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

Thursday, 11 October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Listing Details

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

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big UK Tour Dates

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


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

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, 12 April 2018

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment at Echo Arena, Liverpool - Review

Well Disney on Ice certainly brought an amazing evening of magic and wonder to the Echo Arena last night, providing the most magnificent spectacle upon the ice. From the moment we arrived there was just an overwhelming feeling of happiness as children (and many adults too) beamed with excitement ready for the show to start. Everywhere we turned there was smiling, dancing and many children dressed up as their favourite Disney characters. This certainly set the scene for the rest of the night as the show began and we were all transported into the wonderful world of Disney.


Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment features beloved characters from Disney Pixar's Cars, Toy Story 3, Disney's The Little Mermaid and the Academy Award® winning Frozen. It takes the audience on a magical adventure through storytelling, music, dance and of course ice skating that instantly brings a smile to your face.

Before the main show began, the audience were treated to a warm up routine with the Fit to Dance team, that helps to encourage children to get active and inspire them to get moving. We were all asked to get up on our feet and join in with some fitness and dance moves. Of course you don't have to do this if you don't want to and it is entirely optional, but the majority of the crowd seemed to love it and we saw so many children and adults join in with the fun.

Once the Fit to Dance introduction had finished, some very special and much loved characters entered the arena and we all waited in anticipation to see who would be next to skate out onto the ice. My son Riley was absolutely delighted to see Mickey Mouse along with his friends Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

In typical Goofy style, he skated into the rink and tumbled into the end of the stage, much to the delight of the children who filled the arena with lots of laughter. They completed a short routine together and gave us a few little clues as to who would be performing next. My eldest son Ben quickly guessed that it was going to be the characters from Toy Story!

Sure enough, Andy took to the arena in a beautiful solo routine that had my children fascinated. Watching the story unfold on the ice was just magical and the moment that all the characters came out to the song of the "Toys Are Back In Town" the crowd began to sing and clap along with excitement. Before long we found ourselves at Sunnyside Day Care Centre where the toys had to try and plan their escape from both the centre and also the clutches of Lotso Huggin Bear.

My youngest son Riley hasn't actually seen Toy Story 3, so this was actually a whole new story for him and he sat absolutely captivated, as he followed the toys on their adventure to get home to Andy. Featuring amazing choreography, magnificent ice skating skills and the most perfect of costumes, it really was incredible. My eldest son Ben was a huge Toy Story fan when he was younger and so it also brought back lots of wonderful memories for him as he reminisced about how he always used to play with Buzz Lightyear and Slinky Dog (or Stinky Dog as he used to wrongly name him back then)!


After another short introduction by Mickey and the gang, we ventured underwater where we met Ariel and her best friends Flounder and Sebastian. The Little Mermaid was one of my favourite Disney films as a child and I was also lucky enough to see the Broadway musical version a few years ago whilst in New York, so I couldn't wait to see how it would be portrayed on the ice. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more, with the most beautiful ice dancing, creative costumes and vibrant scenery. Featuring popular songs such as Under the Sea, Part of your World and Kiss the Girl it was breathtaking and one of my many favourite moments of the night.

This led to an interval, which gave us the perfect opportunity to stock up on ice cream for the second part of the show. These were priced at £2.50 a tub which I thought was very reasonable compared to other venues we have visited before. There were plenty of other drinks and snacks available and we also saw other guests with some really fun looking slushies in an Olaf themed cup which looked fabulous!


After the interval, the lights began to dim and Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy entered the rink in their lovely little red car. Unfortunately they began to experience engine trouble, which meant that they needed to call for some help from their friends. This led to Mater, Lightning McQueen and the rest of the cars crew, taking to the rink and performing some incredible high-speed stunts across the ice.

Riley was absolutely mesmerised by the cars and we all wondered how they were being controlled. The routine was performed to perfection with the cars weaving in and out of one another with accurate timing, so we weren't sure whether they were remote controlled or had skaters/drivers inside them. Either way it was absolutely wonderful to see them on the ice, as well as being a really innovative and creative idea too. With horns honking, lights flashing and a lot of team work, Mickey's car was soon up and running again much to the delight of the audience.


The last part of the show brought the moment that everyone had been waiting for, as we entered the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa from the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning, number one animated feature film of all time, Disney's Frozen.

We joined Anna on her journey to find her sister Elsa and met the loveable snowman Olaf and mountain-man Kristoff along the way. Olaf certainly provided plenty of laughs and was a definite hit with the crowd. It was also an audience sing-a-long extravaganza with performances to Love Is An Open Door, For the First Time in Forever, In Summer and of course Let it Go.

Elsa's performance of 'Let it Go' was an icy spectacular and there was something so special and breathtaking about an audience of thousands all singing along to the song. A small crowd of children also began to gather close to the stage and it was so heartwarming to see such happiness on peoples faces as they danced along to the music. A truly accurate representation of the Disney magic and how it can make everyone feel so carefree and content.


Overall, we had an absolutely incredible time at Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment, in the Liverpool Echo Arena last night. It really was something truly special and both my husband and I enjoyed it just as much as the children. One of my favourite things about the whole show is the completely relaxed atmosphere, as you can sing along, get up and dance and you certainly don't need to worry about your children being a little noisy during the show or sitting still. Disney on Ice want this to be a memorable experience for the whole family and it most definitely is!

Listing Details

Show - Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment
Dates - Wednesday 11th April to Sunday 15th April
Times - Wed, Thurs, Fri: 6:30pm / Sat & Sun: 10:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm
Venue - Echo Arena Liverpool, Kings Dock, Liverpool, L3 4FP

Tickets - £18 to £43*
Family packages are also available.
* Plus booking fee

For the complete list of tour dates, please visit www.disneyonice.co.uk

You can also keep up to date with the latest developments on social media by visiting the following channels:

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


Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of providing an honest review of the show. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Legally Blonde The Musical at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool - Review

Last night my daughter and I attended the opening night of Legally Blonde The Musical at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. The show is based on the 2001 hit film and apart from a few slight changes to the original story, it is very similar to the popular on-screen version. It is packed full of high energy dancing, singing, drama and lots of pink!

Directed and Choreographed by Anthony Williams, the show tells the story of Elle Woods who is a popular and fun loving girl, that sadly suffers heartbreak when her boyfriend Warner decides to end their relationship for someone more serious. Elle becomes determined to win Warner back and therefore studies hard to become a student at Harvard Law School. Facing many challenges along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself, never goes out of style.

On arrival we were informed that the lead role of Elle Woods would actually be played by the understudy Rebecca Stenhouse, instead of the advertised star Lucie Jones. I was a little disappointed on hearing this news initially, as I had heard so many great things about Lucie's performance in the show. However it soon became apparent that Rebecca Stenhouse was absolutely amazing as Elle with the most beautiful, yet powerful voice. She stepped up to the role perfectly and my earlier dismay was immediately forgotten as soon as she took to the stage. Her comedic timing, flawless dance moves and superb vocals allowed Rebecca to excel in the role of Elle and both my daughter and I were extremely impressed with her performance abilities throughout the whole show.

Photo Credit: UK Productions Ltd
Rita Simons, who is best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in BBC's Eastenders, stars as Paulette Bonafonte. I always think that it must be hard to take on a new role when viewers are so used to seeing you perform as another character, so I was keen to see Rita's portrayal of Paulette.

Her first salon scene with Elle gave Rita the chance to show off her amazing singing voice with her performance of Ireland. This was a fabulous song that was not only funny and entertaining, but also showed a range of emotions too. There was a slight problem during the song where one part of the Irish flag failed to drop onto the stage, but this only provided Rita with the perfect opportunity to show her professionalism as she continued undistracted with the song.

Displaying a strong sassy attitude and a bold american accent, Rita made the character of Paulette her own, which had the audience laughing on plenty of occasions. The Bend & Snap scene with the UPS Guy was certainly one of my favourites and I just loved the positive energy and enthusiasm.

Photo Credit: UK Productions Ltd
Starring as Professor Callahan is Bill Ward, who had a great stage presence. His opening number of Blood in the Water, gave the ideal introduction to his character which showed Callahan to be a formidable and successful lawyer who knows exactly what he wants. He also provided plenty of entertaining moments too with his dancing and facial expressions during the show.

David Barrett stars as Emmett and he delivers some lovely moments with Elle, where their on-stage chemistry comes across as very believeable. I loved the scenes that just featured the two of them, as these also displayed some important messages, such as believing in yourself, working hard to achieve your dreams and how you can also find love when you least expect it. It is great to watch a show that has so much positivity and happiness throughout.

Warner Huntington III is played by Liam Doyle and both my daughter and I really enjoyed his first scene with Elle where they sang Serious together. Their comedic timing was perfect during this performance making what was a 'Serious' matter, actually appear rather amusing.

Photo Credit: UK Productions Ltd
My daughters favourite part of the show was the Gay or European court room performance which, like the rest of the show, was packed full of energy, drama and comedy. It has a really catchy tune and we both found it to be absolutely hilarious, as well as being extremely well choreographed.

Credit also has to go to Helen Petrovna as Brooke Wyndham for the incredible opening scene of Act 2. Her rendition of Whipped into Shape, involved the creative use of skipping ropes that was extremely impressive. Helen somehow managed to make this look effortless and the fact that she was also able to continue acting after such a routine, without even looking short of breath, was incredible.

The remainder of the cast also worked extremely hard and were well supported by two very special canine performers in the form of Bruiser and Rufus who gained immediate popularity the moment they stepped out onto the stage.

Photo Credit: UK Productions Ltd
Overall Legally Blonde The Musical is a really uplifting & feel-good show that can't help but put a smile on your face. The finale saw the audience get up from their seats to clap, sing and dance along to the musical medley and the cast rightly deserved their standing ovation. Packed full of fast paced dancing, catchy songs and positivity, it is a must see musical that offers something for everyone.

Legally Blonde The Musical, will be performing at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool until Saturday 14th April. Tickets can be bought online on their website here: Grand Theatre

Alternatively, you can ring the box office on 01253 290190

Listing Details

Show - Legally Blonde The Musical
Dates - Monday 9th to Saturday 14th April 2018
Times - Evenings at 7:30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 2pm
Venue - Blackpool Grand Theatre, 33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT
Ticket prices - Prices vary, so please visit the Grand Theatre website to obtain the most up to date information.
Box Office - 01253 290190
Website - www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/legally-blonde-musical


Disclaimer: We were provided with press tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the production. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

Listing Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - The Wizard of Oz at St Helens Theatre Royal from 13th-18th February

Get ready to go on a magical adventure over the rainbow with Regal Entertainments and their enchanting February Half Term pantomime production of The Wizard of Oz. The show will be heading to the St Helens Theatre Royal from Tuesday 13th February to Sunday 18th February and will be sure to delight the audience with a great selection of brilliant songs and show-stopping choreography.

After the show's success whilst touring last year, which included playing to packed-out auditoriums in Stockport, Southport, Rhyl and Liverpool, it is now coming back to St Helens due to a huge demand.


Starring BBC's Pitch Battle star Maddie Hope Coelho as Dorothy, this magical show is sure to put a smile on the faces of even the meanest of munchkins. Maddie trained at Laine Theatre Arts, West End MT and the Royal Ballet School. Her theatre credits include Fairy Goodapple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mary Margaret in Singin' in the Rain as well as appearances in Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin.

Click your heels together and join X-Factor's David Heath as the Scarecrow, the brilliant Philip McGuiness as the Tin Man, the loveable Si Foster as the Cowardly Lion, and the adorable little dog Toto, as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Merry Old Land of Oz to meet the Wizard so he can make their dreams come true.

David Heath was a contestant on ITV's The X Factor back in 2006 as a member of boy band Eton Road. Since his time on the show he has turned his talents to theatre with credits including Billy in Wag -The Musical, as well as pantomime leading men including Aladdin, Prince Valentine in Snow White and Prince Valiant in Sleeping Beauty.

Guaranteed to give an oil-slick performance as the Tin Man, the charming Philip McGuiness is a panto regular, having previously played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Finally, Si Foster is no stranger to the St Helens Theatre stage, or to a panto, he is back as the Cowardly Lion, searching for courage from the Wizard.


The Wizard of Oz is a firm family favourite which tells the story of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they embark on a wondrous adventure over the rainbow in the magical land of Oz. So why not join Dorothy, Toto and all their new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion as they journey down the Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City om search of the Wizard of Oz who can make all their dreams come true.

Wizard of Oz Producer, Chantelle Nolan said: "We are so excited to bring The Wizard of Oz back to the theatre for February half term. The show was a roaring success, not just in St Helens, but on tour too. I know that people are just as excited to see the show again as I am, so get your tickets soon, before they sell out!"

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd presents The Wizard of Oz
Dates - Tuesday 13th February to Sunday 18th February 2018
Times - Tues: 1pm / Weds - Sat: 1pm & 5:30pm / Sun: 1pm
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Tickets - From £14*
*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

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

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 - www.atgtickets.com/shows/shrek/palace-theatre-manchester/

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

Monday, 27 November 2017

Dick Whittington at the Manchester Opera House - Competition

Get ready for a Fan-Dabi-Dozi time in Manchester this festive season, as John Barrowman and The Krankies lead the cast in this year's must see pantomime Dick Whittington, taking place at the Manchester Opera House, from Saturday 9th December 2017 to Sunday 7th January 2018!

Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world's biggest pantomime producer, the show will include a spectacular 3D sequence, which will see audiences travel on a very special adventure alongside Dick Whittington and his trusty cat!

Michael Harrison, Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment's pantomimes said "We're absolutely delighted that the ultimate showman, John Barrowman, will be leading the cast of this year's Manchester Opera House pantomime. John is always a favourite with panto audiences, which is no surprise given his immense talent. We're also thrilled that panto-legends The Krankies will be spending another season with John, their timeless comedy is loved by audiences of all ages."

The title role of Dick Whittington, will be played by John Barrowman, who has enjoyed an acclaimed and hugely varied career, including music, presenting and writing with performances on television and film, in the West End and on Broadway. His numerous stage credits include leading roles in Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Company. He was on the TV judging panel of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, and also hosted his own primetime Saturday night programme for the BBC, Tonight's the Night.


John is perhaps best-known for his iconic role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who for the BBC, a role that proved so popular he became the leading role in it's spin-off series, Torchwood, which made John a household name. He has also released eleven studio albums and two concert DVD's. John is currently starring as Malcolm Merlyn in the acclaimed US television show Arrow, based on the DC Comic crime-fighter Green Arrow which is now in its sixth series.

John Barrowman said "I am so looking forward to coming to Manchester. We've pretty much hit all corners of the UK with this show and the one thing that I think is great about it, is that it's a great family show. We have a great time, that's the reason I come back every year to do panto with QDOS. It's one of the best introductions to live theatre for children, and one of the things we have to keep doing is the tradition of live theatre. We're going to bring the magic of the Barrowman-Krankie panto to Manchester. I have lots of friends in Manchester too, I can't wait."

Joining John are the legendary double act The Krankies playing Councillor and Jimmy Krankie. Having entertained audiences with their slapstick for over 50 years, Dick Whittington will mark the couple's seventh pantomime season playing alongside John Barrowman. Ian & Janette Tough, who last year celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary, have been stalwarts on the cabaret circuit and on television since the 1970's, enjoying a varied career including sold-out residencies at major theatres across the UK, appearances at the Royal Variety Performance and their own television programmes The Krankies Klub and The Krankies Elektronik Komic and released two singles, Fan Dabi-Dozi, based on their much-loved catchphrase and Wee Jimmy Krankie.

Photo Credit: Phil Tragen

Sarah Bleasdale, General Manager of the Palace Theatre and Opera House said "It is with great pleasure that we welcome back to Manchester, the world's biggest Panto Producer Qdos Entertainment after 10 years and what a show they are returning with. Bringing some of the biggest names in showbusiness and comedy, John Barrowman and The Krankies, in one of the most traditional of Panto titles. We are all really excited and I know that Manchester audiences are in for an absolute treat, it's sure to be an unforgettable show for all the family this festive period."

Listing Details

Show - Dick Whittington with John Barrowman and The Krankies
Dates - Saturday 9th December 2017 to Sunday 7th January 2018
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the ATG Tickets website for the most up to date information.
Ticket prices - From £12 (booking/transaction fee will also apply)
Address - Opera House Manchester, 3 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP
Box Office - 0844 871 3018 or for group bookings 0333 009 5390
Website - www.atgtickets.com/Manchester

We also have a fantastic competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win a family ticket to see Dick Whittington at the Manchester Opera House on Tuesday 12th December at 7pm. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions & submit your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to see Dick Whittington at Manchester Opera House
Terms & Conditions

  • There is 1 (one) prize of a family ticket to the 7pm performance on Tuesday 12th December 2017 at Opera House Manchester, 3 Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3HP.
  • A family ticket is for 2 adults and 2 children, or alternatively 1 adult and 3 children.
  • The winner shall be required to collect their family ticket from the box office, prior to the show.
  • Tickets are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • There will be no contribution made towards travel.
  • Tickets are valid for the date/time/venue specified only and cannot be used on an alternative date or time, or at a different venue.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or older.
  • Competition closes on December 7th 2017 at noon. The winner shall be drawn at random and contacted via email on the same day.
  • Due to the time restrictive nature of the prize, the winner shall have 48 hours to reply to the email to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before another winner from the remaining eligible entrants is drawn.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • The winners details shall be shared with the promoter, for the purpose of prize fulfilment.
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Wizard of Oz at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool - Competition

Get ready to go on a magical adventure over the rainbow with Regal Entertainments and their enchanting pantomime production of the Wizard of Oz. Due to the success and popularity of the show, The Wizard of Oz pantomime is back on the yellow brick road and will be embarking on a mini tour this October with dates in Southport, Liverpool and Rhyl.

The critically acclaimed panto production from Regal Entertainments visits The Epstein Theatre from Friday 27th October to Sunday 29th October, making it the perfect half-term treat for all little munchkins!

To celebrate, we have a family ticket to give away to the Liverpool show at The Epstein Theatre on Friday 27th October at 6pm. Read on for more information and for details on how to enter.

Eastenders actress Cheryl Fergison will continue to lead the cast as the Wicked Witch of the West, whilst BBC Pitch Battle star and singing sensation Maddie Hope Coelho steps into the role of Dorothy. Cheryl and Maddie will be joined by X Factor star David Heath as the Scarecrow, the charismatic Philip McGuiness playing the Tinman and the hilarious Richard Hazlewood as the cowardly lion.


The Wizard of Oz is a firm family favourite which tells the story of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto, as they embark on a wondrous adventure over the rainbow and in the magical land of Oz. Regal Entertainments' panto version of this classic family show includes an hilariously funny script, dazzling costumes and sets, plus a wealth of brilliant songs and show-stopping choreography.

In true pantomime fashion, the show is filled with an entertaining cast who provide a wide array of songs, jokes and slapstick comedy that is suitable for the whole family. We were fortunate to attend the show during its popular Stockport Plaza run in the summer holidays, and it had us giggling from beginning to end. You can read our review here: Wizard of Oz Review

Tickets are now on sale. Book early to avoid disappointment.

*The cast is subject to change.

To learn more about Regal Entertainments Ltd, you can visit their social media pages here:

Facebook: RegalEntertainmentsLtd
Twitter: @RegalEntsLtd

Full Tour Listing Details

Southport Theatre, The Promenade, Southport, PR9 0DZ
Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th October
1pm and 5pm
Tickets: From £11 / Groups (20+): All Seats £13 + 1 in 20 go free / Schools: £9 - 1 teacher in 10 goes free.
To book call 0844 871 3021 or visit ATG Tickets

The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October
Fri: 6pm | Sat: 10:30am, 1pm, 6pm | Sun: 12pm, 4pm.
Tickets: Adult £18/ Concession £16/ Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) £60
Groups (20+): All Seats £13 + 1 in 20 go free
To book call 0844 888 4411 or visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Rhyl Pavilion, E Parade, Rhyl, LL18 3AQ
Monday 30th to Tuesday 31st October
Monday 6pm, Tuesday 10:30am, 1pm, 5:30pm
Tickets: From £14 / Groups (20+): All Seats £12 + 1 in 20 go free
To book call 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk

Competition

We have a fabulous competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win a family ticket for the 6pm performance on Friday 27th October at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool. Please check the terms and conditions and if you would like to enter, then please do so, using the Gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to see The Wizard of Oz at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a family ticket to the 6pm performance on Friday 27th October 2017 at The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ.
  • A Family ticket is for 2 adults and 2 children, or alternatively 1 adult and 3 children.
  • The winner shall be required to collect their family ticket from the box office, prior to the show.
  • Tickets are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • There will be no contribution towards travel.
  • Tickets are valid for the date/time/venue specified only and cannot be used on an alternative date or time, or at a different venue.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or older.
  • Competition closes on 20th October 2017 at 12 noon. Winner shall be drawn at random on the same day and contacted via email.
  • Due to the time restrictive nature of the prize, the winner shall have 48 hours to reply to the email to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before another winner from the remaining eligible entrants is drawn.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • The winners details shall be shared with the promoter, for the purpose of prize fulfilment.
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Dates for your Diary - The Wizard of Oz Pantomime Continues North West Tour

Last month we reviewed the highly entertaining and very funny pantomime The Wizard of Oz at the Stockport Plaza. You can read our review here - The Wizard of Oz at Stockport Plaza - Review

Due to the success and popularity of the show, The Wizard of Oz pantomime is back on the yellow brick road and will be embarking on a mini tour this October, with dates in Southport, Liverpool & Rhyl.

The critically acclaimed panto production from Regal Entertainments visits Southport Theatre from Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th October; The Epstein Theatre from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October; and the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre from Monday 30th to Tuesday 31st October.


Eastenders actress Cheryl Fergison will continue to lead the cast as the Wicked Witch of the West, whilst BBC Pitch Battle star and singing sensation Maddie Hope Coelho replaces previously announced Charlotte Gallagher, in the role of Dorothy.

Cheryl and Maddie will be joined by X Factor star David Heath as the Scarecrow, the charismatic Philip McGuiness playing the Tinman and the hilarious Richard Hazlewood as the Cowardly Lion.

The show was a huge success during it's run at St Helens Theatre Royal last October and the Stockport Plaza last month, playing to a packed-out auditorium. It is guaranteed to delight the audiences of Southport, Liverpool and Rhyl this October.

Cheryl Fergison, most notably known for playing Heather Trott in the BBC soap, returns as The Wicked Witch of the West. Cheryl is a multi-talented performer and has starred in many stage and film productions. She is also a wonderful singer and musician.

No stranger to pantomime, she has also appeared in Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Beauty and the Beast to name but a few, as well as making audiences boo and hiss with her performance as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.

Stepping into the coveted Ruby Slippers, the incredibly talented Maddie Hope Coelho joins the cast to play Dorothy. Maddie trained at Laine Theatre Arts, West End MT and The Royal Ballet School. Her theatre credits include Fairy Goodapple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mary Margaret in Singin' in the Rain, as well as appearances in Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin. She is delighted to be playing Dorothy and hopes the audiences have a magical time.


David Heath was a contestant on ITV's The X Factor back in 2006 as a member of boy band Eton Road. Since his time on the show he has turned his talents to theatre with credits including Billy in Wag - The Musical, as well as pantomime leading men including Aladdin, Prince Valentine in Snow White and Prince Valiant in Sleeping Beauty.

Guaranteed to give an oil-slick performance as Tinman, the charming Philip McGuiness is a panto regular, having previously played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Finally, no stranger to Panto, having played the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Abanaza in Aladdin, Richard Hazlewood will be practising his best roar as the lovable Cowardly Lion.

The Wizard of Oz is a firm family favourite which tells the story of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto, as they embark on a wondrous adventure over the rainbow in the magical land of Oz.

Regal Entertainments' panto version of this classic family show includes an hilariously funny script, dazzling costumes and sets, plus a wealth of brilliant songs and show-stopping choreography.

Be sure to join Dorothy, Toto and their new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion as they journey down the Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City in search of The Wizard of Oz who can make all their dreams come true. This is the perfect half-term treat for all little munchkins!


Wizard of Oz Producer, Chantelle Nolan said: "We are very excited to continue our tour of the North West. We had an amazing time during the run of the show in St Helens last year and critics are raving about our recent Stockport show. Audiences seem to go mad for it with many families making return visits, so catch it while you can in Liverpool, Southport and Rhyl!"

Tickets are now on sale. Book early to avoid disappointment.

*The cast is subject to change.

To learn more about Regal Entertainments Ltd, you can visit their social media pages here:

Facebook: RegalEntertainmentsLtd
Twitter: @RegalEntsLtd

Listing Details

Southport Theatre, The Promenade, Southport, PR9 0DZ
Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th October
1pm and 5pm
Tickets: From £11 / Groups (20+): All Seats £13 + 1 in 20 go free / Schools: £9 - 1 teacher in 10 goes free.
To book call 0844 871 3021 or visit ATG Tickets

The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October
Fri: 6pm | Sat: 10:30am, 1pm, 6pm | Sun: 12pm, 4pm.
Tickets: Adult £18/ Concession £16/ Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) £60
Groups (20+): All Seats £13 + 1 in 20 go free
To book call 0844 888 4411 or visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Rhyl Pavilion, E Parade, Rhyl, LL18 3AQ
Monday 30th to Tuesday 31st October
Monday 6pm, Tuesday 10:30am, 1pm, 5:30pm
Tickets: From £14 / Groups (20+): All Seats £12 + 1 in 20 go free
To book call 01745 330000 or visit www.rhylpavilion.co.uk


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Wizard of Oz at Stockport Plaza - A Review

Last night we visited the fabulous Stockport Plaza theatre to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz pantomime. Oh no we didn't! Ohhhh yes we did!

In true pantomime fashion the show was filled with an entertaining cast that provided a wide array of songs, dance, jokes & slapstick comedy that was suitable for the whole family. If you have never been to a pantomime before then a 'panto' is often based around a well known story or fairytale. They are high energy, lots of fun and have you giggling from start to finish and The Wizard of Oz certainly ticked all the pantomime boxes!


We have been to many productions in the past which have been based on Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin, but this was the first time we had a seen a Wizard of Oz pantomime. It was therefore great to see something different, in what was also a beautiful venue. The Stockport Plaza is a stunning example of art deco architecture and it was certainly a pleasure to watch the show in such lovely surroundings.


The show began with a lovely solo piece sung by Fiyero (Richard Hazlewood) which was a nice introduction to the show. This was soon followed by some catchy upbeat songs with matching choreography, that got the audience clapping & dancing along straight away. The supporting dancers & ensemble were brilliant and it was lovely to see children of all ages having the opportunity to perform on stage.

Once the initial performances were over the story began and we started to learn a little more about Dorothy and her family. The show featured a mixture of well known modern tunes along with popular classics such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow and it wasn't long before Dorothy (and her little dog too) were transported to the wonderful world of Oz. One by one we were introduced to Glinda the Good Witch, Eva the Wicked Witch of the West, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.


The show continued to follow the story of Dorothy on her quest to return home to Kansas whilst her new found friends helped her along the way. The audience shouted in delight as regular panto phrases became a necessity with shouts of "It's behind you" and "Booooo" whenever the Wicked Witch appeared on stage. The Wicked Witch was being played by Cheryl Fergison who is best known as "Heather Trott" from Eastenders. She was fantastic in the role with a wonderful stage presence that immediately commanded your attention. It was great to see her as a baddie in comparison to the gentle mild mannered character that she played in the popular soap. There were a few Eastenders jokes thrown into the mix which gave the adults a giggle and it was great that humour for the whole family remained throughout the production.


Once Dorothy and her friends had finally reached the great Wizard of Oz they were given the task of recovering the witches broom. This saw the group embark on another journey through the scary forest and we particularly enjoyed Philip Shaun McGuinness in the role of the Tin Man. My children thought he was brilliant and loved his costume too! David Heath as the Scarecrow was also wonderful and Si Foster as The Cowardly Lion supplied plenty of laughs.


Our favourite part of the show was when Dorothy's friends performed an hilarious song together. I don't want to reveal too much, but this part was so funny and had both children and adults laughing out loud . It was really well arranged and Glinda (Olivia Sloyan), the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow were absolutely superb.



Once Dorothy and her friends had battled evil and recovered the broom, they returned to the Wizard of Oz where they learnt that each of them had already possessed what they had seeked. The Lion had already exhibited great courage, the Tin Man had already shown that he had a kind heart and The Scarecrow clearly had a brain. Unfortunately the great wizard was unable to help Dorothy, but Glinda the good witch was soon on hand with a bit of advice. With the help of the ruby slippers, Dorothy learnt that she could return home.


Before the show ended we were treated to a good old sing-a-long as well as a final rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" where Dorothy (Maddie Hope Coelho) exhibited her stunning vocal range with a breathtaking performance of the song.

Overall we had an absolutely brilliant time at The Wizard of Oz which has been produced by Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph for Regal Entertainments Ltd. The cast were fantastic and the show featured some excellent choreography, wonderful singing and laugh out loud comedy from start to finish. The scenery and costumes were an accurate representation of the original story and both the cast and creative team behind the production should be very proud of achieving such a wonderful family pantomime. A special mention also has to be given to Buddy the dog starring as Toto, who was great on stage and completely unfazed by the bright lights and cheering audience. Well done to all involved!


Tickets are still available for the show which is running until Saturday 12th August 2017.

Listing Details

Regal Entertainments presents The Wizard of Oz

Venue: Stockport Plaza Theatre, Mersey Square, Stockport, SK1 1SP.

Dates: Monday 7th August 2017 to Saturday 12th August 2017

Times: 1pm & 5pm

Tickets: Available from £13 (Groups 20+ from £12) *subject to booking fee.

Box Office: 0161 477 7779

Please visit the website for the most up to date ticket information and availability at: www.stockportplaza.co.uk


Disclaimer: We attended the press night on a complimentary basis for the purpose of providing an honest review of the show. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.