Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts

Friday 15 April 2022

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography

You can find out more by visiting The Epstein Theatre website at

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

Facebook -

Twitter - @EpsteinTheatre

Listing Details

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Regal Entertainments Ltd

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

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

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

Tickets - From £14

How to Book

Book online:

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

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

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

*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary family ticket to the press night performance, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show and our experience. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own site in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Blackpool Grand Theatre - A Review

As a family we were absolutely delighted to be returning to the Grand Theatre in Blackpool last weekend to enjoy one of our favourite festive traditions, a Christmas Pantomime! Like many families we had to keep ourselves entertained at home last year and whilst we still had a lovely time, it definitely didn't compare to being amongst a theatre audience where you can sing and dance along, whilst also crying with laughter at the same time. 

Martin Dodd for UK Productions and in association with Blackpool Grand Theatre are proudly presenting their production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is running from the 3rd December 2021 through to the 2nd January 2022. 

It tells the tale of the beautiful Snow White (Ellie Green) who is treated terribly by her evil stepmother the Wicked Queen (Vicky Entwistle). In true fairytale style, Snow White falls in love with a handsome prince and manages to escape the clutches of the Wicked Queen, only to stumble into the dark forest where luckily she meets seven new adorable friends, who help to try and keep her safe from harm. Featuring a magic mirror, an eccentric Nurse Dolly (Jamie Steen) and an entertaining jester called Muddles (Steve Royle), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs contains all you need for an enjoyable time at the theatre this festive season.

The pantomime is fun-packed from start to finish and includes comedy, dancing, singing and all round entertainment that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Variety performances feature throughout and include everything from juggling to a very special and unique kind of ventriloquism. Running at approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes including the interval, it is the perfect way to spend some quality time with the family whilst being thoroughly entertained.

© Blackpool Grand Theatre | Martin Bostock

Vicky Entwistle stars as the Wicked Queen and is extremely impressive in this role. She surpassed my initial expectations and had a commanding stage presence that grasped my attention each and every time she entered the stage. Despite being cast as a baddie, I felt that at times she also provided a touch of glamour, whilst also treating the audience to some incredibly enjoyable performances. I have watched many pantomimes over the years and have found that in some shows the baddie can have a somewhat limited role, but the Wicked Queen features regularly throughout this production and she had no problem showing off her vocal skills or keeping up with the choreography to some fast paced musical numbers.

Steve Royle (Currently Britain's Third Most Talented Person) stars as Muddles and my family and I were really looking forward to seeing him perform on stage. Whilst I have seen him starring in a panto role before, my children only became aware of him through his appearance on Britain's Got Talent and they were excited to see what variety acts he would bring to the show. It is fair to say that we were not disappointed and his fabulously funny ventriloquism scene starring a very Manky Monkey, will be one that my children will talk about for years to come. 

Nursie is played by Jamie Steen, who was just wonderful as Nurse Dolly. There were a few innuendos and little jokes for the adults thrown in on occasions and I found that Nursie and Muddles complemented each other well on stage. Both were capable of engaging well with the audience and made the ideal comedy duo during their scenes together. 

The role of Snow White was performed by Ellie Green who contributed some exceptional vocal talent. Her voice was a pleasure to listen to and her character was both charming and likeable. She performed well opposite her charismatic and handsome Prince, who was played by Chris Warner Drake. 

The seven dwarfs named Kip, Pop, Soppy, Sneezer, Twitcher, Smiler and Grouchy were incredible and you could feel the audiences love for them all as soon as they appeared. We couldn't help but sing and clap along as they performed songs such as "Heigh-Ho" and "Whistle While You Work".

© Blackpool Grand Theatre | Martin Bostock

The show features traditional panto favourites such as the spooky ghost scene and the marvellous 12 Days of Christmas which my family love. I always enjoy watching this particular act and how the cast deal with the many challenges. My youngest son had asked me on the way to the show whether the song would feature, so he was absolutely delighted to find himself singing "Five Toilet Rolllllsss" at the top of his voice.

The music throughout the production has been perfectly selected and features a variety of well known songs that all ages could sing along to. There was definitely some stand out performances though, with Snow White's incredible vocals showcasing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and the dwarfs fantastic rendition of "Ice Ice Baby" which gave the audience an absolute treat. My personal favourite however, was Vicky Entwistle's performance of "I Put a Spell on You" which was just superb! A special mention also has to be made regarding the wonderfully talented orchestra who played with precision and made the songs an absolute joy to listen to.

© Blackpool Grand Theatre | Martin Bostock

The costumes within the production are without a doubt some of the best I have ever seen, particularly Nursie's. Her outfits dazzled and bewildered us with their creativity, extravagance and awesomeness. Just when you thought they couldn't get any bigger or bolder, you would be surprised with yet another costume change that were often greeted with sounds of laughter when she took to the stage. Whilst these costumes were the most notable, the wardrobe department excelled throughout the show with all cast members looking the part in outfits that reflected their characters perfectly.

Overall we had a wonderful time at the Blackpool Grand Theatre and both my husband and I enjoyed it just as much as the kids. Variety and comedy was strong throughout the whole production and it was great to hear the theatre filled with continuous laughter. Audience participation was definitely encouraged and everyone seemed to absolutely love this interaction that has always played such a big part in the panto experience. The cast all worked really well together and quite importantly they genuinely looked like they were having a great time on stage, providing guests with what I consider to be an outstanding show. I would absolutely recommend Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to people of all ages, so don't delay and be sure to book your tickets to this fabulous pantomime very soon!

Listing Details

Show - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
Dates - 3rd December 2021 to 2nd January 2022
Times - Various show times
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 -

You can also visit The Grand Theatre's social media pages on the following channels:

Facebook - @blackpoolgrand

Twitter - @Grand_Theatre

Instagram - @grandtheatrebpl

© Blackpool Grand Theatre | Martin Bostock

*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary press tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the production. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Sunday 22 December 2019

The Snowman Tour at Chester Cathedral - A Review

Throughout my school years I developed a love for music and learnt to play the harp, clarinet and the piano, with my childhood dream to be part of an orchestra or band. Unfortunately that dream wasn't meant to be, but my love of live music remains and in terms of entertainment, nothing quite beats a live orchestra. However, when you combine the outstanding skills of an orchestra, with the timeless classic animation of The Snowman, you get something even more exceptional and a show that provides the most magical of experiences for audiences of all ages.

Yesterday, my family and I were invited along to see The Snowman Tour, in the beautiful surroundings of Chester Cathedral. The Snowman Tour from Carrot Productions has been visiting venues all around the country this December and will continue to do so right up until the 30th of this month.  The show brings the magic of the animation alive, as the iconic short film is accompanied by a live orchestra and a young soloist who performs the song Walking in the Air.

Chester Cathedral itself is a stunning venue for such a beautiful show and as we took our seats we couldn't help but look around and gaze at the amazing architecture within. There was a small stage at the front, with seats placed for the members of the orchestra, along with a large screen situated directly above.  Everyone seemed so excited for the show to begin and as we patiently waited for 2pm to arrive, various musicians began to fill the stage, dressed in festive attire that was most impressive.

As the show began, we were treated to a festive overture and my youngest son loved singing along to the music and guessing the names of the songs. With there being so many children in the audience, it was quite a relaxed atmosphere which made Riley feel very comfortable. This also meant that I didn't need to worry about him whispering to me every now and again, like you do at some shows. He was able to recognise all of the songs played and it was the perfect way to start the performance.

Following this, we were introduced to the various members of the orchestra in a fun and amusing way. I really liked this as it helps children to identify the numerous instruments involved and Riley found it to be really interesting. He particularly liked hearing the strings and woodwind sections.

We were then treated to a lovely orchestral performance of The Nutcracker Suite with a specially commissioned film by Tom Scott. This delightful animation was enchanting as the musicians performed the well known Tchaikovsky festive favourites, such as The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, The March of the Toy Soldiers and Waltz of the Flowers. Riley has recently been learning dance as part of his P.E lessons in school and they have been creating movements using this music, so he was very familiar with them all and excited to see them performed live.  It is important to note that not all venues will be showing The Nutcracker Suite as the animations do vary dependent on location, but you can check prior to booking which one will be shown. Other animations include The Bear and the Piano and A Donkey's Tale that are both heartwarming and beautiful stories to be entertained by.

Shortly afterwards, there was a wonderful atmosphere as a snowman character ran around the Cathedral giving high fives to the children. Riley loved this and enjoyed watching him as he made his way amongst the audience. This led to the moment that we had all been waiting for on the big screen......The Snowman!

Image credit: ©Tom Bangbala

Riley was captivated as it began and despite the fact that I have seen this animation a countless number of times, I became fascinated and transfixed on the stage.  I tried to choose moments to glance between both the screen and the orchestra, as I was keen to observe the talented musicians. They all seemed to be in their element whilst performing, which was so enchanting to watch.

When the moment arrived for 'Walking in the Air', a young soloist took to the stage and provided the most beautiful rendition of the song with their exceptional voice. Watching this song being sang live with the orchestra was incredible and certainly a highlight for us.

My favourite scene in the animation is the Dance of the Snowmen, so I was really looking forward to this part of the show and it did not disappoint. The orchestra were amazing and it enabled me to fully appreciate their abilities as the combination of music and dance was brought to life on the screen.

Overall I absolutely loved The Snowman Tour from start to finish and honestly cannot recommend it enough. We had such a fabulous time and it truly is the perfect show for the whole family to enjoy this December. With a running time of just over one hour, it was the ideal length of time to keep younger children's attention and we loved the additional performances that took place prior to the start of The Snowman animation. There was an enjoyable atmosphere and it was lovely to be able to watch the show in such beautiful surroundings. The orchestra were all extremely talented and we found it quite mesmerising watching them perform. Ultimately this is a wonderful experience for audiences of all ages, so don't miss out on your chance to book tickets for the remaining shows.

For more information on The Snowman Tour or to check remaining availability, then you can visit the Carrot Productions website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - @carrotprod
Instagram - @carrot_productions

*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary family ticket, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show and our experience. Thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the shows own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Aladdin at St. Helens Theatre Royal - A Review

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

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

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

Image credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Image credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

Image credit: David Munn Photography

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

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

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

Listing Details

Show - Aladdin
Venue - St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1LQ
Dates - Saturday 7th December 2019 to Sunday 12th January 2020
Times - Times vary so please visit the St. Helens Theatre Royal website here to obtain this information.
Tickets - Prices start from £13*

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

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

Image credit: David Munn Photography

*Disclaimer - We were provided with press tickets for the purpose of writing an honest review of the production. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website, in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Friday 29 November 2019

Mr Popper's Penguins at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale - A Review

For the past few years, it has become somewhat of a family tradition for us to visit Waterside Arts Centre and enjoy their wonderful Christmas performances. This year has been no exception and last night we attended the press night for the internationally acclaimed Mr Popper's Penguins which will be running at the theatre until the 31st December. My husband and I visited with our six year old son, who is the perfect age to enjoy this magical and heartwarming tale.

Mr Popper's Penguins is a Kenny Wax and TC Beech Production adapted for the stage by Pins and Needles Productions and is based on the much loved childrens book written by Richard and Florence Atwater. It tells the story of painter and decorater Mr Popper, who spends his days dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep - and out of which waddles a penguin...

From the moment the show began, we knew we were in for a treat. The auditorium was filled with excitement as the cast took to the stage and introduced us to Mr and Mrs Popper, who live in the quiet town of Stillwater. When Mr Popper sends a letter to esteemed adventurer Admiral Drake, he receives quite a peculiar response, in the form of a large wooden crate that contains something very special inside.

Image Credit - Jason Lock

My son was so excited to see the Penguin waddle out of the box and for a moment, you could be forgiven for forgetting that there were even puppeteers in control. Riley's focus became drawn to the astounding Captain Cook as he caused all kinds of mischief and mayhem on the stage and he began to laugh at his antics. The movements were so realistic, but also comical, which when accompanied by the penguin squawks provided a great deal of entertainment.

Before long Captain Cook was joined by another penguin named Greta and the two struck up a loving friendship with plenty of fun and frolics. The introduction of eight penguin babies brought even more humour to the stage and we couldn't help but laugh at all their antics. We also loved the show tunes, which showcased the brilliant performance and vocal skills of the cast.

I will add that my son is very sensitive to sadness, so as well as laughing for the most part, he did also shed a few tears when he thought that Mr Popper would need to say bye to the penguins. Luckily this moment of sorrow was quickly replaced with a smile, when he realised that Mr Popper would in fact be joining them on their return to the South Pole. This led to a beautiful boat scene, which was fantastic to view.

Image Credit - Jason Lock

Overall, we absolutely loved this production and it touched every emotion possible during the sixty minute performance. Whilst the show is recommended for children aged 3 to 11, I found that I enjoyed it just as much as my son and feel that this heartwarming story is sure to delight audiences of all ages. The musical numbers were entertaining and were well suited to the thirties era in which the story is set. This action-packed children's musical had us captivated from start to finish and I would absolutely recommend this show to others, for a magical festive 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


*Disclaimer - We were invited to the press night for the purpose of writing an honest review of the production. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

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, 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 17 April 2019

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Storyhouse, Chester - A Review

Having studied music from an early age, I have been very fortunate to have seen some of the most fantastic musicals from all around the world. Whilst in school I had an outstanding music teacher who would often arrange trips to some of the touring productions, as well as ensuring that our choir also performed regularly in shows. I remember learning several of the songs that feature in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, yet despite regular visits to both the West End and Broadway, I have bizarrely NEVER actually seen the show in full before.......that is until now.

Last night the touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat wowed the audience at the Storyhouse theatre in Chester, with an exciting, enjoyable and skillful performance of the well known musical. As the lights dimmed we were treated to an overture that had guests clapping along before the show had even began. When the curtain rose I knew we were in for a great evening, as we sat back to enjoy this interpretation of the story of Joseph, his brothers and of course his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!

The lead role of Joseph is played by Jaymi Hensley, a member of the boy band Union J. He provides an outstanding performance that was truly a delight to watch. I had been slightly sceptical beforehand, as to whether a young pop voice would be powerful enough for a leading part, but he absolutely shines like a star right from the very beginning and throughout the entire show. His vocals were strong and powerful, yet he was also able to apply plenty of emotion when required, which was particularly evident in scene six during 'Close Every Door'.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Trina Hill stars as the narrator, who does a stellar job of bringing Joseph's story to life through song.  Her vocals were impressive and a delight to listen to and her musical experience was clearly evident as she uses her skills with great effect.

The actors playing Joseph's brothers brought a great sense of fun and vibrancy to the stage, with each of them delivering impeccable choreography and drama. The comical element of their performances were amusing and they all exhibited a keen passion for their roles. Two particular standouts for me were Alex Hetherington playing the part of Benjamin and Lewis Asquith who starred as both Simeon and the Butler.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

The handmaidens played by Amber Kennedy, Eve Norris and Gemma Pipe work extremely hard, undertaking a variety of roles and costume changes. In the second half of the show one of the handmaidens performs an excellent tango routine which was fascinating to watch, although admittedly I was slightly confused by the Eiffel Tower background whilst this took place, given that the story is based in Canaan and Egypt.

One of my favourite parts of the show, was when we were introduced to the Pharoah, played by Andrew Geater. My family and I have seen him in several other productions before, so I was already aware of his vocal capabilities and acting skills. However, he impressed me on a whole new level last night and certainly brought plenty of smiles and laughter to the audience with his humorous and powerful portrayal.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

A special mention also has to be made to the Joseph Choir, which was provided by students of the local Chester Stagecoach School. My daughter used to attend this theatre group, so I know how much effort the students, staff and principals all put into their work. Several of her friends were in the production last night and so it was great to see the choir delivering some stunning supporting vocals, in what I am sure is a wonderful opportunity for all involved. During the show they were seated on raised steps, which added an element of simplicity and also ensured that the stage setting was never too crowded or over complicated.

Both my husband and I loved the sound quality and lighting design which complemented each of the scenes superbly and highlighted the performers well. The final moments of the show during the Joseph Megamix brought the skills of both the technical teams and performers together to an exceptional level and it was great to see the audience appreciate these efforts with not only a standing ovation, but a good old song and dance too. In turn this created a truly wonderful atmosphere and the most perfect way to end our evening.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Overall we had a fabulous time watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and it far exceeded my expectations. It is fun, fast paced and most importantly entertaining, so it is sure to delight audiences both young and old. I would absolutely recommend this show as being ideal for an enjoyable family trip to the theatre and I cannot wait to see it again in the future.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is currently embarking on a UK tour and will be in Chester until Saturday 20th April 2019. For further details on how to book tickets, please see the listing details below.

Listing Details

Show: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR
Dates: Wednesday 17th April to Saturday 20th April 2019
Times: Wednesday and Thursday 2:30pm & 7:30pm / Friday 5pm & 8pm / Saturday 2pm, 5pm & 8pm
Booking: This can be done online at, 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 -
Facebook -
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary tickets to the press night performance, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the show. Thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Sunday 7 April 2019

Zog Live on Stage at Storyhouse Chester - A Review

My youngest child Riley absolutely loves a trip to the theatre and since introducing him gradually to various kinds of shows over the past couple of years, it has become one of his favourite activities to do as a family.

We are very fortunate to have the beautiful Storyhouse venue only ten minutes away from our home and it has been great to see Chester welcome some wonderful productions since it's opening. Their calendar this year has everything from musicals to comedy performances, but this weekend we were very excited to attend a family friendly theatre production of Zog, based on the bestselling book by Julia Donaldson, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler. The show has been produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston and features puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright.

On our arrival to Storyhouse in Chester, we found it bustling with families, all ready to enjoy the show. There were children everywhere excitedly waiting for the performance to begin, some of whom had brought their own copies of the book or cuddly toys with them. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere and I was aware of the fact that for some of the children, it could be their very first time at the theatre.

As we entered the auditorium, my children were provided with a Zog sticker each, which Riley was particularly happy with. So much so, that he also asked his brother and sister for theirs too! We found our seats in the middle of Row P which offered a fantastic view, so we had no issues at all with Riley not being able to see and we also did not require a booster seat.

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

Zog has been produced by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston, featuring puppets that have been designed and created by Little Angel Theatre co-founder Lyndie Wright. It has been adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd and features an original folk score by Johnny Flynn and designs by Katie Sykes.

Riley found the stage show to be a magical adaptation and from the moment the show began, he was mesmerised as both actors and creative puppets came to life with a lovely musical accompaniment. The puppetry was imaginative and the musicians both comical and skilled, as we were gradually introduced to Zog's world and his quest for the golden star. My son Riley hadn't expected to hear singing throughout the show and when Princess Pearl (Emily Benjamin) began to sing, he quietly whispered in my ear "Well that was a lovely surprise!"

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

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

All of them were funny and engaging, as well as being highly talented, as they provided an entertaining performance consisting of drama, music, dance and puppetry. Children amongst the audience were giggling right from the opening scene, which soon turned into loud laughter later in the show, once we were introduced to Sir Gadabout the Great. He delivered an hilarious act along with a memorable song, that my son Riley has been singing at home ever since.

There was an equal combination of the use of puppets and actors and I felt that this worked well. The actors ensured that there was a connection with the audience, as well as interaction in parts, whilst the puppets added a magical element that delighted the children, especially when the dragons began to fly. The puppets themselves were absolutely stunning and have clearly been created with care and attention to detail, with striking colours and friendly faces.

One thing that I particularly enjoyed about the show, was the way that it had been paced. It was fast moving and entertaining, which ensured that even the youngest of children could remain focused and interested in what was happening on stage. I have found in the past that Riley can become disengaged if there is too much dialogue, but this show provided the perfect mix of words and song, which meant that any potential for boredom, was kept firmly away.

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Overall, we found this show to be a wonderful adaptation of a book that we know and love. It is the perfect introduction to theatre for children and we saw plenty of babies and toddlers in attendance too. The running time is just short of an hour, which means that it is the perfect length of time to keep children interested and amused. The cast are an excellent example of skilled performers who ensure that the story is told in an entertaining and comical manner, as well as presenting themselves as very likeable characters. My six year old loved it and is looking forward to telling his friends all about it!

I would also like to add that from a venue persepective, I was very impressed by how attentive the Storyhouse staff were to the children in attendance. From welcoming smiles, friendly chats and the handing out of stickers, we found everyone to be extremely courteous and professional in providing a family-friendly theatre environment.

For more information on Zog Live and the upcoming tour locations, you can visit the Freckle Productions website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - @Freckle_Prods
Instagram - @freckle_productions

To find out more about Storyhouse then you can visit their website or social media on the following channels:

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - @storyhouselive
Instagram - @storyhouselive

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

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

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, 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 -
Facebook -
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.

Thursday 7 February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website -
Facebook -
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH

Listing Details

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

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

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

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.

Friday 14 December 2018

Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal - A Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd present Peter Pan
Dates - Saturday 8th December 2018 to Sunday 13th January 2019
Times - Performance times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Tickets - From £11*
*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

Box Office - 01744 756000
Website -
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH
Facebook -

Photo Credit: David Munn Photography
*Disclaimer - We were invited to attend the press night for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.