Annie at the Mayflower Southampton

Advice, Film, Gifted, lifestyle, Personal, review, sotonbloggers, south coast, Southampton, southampton bloggers, Theatre, Uncategorized

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When I’m stuck with a day, that’s grey and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin and say, Annie at the Mayflower was great!

Annie was a film of my childhood so when I got the chance to go along to the opening night at the Mayflower Southampton with Southampton Bloggers I had too!

The show is a fun-filled, family classic with a brilliant cast. There really is not much I could fault with this show and it really got me feeling very nostalgic.

I was really happy to attend the opening night. I always feel the opening night to a show has a fantastic atmosphere from not only the audience but the cast; they really throw themselves into the performance.

I was lucky enough to attend one of the performances with Craig Revel Horwood playing Miss Hannigan. I was very optimistic for him, as I have never seen him act or sing, only ever be brutal to celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing!

When I knew a man was playing the iconic character there was a part of me that worried it would become a little ‘panto’ but I couldn’t have been more wrong! He did a great job and really embodied the familiar role that so many people know and love to hate.

I was pleasantly surprised with his singing voice, especially in ‘Little Girls’ number, who would have known Mr. Horwood was a triple threat!

This great show is only in Southampton for 1 week, so they are really giving us their all!

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I have to credit the amazing cast of children involved in this production. Every time I see young kids in a show, I am always absolutely blown away by their talent and confidence.

I always think it is an amazing thing to have that much ability and flair at such a young age to rival your adult castmates, but the younger cast of Annie gave the older professionals a real run for their money.

Of course, Annie was amazing and for me, she controlled and carried the show, which was just a plus as the show was great in itself. She was even joined by her fabulous co-star of the dog Sandy. She was solely responsible for the dog every time Sandy was on stage and it stuck by Annie’s side like the reliable sidekick she was.

There were so many aspects of this performance to keep it just as brilliant as the classic film. It is so hard to deliver a film to stage and this defiantly outdid itself with stage design, costumes and of course the cast.

I cannot praise this musical performance enough and The Mayflower Southampton has done it again to help the show run as smoothly as possible for performers and audience members.

If you get a chance to see the show, get yourself down there as it’s only around for one week! I am hoping it will be back once again in the future as I would love to see it again.

 

Grace

xx

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Shrek the Musical

Advice, fashion, Film, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Theatre, Uncategorized

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By now, I think we all know how much I love musical theatre and last night I went along with the Southampton Bloggers to see Shrek the Musical. We went to see it at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton where the show will be running from 27th November- 8th December 2018.

I had already heard amazing things about this show from its unprecedented success of the first UK and Ireland tour, so when I found out it was coming to Southampton I jumped at the chance to attend the press night.

Shrek was one of my childhood films, based on the book by William Steig so luckily I already knew the story, but the musical was going to be something completely new for me! I had previously heard some of the songs that are in the show (which are different from the movie) so I was waiting for my favorite few, which did not disappoint. My favorite number was ‘Freak flag’ and the staging was so good, even with a little comedic hint to Le Miserables, which they included throughout with references to other musicals which I thought was very clever! The ones I could spot were; Wicked, Lion King, Dream Girls and Le Miserables.

Freak flag

The characterization of every character was spot on, especially Pinocchio- I honestly don’t know how he (or she) kept that voice up the whole night! They thought through every costume to the tiniest details, for example Pinocchio even had a fully functioning extendable nose for when he told a porky! I was laughing the whole way through and the spot on representations from the film added to the entire show. It is such a hard thing taking a cartoon and putting it on the stage but I really cannot fault the production team on this! All the costumes were incredible and so accurate to the film, from Shrek’s ears and belly, to Donkeys hooves the costume department have seriously out done themselves. The main thing I feel for a film adaptation on stage, especially with animation, is keeping the colour and larger than life look to the stage and characters. This show really held onto this and the costumes were absolutely fabulous.

Shrek and FIona

My favorite character in musicals normally ends up being the funny side kick or the main character but this time it turned out to be the villain!! This was very odd for me, as normally you are guided to dislike them (hence the term ‘villain’) but this guy was hilarious and I couldn’t help but love him!  Lord Farquaad, who was played by Samuel Holmes, was absolutely brilliant and you could not fault him throughout the entire show, considering he may have been a little uncomfortable! For this character his costume was bent to his knees, covered by a cape and had two little fake legs on the front. The fake/ surreal aspect of this costume had me in stitches and I couldn’t look away. It allowed him to make any movement look funny, from running with tiny little steps to basically doing the splits. The costume was enhanced by the excellent acting which did not slack at any point; the energy of everyone in fact was incredible for the entire show!

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Last but not least was the use of puppets throughout the show, especially when it came to the Dragon.  When done well, puppets in a show can look awesome, but when done badly it can completely tear apart a show. Luckily for us, these puppets were a great addition to the performance and made some possibly tricky characters from a cartoon transform easily to live action versions. There were little puppets through the show, from the Gingerbread Man to Puss in Boots, but the main one I want to talk about is the dragon. I really didn’t know what to expect with this, but I knew they wouldn’t be able to get rid of such a large character (no pun intended) from the film to accommodate the live performance, so they would have to be inventive.  They basically had a massive puppet controlled in a very similar way to War Horse, but on a bigger scale. They had 4 or 5 people in black controlling the dragon, to ensure it moved like it should but also could move around the space fluently. Honestly I cannot express how amazing it was, it was done so well and was also spot on to the look of the cartoon character.

Dragon and Donkey

I had such a wonderful evening as always at The Mayflower Theatre Southampton, who manages time and time again to impress me with their amazing variety of shows. If you get the chance, make sure to head down and see this great show, it is the perfect start to a family Christmas. Plenty for any age, and I really cannot recommend this fun filled show enough!

Grace xx

Titanic: The Musical

Advice, Film, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Theatre, Uncategorized

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“In the final hour of 14th April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and ‘the unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic and infamous disasters of the 20th Century. 1517 men, women and children lost their lives.” https://www.mayflower.org.uk/whats-on/titanic-the-musical-2018/

On Tuesday 17th April I went along to one of my favorite places in Southampton, The Mayflower theater with the Southampton Bloggers to see Titanic The Musical.

Obviously, most people have heard the story of the Titanic or seen the movie, so to hear it is now a musical might be a bit of a surprise. When I initially heard it was, I was a little confused as to how they could convey something like that on stage, let alone as a musical performance. I went in with a very open mind and was excited to see how this would be done and what story they would be focusing on, on first thought I assumed the Jack and Rose story line.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out the story was not the movie adaptation, which meant for me it was something new to experience. They focused on three stories of passengers, one from each class: 1st, 2nd and 3rd and honed in on the owner, captain and builder as to where the blame lied.

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One of the most powerful parts for me, was after they represented the fatal collision with the iceberg was the aftermath of panic and blame between 3 of the most powerful characters. Throughout the first half, they really focused on the fact the owner wanted to go faster and the builder and captain going along with it- in order to impress. The focus was ensuring they were making history and that the 1st class passengers were having the experience of a lifetime, of course this ultimately neglecting everyone’s safety.

They were able to show all the characters as individuals and how it effected them on a wider scale. For me, this allowed me to connect as an audience member and see them as real life people, certainly cranked up the emotion.

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Throughout, you really connected with each of these peoples stories so when the inevitable happen it was quite hard to sit and watch. They approached the crash and loss of lives in a very sensitive but powerful way- especially the end.

It reminded you that this was real and it there was real people involved. The surviving characters delivered some hard hitting lines a the end with a memorial board on stage.

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I cannot recommend this show enough, it is a new way to see such a famous story and it makes your see it in a completely new light.

“A triumph. The day after seeing it I went back. It’s That Good.” The Times

 

 

Sunset Boulevard, Mayflower Southampton

Beauty, fashion, Film, lifestyle, review, Theatre, Uncategorized

To paraphrase the most famous line in Sunset Boulevard, it’s not that the show has got smaller, it’s the performance that has got bigger.

thestage.co.uk

I got the opportunity to accompany The Bright Eye blog to see the West End hit Sunset Boulevard at the Mayflower, Southampton.

As you know I am a theatre lover, so I literally jumped at the offer to join her to see this critically acclaimed musical!

The musical is based on the film, about a fallen silent movie start called Norma Desmond. Following the story a struggling writer stubbled into her lavish life and falls victim to the wonders of comfortable living. This is despite the twisted love that Norma develops for him and ultimately leads to his demise.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this musical, from never seeing the movie adaptation, only knowing the musical was one of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Just from that alone, I had quite high hopes!

Overall I really enjoyed the show, from the dance numbers to delving into a darker storyline. It was the first musical I have seen where there is a much more serious underling theme. The entire show was pretty much all sung, which is so impressive alone, but being able to convey the varying emotions through movement and song was on a another level.

The characters really held their own and really made the show for me! I found that Ria Jones, who played Norma Desmend, was extraordinary! Her voice was so powerful, but really portrayed the fallen star to complete breakdown story and gripped me from the word go!

I would really recommend seeing this show, if you are interested in something different with a captivating and twisted story. The show is running at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from 16th to 20th January 2018.

★★★★★ “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is a glorious, thrill a minute triumph” Daily Telegraph

★★★★★★★ “Musical theatre gold” Edinburgh Evening News

Mayflower.org.uk

 

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The Addams Family, MayFlower

Film, lifestyle, review, Theatre, Uncategorized

Last night I had the amazing opportunity to attend the touring show of The Addams Family at the Mayflower Southampton, alongside the Southampton Bloggers!

I had seen this show advertised and when the chance came up to see this I jumped at the opportunity to review it! The show had an incredible cast including, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Samantha Womack and Les Dennis! Each and every character in the show held their own and created one of the best shows I have seen in a while.

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This show was full of laughter, love and a crazy family who kept the entire audience guessing! The costumes, set and beautifully portrayed characters created a whole world of bizarre on the stage, which is what The Adams Family is all about. This production brought this classic family back to life on the stage and I already want to see it again!

I cannot pin point one character that was my favorite as they all performed to their fullest. Normally I find there is one stand out performer that can really steal the show, but on this production I could not see a weak link anywhere! They were all completely professional and had outstanding talent, I could not fault them one bit!

 

 

The story itself was full of excitement, twist and turns and laughter! I was hooked from the moment I sat down and it continued to go up and up as it went on. The story is based around the character of Wednesday wanting to marry her ‘normal’ boyfriend Lucas. The show surrounded an evening of the two families meeting and attempting a ‘normal night’, well you can gather this didn’t go to plan. The show looks at love, family and relationships which all came together to create a wonderful show!

I can’t express enough how fantastic this show is and if you get the opportunity to see it GO!

The show runs for 2 hours 30 minutes approximately, and I was still wanting more by the end. The show is really amazing but you can’t be too surprised considering it is from the writers of multi award-winning hit musical JERSEY BOYS!

The original songs and live orchestra create a world throughout the theater and make you feel apart of this kooky family! The songs are so catchy they are still playing in my head and I am sure I will be humming them for weeks!

One of the best shows I have seen in a long time and I am so chuffed to have been invited along to see it in all its glory!

Make sure to grab some tickets!

Grace x

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Wonderland! 

Film, lifestyle, review, Theatre, Uncategorized


Last night I was lucky enough to go with the Southampton bloggers to see Wonderland at The Mayflower Theatre! 

This new show has just come to Southampton and explores an older Alice, her daughter and her love interest neighbour falling into wonderland. Initially the story is set in modern day and Alice’s life seems to be going in all the wrong directions. She’s divorced, fired and feeling ultimately lost. 

I am familiar with the classic Disney story of Alice in Wonderland, but this was a new twist on the classic and it took me by surprise! 

Although the story differed from the one I knew it was a great experience and the new story kept me guessing. 

The set and the costumes were my two favourite things about this show, and definitely a reason alone to see this show! 

The stage was just alive with colour and the slickness of the set was really impressive! From the looking glass to the mad hatters tea table, everything was really thought through and brought the stage to life! 

The performers costumes were the perfect suggestion to the animals and a great modern day twist! My favourite had to be the Mad Hatter! Originally played by a man in the film but in this case was a woman, and it worked so well! She was in a big hat, peplum shirt and fab purple leggings! She was so sassy and her voice was just incredible! 

After touring in America, the show has come over to England and is the perfect show to see with the family! Especially over the Easter break! 

The Queen of Hearts (a classic character) was played by Cilla Battersby-Brown, who was a Coronation Street star! She was just fabulous! What a voice and the chatacteristics were spot on for the character. I love subtle traits for characters on stage as it makes each person up there an individual! The Queen of Hearts would have a jam tart every time she was on stage, and would announce herself eating it! It was really funny and a lovely little extra which really added to her character!

We had an excellent evening as always at the Mayflower in Southampton and if you are a big Alice fan I would certainly recommend! The show is in Southampton from 18th to the 22nd April so make sure you grab your tickets soon!!! 

Grace x

Don’t let things get in your way 

Advice, Beauty, Film, Food, lifestyle, Personal, Uncategorized

We all have our ups and downs, we all share the moments that make us feel as if we’re the only ones feeling this way. But you are not feeling it alone.

Everyone has baggage and everyone has those days where it feels a little heavier than it did before, it’s normal and there are ways to get passed it.

I understand that everyone has different things going on, and I am not the perfect spoke person but I have found that little things can help me through bad days.


I left university not too long ago and moving home and leaving some amazing people put me in a very weird place, as I think it does for a lot of people.

The situation made me feel things I hadn’t experienced before but I have little tricks that help bring me up. I hope this post can help others who are maybe feeling a little less than themselves lately.

  • Keep Yourself Busy 

I found that I was feeling my worst when I was just working and heading home. I would find myself in my room and end up feeling, to be quite honest like crap. I would sit upstairs watching Netflix, which not only isolated me but began to make me feel very tired and lethargic, which obviously lead me to not exactly liking the way I was.

I think it is the same for a lot of people, when your are alone it is an excuse to start thinking about things and start looking back with a shall we say, a less than positive outlook. I would think about university and look back at what I had, but rather than look back and remember, I was looking back and wishing I was there and not here. This is not the way to look at your memories, you should look back and smile.

I found that as soon as I began planning things, after work or even for the weekend meant I had things to look forward to and get me out of habit. I began to push myself to arrange things and ensure I was enjoying myself. For me, friends make me the happiest, therefore I took that knowledge and put it into practice. I arranged a plan to see my friends who are furthest away to meet in the summer and sort little plans with the friends who are close. I even took up some hobbies and have started helping other people out!

I love drama and I have started helping out some student with student films and modelling for photography and make up students. It’s really different, breaks up my day and I actually really enjoy it!

Find things you enjoy, whether its something as simple as watching TV with your family or heading out to dinner with friends, you’d be surprised the difference it makes!

  • Stop Comparing Yourself To Others! 

I know it is so much easier said than done, and I can say I am always doing this even when I know I shouldn’t!

It is so easy to start looking at other people and wonder why you are not doing as well and it is mainly on social media! I find myself looking at pages of people I know and even that I don’t and have the thought they are doing better than me and maybe I should be doing something different. DON’T.

Nothing is what is seems online and everyone has things going on that you may not see! It is very easy to push your problems onto other things and make yourself feel as if you are not as good as someone else, but they are probably thinking the exact same thing looking at someone else, or even YOU!

Everyone has things they don’t like or feel like they cannot do something, but comparing yourself to others is never going to help. Look at yourself and think what you could do to improve the way you feel, as everyone is different and you shouldn’t try to be something or someone you’re not.

  • Try Not To Second Guess Yourself 

Again, this is something very easy to say and much harder to do, but it can make a huge difference.

I am not saying that you will never second guess your choices because this is human nature! Also of course you will second guess sometimes as not all choices will be good ones but that happens to everyone, we all make mistakes.

What I mean is,  stick with your decisions, if you think its right then go for it. Yes it may come back to bite you in the ass but you will have committed to something and imagine all the time you could save not worrying about what to do next. We all have responsibilities but try and take each day as it comes and the choices you make at that time.

I always worry about how my choices effect people, which isn’t a bad thing but when I start making decisions for others that’s when it goes down hill. Make choices for yourself and if you think its the right thing, then stick with it! Don’t change who you are just because you are worried that people won’t like you, if  they accept you then they will stay by your side.

  • Try The Simple Things 

There are a few little tricks that are so simple but can sometimes really help if you are stuck in a rut!

Simplicity is key here, so these things may seem obvious but they can be really beneficially:

Talk to people! It is so simple and can become really easy. I am one of those people who would much rather keep things to myself, as for some reason I don’t want to be seen as a drama queen or putting my problems on other people, but that is really not the case! I think a lot of people feel this way, but you need to remember that is what friends and family are for! I know if my friend or anyone was feeling like they needed to talk I would want them to come to me, so don’t be afraid and definitely don’t be embarrassed! I think it could surprise you how many people turn around and say they have felt the same way!

Write things down. Now this may sound bizarre but it is a really good way to help with worries. I am the type of person to have the most outrageous worries and the more I think about them the worse my anxiety gets, even if they make absolutely no sense! I found that writing down the worries I had and actually seeing them physically in front of me, I was able to rationalize how silly some of them were. I made a list and read through them, and having the worries on paper made them less intense and I actually ended up laughing at some!

Don’t be ashamed! This is so common for people to keep things to themselves and gets to a point where its a lot harder to do something about it. Luckily I have never gone that far, because I did something about it. I know it is so much easier said than done, and people are all different, but coming to terms with it makes it an easier thing to conquer. When you are able to except it and not be ashamed of the way you and so many people feel, you can begin to make a positive change. I know it is not as simple for some people, but as a starting point it could make an impact on your outlook.

 

The last thing and probably the post important! Is to surround yourself with things that make you happy!

Whether this be friends, family, food anything! The more your place your self in positive situations and surround your self you will begin to draw off this! For me it comes from being around friends and arranging things to do, I am able to bounce off them and enjoy living in the moment!

 

Hope this helps anyone who is feeling a little down! As I said everyone is different but I found these routes really help and got me feeling a little more like myself 🙂

 

BeautyBrown x