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

Wicked!

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

Wicked is back at the Mayflower Southampton for an exclusive and final engagement in the South of England, and I was lucky enough to attend with the fabulous Southampton Bloggers.

Wicked has to be one of my all–time favourite musicals and this happened to be the 4th time I had been to see it! It is such a spectacle and feel good musical, bringing an alternate story to life that I can’t stay away from. I have seen the performance in London and hadn’t had the opportunity to see it when it came to Southampton last time, so when this chance came up to see it with the bloggers I jumped on it!  I love the Mayflower theatre as it’s my home theatre that I have grown up with and seen so many wonderful shows at, so I knew that Wicked would not disappoint. I not only got to see this wonderful musical in my home town but I also got to see the theatres beautiful refurbishment that had done these last few months.

The Mayflower looked insane when we walked into the theatre- red and gold, new chairs and the whole thing felt amazingly grand. I didn’t think it would be that much different but in fact it felt like an entirely new theatre and it was stunning.

Wicked was always going to be amazing, and that is not me being bias but it is the 6th longest running Broadway show in history, so they are doing something very right!

As I have seen the show before, I have seen it with varying actors play the different parts so I can’t help but compare. I knew that in this performance Amy Ross would be playing Elphaba, who has also performed in Kinky Boots and played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical (another one of my favourites) so I had very high hopes. I love when actresses take the role of Elphaba on and make it their own, so even though I have seen this show before every time is different. Amy Ross was amazing and she managed to give me goosebumps from the moment she did her first song.

After the first half was over we went up to the top suit in the interval to enjoy some drinks and some delicious Wicked cupcakes, and I am a sucker for cake!

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The Mayflower always does a great job at accommodating for it audience and is another reason I love doing there; they are all such hard and dedicated workers.

The second half was just as good as the first, ending with me standing! I have never seen a performance of Wicked and not stood up at the end, and this night was no exception.

If you are thinking about going to see this show just remember

“Wicked is the winner of over 100 major international awards including three Tony Awards on Broadway and two Olivier Awards in the UK.”

And if you know anything about musicals, you know it’s kind of a big deal.

The show as amazing as always and the Mayflower was the perfect setting to see this incredible performance. With love, drama and comedy you really cannot go wrong, so if you get a chance to see this tour I would highly recommend! The show is on at The Mayflower Southampton until 27th October and there are still some tickets available!!

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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.

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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