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



WELCOME BACK TO PANTOLAND

Last night we were welcomed back to The Regent Theatre Stoke to watch this year's production of Panto, Cinderella. After the weirdest 20 months it was so good to be back to the excitement of live Panto, the theatre was buzzing and alive again.

I have never laughed so much till I cried and cried till I laughed, we were definitely uplifted with the gags, slapstick humour and one-liners. 

Jonathan Wilkes resident Stokie played the cheeky Buttons and Christian Patterson played Baroness Heifer Hardup, Kai Owen was Prince Charming's sidekick Dandini. The special bond between them was evident especially when they hugged after an emotional speech by Johnny at the end.

Cinderella (Naomi Slights) and Prince Charming (Ryan Jupp) were a beautiful match and the ugly sisters were hilarious (Vivien Parry & Annie Wensak) and the Fairy Godmother (Olympia Curry) all had superb voices.

It was so magical when Cinderella went to the ball on her white horse and carriage at the end of the first half, I always look at Mark and Luke's reactions to see if they're as in awe as me, it was harder to read this year as we were wearing masks but I know they were impressed, I have to admit I had a little tear too. 

It was a great couple hours forgetting about Covid-19, there were so many scenes to give us a proper belly laugh, the innuendos were one after another and I have to admit that my now 14 year old gets all the 'adult' jokes now too. 

 For a magical experience don't miss out on this years Panto at the Regent Theatre. 

Images courtesy of Clara Lou Photography




 

Friday, 3 April 2020

COVID19 - CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

What the actual heck is going on? It's so surreal and I just keep thinking I'm going to wake up from this bad dream.

My sister lives in Hong Kong so I was hearing about how it was all unfolding over there but I never ever expected it to escalate like it has over here. The worst part of it was seeing all the empty shelves in the supermarkets and watching the panic unfold, thankfully I think it's calmed down a bit now but I'm still unable to buy flour to use Luke's Christmas present and make bread. Never will I take it for granted again! It's scary times and worrying for everyone.

I was devastated when I first had to temporarily close down my business but after getting my head round it I'm much more positive. I know when all this is over, classes will be full and all the cancelled parties will be rebooked.

Everyone has been affected one way or another, Luke had a school trip to France cancelled, he was due to go last Friday so we planned a 'French' day and had croissants, pain au chocolat and hot chocolate! We have also had a couple of theatre shows cancelled too, it's so sad for everyone involved. Luke will turn 13 at end of April, we had a party planned at the Virtual Gaming place in Stoke but this has been postponed now too.

I am now actually quite enjoying lockdown, I've been busy clearing out cupboards and drawers and have taken up crafts again. I love sewing and after 2 weeks have still not got that set up but did get my wool and knitting needles out of the loft to start a project for Leighton hospital.

I have also jumped on the 'ZOOM' bandwagon and have been running online Zumba classes for 2 weeks. I also did my first Baby Sign/Toddler Dance session this week. It was so lovely to see all the children and hear them shouting my name. It made me a bit emotional and hope they don't forget me!

Can't wait to see everyone again!

Take care of you and your little ones and stay safe!

Love Sharon