Adam and Eve & Steve The Musical

If you read my blog regularly then you’ll know I’m a massive theatre fan. Especially musicals.

I love all the big, popular shows and have been lucky enough to see quite a few of them, but I’m always interested in new shows too.

This brand new Musical coming to London next month looks brilliant!

Adam and Eve & Steve musical theatre

 

Flying Entertainment with AES in association with The King’s Head presents:

‘Adam & Eve….and Steve’ makes its London debut at the Kings Head, Islington from 21st March for a 5 week run.  This toe-tapping, warm-hearted new musical delivers laugh-out-loud moments in abundance and turns the age-old story of The Garden of Eden completely on its head.  The show is set to delight audiences and critics alike after a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival run last August.

God’s plan to create Adam and Eve goes deliciously wrong when the mischievous Beelzebub interferes, and God creates Steve instead of Eve. Adam is delighted with Steve (who thinks he is a woman called St. Eve) and all is harmonious until the two new BFFs are confronted by Eve herself.  A ménage a trois for the modern era ensues, and the future of humankind hangs in the balance as everyman Adam, loveable OTT Steve and jealous Eve try to sort out their tangled emotions….’

This doesn’t look like my usual kind of musical that I see, but I will definitely be making the effort to grab a friend and have some laughs at this acclaimed comedy musical!

It sounds really good! Following a sold out run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, this ‘fresh and funny farce is sinfully tongue in cheek and wickedly heart-warming.’

Here are some reviews from the Edinburgh Festival:

“This is not just good – it’s GREAT! From the get-go, the show is slick, brilliantly cast and the performance of each and every individual is perfection.

MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW *****

“It’s exactly the sort of silly, camp fun that one could hope for and a great time to be had, no matter your persuasions.”

BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE ****

“Adam & Eve and Steve is absolutely a show to see, not only as a piece of satisfying entertainment but also for its ability to challenge both socially and theatrically.
 Excellently cast, musically sound and very well performed.”

BROADWAY BABY ****

 “This is a wonderful show with real heart, comedy and great musical accompaniment, one of the most enjoyable shows of the Fringe”

THE REVIEWS HUB  ****

‘One of the biggest musicals at the Edinburgh Fringe’ 

DAILY MAIL *****

The book and lyrics are by Chandler Warren, a noted US entertainment lawyer, producer and writer. Warren has written extensively for TV and theatre, as well as penning numerous books and articles. He has also produced movies for TV and theatre productions – both on and off Broadway. The original music was composed by Wayne Moore, whose previous works include; There’s No Place Like Hollywood (Stella Adler Theatre), Freeway Dreams (The Gardenia), I Know I Came In Here For Something and The Real Desperate Housewives (Taconic Playhouse, New York).

This production has Francesca Goodridge directing and choreographing once more. Her directing credits include Shout! The Mod Musical at LIPA, Edinburgh Festival and Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.

The King’s Head Theatre is London’s first and foremost pub theatre and is led by Artistic Director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher. “New writing, revivals, musicals, opera, cabaret and queer work sit side by side in an unashamedly eclectic programme of work. Thanks to an in-house agreement with Equity, we’re leading the way when it comes to ethical employment on the fringe whilst our resident trainee director’s scheme continues to provide comprehensive, vocational training to the rising stars of tomorrow. With high profile co-productions, national touring and transfers to and from the biggest arts festivals in the world, we’re certainly not slowing down!”

 

Listings Information:

Venue: King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN

Dates: Tuesday 21st March – Saturday 29th April 2017

Press Night: Tuesday 28th March 2017

Times: Tues – Fri @  8.40pm: Sat @  3pm & 8.40pm: Sun @ 5pm

Tickets: £10 – £35   Box office number:  020 7226 8561

For more information and to book tickets head over to the Kings Head Theatre online booking site.

www.kingsheadtheatre.com

 

Stick Man at the Theatre

This afternoon we headed into London to see a live show of one of the kids’ favourite stories – Stick Man.

stick man live

I think if you have children, the likelihood of you having read this book to them at some point is probably very high. It’s one of those brilliantly written stories that as a parent, you don’t mind reading over and over again.

Penned by the amazing Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), The Stick Man is a lovely story about, you guessed it… a Stick! Stick Man lives in the family tree with his wife… his ‘Lady Love’ and their ‘Stick Children 3′. One day Stick Man goes out for a run but his day goes from bad to worse when he finds himself in all manner of silly yet dangerous situations and becomes lost! He’s chased by a dog, grabbed by an excitable little girl and thrown around, used as a flag and a nest before ending up in someone’s fire! Will he escape in time and manage to get back to his Lady Love and the family tree?

stick man leicester square

On arriving at the theatre we literally couldn’t wait to get inside! We’ve seen a number of productions at the Leicester Square Theatre, which is tucked away, almost hidden, down a little side road, and it’s a lovely, intimate auditorium. No matter where you sit, you never feel too far from the stage! It’s perfect for children.

There was an abundance of booster seats for little ones, the stage setting looked intriguing and the auditorium was full.

stick man theatre

I had wondered how Scamp Theatre were going to bring the brilliant Stick Man and all the characters to life. It’s a relatively short book with only a few sentences on each page so I was intrigued to find out how this would transfer to an hour long show! Would it be anywhere near as good as the book?

Well let me tell you… it was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.

An incredibly clever, artistic production and superb lively performances by just THREE actors, who took on all the characters from the story. Two men and one woman. They were all dressed in normal clothes but added subtle props and used their incredible acting talents to bring the whole thing to life and completely draw you in from the start. One of the actors used instruments too to help tell the story. The actor who played Stick Man held a prop that looked like Stick Man, but used his own self to act out the role! It really WORKED!

stickman_0145_photo-by-steve-ullathorne

I have to say that the longer the show went on, the more brilliant it got. It kept to the books’ storyline completely and used all the wonderful poetry throughout. The songs were simple but ever so catchy. The actors were animated and hilarious.

What made the show even more special was the inclusion of the audience! From the dog chasing Stick Man… both actors crawling through the isles of the auditorium. The ‘Dog’ even came down our row of seats, stopping at various children to give them a little squeeze… all three of mine were delighted by this! To the big beach ball that we were encouraged to catch and throw around the audience to each other! Again, the kids (and big kids!) loved this and it brought a real sense of fun and togetherness for us all. The energy it created was fantastic!

Such a big, warm, happy, fun part of the show! Love, love LOVED it!

Another scene which my twins enjoyed was with the Swan… where Stick Man is taken to be used as part of her nest! The swan was just a simple puppet on the arm of one of the actors but it’s cheeky character tickled my twins so much! They laughed their heads off and it was an absolute joy for me to witness!

stick man live theatre

‘The Stick Man is Cold’ song was a favourite of mine!

But what I loved most was that the kids in the audience were all having the most amazing time. They were calling out (a little) and joining in. They were leaning forward out of their seats trying to be as involved as possible! One little boy a few seats down from us was calling ‘Stick Man’ really loudly at one point, shouting ‘Can you hear me?’ – We were in hysterics at this and during any other show it probably would’ve been frowned upon. Not here! The actors included it in the story!

The stage lighting and twinkling lights in the set behind the actors created a very magical scene for Santa’s sleigh ride towards the end of the show. The Christmassy feel makes this a perfect show to see at this time of year, and actually, Scamp Theatre productions have been performing Stick Man in the Leicester Square theatre for a number of years now. It’s incredibly popular and I can see why!

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It blew me away how utterly creative and fun it was. We were all completely bowled over. My children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and said they loved it just as much as the book (and a bit more!)

If you have the chance you simply MUST go and see it. It’s on now until 8th January and you can book tickets here. If you don’t get around to watching it this year, be sure to check back next year and book your tickets nice and early as it usually opens in November!

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions my own. 

The Railway Children – A Review

When I received the invitation to see The Railway Children at The Kings Cross Theatre, I was absolutely thrilled. It has been on my must see list since it opened for this current run almost two years ago!

I remember my lovely friend Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby went to the opening night and I was very jealous! I vowed I would simply HAVE to go see it as it sounded and looked so magical!

I almost went to see it once before but didn’t fully organise it. Now I think that was fate.

Fate, because this time, one of our favourite, much loved childrens’ entertainers, Justin Fletcher had taken over as Mr Perks and we were invited to not only see the show, but to meet Justin later for tea, cakes and chat!

the railway children kings cross theatre

My children have all grown up watching Justin in various CBeebies programmes. He’s not just for the very young as one of my work colleagues thought….. because my 11 year old daughter remembers his really early shows, like Higgledy House and Tikkabilla! Justin also appeals to parents too, as he’s become such a familiar presense in so many homes, over the many years he’s worked in children’s TV.

On Saturday, we arrived at the Kings Cross Theatre, which is tucked away behind Kings Cross Station, nice and early and eager to see the show. It’s a pop up theatre which has been specially created for The Railway Children. The land it’s on actually belongs to Google who very kindly loaned it to the production team for the duration of the run.

Once inside, we were intrigued to see that the ‘foyer’ is all decorated as an old fashioned railway station, complete with luggage, signage and paraphernalia. There are two doorways which lead into the auditorium… named Platform 1 and Platform 2. These dictated which side of the stage you sat on. The stage is a long strip inbetween the two seating areas.

the railway children kings cross theatre

The staging was very clever. Featuring a real train track… a beautiful 60 tonne vintage locomotive train makes an appearance a couple of times during the show which is truly breathtaking. The rest of the time there were stage hands almost hidden underneath, moving the blocks that filled the gap in the middle of the stage… where the story telling took place.

the railway children

Before the show started, the performers all mingled in the crowd, in character and full costume. It was at this point that we first spotted Justin Fletcher! My children were so happy to see him and couldn’t take their eyes off him! He was his usual bouncy, energetic self… he even discovered a child whose birthday it was in the audience and asked the whole audience to sing happy birthday to him! It was really lovely! My kids thought this was brilliant and clapped along excitedly!

The Railway Children is a heartwarming tale centred around three privileged children who have to move from their luxurious London home with their mother to a much smaller, run down property in Yorkshire after their father is taken to prison for something he didn’t do! The three children, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter worry and care for their mother who is devastated for a while and initially doesn’t want to reveal much of what’s going on. But they also find lots of fun in playing down near the railway station, waving to passengers on the passing trains. They make friends with the porter, Mr Perks and embark on a lovely adventure of discovery and friendship.

The children in the show are played by adults, but it works so well. They share their story of how they became the Railway Children!

The Railway Children by Kenny,             , Written by - Mike Kenny, Director - Damian Cruden, Designer - Joanna Scotcher, Lighting - Richard G Jones, King's Cross, London, Uk, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

The Railway Children is NOT a musical. I just thought I’d mention that because when we were on the train home, I was chatting to an older lady who said she loved the theatre but hadn’t been to see The Railway Children because she didn’t really like musicals! Of course I told her that is wasn’t and she seemed surprised!

The show is very much as the book is written.. it’s quite serious in parts and I’ve been asked if it was a bit too grown up for my 7 yr olds.. but it wasn’t at all. There were some emotional scenes (I had a little tear at the end!) but there were many fun, laugh out loud moments and all three of my children were totally drawn in and mesmerised all the way through. They thoroughly enjoyed it…. so I think it had just the right mix!

The Railway Children really is a show for all age groups. A fantastic family show and we would highly recommend it!

meeting justin fletcher at the railway children

Casting Justin in the role of Mr Perks is genius. He played the part brilliantly. Meeting him afterwards was such a treat! He was extremely warm and friendly and said he was enjoying this new challenge working in the theatre on such a high profile London show. He will only be in it until November as he then leaves to do Panto, so you need to hurry if you want to catch him as Mr Perks! I also asked him if he was still continuing on CBeebies and he said he most definitely was. He loves CBeebies and says he has no desire to leave any of that behind just yet!

He was so lovely, and even accommodated my daughters’ request for a selfie with her….

selfie with justin fletcher

We had an amazing time! The show is utterly brilliant and of course seeing Justin in it and meeting him after was an added bonus!

The Railway Children – Live on Stage must end on 8 January 2017 – to book your tickets visit www.railwaychildrenlondon.com. BAFTA award–winning presenter, actor and voice-over artist, Justin Fletcher will transform from the much-loved children’s character Mr Tumble into the equally loved Mr Perks until 19 November 2016.

Mamma Mia! – A Review

Well I’ve made no secret of my love for all things musical theatre so to admit I hadn’t seen Mamma Mia! untill now is a little shameful!

I recently headed into London’s West End with my favourite theatre companion, my lovely daughter, to see the hit musical.

It’s one of those musicals that I’ve always wanted to see but never got round to. I’ve seen the film and I absolutely love it… it’s one of my favourites so I guess that sufficed. I didn’t really NEED to see the show!

I love everything about the film Mamma Mia… the story, the music, the setting and in my opinion, the most perfect actors to play the roles.

How could the stage version live up to that?

mamma mia londonMy daughter here outside The Novello Theatre in London’s West End just about to see Mamma Mia

But I know the musical is where it all started… where the whole story and concept of combining the amazing Abba catalogue of songs with a script began, and I also know nothing can beat the thrill of a live performance yet after watching and enjoying the film so many times, I thought there might be no way the show could win me over.

But boy was I wrong!

Within minutes of the musical starting, memories of the film were being wiped away to make way for this new version. The performers were totally believable, I immediately warmed to them… the stage setting, even though simple, really did make me believe they were on a Greek Island!

mamma mia london cast 2016Sanne den Besten who plays Sophie

I actually think watching the film enhanced my enjoyment of the Mamma Mia! Musical. I was familiar with the story and knew what was coming next, I didn’t need to concentrate too much and could just sit back and enjoy it!

In case you didn’t know (where have you been hiding all your life?) the story is based around single Mum Donna who lives on a Greek Island with headstrong daughter Sophie. Sophie is about to get married and wants to find out who her Dad is! Donna has always refused to talk about him but after finding one of her Mum’s old diaries, Sophie realises it could be one of THREE men… who she proceeds to invite to her wedding behind her Mum’s back! She hopes she will find out which one it is. Cue lots of comedy and emotion as we are taken on their journey to the wedding day!

The show was a real fiesta all the way through which crescendo-ed up to the finale where by this time, the whole audience were up on it’s feet dancing and singing along. There was so much energy and fun up on the stage, it was fantastic!

My daughter loved it, every time I glanced over at her she was smiling and enjoying every moment. The odd little quip from the script was adult in nature but it went over her head and she didn’t notice!

One of my favourite scenes has to be when Tanya sings ‘Does Your Mother Know?’… this had me is fits of laughter and the person who plays her (Mazz Murray) was absolutely brilliant!

MAMMA MIA!  London Cast 2016/2017Mazz Murray as Tanya and Filippo Coffano as Pepper!

The whole cast of the current Mamma Mia! is relatively new, they’ve only been in the show around six weeks so they are still settling into the roles but they were all fantastic, each and every one of them.

Linzi Hateley was utterly brilliant as Donna. She’s absolutely perfect for the role… full of emotion and warmth. She played this part for two years once before, from 2007-2009 and has come back to reprise the role. Linzi apparently attended the same stage school as me (a long time ago now!) and our time there could’ve overlapped! She’s only a few years older than me so I might have even walked past her in the corridors… how funny! Ah how I wish I’d been a bit more ambitious and gone into musical theatre myself….

I loved the ‘Slipping through my fingers’ scene.. this always brings a tear to my eye during the film and watching it in the show was no different. I had to physically wipe away tears.. hoping no one noticed! It’s such a heartwrenching song… I always think of my own little girl and how I would feel on her wedding day. I know I would feel the same as Donna… I just wanted to give her (Donna) a hug at this point!

MAMMA MIA!  LondonLinzi Hateley and Sanne den Besten

There were a couple of songs and scenes in the show that weren’t in the film, my daughter picked up on this straight away but it was quite a nice surprise, to see something a little different. ‘Thank you for the music’ is an old favourite of mine so it was wonderful to see this being performed.

I must also admit to having a sneaky crush on Sam (Richard Trinder).

richard trinder mamma mia

He was very charismatic in the show and would easily do as a replacement for the gorgeous Pierce Brosnan ;)

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed Mamma Mia and if you’re thinking of going to see a show in London, make this beautiful, heartwarming show your first choice. You will NOT be disappointed!

mamma mia london cast

You can book tickets via the Mamma Mia website.

Scooby Doo Live

scooby doo live

This August, Scooby Doo screams into London with a brand new Live tour!

The Live Musical Mysteries Tour will be on stage from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st August at the iconic London Palladium!

 

The much-loved Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang take centre stage in an all-new family musical, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES, presented by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Life Like Touring.  Featuring everyone’s favourite characters from one of television’s longest-running animated series, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! is set to thrill audiences in London for the very first time!

Tickets for go on General Sale at 10am on Wednesday 22 June priced from £15.

In this exciting new production, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called upon to help solve an epic mystery.  A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to crack the case.  With crazy ghosts, perplexing puzzles, and an abundance of Scooby Snacks, it’s Scooby-Doo and friends at their best, travelling across the country, solving mysteries wherever they go. 

SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES features big musical numbers including the evergreen Scooby-Doo theme song, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?,” alongside original groovy tunes including “Round Every Corner” and “We’re Mystery Inc.”  Filled with wacky new characters and uproarious antics, the show has young audiences on the edge of their seats in traditional Scooby-Doo fashion from the moment the lights go down.

For information on the SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES tour visit:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

VENUE:  London Palladium, 30 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TE

DATES: Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 August | Press Performance – Thursday 18 August at 3.30pm

TIMES: Thu – Sun @ 10.30am, 1.00pm & 3.30pm

TICKET PRICES: £15, £20, £25, £30 (£30 includes a free postergram). £10 pre-show VIP Meet & Greet Scooby Doo tickets – only 100 available per performance

WEBSITE: www.scoobydoolive.co.uk

BOX OFFICE: 0844 412 4655

 

 

My First Ballet – Sleeping Beauty

My First Ballet Sleeping Beauty

Last week I took my daughter to see the English National Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

This wasn’t just any ballet though, it was My First Ballet… created especially for children!

Adapted to an hour in length and with a narrator to help young audiences follow the story, it’s the perfect way to introduce children as young as three to the magic of ballet.

I took my daughter to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time 2014, and although she loved it, it WAS rather long and during parts of it her interest waned. That’s why I think the My First Ballet production is perfect!

When we arrived at The Peacock Theatre in London, the first thing I noticed was the amount of children! The auditorium was packed, a sell out, and the majority of it were kids! This immediately puts you at ease as a parent…. lots of children means you’re not panicking about your own child making too much noise, or fidgeting in their seats, as kids often do! Not that I worried about that with my own daughter, she’s 10 and can pretty much sit quietly if she needs to. But she did want to talk to me the odd time throughout the ballet, even if it was just say “Wow Mummy look at her!”

The Story: Sleeping Beauty My First Ballet tells the story of Princess Aurora, who as a baby is cursed by the evil Carabosse: on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Fortunately, her godmother the Lilac Fairy alters the spell so Aurora will not die but will sleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by true love’s kiss.

As soon as the ballet started we were totally drawn in. The narrator made it incredibly easy to follow and the story moved along at a good pace. Visually, it was beautiful. The Narrator also blended seamlessly into the production and she was invaluable to the audience of (mainly) children… who knew exactly what was happening at all times because of her. There was also help to understand in the way of drama… the dancers used more gestures and expressions to portray what was going on and how they felt.

Another thing my daughter and I both loved was the fact that throughout the ballet, most of the girls wore actual tutu’s! I think children want to see tutu’s or ‘real ballet dresses’ as my daughter would say, as that’s what they expect the dancers to be wearing! It also makes for great viewing of the dancers legs and feet!

My first ballet sleeping beauty

All the dancers, I noticed, looked young, and that’s because they are! The My First Ballet productions are performed by second year students of English National Ballet School. This provides them with valuable rehearsal and performance experience within a touring company. It forms part of the high quality training the English National Ballet School has sought to provide to talented young dancers. This is a great idea because even though the dancers are truly brilliant, I believe it was easier for the little people in the audience to connect with them.

my first ballet

We loved the girl who played Aurora. She was rather small and looked like a normal teenage girl. Not too tall and skinny like many dancers, not that there’s anything wrong with that but again, I think this was a perfect way to engage youngsters…. the girls in the audience could envisage being her!

The set was stunning and the ballet kept us enthralled from start to finish. My daughter absolutely loved it and having given up ballet a couple of years ago now, mentioned returning. It left her feeling inspired!

My First Ballet is a great introduction to the world of ballet on stage to children. Girls and boys alike will be mesmerised by this beautiful experience.

Sleeping beauty is touring until July. To find your nearest theatre and book tickets, visit the English National Ballet’s website.

my first ballet

Cirque Berserk

cirque berserk

As you know, if you’ve read my blog before, we are huge theatre and live show fans.

This is the next show I’m going to see and I can’t wait.

It’s a brand new circus show with a difference, brought by Zippos Circus and if it’s anywhere near as good as the usual shows…. we are in for a real treat. We watched one of the Zippos Circus shows a while back which we thoroughly enjoyed so can’t wait to see what this one is going to be like!

Direct from five sold-out seasons in London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, and from its first-ever London West End performances, Cirque Berserk will be helping Brent Cross Shopping Centre celebrate their anniversary, which falls at the beginning of March.

Combining contemporary “cirque” style skills with off-the-scale thrilling stunt action, Cirque Berserk sets out to thrill and entertain in a danger-filled spectacle that will amaze audiences of all ages.

Presenting the world’s most dangerous circus act, the legendary Globe of Terror, with four motorcyclists speeding at over 60mph inside a steel cage  (“off the scale awesome” – Daily Telegraph).

Plus a troupe of over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and death-defying stunt men, joined by award-winning physical comedian Tweedy (“The best Clown I have ever seen” – The Guardian).

The producers are delighted to present their new show under the cosy, comfy Big Top tent for this special weekend.  This is where we will catch it and you can too……

It’s on for four days only from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th March. Visit www.cirqueberserk.co.uk / 0871 210 2100 for more information.

CIRQUE BERSERK PRESS QUOTES

“The equal of anything in the history of novelty showbusiness… will leave you astonished.” Daily Mail

“Jaw-slackening spectacle… Heart-stoppingly good fun **** ” Time Out

 “Makes Cirque Du Soleil look wimpish… leaves one breathless with excitement” Daily Telegraph

 “Unbearably exciting… Edge of my seat? I was very nearly under it **** “ Sunday Telegraph

“A spectacle in every sense. Quite literally one of the most dazzling, stunning and eye-poppingly wonderful things I have ever seen… We were rubbing our eyes in disbelief. ***** ” South Wales Echo

“Thrilling **** “ News of The World

“Death-defying feats…extravagantly dangerous… one of the most thrilling circus acts I have ever seen” Daily Express

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