Posted in Review

Thomas land at Drayton Manor

Last Friday Z had inset day, so I took him to Thomas land at Drayton Manor, I dragged along B and B! 

I was a little worried how Z was going to manage, B also has autism so it was going to a challenge with both boys, both have different needs. 

The disabled badge allowed us to park really close to the main gate, which was a relief as not far there are also disabled toilets. 

We were greeted with smiles and armed police! Obviously after the attacks in Manchester everywhere was on high alert.

We got in, bags searched and away we went. 

First stop Thomas land, even though the park was quiet Thomas land wasn’t! We went to get a wristband that allowed entry via the exit for up to ten rides for Z and up to three others. Four people was great, that means if we went with friends all four could go with Z, whereas B had his own so together we could have used it twenty times, we used it once! Of course I try and teach Z he has to line up, we did do a little bit of waiting, but not that long, the only one that looked like it had a long queue was the rollercoaster in Thomas land. So we did go to the exit, plus we weren’t to sure how to find the start of the queue! 

We could easily have spent all day just in Thomas land, but we couldn’t say we hadn’t seen anything in the park, or the Zoo, so we went for a little walk, after soft play! Yes even have soft play. We didn’t get to go on everything in Thomas land, and we went on loads. Z’s favourite would have been crankys tower drop, he even went on on his own the second time, to hear him giggle and see the huge grin on his face he must have been in sensory heaven! I enjoyed rocking bulstode, was like a mini pirate ship but with the spinning element to it. I also liked the fact that you could get pictures, means now I have a picture of Z’s first time on a rollercoaster. 

I was impressed with the whole park, it was clean, staff were friendly and we were never rushed off any ride. It’s hard trying to explain to a four and five year old that they have to get off when the ride stops and queue back up, in all fairness we only had a handful of meltdowns between both boys. Once they knew the ride finished we’d find another they were more willing to get off and get back in a buggy. 

I also liked the fact that there were plenty of rides in the main park that Z could go on too. Even a second rollercoaster that if you listen to B we went over the ocean! How she kept her eyes open on that when she kept them closed on the one in Thomas land I don’t know! 

We had a quick walk around the zoo, but it was the hottest day of the year, so walking was going to put Z to sleep! Next time I go It won’t be so hot and I can have another look! 

There were disabled toilets dotted about, what I liked about these is there was a bench type place that I could lay Z down to change him which is a huge plus, I’ve mentioned before about how hard it is to change Z this was a godsend. 

I will take him back I think the holidays will be busy, but knowing that the fast pass is available I think I’d be brave enough to try it. 

If I don’t get there during the holidays I know this is where I’m going to take him for his birthday, they even have a party room.  Z’s not into Thomas but it may be nicer than a party, I’ll have to have a look into it. 

We really enjoyed our day out at Drayton manor, I rang to book and could have the blue badge price of £20 and as a carer I paid £20, Z had a lovely day and it was well worth the money! 

Posted in Review

The crucible. 

Last night I went to see the opening of Arthur Miller’s The crucible at the New theatre Cardiff. *

Up until a few weeks back I had never been to the theatre, now I think I’m a pro! 

So first off was a musical, then a ballet and now an actual play. This one I had been waiting excitedly for as I knew the story. I covered the play for my GCSE English exam. When I seen this one advertised I knew it was something I would want to see. 

The one thing that stood out for me was how plain the props were. Maybe because of the nature of the play, and the fact it was set in 1692, so of course no fancy TV sets in the bedrooms! The main rotating block in the centre with the erire background worked well. I found I was listening more to the actors, maybe awaiting the music and the singing, which there wasn’t any! There was a little music just to show when people entered this helped keep the seriousness of the play, there were a few times that comedy was used in particular by Giles Corey played by David Delve. 

What I liked about the play last night was it was much easier to understand than the book if you didn’t know the story. The language spoken kept some of the same as the book. 

From the beginning you could see it was based on lies, and how something got twisted and turned, to save themselves. That small little lie got bigger and bigger. What started as jealously and ended in death could have been stopped if he contributed the lie, but staying true to himself and not letting anyone judge him as only God can judge. 

When watching it, it really shows how easily one small lie can snowball out of control. Then who do you believe a group of children or an adult? The children obviously using their vulnerability as a way of getting out of admitting they were wrong. 

John Proctor played by Eoin Slattery, played a good part. The way he knew from the start that Abigail, played by Lucy Keira, was after revenge and his wife dead. He knew he had made a mistake and when he admitted it to save his wife but wouldn’t lie to save himself you knew he was one of the good guys even after making a mistake.

The play is still relevant to today’s world in some way that we are all living in a twisted world, one that’s a lot of times based on lies. Politics takes over and all common sense is lost and in the end innocent people die. 

The Cruicble is on at New Theatre until Saturday 27th may 2017.
* I was given tickets in exchange for my review. 

Posted in Review

Casanova – northern ballet 

As you know my first time at the theatre was a few weeks back when I went to see the Wedding Singer at new theatre Cardiff 

I was very lucky to be invited back to see the world premier of Casanova  a ballet by Kenneth Tindall.* 

I’m not going to lie I didn’t have an idea of what to expect. None at all. I was told Casanova was a player years ago. So I went last night with all the knowledge of some guy having many girlfriends. That was it. Google  told me he was an Italian adventurer and author, liked the women and gambling. 

I think maybe not knowing anything about what I’m  going to see could be for the better as I’m never left disappointed. 

Again, ballets I just think of people in spandex dancing around. I was wrong ! 

When the open scene started I took from it they were in a Catholic Church going back to 17th century. I think Casanova was maybe an alter boy and was going into the priesthood. Somebody has a red book that hands it over to Casanova. 

That person was then in a fight, the intensity of the music told me this, ( I must have listened after all in my music lessons at school!) I must admit it was the most elegant fight I’ve seen. At this point the dancer reminded me of Assassins creed the game this takes me to France or maybe even the Vatican. So the book was a wanted book! The sisters suduce Casanova but get caught and Casanova is sent on his way with only a violin and his book. 

He goes on to earn a place at a masquerade ball, for some king maybe and he meets Balletti a cellist and they leave together. But they are attacked, again the music plays a critical role in explaining its a ‘bad’ scene along side the outfits, as this again reminds me of the thieves in Assasins creed! Casanova gets left for dead as Balletti manages to escape and he gets taken back to I’m guessing the kings place where the king treats his wounds and try’s to suduce Casanova but suffered what seems to be a heart attack. When he’s better he makes Casanova his right hand man. 
They are back in mass, and he receives a note, then the guy who gave him the book is being tortured. Then Casanova is being seduced again whilst the priest from the beginning is watching. We then see Casanova try to escape. 

When the curtain went up I’m glad to admit I wasn’t the only one who seemed confused, obviously I’m making my own story up so don’t even know if it’s the correct story! I did see lots of people come back with the program. 

The second act really confused me! 

There were  two women one has to dress as a man and one is being abused so leaves even leaving her baby. 

We see Casanova back but dressed not so elegantly as he was so I took that to mean he escaped. Where he is now I don’t know. He seems to get his right hand man status back as he’s now throwing auditions for party. This is where we meet Balletti again, when everyone’s left he picks up his book and writes. He has a stash of papers and is taking them somewhere he meets The lady who left her baby behind he takes her home and they end up in a relationship where she gets pregnant . Telling her to wait for him,  he leaves with his stack of papers, but the husband comes finds her and takes her with him. Casanova comes home to find her gone. He then goes to a group of mates, I didn’t get that part but I don’t think what he was doing was good as she returns and leaves him. 

The end with his papers falling all around I’m not sure if that’s his writing, like his life story, or the pages of the book! 

Reading through the program I was right in bits, it was set in Venice, he wasn’t a king, it was senator Bragadin. The mass was for him getting better after his stroke not a heart attack! The second scene is based in Paris. He’s taking his writing to the printers, he try’s to escape into a world of sensuality, his past haunts him so he throws himself into the abyss.

The music helped a lot in defining fighting to sexual scenes, as the dancing didn’t really come across as mean! When they were being thrown up or dragged across the floor they just looked so small and featherless. I was very impressed with the way they could move, the way they could get their bodies to intertwine so effortlessly, well it looked effortlessy! The use of props things so simple as a chair weren’t just brought on and placed they were also danced on! 

I think reading the acts afterwards made everyone make more sense. The performance kept me transfixed, as if I couldn’t miss anything! 

Would I go to another ballet? I’m not sure! Maybe one that I know the story so it would be easier to understand and know what’s going on, not having to worry if I was reading the wrong story.  I’m glad I took my friend we made sense of it together, we still don’t know what the red forbidden book was, first up I said the bible, but being a church maybe my mates idea of the kama sutra was a better explanation?! I must admit I enjoyed myself, it was different, and at least I can say I’ve seen it. Next up has to be a play! 

* I was kindly given my tickets for a review, all views are my own. 

Posted in Merthyr Tydfil, Review

Little Shop Of Horrors 

I was very lucky* to go and see Redhouse Little Theatres first production at Redhouse Merthyr. **

The program says, ‘This is the very first show featuring participants from the local area”.

So as my readers know my first time at the theatre was a few weeks back when I went to see the wedding singer at Cardiff theatre, like that I had never seen the film Little shop of Horrors. Yes I know, I really am rubbish! 

If like me you’ve never seen the film either it’s a horror, comedy, rock musical. It’s about a young boy who’s been taken in by a florist. He raises a plant that he feeds his own flesh and blood! 

Again, never seeing the film I really don’t know what songs came out of the film. Each song was sang brilliantly, I think my favourite could well have been ‘suppertime’ by Audrey || . 

Back to the cast, in reality I didn’t know what to expect. 

I went along with my cousin A, who I think also enjoyed it, she’ll write up her own review. 

The stage was set, you could really see the time and effort that had gone into it. 

When the show started they looked quite young, when they started singing I was taken aback they really were very good.  

It was lovely to see local people do really well, Merthyr is always put down, always gets shown for its bad side, never the good. These guys were brilliant. You could see how hard they had worked.  

The main character Seymour played by Jac Ellis, reading the Redhouse Facebook page he has recently stared in Aladdin, and is now continuing on his AS examinations and staring in Carousel.  What a great actor he is. His voice was really good, sitting AS examinations shows me how young he is. Keep it up Jac next time I’m at Cardiff you maybe on that stage! Other than the plant, Seymours other love was Audrey, obvisouly as he named the plant after her! Again, played by Bethan Mair Williams, she looked young too, but what a voice, to be honest I thought she was as good as Cassie who played Julia in The wedding singer. From the Facebook page she has taken part in a few musicals before and is heading for a new role in sister act. Not sure if they had both stared in the same show before, they had they familiarity about them, they were clearly comfortable around one another and it made it all the more realistic that yes they were falling in love! Mr Mushnik, played by Thomas Price didn’t seem to have a big part like Seymour and Aubrey. Not sure how much he’s in the film but again reading the Facebook page it does say he has more of a role in the musical. 

 Each and everyone of those actors worked really hard, the dentist played by Ashley McGill knew how to get the audience laughing!  As for Aubrey || voiced by Nathan Roberts thats the best singing plant I’ve heard! 

Not my photo taken from the Redhouse Facebook page.

This is only on Saturday 25th March, 2pm and 7.30 you can book tickets here and check what else is on. 

I would highly recommend if you can get there tomorrow go! You really won’t be disappointed.  I think out of this and the wedding singer this was my favourite! 

* I was lucky enough to be gifted my tickets, this is my review and all content is my own, other than the photo stated. 

**Redhouse is in the old town hall in the centre of Merthyr Tydfil. Years ago it was the old town hall, it later went on to become a nightclub and know home to many things including a cafe. 

Posted in Review

Mams nightout at New Theatre Cardiff – The Wedding Singer 

When I was invited * with a few of the local bloggers to go and see The wedding Singer at the New Theatre Cardiff, I jumped at the chance.  One being I’ve never been to the theatre and two I’ve never seen the Wedding Singer!

L-R Myself, Sally, Ali, Kerry, Georgina, Cathryn.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect! Maybe, secretly I thought that the theatre was for older people! I’ve never heard any of my mates say they are heading to the theatre, maybe because they’d have to travel or like me they’ve never tried it, I don’t know. I was surprised by the variety of people there last night, I spotted some young and some old the booking office age says suitable for 12 plus.
As soon as the show started you could really see the chemistry between the lead actors, Jon Robyn’s who plays Robbie and Cassie Compton who plays Julia. I didn’t know any thing about the show, but thought to myself these will get together, they look as if they were meant to be! I did think that maybe I may  have got it wrong at one point  but was pleased when I was right.

I loved the bright colours and was actually surprised at how well these people could sing, yes all of them. After the show I had to google the actors and was surprised that Cassie was a contender in the first series of X factor and also Ray Quinn who played Glen was in a later series of the X factor .

For those like me who’s never seen the wedding singer it was about a rock star (Robbie) who’s career had dried up and he became a wedding signer who ended up living in his grandmas basement. Then after being left at the alter himself went on to fall in love with the waitress (Julia) who was engaged to a rich guy! (Glen)

I really enjoyedthe show, the film was based in America in the 80’s this was shown in the show by the bright billboard signs that made an appearance through out the show and the clothes the actors wore. I loved how enthusiastic the cast were, Nick Winston done an amazing job with the choreography. There were lots of songs, each I later learnt unique to the film, except for two. The one being ‘Somebody kill me’, the other I can’t remember! I actually liked the song somebody kill me, and now I need to watch the film as  Jons performance made it quite funny. For people going to see this who’s seen the film they maybe disappointed that the original soundtrack isn’t sung but it made no difference to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

I loved how the props were moved effortlessly and everything just rolled into one, I’m guessing for people who’s used to this it’s not such a wow that’s clever moment!

I’ve had a look on the New Theatre Cardiff website and I see they are showing the Grufflo and now I really want to try Z, if it’s a fun as last night I think he may enjoy it. As for me I now want to go and see the crucible, just as I’ve read the book and would like to have something to compare with.

Thank you New Theatre Cardiff I had a lovely adult catch up last night, I’m sure I’ll be back, maybe now I have the theatre bug?

* tickets were gifted to me for my review.

Posted in Review

Little angels pants.

I was lucky enough to be sent a pack of Asda Little angel day and night pants to review. 

I was quite excited to see Asda getting involved with new nappies aimed at older children. 

Z is still in nappies, we have to use pull- ups as the nappies we were using were rubbing him as they were getting to full.

First impressions I was pleased, they are a lot bigger than pull-ups, meaning less poonami explosion and change of clothes! They seem a lot more absorbent. 

The design is a little boring with just footballs but that’s ok, Z isn’t interested with what’s on them anyway. One was used that night for bed, the following morning Z was a little damp, but he does often wake up a little damp around his vest. 

He wore them to school and came home in the same clothes as he went in with, meaning there wasn’t a poomami explosion!

They are not as flexible as a pull-up meaning as they are pull up pants we did have to be careful as to not to rip them as there’s no Velcro to stick them back together. 

I was disappointed with the price. When going to buy them, at £3.87 for 10. This goes to 9 for the L. These are the same price as a pull-up. Pull-ups are not really used as nappies they are there for accidents in the beginning of toilet training stages. Ten pants lasted a day, with one as a spare. Counting the one he wore to bed, one when we got up, four sent in for school, one change when home, another change around six and one before bed at 9. That’s 9 changes that one day. Looking at a packet a day, and hopefully no sickness, or no excessive drinking that day.

Going on the price of £3.87 a day, a weeks worth of nappies here cost £27.09. A normal pack of little angels size 6 nappies  there’s 30 nappies in a pack for £3.75 so already 12p cheaper, and your getting an extra 20 nappies. So one pack would last three days, you can get these on offer for £10, 90 nappies for £10. A weeks worth £10 with spares, I’m paying nearly £20 more. I think this is slightly unfair. When the word disabled is mentioned everything goes up in price, as if having a child with additional needs isn’t hard enough without the extra expense. 

As these were more absorbent than a pull-up because they are more a nappy than a training pants, for long car journeys or a full day out I would purchase them. I know I could go further without having to worry that he would leak through. 

Hopefully there will be deals on like normal nappies that make affording them much easier as then the more people who purchase them the cheaper they can become! 

Posted in christmas, Review

Visiting Santa at Hamleys Cardiff 

We were very lucky to be invited * to meet Santa at Hamleys toy store in Cardiff this weekend. 

I was a little nervous about taking Z, Z in a busy store in the middle of the day on an autumn international day. I agreed and I’m glad I did. 

We were greeted by some elves as we went into the store ( and a few other local bloggers!) the elves had name stickers for the children. Z liked the elf with the bubbles! 

To head into the party room at the back of the store, we all walked singing Rudolph the red nose reindeer. 

Had to say some magic words before we could enter the room! Z wasn’t impressed with having to say magic words and attempted to open the doors by himself. 

Once inside we were greeted with two lovely decorated tree, santas chair, an electric fire and a table.

There was a place for each child, a cookie and some icing pens. Think Z had fun eating the icing off his cookie! 

When Santa landed the children sang jingle bells and in Santa walked! He was a lovely friendly Santa. He asked the children some questions and they all sat and listened to him read a story. 

The group was then split into two groups where some children met Santa and some wrote their Christmas lists. 

They have two groups suitable for ages 2-8 but can be split 2-5 and 6-8. I’m not sure how much of it Z understood, but the elves were very good with him. They spoke to him and asked him questions, they included him which was nice. They weren’t phased when he attempted to run about and open the fire  (maybe an elf should guard that!). At one point think it may have gotten too much for him, as it’s a small room and there were lots of people. Normally there’s only one parent allowed, I can see the negatives in if it’s a child’s first time meeting Santa then two parents would want to be involved, but for space one parent is enough. He took to hiding under the table and looking at the nice sparkly floor. 

He came around and took his Christmas list to Santa. I really liked the fact that Z was allowed to sit on santa’s knee! Santa spoke to Z think Z may have just babbled away to him but he didn’t run away! 

Santa you may need a little help with reading that!

At this point Z had had enough and was heading to the door. He was very lucky to revive a gift bag off Santa. He done very well and lasted 45 minutes. 

I liked the fact that it’s aimed at small numbers, this is great for Z, he gets to join in what he feels he can do. 

To see Santa at Hamleys it’s £19.99, at first I thought it would be a little expensive, if I had more than one child it would be. I spent around that last year to see Santa and it was a disaster, I really enjoyed meeting Santa this year, a much more positive experience! Z was calm enough not to run away we even managed a few photos. We didn’t feel rushed at all. In Z’s bag, he had a book, a teddy, a chocolate bar and a new decoration for the tree, so I think it would be worth the money. 

Thank you to Hamleys Cardiff for having us.

* we were gifted this visit for review purposes.