Sunday, 18 December 2022

ALADDIN -CREWE LYCEUM

 

 

It's always a joy to visit Crewe Lyceum theatre, especially when its Panto season, and so good to see it buzzing with excitement and full again after the pandemic. This year is Aladdin and welcomes the usual characters that we know and love. There were many local references which amused the audience but the general setting was China Town in Crewe. 

Widow Twanky played by regular dame Malcolm Lord was amusing and I was in absolute awe of the many costume changes. Wishy played by Ste Johnson had great camaradarie with Lord and added many a comedy innuendo. He saved a child from nearly falling off the stage during the songtime, his interaction with the audience was fantastic and had to ad lib a few times which was hilarious. Coronation Street's Jamie Kenna played the evil Abanazar, he encouraged the boos and jeers and I was impressed with this singing. The star of the show for me was Louie Spence  who was the Spirit of the ring, he had a great partnership with Kenna and some of the humour was definitely for the adults. It was fantastic to see him tap dancing and spinning onto the stage, not many people could pull off pink tights.

A very smiley Thomas Chan played Aladdin, this was his professional debut, his singing and dance skills were superb. His beau, Princess Jasmine was played by Kiera-Nicole from Milkshake TV.  Amelia Atherton was the Genie of the lamp, her voice was outstanding and very charasmatic on stage. 

Being from a dance background, I love to see children from local dance schools in the Junior Ensemble, they were a talented bunch.

There were a few teething problems with the sound but as its the opening weekend, I'm sure these will be sorted out asap.

There are still seats available before 8th January, if you're looking for a fun family outing click on the link for Crewe Lyceum to book your tickets.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

THE PANTOMINE ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN

How is it Panto season already? I am in denial we are in December but being at The Regent Theatre Stoke last night got me feeling all festive. There was a real buzz in the theatre and it was good to see all the staff with pirate hats on and all the little Tinkerbells dressed up.

This year, resident Stokie, Jonathan Wilkes played Smee, but was without his usual sidekick Christian Patterson. Kai Owen, a regular with the duo played a mean but nice Captain Hook and has an amazing singing voice. The banter between them was hilarious, the Mermaid scene had us in stitches, comedy timing was perfection and as always a good mix of slapstick and double entendres for both adults and children.

Amanda Coutts played Tinkerbell, she had a sparkly personality with a strong voice and a talented and confident rollerskater too. Rory Sutherland was Peter Pan and Hannah Everest played Wendy Darling, it was opening night so I'm sure their confidence will grow as they do more performances. The Dancers were energetic and acrobatic and all from Jonathan Wilkes Academy, a very talented bunch.

There was a lot of audience participation, we were up dancing from the start but even a reluctant hubby couldn't not join in. Unfortunately Luke, now 15 did not want to join us at the theatre but you're never too old for panto!

The Pantomine Adventures of Peter Pan is on until 31st December, its a great family outing and a must to get you into the Christmas Spirit. There is also a relaxed performance on 30th December. Click the link to book your tickets Regent Theatre 

                                                    Photo credit is Claralou Photography






Wednesday, 6 April 2022

THE OSMONDS - THE MUSICAL

 

Before last night, I had only heard of Donny and Jimmy Osmond but after watching the new Musical of the Osmonds at The Regent Theatre Stoke, I now know the other 5 family members, Alan, Merril, Jay, Wayne and Marie.

It tells the story of the world's biggest boyband through Jay's eyes, how they sold 100 million records and their struggles with their ex military father and sibling rivalry. Their best loved songs all feature in the show, Love me for a reason, Crazy Horses , Let me in and many many more. It's an absolute must for all die hard fans. I noticed a whole row in front of us wearing 'The Osmonds Lifetime Membership' T-shirts, all swaying and singing along to their faves. There was definitely many Donny fan's screaming and swooning when he sang 'Puppy Love'.

The young Osmonds stole the show :- Jack Jones as Alan, Alfie Jones as Wayne, Alfie Murray as Merrill, Tom Walsh as Jay, Osian Salter as Donny, their voices and harmonies were fantastic. Fraser Fowkes as Jimmy singing 'Long Haired Lover from Liverpool' was charasmatic and cheeky. So much talent in this group of children. 

It's heartwarming, energetic, lively and includes all their best loved songs. Choreography was accurate to the real Osmonds, I know because I 'Youtubed' all the performances from the 70's when I got home! The scenery and costumes were colourful and vibrant and we were invited to join in with the party at the end.

If you love them for a reason get to the Regent by Saturday and watch this captivating show

https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-osmonds-a-new-musical/regent-theatre/



 


Tuesday, 8 March 2022

WE WILL ROCK YOU - They certainly did!

Remember way back in 2019 when we hadn't even heard of Covid-19? Well we had a press release telling us the Queen and Ben Elton’s smash hit musical' We Will Rock You' was touring in May 2020 with a new cast and new state-of -the-art production. Very exciting news and I immediately made a note in my diary but due to reasons beyond anyone's control it didn't happen and was postponed to 2022.

However, last night we were very excited to be at The Regent Theatre for opening night. The Musical is based on songs of Queen set 300 years in the future in a globally corporate world, Globalsoft run by Killer Queen has banned all non computer generated music. A group of Bohemians have been searching for lost instruments and must evade the Killer Queen to bring back the music. The storyline was easy to follow and some lyrics were changed in the well known songs to make them relevant to the story. They even managed a line about Covid to bring it right up to the modern day.

There were so many exceptional performances but Killer Queen (Jenny O'Leary) was magnificent, her sidekick Khashoggi (Adam Strong) added comedy to the duo too. 

The 2 main characters Scaramouche and Galileo were played by Understudies Anna Davey and Damien Walsh but were both phenomenal with a great connection. 

The Bohemians, Cliff (Michael McKell) Brit (David Michael Johnson) and Meat (Martina Ciabatti Mennell) added power to the already strong cast and lots of hilarity too. The whole ensemble added entertainment with their cheesy smiley faces as the Ga Ga's and fantastic dancing.

The musicians were outstanding and we caught glimpses of them when the graphics allowed us, they got big cheers from the packed-out audience. 

It was lovely to forget about what is going on the world and immerse yourself into the music, the laughter and emotion. There was lots of clapping and toe-tapping, but no singing along until the end. A pre-recorded message from Ben Elton was played at the beginning telling us not to sing along, very hard when we are all Queen fans, but we did get to join in with Bohemian Rhapsody at the end though!

For any Queen fans, this show is a must, you will get to hear all of your favourite songs. It is on at the beautiful Regent Theatre until Saturday 12th March. 

https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/we-will-rock-you/regent-theatre/






                                                        Credit to Johan Perrson Photography


Thursday, 10 February 2022

OH, WHAT A NIGHT! JERSEY BOYS

Such a fabulous midweek treat to see Jersey Boys at Regent Theatre, Stoke last night. After the strangest 2 years it was so lovely to be back again to a packed auditorium with my friend Yasmin.

If you love the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, this show is a must! It goes way back to the 60's and how it all started, how they met, their individual characters and of course how the music was made. There's drama, conflict, laughter and tears all mixed in with their well choreographed dance moves to hits such as Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Oh, What a Night and Can't Take My Eyes Off You and Walk Like a Man.

Michael Pickering who plays Frankie Valli had the most remarkable voice hitting all those high falsetto notes, his blending with the other members of the band was remarkably like the originals. Tommy DeVito, (Dalton Wood) was the mastermind of the group and although gambled their fortune away you couldn't help but take a shine to the loveable rogue. We all fell in love with Nick Massi (Lewis Griffiths) and his baritone. Bob Gaudio (Blair Gibson) was the songwriter for the group and I will never be able to hear 'Oh, What a night' the same way again now!

It was an uplifting performance which will have you singing (only at the end though) and toe-tapping along, it would have been nice to have had a final curtain call of the songs for a little boogie in the aisles but we certainly gave them a standing ovation. One note I would say is there is quite a lot of swearing in the first half so appropriate for older teenagers, in my opinion.

Go to https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/jersey-boys/regent-theatre/ to book your tickets before 19th February.







Tuesday, 18 January 2022

BURN THE FLOOR - KEVIN CLIFTON

On Sunday I treated my mum to see 'Burn the Floor' with Kevin Clifton at the Regent Theatre Stoke. As a Strictly Come Dancing fan and an avid listener of Kevin's Podcast  'The Kevin Clifton Show' I was very excited to watch Kevin dance live for the 1st time. I even joined Kevin, Jo and Lauren Oakley in December 2020 for a Zoom Podcast!

I literally didn't want to blink during the first half in case I missed anything, it was so exhilirating, the dancing was breathtaking and singing was phenomenal. It was a mixture of all genres of ballroom and very edgy and dramatic. It was so good to hear live music again, the singers (Chase Kamata and Tyler Azzopardi) doubled up as musicians, the guitarist Eugeni Moreno was super talented. Kevin showed off his remarkable voice singing 2 of my favourite songs, Bohemian Rhapsody and Let me Entertain you.

The choreography was magnificent and the costumes and story telling was extraordinary. There were many references to how difficult the last 2 years have been due to covid19 and you could see and feel the energy from all of the performers.

The finale got everyone up on their feet, it was so good to see the theatre full and even though we were wearing our masks it didn't deter us from cheering and singing along. 

Its a brilliant show and I hope to see it when it tours again!



                                             Proof I was in the Zoom meeting with Kevin 😁



Saturday, 11 December 2021

Sleeping Beauty Crewe Lyceum

I had the pleasure of being invited to see the performance of Sleeping Beauty tonight at our beautiful Crewe Lyceum Theatre.

It was so good to see covid had not dampened the atmosphere at the theatre and it was lovely to see it so busy again.

TV Personality and Comedian Bobby Davro was the extremely funny Muddles, there was so much interaction with the audience and he dealt with a heckler like a pro. The tongue twister sketch was hilarious and slightly risqué.  X Factor star Amelia Lily was Princess Beauty, her opening song got the audience clapping their hands and tapping their feet. 

Malcolm Lord was a fantastic Dame and had a great bond with Bobby.

Carabosse, The Wicked Fairy (Bethany Alice Black) gave a convincing performance as a baddie, her costume was stunning. Isabella Mason played her 1st role in panto as The Good Fairy, her rendition of When you believe was breathtaking and she lit up the stage.

Chris Durtnal was the handsome Prince Harry of Haslington and had great chemistry with Sleeping Beauty.

My only one criticism was the sound, I felt the music was slightly over powering the vocals. but it was definitely good to be back at the theatre again.

Go to https://crewelyceum.co.uk/Online/default.asp to book your tickets until 2nd January 


                                  Credit Wes Webster Photography below