Thursday 22 December 2016


Monday 12 December 2016


We 'flew' into Crewe Lyceum on Saturday for the opening night of Aladdin, we arrived early to try out Wishee Washee's Street Food which was tasty and good value for money.

I grew up watching Cannon and Ball and saw them on stage when I was around Luke's age, I even had the 'Rock On Tommy' braces! 30 years on (and a bit!) I still found them hilarious and they're clever one-liners and banter had the audience chuckling at PC Tommy & PC Bobby.

Dan Walter of Stage School fame, was a charismatic Aladdin and his partnering with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, Danielle Chupak gave us a convincing romantic storyline. Their dancing and singing enthralled us.

Wishee Washee was played by CBeebies, Sid Sloane, he was great at involving the audience by shouting out 'Hiya Wishee' whenever he walked onto the stage. Their mother, Widow Twankey was the funny Malcolm Lord, the striptease was very funny and I almost had to cover Luke's eyes!

Mark Turnbull was the perfect Panto baddy as Abanazer and his sidekick Scheherazade (my hubby's favourite character!) was Lauren Mobley.

Without giving away too many spoilers, Dooby Duck and his friends put on an impressive show, it has us all captivated.

The costumes were stunning and colourful and it was lovely to see the theatre so full and buzzing.
I hope they sort out the sound issues as there was a bit of reverberation and the music seemed to drown out the singing at times but other than that, I would recommend as a great family entertainment show.

Go to for tickets.

Saturday 10 December 2016

CINDERELLA - The most magical pantomime

As each year passes by, I wonder how long it will be until the 'magic' of Christmas disappears, especially as Luke is now 9. There is one thing that will never die because I won't let it, and that is an annual visit to the Panto.

This year it was a family affair as Mark was able to come along too, there was such an exciting vibe walking into the theatre with a red carpet and gold tinsel curtain and lots of little girls wearing princess dresses .

Cinderella's theme remained traditional throughout with the odd 'modern' twist that had Luke and his friend in stitches. References to the Poo emoji, dabbing, mannequin challenge and Pineapple pen was 'down with the kids' whilst the adult innuendos had the grown ups 'lolling'! 

The lovable and very popular Jonny Wilkes played Buttons also directed the production, his character as always was cheeky and hilarious. The chemistry between him and the talented Christian Patterson is slap-stick entertainment, he was Beyonce one of the Ugly sisters and also wrote the script and directed too. The other Ugly sister, Rihanna was the comical Simon Nehan, I loved how Luke explained to his friend that they were both men!

Finley Guy played the beautiful Cinderella, her voice was magnificent and I was emotional with the transformation before the ball, I literally had tears rolling down my face. The story telling between her and Prince Charming (Owen Broughton) was romantic. Ian Stroughair played a camp and humorous Dandini, we enjoyed singing along to his YMCA.

The 'Who, What, I don't Know' was my favourite sketch and had me literally splitting my sides, it included Dandini, Baron Hardup (Michael Geary) and Buttons. 

It was an incredible show, full of laughs for all the family, the best one yet!

To book your tickets if you haven't already go to:-

Tuesday 15 November 2016


The Commitments is one of those films that I always meant to see but never got round to it so last night I went into the theatre not really knowing the main storyline. I was familiar with the famous songs “Mustang Sally”, “In the Midnight Hour”, "I heard it through the grapevine", "River Deep, Mountain High" and “Try a Little Tenderness" so quite surprised why I'd never seen it before.

The story is set in Dublin in the 1980’s when an ambitious band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte (Andrew Linnie) and a group of aspiring musicians get together in the hope of forming a band. Jimmy wants to manage the world’s greatest soul band and holds auditions at his dad's house played by Kevin Kennedy of Coronation Street Fame. He calls the band “The Commitments” and together they attempt to head up an Irish soul revolution.

The band is made up of egotistical lead singer, Deco played by a brilliant Brian Gilligan, when he belted out Proud Mary in the opening number as a drunk at the Christmas party, I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. The talented band members were all musicians playing their own instruments too, pianist, drummers, guitarists, saxophonist and trumpeter. Each and every band member had their own hilarious character. The 3 backing singers had superb voices and dance moves to match.

I loved how we were their audience at a gig, they certainly deserved the standing ovation at the end, it was a fun and feel good show, I can't wait to watch the film now.

So in the words of 'Wilson Pickett'.......Do you like Good Music, Sweet soul music?.....if so you need to get your tickets before its too late. At the Regent Theatre until Saturday 19th November

Tuesday 8 November 2016


Dirty Dancing is back this week at the Regent Theatre, I was gutted to miss it last time so absolutely thrilled to have been there last night on opening night. I invited along my friend Yasmin, who I know is a big fan of the film, she was mega excited as it was also her first visit to the Regent Theatre, I'm certain it won't be her last either!

Anyone who is a fan of the movie will not be disappointed, the dance routines, songs, dialogue and costumes was true to the film. The revolving stage setting was incredible and you felt like you were being transported round Kellermans the main setting of the story.

It's set in the Summer of 1963 when a 17 year old Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Katie Hartland) is on holiday with her family at the Holiday park, Kellermans. Bored and inquisitive, she manages to find the Staff Quarters where she 'carried a Watermelon' to an all night dance party full of raunchy moves. This is where she encounters her first dance lesson from resort dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Lewis Griffiths). There are challenges and lots of dance tuition along the way but these two determined young spirits find romance.

Griffiths played a charismatic Johnny, he oozed sex appeal and there were many wolf whistles in his topless scene and even more cheers when we caught a glimpse of his bare bottom! Katie was impressive as the lead, 'Baby', there were moments of comedy that she played outstandingly.

Penny played by Carlie Milner was a superb dancer and her high kicks were thrilling. Lizze Ottley played Baby's sister, Lisa Houseman, she treated us to Hula Hana which was hilarious.

The water scene 'lift' in the movie is transformed onto the stage and cleverly convincing. The final scene where we hear the famous line 'nobody puts baby in the corner' was greeted with cheers, it gave me goosebumps and then we watched in absolute awe as they danced to 'The Time of My life'.

You need to get your tickets now if you want to see this breathtaking performance on until the end of the week.

Tuesday 6 September 2016


CATS was my first ever West End show, I remember vividly travelling to London with a group of my dance school friends as a child and being very excited by the whole experience, the lights, scenery, costumes and make up. I was around 10 and instantly fell in love with the show, it is up there with being one of my favourite childhood memories. Last night was my 8th time seeing it again, my first at the Regent Theatre Stoke though.

I got goosebumps walking into the theatre with the scenery of a backstreet alley littered with cereal boxes, crisp packets, tyres and a car boot and when the music started and the cats creep round the audience and onto the stage I was totally transfixed. 

The storyline is set on one special night of the year when all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball and their wise leader, Old Deuteronomy makes a choice of who will go to the Heaviside layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life. Along the way, each cat is introduced, showing their character and personality. The songs are taken from a book called 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' by TS Eliot, I had a copy of this book as a child but mislaid it, gutted as I never managed to learn the songs!

Each and every cast member mimicked the cats so realistically, the costumes and make up was life-like too, I couldn't help but study it, especially being a facepainter. You could really believe they were real life cats. The dancing and singing was energetic and breathtaking, everything was so colourful you could not take your eyes away from the stage.

There was an update to the Rum Rum Tugger character, I remember he was a cheeky chappy but the street dance moves and rap was a welcome modern version. 

The white cat was captivating as usual and the Magical Mr Mistoffelees was worth the wait, I held my breath watching his turns and spins. The first time I saw it, he was played by Wayne Sleep and Shiv Rabheru who played him was as awesome. 

When Grizabella, played by Marianne Benedict belted out 'Memories' I was unable to stop the tears falling down my face, such a powerful and beautiful voice and it sent shivers down my spine. 

It will always be one of my favourite shows and to top it off, I even got stroked by a cat!

If you have tickets this week you will not be disappointed, watch out if you're sitting in the stalls!
You can see the show until Saturday 10th September, go to

Tuesday 10 May 2016


The award-winning Musical, Hairspray is in Stoke for the first time ever, it's a musical I'm familiar with and love many of the songs and the storyline.

It's set in Baltimore in 1962 where a larger than life teenager with big hair and big personality, Tracy Turnblad (played by Freya Sutton) dreams of dancing her way onto national TV. She soon becomes a local star and uses her fame to fight for equality and changes the rules that black dancers are allowed to join together on The Corny Collins show. Freya played the part fantastically, with a great voice and comedy which had the audience laughing out loud in the first half. Tracy's love interest, Link Larkin was played by Ashley Gilmour and portrayed a slick, heartthrob with great charisma. 

There were great comedy moments between Tracy's mother, Edna played by Matt Rixon and her father played by Peter Duncan. I never even knew Peter was a performer! It was a pleasant surprise and a nice pairing.

Dex Lee as Seaweed impressed with his slick moves and the bedroom scene with Penny Pingleton (Monique Young) was hilarious. Duane was played by Layton Williams from Bad Education wowed us with his flips. 

Claire Sweeney is Velma Von Tussle, the bitchy producer of The Corny Collins show and pushy mother of Amber who she wants thrusts in the limelight. She was brilliant and hilarious when she was clambering over some unsuspecting members of the audience in the stalls. Her daughter, Amber was played by Lauren Stroud, with such a beautiful face, voice and talented dancer. 

Brenda Edwards is cast as Motormouth Maybelle, she was an X Factor semi-finalist and a real powerhouse, I felt so emotional watching her especially as I saw her being interviewed on Loose Women a couple of weeks ago talking about her current battle with breast cancer and had chemotherapy only days ago, what an absolute inspiration and strong lady. 

The whole cast deserved the standing ovation at the end and the audience were clapping and singing along. A real feel good musical that you should definitely not miss the opportunity to see whilst its in Stoke! 

Tickets are still available until Saturday 14th May

Friday 29 April 2016


Since being a Mummy, everything has been a learning curve especially since Luke's been at school. I am learning more and more, especially when it comes to his different topics. I was never interested in history and actually can't remember that much about it from my school days. Last year I was fortunate enough to visit Chester and the Deva centre in Chester on Luke's school trip, it was very interesting so I've made a conscious effort to learn more history!

Last Christmas I bought Luke the full box set of books of 'Horrible Histories', it's a popular TV series too that makes History interesting, and from what I've heard shows a lot of gore and hilarious songs.

The Birmingham Stage Company were performing at The Regent Theatre, Stoke had 2 live shows of Horrible Histories, Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders, we went to the Groovy Greeks. The cast consisted of 4 performers who played a modern family wanting to learn about Greeks.

There were quick costume changes, singing, dancing, comedy, sound effects and audience participation. The timing was immaculate which showed how well rehearsed it was, there were some funny references to modern TV shows too, our favourite was 'The Gods Have Talent'

The best part for us was the second half where we were given 3D glasses in the interval. Absolutely fantastic scenery and trickery.

We thoroughly enjoyed it and as soon as we got home, we looked for the 'Groovy Greeks' book in the box set and started reading immediately!

I would highly recommend to anyone to take their kids to see this, it's a fab way to learn History!

Friday 1 April 2016

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG - Truly fantasmagorical!

Being a Mumpreneur is the best job in the world, especially when it comes to school holidays. We have had a busy time meeting friends, play dates and today, a special trip to the theatre to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Regent in Stoke. On a long flight to Thailand when Luke was 3, we watched this film on loop about 3 times, so we're both very familiar with the story.

It was a star-studded cast, with Comedian Jason Manford playing the lead role, Caractacus Potts. He was charismatic and his smile lit up the stage. His voice was strong and operatic and it gave me goosebumps when he sang 'Hush a bye mountain'. I was impressed with his energetic song and dance during 'Me Ol' Bamboo'. Truly Scrumptious was beautifully played by Amy Griffiths with a voice to match, she had a lovely connection with the Potts children too. The other big names, Phill Jupitus played Baron Bomburst and Michelle Collins as the Baroness had a comical pairing. The lovable Grandpa Potts was played by the talented, Andy Hockley.

The childcatcher played by Martin Kemp was spooky and the projection of his shadow was spine tingling, I didn't hear one child utter a noise when he was on the stage. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of him!
The biggest laughs were for the two Vulgarian spies played by Sam Harrison and Scott Paige, they were hilarious.

There were lots of gasps when Chitty was transformed from the rusty old car to the shiny new flying machine, it was truly magical and the graphics of the scenery was convincing and enchanting.

The Potts children were superb and I the Sewer Children were played by local children who also were brilliant.

You know you've seen a good show when you hear people singing the songs when you leave the theatre.

It's not too late to book tickets so you have until 9th April with matinee performances which is perfect for the school holidays!

Tuesday 2 February 2016


My 8 year old, Luke loves the pantomime and will watch virtually anything on the TV so I was really pleased when he said he would accompany me to see Annie. It was his first proper musical and I know he wasn't disappointed. We watched the original film version only last week to learn the main storyline so of course Luke was making comparisons, as we all do!

Annie is set in 1930's New York during the Great Depression, living a life of torment and misery in an orphanage run by cruel Miss Hannigan her luck changes when she is chosen to spend time with Billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Annie played by Madeleine Haynes was superb and did not lose character once, such a fantastic talent, her accent was convincing and singing and dancing all perfect for the role. Her partnership with the other orphans had us captivated and I had a lump in my throat hearing her sing favourites like 'Tomorrow' and 'Maybe'. The saying never work with children and animals was untrue when you saw the connection between Annie and Sandy the stray dog, played by 2 year old Labradoodle, Amber. As a dog lover I would have loved to have seen more of Sandy but was fun to spot him running across the stage.

Playing the part of Miss Hannigan was Lesley Joseph, best known for playing Man-eating Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather. She impressed us with her gin-swigging rendition of 'Little Girls', I never knew she had such a powerful voice. Occasionally her American accent slipped but she was still endearing. 'Easy Street' performed by Rooster (Jonny Fines) and Lily (Djalenga Scott) was entertaining with a wickedness and humour too.

Oliver/Daddy Warbucks was played by Alex Bourne and his pa, Grace Farrell played by Holly Dale Spencer had a charming bond. The dancing was strong by all the cast and it was nice to hear extra added songs to the movie version.

The scenery was a fun and colourful jigsaw puzzle which captivated throughout. Dancing, singing, costumes and humour kept us entertained.

I asked Luke which was his favourite part and his answer was 'All of it'! That is one happy customer!
I would highly recommend for all ages, you will not be disappointed and I guarantee you will be singing in the car on the journey home!

Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting   

Wednesday 20 January 2016


The Sound of Music is my all time favourite film, I have watched it over and over again and know all the songs word perfect, My favourite things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Edelweiss and of course The Sound of Music. I was delighted to have been invited to watch it at The Regent Theatre, Stoke with my good friend, Pip who shares the same enthusiasm for the greatest musical of all time. We have lost count how many times we have seen the 'Sing along' and stage versions.

I saw the 'Live' version on television over Christmas, which I admit left me a little disappointed, mainly, due to chopping and changing well known songs and adding extra ones. I hadn't realised a new version had been written, it was probably for the 50th Anniversary in 2015, but to see the magnificent staging and scenery, and even with random unfamiliar songs, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was romance, tears and laughter, just like in the film version.

Lucy O'Byrne takes on the role of Maria, she was the runner up on BBC One's The Voice, there was no hint of her Irish accent and she took to the acting role as well as the singing.

Award winning TV heart-throb, Gray O'Brien plays Captain Von Trapp, very dashing and handsome, especially in his Captain uniform. There was a great spark between Maria and the Captain particularly during the 'dance' section.

The seven Von Trapp children were all equally talented, timing was impeccable and showed great confidence.

The nuns and especially Mother Abbess, played by Jan Hartley gave me goosebumps. Her voice was uplifting and powerful.

The Baroness (Isla Carter) and Max Detweiler (Duncan Smith) sang the extra unfamiliar songs, you can't help but compare to the Film but it was a welcome addition and both had magnificent voices.

The cast deserved their standing ovation and there is nothing like leaving a theatre with an overall feeling of great pleasure and satisfaction.

If like me you are a lover of this film, you can see this new stunning production until Saturday:-