a short distance from the Echo Arena. We enjoyed a nice stroll along the waterfront, whilst Riley became increasingly excited as we approached the venue. Everywhere we turned there were children dressed as their favourite Paw Patrol characters and Riley was no exception as he skipped along in his Chase costume.

On arrival at the venue, we collected our tickets from the box office and made our way through the bag check and entry line, before being handed a cardboard pirate flag by a member of staff for Riley to wave throughout the show. There was plenty of merchandise on sale including some Tracker soft toys which I have not seen before, but as with any live entertainment venue they were slightly overpriced and fortunately I managed to distract Riley as we made our way past the stall.

Our seats were located in the lower tier which provided a great view of the stage. I noticed that the floor seats were all the same level which would have annoyed Riley if there was a grown-up sat in front of him, so I was more than happy with our location as it meant that we could see the stage perfectly.

As the start time of 10am approached, the music began to play and we were provided with a 3 minute warning that the show was about to begin. Shortly after the curtains opened and we were introduced to Cap'n Turbot on the stage who gets into trouble whilst trying to take a photograph of the Pirate Parrot. Meanwhile Mayor Goodway, Ryder and the Paw Patrol team are enjoying preparing for the Adventure Bay Pirate Day Celebration with plenty of singing and dancing for families to enjoy.


Paw Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" allows audiences to join Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky and Zuma as they embark on a quest to save Cap'n Turbot from a dark and mysterious cavern. However, whilst completing their rescue mission, the pups discover a secret pirate treasure map that leads them on an epic journey to find the treasure, with lots of twists and turns along the way.

The sound quality was fantastic and as the loud theme tune echoed around the arena, children were up out of their seats and dancing along. The costumes were superb, just like in their previous tour of Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue and a lot of effort has clearly gone into the production. Riley's face lit up as Rubble & Chase appeared in their vehicles, which again had great attention to detail.

As the Paw Patrol team solved the treasure map clues, Mayor Humdinger created problems, which the team managed to work their way through using each pups special skills. Towards the end of the show the pups found themselves in a sticky situation as they became trapped in sinking sand, but Skye and the fabulous Tracker managed to rescue them much to the delight of the audience! Riley was so happy to see Tracker make an appearance and he loved the song that welcomed him to the stage.

The show had a running time of 85 minutes with a 15 minute interval, which did start to feel quite long towards the end. Riley usually manages to sit an hour at a show comfortably so this was a little longer than he was used to, but with the help of some snacks there was no issue and he managed to hold his concentration. He also asked to see the show again as soon as it had ended, so the running time clearly hadn't bothered him.

Overall we found it to be a great show that was well suited to its target audience. The costumes, music and scenery were great and the story was very easy to follow. The atmosphere was very relaxed so it was great to see everyone up on their feet dancing and singing along, making it fantastic children's entertainment.


Tickets are on sale now and are available to purchase from www.pawpatrollive.co.uk

The remaining tour dates are as follows:
  • Wednesday 8th August - Echo Arena, Liverpool
  • Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August - Manchester Arena, Manchester
  • Wednesday 15th August - Fly DSA Arena, Sheffield
  • Saturday 18th August - Arena Birmingham
  • Wednesday 22nd August - Motor Point Arena, Cardiff
  • Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August - The SSE Arena, Wembley, London
  • Wednesday 29th August - First Direct Arena, Leeds
  • Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September - Windsor Hall, Bournemouth International Centre
  • Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September - Brighton Centre, Brighton
*Disclaimer - We were invited as guests to the show for the purpose of providing an honest review of the production. Opinions and thoughts are my own.

Friday, 13 April 2018

UK Tour of The Jungle Book is heading to The Lowry, Salford on the 2nd-6th May 2018 - Competition!

Children's Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate, Northampton are delighted to bring their new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's family classic The Jungle Book to The Lowry from Tuesday 2nd to Sunday 6th May.

Originally written in 1894, Kipling's beloved tale will be re-imagined with a brand new score and script, exploring the universal themes of family, belonging and identity.

The Jungle Book tells of Mowgli the man cub who battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Balloo the Bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle.

Cast includes Rachel Dawson as 'Kaa Grey', Lloyd Gorman as 'Shere Khan', TJ Holmes as 'Hiran', Avita Jay as 'Raksha', Keziah Joseph as 'Mowgli' Dyfrig Morris as 'Balloo', Deborah Oyelade as 'Bagheera' and Tripti Tripuraneni as 'Akala'. They are joined by Ruri James and Chipo Kureya in the ensemble.

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

The award winning creative team bringing Kipling's timeless story to the stage includes playwright Jessica Swale, director Max Webster and internationally renowned songwriter Joe Stilgoe.

Playwright Jessica Swale has adapted the story for stage. Her previous acclaimed play "Nell Gwyn" won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016.

Max Webster directed Dr Seuss' "The Lorax" at the Old Vic, which was nominated for Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2016 Olivier Awards.

Jessica Swale, writer, said "I jumped at the chance to adapt The Jungle Book because it's such a vivid world - yet, for a writer, there's so much opportunity to imagine the jungle afresh. Part of the book's enduring appeal is that the jungle can be anything we choose. It's a playground, a school, a hideaway, an adventure, so I've enjoyed exploring what sort of place this mysterious, delightful, sometimes scary place might be - and what better way to do that than with Max Webster, one of the most inventive and imaginative directors working today."

"I loved the characters as Kipling wrote them, but wanted to find new voices which resonate now - funny, bright, dynamic voices, with a little more wit, and greater diversity, in terms of place, tone, gender and culture. It's a funny, heart-filled roller coaster of a journey which, I hope, will transport the audience right round the world and back again."

Director, Max Webster, said "The Jungle Book was an instant classic when it was written over a hundred years ago with its story of Mowgli finding his path through the jungle. Each generation has re-imagined this story as their own, and now Jess Swale brings it right up to date in a hilarious and action-packed version for the twenty first century. With wonderful songs by the jazz legend Joe Stilgoe, and packed with adventure, humour and magic this classic tale will tickle the tales of all the family. I am delighted to be working alongside Jessica, Joe, Children's Touring Partnership and Royal and Derngate to bring this vivid adaptation to the stage".

Completing the creative team is set and costume designer Peter McKintosh, musical supervision and orchestration from Paul Herbert, choreography by Lizzi Gee, lighting design by Charles Balfour, puppetry design and direction by Nick Barnes, flight direction by Kate Waters and sound design by Matt McKenzie.

Children's Touring Partnership is led by Fiery Angel and Chichester Festival Theatre. Previous productions include the award winning West End and UK tour production of Goodnight Mister Tom and most recently the UK touring production of Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild.

The show is recommended as being suitable for ages 6+.

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

Listing Details

Show - The Jungle Book
Dates - Tuesday 2nd May til Sunday 6th May
Times - Times vary so please visit The Lowry website to obtain the most up to date information.
Venue - The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
Box Office - 0843 208 6000

Tickets - £17.50 - £24.50

Running time - 2 hours 15 minutes including interval

To celebrate this wonderful show, we have a fantastic competition for one lucky reader to win a family ticket to see The Jungle Book at The Lowry, Salford. Are you feeling lucky? If you would like to enter, please read the Terms and Conditions and then complete your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to see The Jungle Book at The Lowry
Terms and Conditions
  • The prize is 1 (one) family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children or alternatively 1 adult and 3 children, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The show has an age guidance of 6+
  • The family ticket is valid for the Jungle Book show only and can be used for a performance time of the winners choice between Wednesday 2nd May and Sunday 6th May that is taking place at The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ. This will be agreed with the winner and once a date/time has been chosen, no amendments or transfer of dates will be permitted.
  • The family ticket will need to be collected from the box office prior to the show.
  • Additional tickets can be purchased seated next to the competition tickets, should the winner wish to bring more guests than the family ticket allows.
  • Tickets are non transferable, there is no cash alternative and they cannot be resold.
  • Tickets cannot be exchanged for another show, if the prize winner is unable to attend on the available show dates between 2nd May 2018 and 6th May 2018.
  • Travel to & from the venue is the responsibility of the winner and no contribution will be made towards travel or parking costs.
  • The family ticket is valid for the date/time/venue/show specified only.
  • The winner's details shall be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and It's A Family Adventure will request the winner's consent prior to sharing this information.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • No bulk/third party or automated entries permitted.
  • Competition opens on 13th April 2018 and will close on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at 12 noon.
  • 1 (one) winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entrants and shall be notified via email within 3 working days of the closing date. 
  • Due to the time restrictive nature of the prize, the winner shall have 3 (three) days to reply to the winning notification before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entrants.


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment comes to Echo Arena, Liverpool - Trivia Quiz!

There is less than three weeks to go until Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment skates into the Echo Arena, Liverpool from the 11th to 15th April. To celebrate this fantastic event, we have a fun Disney on Ice inspired trivia quiz for you, so you can test your knowledge and find out just how big a fan you are! I would love to hear how you get on, so please feel free to leave a comment with your score.

If you would like to find out more about the show, or how to purchase tickets, then you can find everything you need to know in our blog post here: Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment

Good luck with the quiz!


The answers to all the questions, can be found at the bottom of the page. No peeking!

1) Ariel has a fascination with what in 'The Little Mermaid'?

2) In "The Little Mermaid" Ursula gives Ariel the ability to walk on land. How long is this ability supposed to last?

3) What is the name of Ariel's best friend?

4) What is the device that Ariel refers to as a "dinglehopper"?

5) What colour was Tow Mater in "Cars" before he became rusty?

6) What does Flo sell in Radiator Springs?

7) What type of car is Sally?

8) True or False: You never see humans in "Cars".

9) What type of tyres does Lightning McQueen have?

10) What does Flo's license plate say in "Cars"?

11) What is the name of Sally's motel in "Cars"?

12) What is the road that Lightning McQueen finds himself lost on when he stumbles upon Radiator Springs?

13) What is Ramone's job?

14) What is Andy's last name?

15) Sid Phillips, Andy's next door neighbour from the original Toy Story makes a brief appearance in the third movie as what?

16) The calendar in Andy's room is always set to what month?

17) True or False: Lots-o Huggin Bear appeared in the first Toy Story movie?

18) What is the name of the daycare centre the toys end up at in Toy Story 3?

19) How do the toys realise that Andy is looking for them in Toy Story 3?

20) Who saves the toys from the incinerator in Toy Story 3?

21) Where does Ken ask Barbie to live with him?

22) In Toy Story 3, Lotso forces the toys to stay in what room of the daycare centre?

23) In which kingdom do Anna and Elsa live?

24) Who likes "warm hugs"?

25) What is Kristoff's profession?

26) What phrase does Elsa repeat when trying to control her powers?

27) Why do the guards open up the gates of the palace?

28) How long have the gates been closed in Arendelle?


Answers: 1.Humans or the Human World, 2.Three Days, 3. Flounder, 4. A fork, 5. Baby Blue, 6. Gas or "the finest fuel", 7. A blue Porsche, 8. True! Everything in the movie resembles something to do with cars. Even bugs resemble miniature Volkswagen Bugs, 9. Lightyear, 10. "Sho Girl" or Show Girl, 11. Cozy Cone, 12. Route 66, 13. He owns a body shop called "Ramone's House of Body Art", 14. Davis. It is written on his high school diploma which you see when he goes to the bulletin board to look at the picture of him as a child playing with the toys, 15. A garbage man, 16. August, 17. True. A very early version of Lotso appeared in the original Toy Story film on Andy's desk, 18. Sunnyside, 19. Mrs Potato Head's other eye is still in Andy's room, 20. The Aliens, 21. In his dream house, 22. The Caterpillar Room, 23. The Kingdom of Arendelle, 24. Olaf, 25. He is an ice harvester, 26. "Conceal it....don't feel it.....don't let it show.", 27. Elsa's coronation, 28. 13 years.