Showing posts with label January. Show all posts
Showing posts with label January. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

St Helens Theatre Royal Announce An Online Extension of their 5-Star Christmas Pantomime Beauty and the Beast Until the End of January

St Helens Theatre Royal have today announced they will extend the online version of their 5-star socially distanced production of Beauty and the Beast until the end of January and is available to purchase and watch now.

Beauty and the Beast recently ran for the festive period from Friday 11th December and was due to finish on Sunday 3rd January, unfortunately due to a change in Tiers by the government, the show was forced to close on Wednesday 30th December.

Audiences who missed the show at Christmas had the option to enjoy the critically acclaimed production from the comfort of their own homes, a link to purchase tickets was available until the 10th January, this was a specially filmed version of the Christmas Eve performance.

Now the theatre has extended the online run to allow parents to treat their family throughout the month of January to beat those lockdown and January blues.

Image Credit: David Munn

St Helens Theatre Royal were one of the few venues across the UK who opened their doors for a Christmas pantomime after being closed for 9 months, due to the current Covid pandemic. The highly anticipated show proved to be a popular choice during the festive season and was praised by audience members and critics alike.

Theatre Royal manager Chantelle Nolan commented: "We are thrilled to be able to extend the online version of our popular Christmas production until the end of the month, January is normally such a dead month and even more so due to the strict lockdown restrictions and being told to stay at home. To watch theatre online from the comfort of your own home could be a lovely treat to children, giving them something to look forward to after doing their schoolwork or at a weekend and it also supports the theatre through the lockdown period.

"We are proud to say that during our 36-show Christmas run, we didn't have a single positive case and no cases reported to us via the public or track and trace. Our staff and full company were tested on a regular basis and we were delighted to receive constant feedback from customers saying how safe they felt in the theatre. We are really looking forward to bringing back audiences into the theatre for live performances and our Easter Pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears which is now on sale."

Image Credit: David Munn

The full cast of Beauty and the Beast is Jamie Greer as Potty Polly; Abigail Middleton as Madame Botox; Scott Gallagher as French Frank' Olivia Sloyan as Belle; Andrew Geater as The Beast; Tim Lucas as Gaston; and Jenna Sian O'Hara as Fairy Rose.

The show is directed by Chantelle Nolan, written by Liam Mellor, with choreography by Nazene Langfield, and Callum Clarke is musical supervisor.

Get ready to go on a family adventure with the fabulous family friendly pantomime, Beauty and the Beast. This is the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast. Will the beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after?

For more information, please visit

Follow St Helens Theatre Royal on the following social media channels:

Facebook: St Helens Theatre Royal

Twitter: @TheatreRoyalStH

Instagram: @TheatreRoyalStH

Listing Information

Beauty and the Beast  - Online Version - Tickets: £20 per device

Available via the website

Image Credit: David Munn

*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, however I would always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Friday, 8 January 2021

10 Great Reasons As To Why I Love Amazon Prime Now!

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

We have regularly relied on home shopping deliveries in the past for a variety of different reasons. Work schedules, having to take 3 children around the supermarket who really don't want to be there and the simple factor of convenience, have all been elements that have persuaded us to make use of home deliveries for quite some time. However, when the first lockdown began, the home delivery slots quickly disappeared and those that were left were only available at an excessive price. We also realised that even if we could get a slot, there was likely someone much more in need of it than we were and so for a period of time we no longer used this facility.

This was ok for a while, until the need came for us to self isolate. Again we couldn't find any delivery slots and we were in a bit of a panic as to how we were going to get our weekly big shop done. Our neighbours were great offering to get us bits and bobs but I certainly wouldn't have felt comfortable asking them to do a huge shop for us, so I began to look for an alternative and came across Amazon Prime Now whilst exploring our Amazon Prime membership benefits.

In our area Amazon Prime Now has partnered with our local Morrisons store. Although this wasn't our usual supermarket, they all generally sell the same things and so we decided to give it a try. We have been prime members for years now so there was also no additional cost for us to use this service if we spent over £40. The difference with Prime Now is that you cannot see a whole host of delivery slots ahead of time or before you start adding things to your basket, so I was understandably a little bit wary at first that I may spend an hour adding items, to then find that there was no slot available for delivery.

However, because these slots can't be booked up way in advance or prior to checking out, I am pleased to say that we have so far managed to get same day delivery on every single order that we have placed, though this may possibly change as the service becomes more popular. I have also noticed recently that they have started placing a guide at the top of the main page which tells you whether there are still delivery slots available that day or for the following day which definitely helps.

We now use Amazon Prime Now regularly and absolutely love the service. I have therefore compiled my top ten reasons as to why I Love Amazon Prime Now.

1) Ease of Use - The app is so easy to use. You simply download it to your phone and off you go. It is easy to search for items in the search bar, or alternatively you can have a look through the special deals that feature on the main page. Once you have started placing orders you can also access your previous items so that you can purchase these again and add them to your basket at super quick speed. The site is also available on your web browser too, so if you would rather use your laptop to place an order then that is still an option.

2) Fast Delivery - The delivery service is fantastic and on some occasions we have received all our shopping in less than 2 hours after placing our order. You receive a notification when the delivery driver is on their way and you can even track their journey to your home. Amazing!

3) Very Reasonable Delivery Fees - When you spend over £40 there is no extra delivery charge for Prime Members if you choose a 2 hour delivery slot. If you have 1 hour delivery slots available in your area then delivery costs £3.99 for orders over £40. Orders under £40 carry a £3.99 delivery charge if you choose a 2 hour slot and £6.99 for a 1 hour slot. There is a minimum spend on any order of at least £15. As we use this service for our main shop we use the 2 hour slots which means our shopping is delivered free as part of our prime benefits.

4) Paper Bags - Shopping is delivered in paper bags meaning they can be put straight into the recycling once you have unpacked your goods.

5) Real Time Product Replacements - In the event that your chosen product is out of stock you will receive a message whilst your order is being picked that offers a replacement suggestion. You can then choose to accept or decline that replacement.

6) Covid-Safe Delivery - All of our delivery drivers have been excellent at maintaining distance as well as wearing masks, which offers reassurance whilst having your goods delivered to your home.

7) Excellent Customer Service - There is no live chat facility on Amazon Prime Now in the event of any issue, but there is an email and call option. I was therefore  a little sceptical at first as to how quick they would respond to any problems. However, I recently received the wrong product to what I had ordered so sent them an email. I received a response in less than an hour, along with a no quibble refund of the product I had ordered which was returned to my bank account the following day. 

8) Great Communication - You are regularly kept up to date with your order and receive several notifications during the ordering, picking and delivery process. You receive a notification during the following stages:

  • When your order has been received
  • When your shopper starts working on your order
  • If your shopper needs to confirm any replacement requests
  • Once your shopper has finished working on your order
  • Once your order has been dispatched and is on its way
  • Once your order is within close distance
  • Once your order has been delivered
9) I.D for Alcohol Sales - This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think it is great that they will always ask to see your I.D if purchasing alcohol. They will do this regardless of how old you look and my husband and I have always had to show our I.D from a safe distance, despite clearly looking older than the legal age. Whilst this may annoy some, I think it is great that they are being compliant with the relevant laws.

10) 30 Day Free Trial - If you have not been a member of Amazon Prime before, then you may be eligible to sign up to a free 30 day trial of the Amazon Prime service, which will then give you access to Amazon Prime Now. If you enjoy the service then you can continue to pay the monthly or annual subscription charge, if not then you can simply cancel before your 30 day trial expires. You can find out more over on the Amazon website simply by clicking the banner below. (Affiliate link).

*Disclaimer - This post is written based on my own opinion and experience of the Amazon Prime Now service. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting Amazon's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Happy New Year - It's 2019!!

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

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Making my money go further with the January Sale at B&M Stores

With Christmas out of the way, January brings another two expensive events for our family as my son Ben has his birthday at the beginning of the month, followed by my other son Riley a couple of weeks later. This means that we really need to budget well over Christmas and throughout January, to make sure we can afford everything to make our boys birthdays special.

One thing that really assists us with this is the January sales, as we are able to pick up some great bargains that can help us to save money and prevents us from having to spend too much. One of our favourite stores to go bargain hunting in is B&M Stores as we have a huge shop just less than a mile away from our home and there is always plenty in store. We particularly love their homeware range and toys selection as there is a great choice to choose from, which helps to make a shopping trip enjoyable.

My youngest son Riley absolutely loves building, this can be anything from constructing vehicles, to creating little houses. He will use anything he can find to do this including building bricks, wooden blocks or even cardboard boxes that he quickly takes from me when any post arrives! I therefore recently visited my local B&M Stores to look for some construction toys that I could add to his birthday present collection. There was certainly no shortage of items to choose from! After a good browse around, I found some fantastic bargains that were just perfect for what I had in mind. For less than £20, I managed to pick up this fantastic haul:

Firstly I noticed the Brick by Brick Police Mission set on the top shelf. I saw the £14.99 price sticker, but underneath there was a large mega value label on the shelf stating a price of only £6.99. I thought this was actually an error as it seemed so cheap, so I grabbed one of the boxes and took it to the till to have it price checked. I couldn't believe it when the shop assistant confirmed the price.

The set contained a humongous 487 pieces which gave you the opportunity to build all the following items:

  • 1 x Police Station
  • 1 x Police Helicopter
  • 1 x Police Transporter
  • 1 x Police Motorbike
  • 1 x Police Car

The set also came complete with 6 individual figures and a set of instructions. It also stated on the box that it was compatible with other brick brands, so this meant that Riley could combine these bricks with his existing toys and that sounded like a winner to me!

On my return to the toy aisle, I noticed that there were some different sets in the same range. Realising that this was a bargain not to be missed, I had a look at the other choices that were available. One of them consisted of a dinosaur and some vehicles and the other was of a construction yard. I decided to opt for the construction set as Riley loves diggers and again I was very impressed with what the box included.

The Brick by Brick Site Crew Collection contained 448 pieces which allowed you to build the following:
  • 1 x Building
  • 1 x Scaffolding
  • 1 x Crane
  • 1 x Excavator
  • 1 x Heavy Load Transporter
Again this box also included six figures and a set of instructions to help with the building process. This meant that for only £13.98 I had managed to purchase over 900 building bricks. Bargain!

I also wanted to buy some large base plates for Riley to build on, I wasn't sure if B&M would sell these, but I soon found them located a little further down the same aisle.

These base plates were only £2.99 each and were ideal for Riley to be able to build his creations on. We have only had smaller base plates previously, but these were really large and meant that he would be able to build several buildings on them with ease. I opted for two different colours just for some variation and again I was pleased to see that these were compatible with other building block brands. This took the total price for all of thes items to only £19.96 which I think is excellent value for money!

B&M is now one of the leading variety retailers in the UK and it is easy to see why. Stocking a great range of both value and top brand products, there are now an incredible 560 stores across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you aren't sure where your nearest one is, then you can use this handy store finder tool that is available on the B&M Stores website.

As you can see I chose to make my money go that bit further by purchasing some toys that I know Riley will love. However, B&M also have some amazing products across all their ranges in the January Sale and you can view some of these online on their website, or keep up to date with the latest offers by following the B&M Social Media Channels which are:

Website - B&M Stores
Facebook -
Twitter - @BMStores

*Disclaimer - This is a collaborative post with B&M Stores. I received £20 vouchers to purchase items of my choice for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Dates for your Diary - Shrek the Musical is coming to Manchester in January!

Most families enjoy a good film night together and ours is no exception, cuddling up on the sofa when the dark winter nights settle in, is absolute bliss. One of our firm favourite films to enjoy is Shrek which always guarantees to get us all giggling, no matter how many times we have watched it together before. We were therefore delighted to find out that Shrek the Musical, which is based on the story and characters from the Oscar® winning DreamWorks Animation film, will be heading to Manchester in January 2018!

Promising an entertaining mix of adventure, laughter and romance, this magnificent production is sure to delight audiences of all ages, as the smash hit blockbuster comes to the stage of the Palace Theatre, Manchester from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 28th January.

The family show tells the story of the lovable ogre Shrek, who along with his loyal steed Donkey, embarks on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her Dragon guarded tower. Featuring a whole host of fairytales misfits, a biscuit with an attitude and the pint-sized Lord Farquaar, you can be sure of an entertaining and dazzling experience with this all-singing, all-dancing comedy spectacular.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Shrek the Musical welcomes a wonderful cast, with Steffan Harri starring in the main role of Shrek, having previously appeared in the original UK tour as a cover for Lord Farquaad. His other theatre credits include Les Miserables, Spamalot and Children of Eden. In addition to these theatre productions, he also starred as Lyn in the welsh language soap opera Rownd a Rownd.

Princess Fiona shall be played by Call the Midwife star Laura Main, who is very excited to be starring in this marvellous show. Laura commented "I've been waiting a long time for an adventure like this to come along and now that it has I am ready to swap the surgery for the swamp in one of my favourite musicals. Shrek has made a Believer out of me and I can't wait for this fairytale to take me across the country". 

They will be joined by Marcus Ayton as Shrek's sidekick Donkey, whose recent credits include Sammy Davis Jr in The Rat Pack Live and Ray Charles in A Tribute to the Brothers Live. The vertically challenged Lord Farquaad will be played by Samuel Holmes who has recently appeared as George in the UK Tour of The Wedding Singer, as well as other stage credits that include Mrs Henderson Presents, Kiss Me Kate and Crazy for You.

Nigel Harman, who appeared in the original West End production as Lord Farquaad and also won the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, will be returning as Director. He previously made is directorial debut on the first ever tour and has since gone on to direct Lunch & The Bow of Ulysses (Trafalgar Studios) and will also direct Kelsey Grammar in Big Fish the Musical (The Other Palace) this Autumn. 

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
My family and I are very excited to be heading into Manchester this coming January to watch Shrek the Musical and if you would like to obtain further information on the show, then you can find the listing details and link to the booking website below. With a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, this production is the perfect family treat to enjoy together in the wonderful city of Manchester at the beautiful Palace Theatre.

Listing Details

Show - Shrek the Musical
Venue - Palace Theatre Manchester, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT
Dates - Tuesday 16th January to Sunday 28th January
Times - Show times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Ticket Prices - Ticket prices range from £18.00 - £56.00 (plus £4.00 booking fee)
Box Office - 0844 871 3019 (calls cost 7p per minute, plus phone company's access charge).
Website -

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.