Posted in Review

Mischief Movie Night.

I had no idea what this was about. Not even the * press release email gave me much idea. But with Z having respite the husband working it was an end of term night with my mate.

It started and I was like ok……

The director asked the audience a few questions where everyone was just laughing from the beginning.

So the audience got to choose what genre movie, where it was based and what kinda things they’d like to see. As you can imagine there were some random answers, porn being one, along side a juggling machete man.

We ended up with a Disney themed film based in pontypandy, yup the set of fireman Sam.

I laughed from start to go finish. The actors didn’t really have props, the odd hat, fan, blankets and boxes. That seemed to be it.

When the audience were actually shouting stuff out you could just see the actors faces just thinking oh no!

It ended up being a ‘love’ story, where Gethin / Gevin came back to pontypandy after working in London to stay with his uncle because his parents had died in a house fire and was continually told never to go above his station. His best friend was a talking lasagna meaning a red towel was a puppet on his shoulder. Yup sound so random right!

t was one of those moments where you sit and think am I really watching a talking flannel and laughing.

We met the princess Marguerite who lived in the tower with her three friends, the flannel, the fan and a koala. Again so random!

What I thought was good was how one actor just thought of something and the other automatically joined in even singing. Never mind remembering who exactly was who or what.

At one point princess Marguerite said something like no I was just talking to my fanny, everyone laughed and it was as if the realisation of what she said sunk in, but they just went with it.

I think every person sitting there was laughing. The laughter would die down and someone else would chuckle.

The story was princess Marguerite came down from her tower saved Gethin / Gevin from the police and fell in love after going on a magic flannel ride. Gethin / Gevins uncle wasn’t happy and neither was her dad. He was told not to leave his room and she was locked up after having her panda killed her fan consumed and her flannel sucked up her dads bum. Yup random right, but it was hilarious.

Gethin / Gevin actually disobeys his uncle and goes to rescue the princess, he takes on her dad after learning he started the fire and killed his mother father and his wife. The uncle turns up and gets consumed by the princess father too, until he’s killed and everything comes back to life!

Writing this down seems unreal. Like who on Earth is going to say wow that sounds like a fun play. But it was so funny, when they made a mistake or said something funny, the director would pause and we’d see an uncut section to the finished play.

How they kept they’re cool and managed to remember everything I don’t know. You could see they all trusted one another and looked to be all quite close as a group. I’d imagine a night out with them to be quite crazy.

So if you are thinking of heading to the theatre this really is a must see, ok you’re not going to get a Disney themed film with a talking flannel and a talking lasagna but you’ll still laugh from the beginning to the end.

You can get your tickets here it’s showing from 18th July 2018 to 22 July 2018 prices start from £19.

* I was gifted my tickets in exchange for a review.

Posted in Review

Soft play with a school friend!

I love trying to find out new places that Z likes. Sometimes we go places and never go back. Sometimes we go places and have to leave, which is annoying.

Today we were invited to Dizzy Kidz play centre in Tredegar. We’re lucky it’s less than 10 minutes away so really easy to pop by after school. Our local one is closed so we’ve not been to soft play for a while.

We parked and Z couldn’t wait to get in.

Shoes off and away he ran, him and his little buddy R.

Sitting down what I noticed first other than fire exits as a parent of a child with autism these are always top of lists, was how clean it was, everything looked clean. Best part was I even had white socks on new white ones as i couldn’t find any so put on a pair of Z’s! Anyways they were still white coming out! How impressive is that for a soft play place with lots of grubby kids about!

It’s not a huge play centre but there’s enough to keep children occupied, from your wavy slide that you can race your friends down, to the trampoline, ball pit, bridge and plastic tube that you can see all the parents sitting down.

Z and R seemed to really enjoy it in the tube, there were a few balls in there and watching them from the bottom throwing the balls about was like the end part of the crystal maze!

Z and R ran about, they bounced, they jumped and both seemed to be having a fab time.

Z did open the fire door after using the toilet, but it was alarmed which again from a autism safety point this was great, even though I was with him. Just the added extra security that if he did happen to open without me seeing the alarm would sound and straight away I’d know it was Z!

Like all soft plays there’s a toddler section, does say under 3’s but the boys had a little go in there it was quiet enough and had a little roundabout type thing in there that they both loved well come on its spins! They also loved the rainmaker and the xylophone .

In think Z favourite part was the ball on the rope, and of course with his best friend to push him along even better!

Thank you Dizzy kids for having us, we’ll definitely be back over the holidays!

Posted in Review

Sherlock Holmes : The Final Curtain

Last night we were invited * to see Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain at New Theatre Cardiff.

For the first time ( we won’t count Ben and Holly!) I took my husband. He enjoys Sherlock do thought I’d be nice! We dropped Z off at Nans and got some food.

Was nice to get in to the theatre nice and cool with the air con on munching our revels !

For the first time I’ve never seen any thing on the stage just the curtain.

When it started the curtain went back and we we greeted with a man on the radio.

Every new scene would change by just closing the curtain and opening it to reveal the new scene. It was basic but worked really well.

Robert Powell played Sherlock, my husband was quite excited about this! Liza Goddard played Mary ( now I vaguely remember woof!) and Timothy Knightley who played Dr Watson.

We met Sherlock when he helped with a murder, and Mary shortly after when she visited the home he had on the beach.

She had tracked him down to ask to go back to the lodgings at 221B Baker Street, he shared years ago to help her as she had seen the spirit of her dead son. He said no, but we did meet Watson when Sherlock went back. He couldn’t not go back and solve the mystery! He was getting on and felt that he was now and easy target for his enemies.

The radio guy was actually Dr Watson telling the story, which I thought was quite clever!

When crime meets spirits I wasn’t too sure how it was going to go, but I really enjoyed it and my husband did too.

Sherlock Holmes : The final Curtain is showing at New Theatre until 30th June 2018

*I was gifted my tickets in exchange for a review

Posted in Review

Son of a Preacher Man

Last night I went to see * Son of a Preacher Man at New Theatre Cardiff.

As with all my theatre visits with the exception of one of two I go in not knowing. I’m sure this adds to the fun as well as the no expectations and I must admit I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve seen. Last night was the first time I came out not knowing what I thought! Whilst sitting waiting for the show to start I was quite excited as I knew the songs that were playing in the background.

Son of a preacher man was about three people Alison ( Michelle Gayle) Kat ( Alice Barlow) and Paul ( Michael Howe) needing guidance in the next chapter of their life, I was a little confused as to how these three people from three generations actually met and decided to visit the shop that was the preacher mans back in the 60’s.

Of course the preacher man was no longer there so these three random strangers turned to the preacher mans son Simon ( Nigel Richards) to help them out. Simon owns a coffee shop and this is where most of the story takes place, the cappuccino girls were bright and bubbly!

With some of the cast playing musical instruments including the trumpet and trombone I found sometimes this was a little to loud and had trouble catching the singers on stage, maybe if I knew the songs then that wouldn’t have been a problem?!

I don’t think it was what other people were expecting as a few sitting by me did actually leave Just after the second half, I wouldn’t have left it was still entertaining, with the odd few lines that made the Audience laugh. I thought Kat played a grumpy teenager well! Jess barker really stood out for me, she had a very strong voice and I think could have maybe been one of the main characters instead of one of the backing ones!

Of course like any love story everything works out in the end the son of a preacher man helped them all!

I think I was expecting the story of Dusty Springfield not a musical story with her music if that makes sense!

If you like Dusty Springfield’s music my mate enjoyed it and sang along throughout knowing the song lyrics, not even knowing all the songs I enjoyed it, it was bright and upbeat with a few laughs thrown in then you may as well go for an enjoyable evening out!

Son of a preacher man is at New Theatre Cardiff until Saturday 19th May and you can get your tickets here prices start from just £12.50.

* I was gifted my tickets for a review, opinions are my own.

Posted in Review

Love From A Stranger

I was asked back to New Theatre * to watch Love from a stranger by Agatha Christie and Frank Vosper based in 1958 in Bayswater, London, the cottage in West Sussex.

Cecily Harrington ( Helen Bradbury, and her friend Mavis Wilson ( Alice Wilson) won shares, they decide to let their flat as with the money Mavis is going traveling and Cecily is getting married to her fiancée of five years Michael, (Justin Avoth) but Cecily is having second thoughts, she doesn’t really want to get married she wants fun and excitement and to have some adventures.

Bruce Lovell ( Sam Frenchum) with his American Canadian accent comes to look at the flat, telling Cecily all about his adventures and stories from around the world, she opens up about breaking it off with her fiancée and wanting to travel with the money she’s won. Whilst showing Bruce around the flat we first see Bruce character when he picks up Cecily underwear, sniffs it and takes a photo. The stage here was cleverly set up, it’s moved! It slid to show more or less of what we needed to see and the lighting changed to more of a low light just to add in the creepiness!

It’s a whirlwind romance and we start part two with them married and living in a remote cottage. Here we meet the gardener, Hodgson and his niece Ethel who’s looking for a job. They agree to employ her even though you can see Bruce isn’t too happy, he doesn’t want any visitors taking away his time alone with Cecily. As she was running off stage doing her first job of employment she hit the prop over! It was quite funny, could see both Helen and Sam trying not to laugh with the audience! Sam saved it with a ‘she’s enthusiastic isn’t she’, to the gardener who replied whilst holding in laughter ‘she’s not a bad girl!’.

We start to see Bruce’s controlling side, no phone line, the resentment of visitors and sickness when Aunt Lulu comes to visit for the day.

Cecily Calls for the doctor when she thinks Bruce is having a heart attack, he’s not happy and doesn’t want him back. During this time the Dr notices Bruce’s criminology books.

When Mavis and Michael come to visit they also put two and two together.

The show ends and the audience leave all asking the same questions. Was she’s telling the truth? How did she do what she done? How did he do what he done? Was she really the character she was portrayed to be? Who planned it the most?

I thought it was quite cleverly written, I loved the way the stage moved, and we just saw the creepy side of Bruce, always lurking in the background, taking things in and planning. I couldn’t help but thinking he actually reminded me a little of Jac from Titanic! Maybe it was the clothes and accent?!

Love from a stranger is showing at New Theatre and you can book tickets here, prices start from £12.00

* I was gifted my tickets in exchange for a review.

Posted in Review

What The Ladybird Heard Live Review

As my previous blog post mentions I was quite excited for this one!

Z has read the story many times, and even though he doesn’t speak I’m sure he’s taking in a lot more than I’ll ever give him credit for. I’ve been telling everyone our plans for this week, obviously saying the theatre for What The Ladybird Heard! This week he’s been ‘reading’ his book, I say reading as I’m sure he is in his head!

All ready, we were a little earlier so my plan was grab the tickets * and maybe head to get him a doughnut, Z knew where he was going, and would not leave the theatre! He was dragging me upstairs, at one point I carried him outside but he was on the floor screaming so we went back in!

obviously being early we had a little wait. A cry, a throw myself on the floor attempting to get to the door and a packet a crisps later all was well!

We were greeted to a farm!

I loved the fact that it looks so basic but keeping within the colour scheme of the book. Reading the program later Lydia Monks was actually involved in the development!

With Emma Breton, the farmer, Emma Carroll as Lilly / Ladybird, Benedict Hastings and Lanky Len and Edward Way as Hefty Hugh it was a fun packed hour.

With the show running slightly late, half way through we’d ran out of crisps to keep Z still!! The first fifteen minutes or so, where the actors were getting the audience involved with animal sounds and making the animals, which were pretty impressive! did seem to go a little slow, but they even managed to get a reference to the Gruffalo in! Guessing that was wasted on the children! I know the show was aimed at 3 plus, but feel maybe it was for a little older with the audience participation, unless that’s just because of Z and his needs. E is 4 she could join in and enjoyed herself even though she had never read the story. When asked at the end did you enjoy it? She replied yes, and her favourite part was the Ladybird!

I enjoyed the way they sang (to me) the main part of the story, ‘The horse went neigh…..’ the singing always got Z’s attention and he would look and smile straight away. The other children seemed to like looking for the Ladybird!

With the use of such simple, colourful looking props I thought they made the story come alive, it was told well and if you hadn’t read the book you’d know the story from the show. With the cow and the cats singing and talking added that little bit more fun into it I thought. Using certain lines from the book Z knew what he was watching as he would smile to himself even trying to copy at one point!

What The Ladybird Heard Live is on an international tour, it’s on at New Theatre Cardiff until 25th of February before it moves on and you can buy tickets here .

I was gifted my tickets in exchange for a review all opinions are my own.

Posted in Review

What The Ladybird Heard Live.

Everyone knows this story right?!

‘And the cow said ‘Moo’, and the hen said ‘cluck’…….. one cat miaowed while the other purred……

‘And the ladybird said never a word’

No?

Just me then! ( if you did you read that fast didn’t you!) if you haven’t heard of it ask your children.

The book What The Ladybird Heard published in 2009 written by Julia Donaldson, you know the author of The Gruffalo, and illustrated by Lydia Monks, is coming to New Theatre Cardiff directly from the West End to entertain children 3+ before heading off on an international tour.

I’m very excited to be able to take Z on his second theatre experience, I’m hoping that as my love for the theatre grows the older he gets it’s something we’ll both enjoy together. We both know this story, I know he’s covered it at school and it a well read book at ours.

The story is about two robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len trying to steal the farmers prize cow, but with the tiniest animal of all – the ladybird stopping them!

With the help of the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog it’s looking to be an action packed 55 minute adventure of original songs, live music and plenty of laughs with plenty of audience participation and I for one am so excited!

What the lady bird heard live is playing at New Theatre Cardiff 22-25th of February, ideal for the end of the half term blues, some where warm and fun!

You can book tickets here prices start at £11 and you have a showing at 2pm on Thursday and 11am And 2pm Friday – Sunday.

*Im receiving my tickets in exchange for a review. All reviews are my own.

Posted in Review

The sound of music

Went to see the sound of music last night at New Theatre Cardiff.

This wasn’t one I was excited to be going to see.

Yup, you’ve guessed it, never seen the film. Despite working in Austria and this being on once a day every week I’ve never seen it. The dance in the show last night I remembered from Austria as at the time I thought it was a little like welsh dancing.

Each time I go to the theatre I’m taking much more notice of the surroundings last night I noticed how big the stage actually is. I loved how easily the props were used, with bookshelves and a stain glass window for the Abby, then at the family home the stairs looking like white marble and gold! The doors and windows at the front and back with the mountains in the background.

With not knowing the story of the sound of music from the show last night I’m not sure if I really know the whole story.

It started with Maria played by Lucy O’Byrne in the Abby with Mother Abbess, where we learn that Maria has to go to be Governess for the Von Trapp family. Where she could sing where she wanted and not just in the mountains. When they sang My Favourite Things, I knew I knew the song but I had thought it was from Mary poppins! The theatre teaches me something new each time! Captain Von Trapp played by Neil McDermott, he was in control of his children and his staff using a whistle, everyone would jump to attention. Maria didn’t from the start and we could see the relationship build with the children. It was mentioned that the children had played many pranks on their old governess so they would quit, from the start we could see that Maria had a good relationship with each child. She taught the children to sing and helped Captain Von Trapp to love his children as he would have if their mother was still alive. He was the kind caring loving dad and not the in charge man we first met.

There was a love relationship between the oldest daughter Liesl ( Katie Shearman) and Rolf (Jordan Oliver) was nice to see them sing and dance across the stage to Sixteen Going On Seventeen. Each child who was played by three different actors were brilliant, they were very confident and that was great to see from even the littlest. They each had a part to play throughout and done it very well.

When Maria went back to the Abby after she realised she was falling in love with Captain Von Trapp and Mother Abbess told her love works in different ways and she went back to find that Captain Von Trapp was getting married to Ursula, until Captain Von Trapp set eyes back on Maria.

They married, then every thing changed when the Nazis wanted him. They fled to Switzerland using the mountains. I loved the end when the net was showing the mountains in the background, and the family fleeing up the steps looking like they were in the hills.

I took my mam along to this, she had seen the film so knew what to expect, she was a little disappointed that certain songs were in a different place to the film, but not seeing the film this didn’t stop me from enjoying the performance. For one that I really didn’t fancy as much as others I’m glad I went. Even if it was to learn the song wasn’t from Mary Poppins!

I do think that as there were quite a few children in the audience that maybe the starting time should have been at the earlier time of 7 like other family shows have been in the past as it’s a long show of 2 hours 40 minutes.

Sound of Music is at New Theatre Cardiff Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th February and you can get tickets here. *

* I was gifted my tickets for a review.

Posted in Review

Flashdance The Musical.

Another amazing night at New Theatre Cardiff for Flashdance The Musical.

Before the show started was chatting to a few other people and was pleased to find out that this time I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t seen the film!

Waiting for the show to start we had a a safety curtain with Lights and Flashdance in bright pink and purple.

When the show started, the intro song What a feeling, my first thought was it was like being back at the Madonna concert when I could only pay attention to the dancers, they were the best part of that show! Last night I was thinking there is no way they can keep up that level of amazing dancing through out, but they did. My legs and arms ached for them!

When the safety curtain went up and we could then see how fit each and everyone of them were I was in awe! Honestly, Joanne Clifton who plays Alex in the show even has a six pack! Yes I wouldn’t have known this as no I don’t watch strictly either! All through the first half I kept thinking Hurley looked familiar, or his voice sounded familiar, when I looked at the program Hurley was played by Ben Adams from the 90’s band A1! Wonder if stars actually get star struck too working alongside big names?!

The story is set in the 80’s, in a town where everyone wants something better for themselves. Alex of course, who dreamed to be a dancer, she was working as a welder and dated the boss, Nick Hurley, who at seemed to have it all when everyone else in the town was struggling. The girls work in a bar as dancers, this is where Alex first met Hurley, they are often poached for the strip club down the road that ‘pays’ more. Alex’s friend encourages her to apply to the dance academy but with no official dance training she’s reluctant. Hannah played by Carol Ball, is like Alex’s mento and encourages her to try out for the academy when she put her request in. Then she finds out that Hurley had paid money and she didn’t get the chance all by herself she wants to leave, goes to say by to Hannah and finds out she’s died she uses that as motivation to go anyways. She won them over with her own unique way of dancing.

What I loved is the fact that they used the props as props to dance to get them in position and also the use of the lighting at the audience so the stage was all light up for the big changes, something I’ve not seen before!

The audience were all up clapping at the end again to What a feeling! You could see how enthusiastic each and everyone of those cast members were, at 10pm they still had more energy than I do at 10am!

I’d say you have to go watch it, just to see them dance! You can buy tickets here . Flashdance is at the New Theatre from Tuesday 6th – Saturday 10th Feb 2018.

I was gifted my tickets for a review, all opinions are my own.

Posted in additional needs, Review

KayCey Bodysuit Review

Was very excited to be asked to review the short sleeve kaycey body suit for Z, from special kids . Company I choose the navy colour and I love it!

It’s soft and stayed soft after washing and didn’t loose any shape.

I love the fact it has one purple popper for the middle, how many times do you make mistakes buttoning up 3 poppers never mind 5!

When I put it on Z, he was running around and laughing, it was like being in shorts and a tshirt all in one.

He loves to take off his bottoms and sit on the floor I worry that the tops of his legs get cold with this body suit I didn’t worry as it kept the top of his legs nice and warm.

What he also likes to do disgustingly is rip off the outer layer of his pull up and eat it, wearing this body suit he couldn’t access his nappy to pick away at it!

The big one for us was to see how Z would manage wearing it for sports, would it roll up and be uncomfortable when he was running climbing and jumping? Would he get annoyed if it did curl up under bottoms?

No problems! He ran and climbed and jumped and was completely fine.

He loves climbing, it must be less restricted than the three popper ones, so I’m thinking do the three popper ones actually pull the nappy up? Where as this one just supports it.

When he wears it he’s smiling so it must be comfortable.

I can see that this is going to be quite handy in the summer, for those random stops at the beach, it’s just going to be like shorts and t-shirt and no one from looking at it will think it’s a specialist vest and that that happy child will have a swim nappy on underneath! Or when we’ve planned the beach, this will be great to just drive on home in. It’s during the summer when he got easy access to his nappy is when he eats away at it.

I’ve already recommended one to my mate for her little boy who loves to smear, there’s no way he’s getting to his nappy through this!