Around the World in 80 Days at the Cadogan Hall

Last Saturday myself and the kiddies headed to the theatre again, one of our favourite past times, this time to see Around the World in 80 Days!

Around the world in 80 days theatre

We were slightly out of our usual West End area for this one as it was showing at the Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square, in the heart of Chelsea! I haven’t been to this theatre before so it was lovely to go somewhere a bit different and I absolutely love Sloane Square…. suffice to say we had a good wander round the area afterwards, checking out the beautiful streets and cafe’s as well as having a nosy in the designer shops!

Cadogan Hall itself is a relatively small theatre and is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s a renowned music venue and like many of London’s theatres, is steeped in history!

Cadogan hall

around the world in 80 days cadogan hall kids

We were all very excited to see Around the World in 80 Days. It’s not our usual musical theatre type of production but it really appealed to me as it sounded like a great adventure to be taken on with my children and the reviews were fantastic!

My children, who weren’t familiar with the story beforehand, were drawn in right from the start and the show moved along at very fast pace, keeping their attention fully fixated!

We are immediately introduced to the mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg, who wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. We are then joined by his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock.

around the world in 80 days

An ensemble cast of 8 play over 125 characters in an imaginative and physically inventive high-spirited escapade including six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant!

We were amazed by the imaginative way in which the story was told…. the race against time was captured perfectly as the actors rushed around from one scene to another. My daughter loved the boat scenes which were cleverly depicted simply by holding some railings and swaying from side to side… so simple but yet so effective and very funny!

Andrew Pollard (Phileas Fogg), Michael Hugo (Passepatout), Kirsten Foster (Mrs Aouda) & Pushpinder Chani (Mr Naidu). Credit - An

In one scene, which had the audience in stitches, the chairs and table had to be held as the boat was in ‘rough seas’ and this became hilarious as they then couldn’t be let go of.. the table didn’t even have legs! At one point a couple of kids from the audience were summoned onto the stage to hold on to the table and chairs which again was so comical!

Around The World in 80 Days. Dennis Herdman (Inspector Fix). Credit - Andrew Billington

The 8 actors I have to say were incredible, each so perfect in every role and so believable! The wonderfully straight laced Phileas Fogg was complimented perfectly by the absolute star of the show in our opinion…. his sidekick Passepartout, played by Michael Hugo… who was genius! I read somewhere he’s like a cross between Lee Evans and Norman Wisdom which sums him up perfectly. He had that slapstick, visual humour that really drew the audience in! As did the character of Mr. Fix… the bumbling Police Office baddie who I would liken to a pantomime villain! He popped up in the audience here and there too which my children loved!

Dennis Herdman (Inspector Fix), Michael Hugo (Passepartout), Kirsten Foster (Mrs Aouda) & Andrew Pollard (Phileas Fogg). Credit

The production takes us around the world in the Victorian era, taking in Egypt, India, Hong Kong and America and it’s a fascinating journey. You really do get a sense of the culture as you pass through each one! It was great for my children to see this and gain some knowledge of how travelling was done before the era of travelling everywhere by plane!

The stand out moments for us were the very clever passport and money throwing scenes…. and the fighting scenes…. both done with such imagination and brilliance. I would love everyone to go and watch this show just to witness those!

My children absolutely loved it. They got excited, they laughed, they booed and clapped…

.. it’s definitely one of the best family shows we’ve seen! So full of energy and entertainment.

This New Vic Theatre’s celebrated production of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days adapted by Laura Eason and directed by Theresa Heskins has been showing at Cadogan Hall for 5 weeks, it will be closing on 2nd September to embark on a major six month tour. 

It was first premiered at the New Vic Theatre in 2013 followed by a successful season at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester in 2014. This production has been nominated for both the UK Theatre Awards ‘Best New Production’ and the Manchester Theatre Awards ‘Best Show for Children and Families’. I can certainly see why!

If you get the chance, do go and see it, with or without the kids… it’s a show anyone and everyone will love so don’t miss out. Please!

Check out the UK Tour Dates below and you can find our more on the 80 Days Live website.

Theatre Royal Plymouth
12 – 16 September
01752 267222
www.theatreroyal.com

New Theatre, Cardiff
19 – 24 September
029 2087 8889
www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
26 – 30 September
0114 249 6000
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

Salisbury Playhouse
2 – 7 October
01722 320 333
www.salisburyplayhouse.com

Exeter Northcott Theatre
10 – 15 October
01392 726363
www.exeternorthcott.co.uk

Rose Theatre, Kingston
17 – 22 October
020 8174 0090
www.rosetheatrekingston.org

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
24 – 26 October
024 7652 4524
www.warwickartscentre.co.uk

Liverpool Playhouse
27 – 28 October
0151 709 4776
www.everymanplayhouse.com

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
31 October – 4 November
01483 440000
www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

Derby Theatre
7 – 12 November
01392 59 39 39
www.derbytheatre.co.uk

Cambridge Arts Theatre
14 – 18 November
01223 503333
www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

Artsdepot, North Finchley
29 November – 3 December
020 8369 5454
www.artsdepot.co.uk

The Lowry, Salford Quays
5 December – 7 January
0843 208 6000
www.thelowry.com/family

Booking fees apply… some tickets are not on sale yet.

#CanestenConversations & Win a £50 Amazon Voucher

When you become a parent you know that one day you will probably have to go through those awkward conversations with your child about growing up and body changes, the birds and the bees and of course with girls, periods and intimate health.

With my eldest, we have always had a close relationship and he seemed to know about everything early on, before high school, and he was quite vocal about it! Happily shouting things out and chatting to me openly! I really liked this as it made it much easier for me to bring up serious issues later on with him like his sexual health and contraception etc.

I was determined that I would have the same open relationship with my daughter but she’s very different. Much quieter and was no where near as knowing as he was. So it’s been a little trickier. I had to be open about things myself in a casual manner, in the hope that when she felt ready, she would be the same. I’m happy to say that now we can talk about anything and she’s comfortable. She’s 12.

It’s so important that she can ask me any embarrassing questions without feeling embarrassed or awkward in any way. I want to be here for her and for her to know that I’m the best person to ask!

I know schools are better these days at educating children on puberty and babies and relationships, but as far as I’m aware, the subject of intimate health still isn’t a big part of the curriculum. I certainly didn’t learn about it at school, or had any conversations with my Mum about it. I probably found out about things like thrush, cystitis and BV in bits and pieces from either magazines or friends!

That’s why I’ve teamed up with the number 1 women’s health brand, Canesten, to join them on their constant mission to find new ways of educating women to lead healthy lives. The Canesten® Campaign promotes female intimate health through better knowledge, so women can self-diagnose and self-treat knowledgeably and with confidence. Canesten® believes that if you feel more comfortable with your own body you are more likely to reach your full potential and that’s why they want to empower women to feel more comfortable when they discuss intimate health with their children.

This is fantastic because even though we can be open with our daughters, do we even think about discussing intimate health? Maybe not, but the more we hear about it, the more likely it is that we will talk openly about it.

For your chance to win our £50 Amazon Voucher…. fill in the Gleam widget and tell me in the comments section of this post what you wish you’d known about intimate health when you were younger! Competition will close on 30th August!

Best of luck!

Mummy Endeavours Win a £50 Amazon Voucher

 

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2. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Mummy Endeavours here and Bayer plc
3. Closing date for entries is 30th August
4. Entrants must leave a comment on the blogger hosts post
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Disclosure: This post has been supported by Canesten® but all thoughts are my own.

Bike Skills with Ridgeback Bikes

ridgeback bikes kids

Kids love to ride bikes don’t they? And for most children, it’s one of the first things we teach them as soon as they’re old enough! I remember with Teen, he was eager to learn to ride without his stablisers and so we ventured out to the park one weekend and he picked it up in no time!

But not all kids are this confident. My daughter, for example, had no interest at all in riding a bike. She had one at a young age and would have a go with the stabilisers on but she could take it or leave it! She certainly didn’t want to be bothered learning to ride it without the stabilisers. This may have been a mixture of  lack of interest and nerves. But we didn’t push it. She would learn in her own time. Which she did, but she’s never really taken to it and I wonder if that’s because we didn’t encourage her enough when she was little.

My twin boys are the same. Neither of them can ride without stabilisers and at 7 years old now, I really wanted them to learn and didn’t want to leave it any longer! So when I received an invitation from Ridgeback Bikes to experience one of their Ridgeback Bikes Kids Club events, we were all overjoyed!

The event was being held at the wonderful Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and it was a lovely sunny day, perfect for having fun on bikes! I must admit I was concerned that my boys’ might be considered ‘old’ for being non riders but the Ridgeback Bike team made them feel at ease immediately! They even had a kids cycling coach , Rob, on hand from The Bicycle Society who specialises in teaching bike skills to children of any age!

First though, we had the compulsory helmet and bike fitting which took place at Independent Bicycle retailers Pave Velo, who have just opened a brand new store opposite the Olympic Park.

ridgeback bikes kids cycling

A Ridgeback Bikes member advised us that my boys would need a 16″ bike according to their height, but for a non rider, he said it was much easier to learn to ride on a smaller bike where both feel are flat on the ground. Taking the pedals off too was a great tip… this turns the bike into a makeshift balance bike. Balancing is, after all, THE most important skill to master when learning to ride a bike! Once the balancing has been mastered, the pedals can go back on then it should be relatively easy!

Bike and helmet in place, we all headed across the road into the park!

ridgeback bikes bike riding learning kids

Rob from the Bicycle Society had organised some fun activities for the kids to do. There were different sets for different abilities. This was a great way to get the kids’ excited as well as familiarising them with their bikes!

kids bike riding cycling

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For me, it was wonderful to see my little H joining in. Both boys are incredibly shy but H rose to the challenge like a pro! The staff on hand were all so encouraging and supportive and Rob spent a little one to one time with him, determined to have him riding on his own by the end of the session!

And he did!

The secret to learning and learning fast, is all in the balancing and looking straight ahead, not at the ground! Once the peddles had been put back on his bike, H set off using his feet first… ESSENTIAL… then once the speed was up, on the peddles went his feet! Then he was off…

20170801-Ridgeback-kids-launch-0581

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see him riding on his own… I went to the event just hoping that the boys would have fun, never imagining that one of them would actually learn to ride in such a short amount of time. O had a little go on his own a bit later but his shyness overcame him. He did watch intently though, picking up all the hints and tips, so once we got home and he felt more relaxed, he could put them into practice!

Ridgeback Kids Club is the perfect place for kids to pick up those all important cycling life skills! Making it safe and enjoyable. Plus Ridgeback Bikes has been building bikes since 1983 for UK riders and has an unmatched reputation for innovation and quality. From high-performance flat bar and touring bikes to comfortable commuters and children’s bikes.

Why not join the Kids Club now to receive the latest news on Ridgeback products along with exclusive offers. And for those who have purchased a new Ridgeback bike, sign up and receive your FREE goodie bag worth over £25!

ridegeback bikes kids club

We had a great time at the event. I would recommend everyone joining up and taking part in the events because they are so much fun and it really does help build confidence and skill for kids! Sometimes when we try and teach our children to ride ourselves, there can be lots of frustrations and upset when they don’t get it, so having a third party involved can make that process easier!

Thank you Ridgeback Bikes for a great day!

You can check out the social hashtag #RidgebackKidsClub and follow on Twitter and Instagram using @ridgebackbikes

Lego Scooby Doo Blow Out Beach Bash Movie at Legoland

We were invited to Legoland Windsor last week to watch the new Warner Bros. Lego Scooby Doo Beach Blowout Movie in their super 4D on site cinema. The movie itself wasn’t in 4D, which I was so happy about as my twins don’t really like the 4D experience… it scares them. So Phew!

We haven’t been to Legoland for years and it was something we definitely wanted to do this summer, which made this invitation all the more special!

I took my twins, my daughter and my daughter’s friend along with me to help with the review ;) We arrived nice and early and after the obligatory Costa we headed round to the screening. All the kids were very excited about seeing the film… the boys more than the girls!

lego scooby doo

Lego Scooby Doo Movie

It was funny seeing the famous Mystery, Inc. gang as Lego! I always find it fascinating how Warner Bros gets this so spot on! They all looked brilliant! The film starts off with the friends heading off to the annual Blowout Beach Bash… a party that promises 3 fun-filled days of summer laughter and enjoyment! But of course, nothing goes THAT smoothly for our favourite gang and it’s not long before some Ghost Pirates roll up, threatening to ruin the good vibes! Scooby and his friends must foil these spooky swashbucklers and save the beach bash once and for all! Do you think they will succeed?

The film is really very good. It’s a brand new original Lego story, full of the usual wit that we have come to expect with all the Lego films! There was the whodoneit aspect that we love Scooby Doo for and of course the loveable Scooby himself!

My boys loved it and were completely engrossed the whole way through!

lego scooby doo movie

The Lego Scooby Doo Blow Out Beach Bash Movie is available now on DVD and on Digital Download. Take a look at the trailer…. it’s a perfect summer movie for the kids to watch over the holidays!

After the film we headed into the park to enjoy everything else Legoland had to offer! One of my twins’ favourite things was seeing all the amazing figures and scupltures that were made out of Lego! They’re not huge theme park fans… I let my daughter and her friend go off on their own with their fast track wrist bands to go on as  many rides as they could, which they did, but my boys gained more pleasure from the simpler side of Legoland. The basics.

There are loads of different areas in the park like the Ninjango World, Heartlake City where the Lego Friends live, there’s the Kingdom of the Pharaohs and Duplo Valley to name a few, but my twins absolutely loved the Imagination Centre where they could build things and explore! They even went on the Skyrider… a little car that travels along an aerial track. It’s slow and easy and gives great views over the park. This is a perfect ride for the very young guests or any child who is a little nervous!

We also ventured over to the Atlantis Submarine ride which was truly amazing! Even I loved this! You all get on and it lowers into water, taking you on a magical underwater adventure. There are lots of fish and even sharks to spot!

The ‘show’ at Legoland was another highlight! This one was The Pirates of Skeleton Bay and had some super stunts in! Like this one below… that tower was incredibly high! There was also fire and jet skis and plenty of action!

We did so much and it was great to spend some time with fellow bloggers Katy from Modern Mummy and Kate from Life Daily…. we did some rides together including The Heartlake City Express! Perfect for a group selfie ;)

Photo credit: Katy from Modern Mummy!

bloggers legoland

There really is so much to see and do at Legoland, we didn’t manage to get everywhere and now it’s left us wanting so much more. The ideal would be to have an overnight stay in one of the themed onsite hotels which look so cool! Definitely something to look into for the future!

We had the best time! Exhausted when we got home but full of happiness! Thanks Warner bros and Legoland for a wonderful day!

twins legoland

It’s Vac-Man – A Review!

Everyone knows about Stretch Armstrong don’t they? That toy man who you could stretch out? He’s a bit retro as he was around when I was a kid… my brother had one in the late 70’s and into early 80’s! But Stretch has made a comeback in recent years for this generation to enjoy! He has proved incredibly popular and so the makers, Character, have added new toys to the range including Stretch Armstrong’s arch nemesis Vac-Man!

new vac man

All the toys have been given a facelift and update for the 21st Century, but they are still the nostalgic toys that everyone knows and loves.

My twin boys were so excited to have Vac-Man delivered to us for a review! We have Stretch Armstrong already who they enjoy playing with so they couldn’t wait to see what Vac-man was like! Even though he has lots of similarities to Stretch in terms of size and the ability to be pulled and stretched to 4 times his original size…….

vac man toy

…. he FEELS very different! Instead of having a soft goey feel to his body like Stretch, he has a knobbly feel with tiny little round pieces inside, but he is still soft! Until you take the air out of him! And that’s the special feature of Vac-Man (hence the name!)….. he comes with a vacuum which you attach to a socket on his head. This enables all the air to be sucked out of him, causing him to go almost rigid!

vac man toy

You can then move him into different positions, as though he has poseable limbs! Also if you stretch him out and then vacuum out the air, he won’t bounce back as soon as you let go of him, like Stretch Armstrong. Vac-Man will stay stretched!

My boys had fun seeing how far he would stretch!

vac man toys

Pump out the air and pull him into any pose you can think of, then simply release the valve and watch him return to his normal state. This was hilarious to my kids, they had Vac-Man posing in all kinds of positions!

All of my kids have enjoyed messing around with him…. and being quite a heavy toy, my older Teen even got involved as he is much stronger and could stretch and pose Vac-Man into even more weird and daft poses… much to the younger ones delight!

There are a few more Stretch toys in the range and my boys definitely want to collect them all… including Octopus and Fetch!

Vac-Man retails at around £29.99 from all good toy retailers and is aimed at kids from 5+… why not check him out, as well as the other toys in the range at Character Online.

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