The Animals and Children took to the Streets

The Animals And Children Took to the Streets, presented by 1927 pic 2

Reviewed by Matt Forrest

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For nearly 15 years the 1927 theatre company have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to theatre. They have gained quite the reputation for their bold, innovative productions which has seen them marry live performance and music with animation and illustration to create a theatrical experience like no other.

For their latest offering The Animals and Children took to the Streets, writer and director Suzanne Andrade again uses all these tools to create a satirical, jaw-dropping production that will leave you both mesmerised and enormously entertained.

The Animals And Children Took to the Streets, presented by 1927 pic 3

Andrade transports us to the dark, dank Red Herring Street, on which stands the Bayou Mansions. This is a tower block located on the wrong side of town, housing the worst of society, from social misfits to murderers and sexual deviants; they all have a place here. The authorities and the rich have chosen to ignore their plight, deciding to let them implode. However, when a gang of feral children from the Mansions go on a destructive rampage that includes kidnapping the mayor’s beloved cat and running amok on a park for the middle-class, their mini-revolution does not go unnoticed. In retaliation, the Mayor takes drastic action.

The children’s only hope of escape comes in the form of the Bayou Mansion’s caretaker; a man who is desperate to woo Agnes Eaves, a middle-class do-gooder, who believes dried pasta collages and art classes are what the kids need. Agnes’s daughter, Evie has been caught up in a police round-up and only the caretaker knows what’s happened to them.

The Animals And Children Took to the Streets, presented by 1927 pic 1

This is 70 minutes of pure joy, innovative, smart and darkly comic, this production is pitch perfect. Paul Barritt’s animation lies somewhere between a LS Lowry painting with some Terry Gillian sketches thrown in. Add into the mix the clear influence of 1920’s silent cinema, specifically the films of Fritz Lang and Georges Méliès and you have a visual feast that will leave you howling with laughter, whilst having a good old scratch as we see the rats, lizards and cockroaches that infest the Bayou scurry across the screens.

Andrade’s script is razor-sharp, witty and brutal, it clearly has a take on social inequality and the continual struggle of the working class who are denied the opportunities afforded to the privileged. The script is supported by three super talented performers in Felicity Sparks, Genevieve Dunne and Rowena Lennon – whose facial expressions alone are worth the price of admission. Their performances in conjunction with Barritt’s animation beautifully tell this story and breathe life into a highly original and rewarding piece of theatre.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets is at Home till 16th February, tickets available here.

 

 

Trial By Laughter

trial by laughter 4

Reviewed by Matt Forrest

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The name William Hone won’t mean that much to most people, which is crying shame. For back in the early 1817 this was a man who campaigned tirelessly for civil liberties, sought reform in the many lunatic asylums, and highlighted the miscarriages of justice that blighted the judicial system. In addition Hone was an investigative journalist, satirical commentator and publisher who along with his friend, George Cruikshank a political cartoonist lampooned the ruling class of the day: that being the Regency government.  So angered by Hone’s work the Prince Regent sought to have him prosecuted by any means possible.

So when it came to the story of William Hone, who better to tell it than Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Both are champions of a free press, both have great form in sending up and holding to account politicians and world leaders through the magazine Private Eye. Newman is the cartoonist for the magazine and Hislop is the editor.  In addition Hislop is no stranger to a libel case having faced several down the years.  The two writers have reunited with director Caroline Leslie, with whom they worked with on their debut play The Wipers Times, to bring this intriguing story to the stage with their new production: Trial by Laughter.

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The play opens with the Prince Regent and his (alleged) mistresses angered by their depiction at the hands of Hone and Cruikshank, so enraged is he that he orders his government flunkies to prosecute Hone. Hone is charged with blasphemy and arrested, falsely imprisoned and denied legal assistance. With only the support of Cruikshank, and his wife, Sarah, Hone mounts a defence and against all odds wins the trail. This really is the beginning of Hone’s troubles as he faces three criminal trials in as many days, which could see him imprisoned or deported to Australia. With the Regency’s relentless pursuit and Hone’s health deteriorating is this really a battle he can truly win?

There is a lot to admire about this production: Joseph Prowen is on great form as William Hone, playing him with a twinkle-in-the-eye and a great deal of righteous optimism that is gradually beaten out of him as the trials progress. Dan Mersh (playing numerous roles) is equally fine as Hone’s tormentor; Justice Ellenborough who plagues his foe at every turn and cannot hide is distain or prejudices for Foe. Peter Losasso plays Cruikshank, with a cheeky swagger clearly relishing his pun filled part. Whilst Eva Scott is also strong as Hone’s long suffering wife, who in spite of all their trials and tribulations she never loses faith in her husband.

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Despite the subject matter being over 200 years old it relevance today cannot be understated as the play tackles such issues as freedom of speech and freedom of the press and measures how far governments and people of power will go to too stifle this, you only need to look at the recent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to see its relevance. It also tackles the weighty issue of what is fair game for a joke: politicians, religion, the ruling class, and when does a joke go too far and become offensive. These are clearly subject matters that Hislop and Newman feel passionately about and it shines through in their writing.

The production does have a few issues: there are some great gags in here which poke fun at modern day celebrity culture, even Prince Charles is on the receiving end of a roasting. Whilst the jokes come thick and fast, and are exceptionally crafted there is nothing here that will have you rolling in the isles, more a wry smile then a big belly laugh. Despite this being a trail there is little jeopardy for Hone and thus at times the more dramatic elements of the paly can feel a little flat.

Overall this a fascinating, entertaining tale that needs to be told and deserves its platform, it’s worth a watch but you can’t help feel there is something missing.

Trail by Laughter is on the Lowry until 2nd February, tickets available here.

 

Interview | Ian Hislop & Nick Newman | Trial By Laughter

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After the enormous success of The Wipers Times in both the West End and on it’s UK tour, celebrated writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have once again joined forces for their new piece of work Trial By Laughter.

This new production based on their critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 drama of the same name introduces us to William Hone a forgotten hero of free speech and asks if just over two hundred years later our press has any greater freedom. 1817 Hone then a bookseller, publisher and satirist stood trial for parodying religion, the despotic government and the lustful monarchy. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. The show which has been described by critics as ‘a sparky historical comedy’ heads to The Lowry next week. We caught up with writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman to hear a little more about the show.

How would you sum up the premise of Trial By Laughter?

Nick: It’s a story about press freedom and free speech and a battle for freedom and free speech. It’s the story of a trial in 1817 – the trial of a man called William Hone, who was a sort of shy bookseller and publisher of cartoons and satirical pamphlets. He was taken to court by the Regency government to try and stifle jokes about the monarchy. That’s essentially what it’s about.

Ian: It’s exactly that. It’s a courtroom thriller but it’s a historical courtroom thriller with jokes, which means it’s three different genres in one for just one ticket price.

Nick: I think we’d describe it as The Madness Of King George meets A Few Good Men…

Ian: Meets Crown Court.

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What was the original inspiration for the radio play?

Nick: We’d just finished doing The Wipers Times for BBC 2, when we did the film of it, and the head of BBC2 Janice Hadlow sent us an email asking if we’d heard of William Hone. Janice is an expert on Regency history and has written books about it. We both said ‘Who?’ which is often a very good starting point for a story because we think ‘Well, if we don’t know anything about it let’s find out’. We started doing research and suddenly out came this amazing story about this amazing man – a complete nobody really but who took on the might of the government in a landmark case.

Ian: It’s incredible. He had his moment when history beckoned and then fell into obscurity, to our shame really. I’m the editor of Private Eye and Nick’s a cartoonist yet we didn’t know about him, but again that makes for a much better story because you’re telling people something new.

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From researching the tale what were you most surprised or interested to learn about Hone?

Ian: Without giving spoilers, it’s incredible that they tried him three times in three days. At the end of each day when the jury found him innocent they just tried him again the next morning until there were 20,000 people outside the Guildhall and they thought ‘We’re going to have a riot now’. This was only a couple of decades after the French Revolution…

Nick: And a year before the Peterloo Massacre so tensions were incredibly high. The Crown was very worried about the possibility of revolution and there were failed harvests and a lot of famine, squalor and whatnot. Meanwhile the Prince Regent was being portrayed in cartoons and in pamphlets as this libertine voluptuary who was scoffing vast quantities of food while people were hanging outside the windows. The other thing we discovered about Hone as we did more research is what a remarkable man he was because he wasn’t just a satirist, which was our first interest and his friendship with the cartoonist Cruikshank interested me as a cartoonist myself. Their working relationship was also a natural thing for us to explore and Hone was also probably our first investigative journalist. He was a witness to the execution of a young serving girl, a maid called Eliza Fenning, and he was absolutely appalled by it. He did a lot of research into her case and basically proved that it was a miscarriage of justice. We also learned he was an amazing philanthropist and he took a terrific interest in the lunatic asylums and campaigned for better conditions. There was the reform of juries, which he campaigned for and won. He never stopped working.

Ian: And he believed in universal suffrage, which at the time was a good 100 years away. If you look at his range of interests, they are pretty extraordinary.

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What changes have you made in preparing the play for the stage?

Ian: It’s completely different. The thing about radio is that it has to be very words-driven, which is fine because there are lots of bits about speeches and whatever, but to get it to the stage we have to make it more dramatic. There’s a lot more about the role of his wife and we’ve set more of it in pubs.

Nick: It’s a matter of fact that Hone and Cruikshank devised their strategy for the case in all the pubs and coffee houses of London so it’s a very rich milieu in which they were working. Hone was admired at the time by his literary colleagues, even though he was always bankrupt and had schemes which lost him money, and one of his admirers was William Hazlitt, who was one of the most caustic critics of the era. The only person Hazlitt seemed to like was William Hone so we’ve put Hazlitt in the story as well, which is great for the colour.

What do you feel makes Hone’s story a great subject for a play?

Ian: Hone’s tactic in the trial was to appeal to the jury so his whole way of winning was to make it accessible to an ordinary… I’d hate to say viewer but that’s sort of how he approached it. Courtrooms are great theatre on the whole and Hone and Cruikshank, in devising the strategy as it were, realised that playing to the gallery is not a bad thing in a big trial – it’s what you need to do because you need to get them on your side. That’s exactly what happens in the theatre.

Nick: What was slightly unusual about their tactics is that they set out to make the jury laugh. The basic of their entire case was that Hone spoke for six-to-eight hours every day of the trials just producing more and more examples of stuff he thought would make people laugh – and they did. There are some transcripts, which admittedly were edited or written by Hone so he did beef up his own amusingness quite a lot.

Ian: A bit like Oscar Wilde writing the account of his own trial and Hone’s account is fantastic. He’s brilliant in it, unsurprisingly because he edited it.

Nick: History written by the victors…

Ian: Yes and it’s bloody funny.

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How you feel the subject matter resonates for contemporary audiences?

Ian: I think it’s a reminder that this battle has to be won in every generation. We are incredibly privileged to be the beneficiaries of all those battles that were won in Britain in the 19th century but they can be lost again. History doesn’t only go one way.

Nick: And the arguments that are buzzing around now are very similar. Hone was targeted because he wrote parodies of religious text, principally The Lord’s Prayer and the Litany and The Ten Commandments, and they were the sort of stuff we’d put in Private Eye now for a bit of fun. Only the other week you had Rowan Atkinson talking about ‘Should we be allowed to make jokes about religion?’ Hone believed you should if the context is political or whatever and that’s what free speech is. On a global scale there are cartoonists in Turkey and Malaysia who are still being persecuted and there’s this amazing Malaysian cartoonist called Zunar who until recently faced 45 years in jail for seditious libel, which is basically the same charge that was levied against Hone, for making jokes about the Prime Minister and his wife. Zunar, like Hone, could have done a runner. I met him when he was over in England but he was going back to face trial because he felt this was an important case, like Hone did, that establishes what we can and can’t say about our rulers.

You’ve worked with director Caroline Leslie a few times now. What do you enjoy about the collaboration?

Ian: [Laughs] She’s very annoying because she demands you put in new scenes and change things around to try and make it better.

Nick: What’s that joke? ‘How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?’

Ian: ‘None – don’t change anything!’

Nick: That’s very much our view but Caroline forces her to make changes. We first started working with her on our first play we did, A Bunch Of Amateurs, and she was absolutely brilliant and brought all kinds of things to the script which we didn’t know were there, including a lot of music. Then she directed The Wipers Times and that’s a play that’s full of music and movement and we wrote it accordingly because we thought ‘Caroline’s very good at this so let’s make sure she has a lot of stuff to work with’.

Ian: It’s very good having a woman director, particularly in situations that are quite blokey by definition like the Army and English court in the 1800s. She makes sure that it expands beyond that and that the emotional elements are not ignored.

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This is your third play to be developed by the Watermill Theatre. What do you see as its importance to the UK theatre scene?

Ian: It’s a very exciting place to work.

Nick: It’s a remarkable theatre. Apart from being a jewel in terms of its setting and the closeness to the stage you have as an audience, the standard of productions has been incredible. I first came across it when they did a production of Sweeney Todd in 2004 which transferred to the West End. They’re just brilliant at doing things, particularly with music. When we were invited to do A Bunch Of Amateurs there we knew nothing about the Watermill but we enjoyed the experience so much that if we were able to we’d always go there because the audiences are lovely and it’s a great place to do a play.

You’ve been writing together for a long time. How would you describe your collaborative process?

Ian: We write together, literally. We don’t send each other drafts and we physically work together in the same room. I suppose we try and make each other laugh; that’s the first thing. But we’ve known each other long enough to be able to say ‘That isn’t very good’ or ‘That’s a terrible suggestion’ and then just get on with it. There’s a sort of joint self-editing.

Nick: There’s always a lot of energy when it’s the two of us doing something, particularly because Ian’s time is so precious because he’s everywhere. When we get together we have to get on and do some writing. We tend to work quite fast. We both do stuff independently but to edit each other as we go is a sort of bonus. I’ve got lots of writer friends who write on their own, which I think is a very ghastly prospect. They have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite; if you look at the greats like Alan Bennett, his diaries are full of the pain of rewriting. We have to rewrite as well but it’s a bit less than if we working on our own.

Ian: Because Nick’s a cartoonist he’s always had a strong visual sense whereas I tend to be a bit more word-bound. So there’s always a point where Nick’s thinking ‘What would look great is this…’ which I usually haven’t thought of. I’m thinking ‘This bit I’ve just written would be really clever’ when actually if might be terribly boring and getting something across visually is what it’s all about. That’s another reason we really enjoy collaborating.

How hands-on are you with your touring productions?

Nick: They take on a life of their own really. If we go do a Q&A we see the show and occasionally have some notes, which we pass on to our producer or to Caroline. But really by opening night it’s all pretty much there.

Ian: [Laughs] Our notes are always ‘Could the actors not ad-lib please? Can they only say exactly what we’ve written?’.

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You are doing post-show Q&As again for Trial By Laughter. What do like about the process?

Nick: The ones we have done for The Wipers Times are always very instructive because we meet people who’ve got their own stories to tell. We did a Q&A down in Chichester last year and a lady in the front row said ‘I have a little knowledge of this subject because my grandfather was Fred Roberts [who edited the paper]’ so we said ‘Please come up on stage’ and we just sat there asking her questions about him. It’s a great way of interacting with your audience. In Salisbury we were talking about trying to make The First World War accessible to younger audiences through a humorous story and a young girl at the back who was around 13 went ‘Well, it works!’ With the Q&As you get a bit of a discussion going and a bit of a debate.

Ian: There was a great moment just before one of the Q&As where someone said ‘There’s an Army chap in the audience who said he thought you’d got it pretty much right’ and when we asked who he was they said he was Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Nato Forces.

What you hope to get out of the Trial By Laughter Q&As?

Ian: We want to know what they think really, what bits they’re interested in and whether they think we should still be worried about this sort of thing. Hopefully they’ll think we very much should be.

Nick: We’ve become very energised by this subject matter and we’ve found it fascinating. All we’re really trying to do is try and get other people as interested in it as we are. We happen to think Hone is one of the most brilliant men in history and we hope other people share our opinion.

Trial By Laughter will be at The Lowry from Tuesday 29 January until Saturday 2 February 2019 tickets can be booked here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Evening of Eric and Ern

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Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reviewed by Matthew Forrest

There are so many iconic images associated with Christmas: a piping hot turkey with all the trimmings, presents under the tree, pictures of drunken revellers plastered across the national press, and of course Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise dancing a merry jig. The Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials have been engraved into the festive TV listing since 1969 the reason simply being that they’re just bloody funny!

Well if you need your Eric and Ernie fix this Christmas you can go one better and see the pair in the flesh as An Evening of Eric & Ern comes to the Lowry for the festive season. Staring the Olivier nominated Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel as the comedy duo, they treat us to an evening of cabaret and familiar sketches which include, Eric’s Mr Memory, the pairs take on ventriloquism and the iconic Greig’s Piano concerto sketch.

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Adding a touch of glamour, as well as acting as a comedic foil to the pair is super talented singer Becky Neale who pops up throughout the evening, at one point belting out a fantastic version of the Mariah Carey hit All I Want for Christmas is You.

Despite an initial slow start, this is a hugely fun, trip down memory lane. All the classic gags are there, including those infamous well aimed barbs at Des O Connor. Stand out sketches include are of course the ventriloquist dummy which is brilliant in its simplicity and a beautiful rendition of the Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns by Neale which Eric and Ernie do there best to ruin.

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The main strength of the show comes in the performances of Stephens and Ashpitel. The physical resemblance is clearly noticeable from the outset, but it’s more about how the mannerisms and facial tics are matched to perfection. You can see the two actors have analysed their heroes to give a genuine, authentic performance which sucks you in. Add to that the undoubted chemistry between the two as well as some exceptional choreography from Nicola Keen and you have all the parts for a heart-warming night of comedy and nostalgia.

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The show inevitably closes with a rendition of Bring Me Sunshine, from all three performers as well as the audience; and like a nice mug of hot mulled wine, it sends you out into the cold winter’s night with a nice warm glow, a spring in your step, and the perfect way to start the Christmas celebrations.

An Evening with Eric and Ern is at the Lowry till 6th January. Tickets available here.

Peter Pan

Reviewed by Kate Goerner

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Following on from last Christmas’s terrific Snow White, Regal Entertainments 2018 festive pantomime is a high-flying production of the classic children’s tale Peter Pan, directed by Chantelle Nolan.

From the colourful costumes and sets to special effects including a lovely flying sequence complete with impressive projections and a scream-inducing underwater 3D section (word of warning, younger children may find the shark a bit too scary!), it felt like this was St Helen’s most lavish panto to date.

The theatre’s resident comic Lewis Devine takes on the role of Peter Pan, a slight departure from his usual comedy sidekick role, although he does bring in plenty of comic touches regular audiences will recognise.

Clearly relishing the chance to play the leading man, a relaxed Devine enjoys easy rapport with the cast and audience alike. And as always he is great with the kids who come up on stage at the end of the show.
One thing Peter Pan does have is a brilliant baddie in the nefarious Captain James Hook – here played by Brookside favourite and theatre regular Louis Emerick.
Emerick is probably too likeable and charming to ever be a really bad baddie – but that’s ok. The audience loved his easy manner on stage and his Scouse gags got plenty of laughs.
He shows great chemistry with the Theatre Royal’s popular resident dame Si Foster who plays a warm and witty Mrs Smee (as well as writing the show).
It’s a delight watching them together on stage and if you thought you saw the year’s best version of ABBA’s Fernando in Mamma Mia 2 – think again!
In fact all the songs hit the mark, with musicals fans in particular sure to be delighted with some lovely company numbers inoRevolting Children from Matilda, and Wicked’s Dancing Through Life. And the reworking of Nativity’s Nazareth into Neverland to open the show was inspired!
2018’s cult hit Baby Shark is included and the only disappointment on the music front was the absence of a number from The Greatest Showman, which seems to a staple of many pantos this year.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff has lots of fun as a stubborn and sulky Tinkerbell – and it was a treat getting to see her show off some ballroom moves – while Georgina Parkinson (Wendy) and Abigail Middleton (Tiger Lily) made the most of their supporting roles and both showed off fine voices. A large juvenile cast ably supported the principles, as did the ensemble.
The only real criticism is possibly one of Peter Pan as a panto as a whole, rather than particularly in relation to this production. With no real love story, or an out and out comic ‘Buttons-esque’ character, the show did lack romance, and laughs – while plenty (the running Peter’s Camp gag was a real winner!) – were not as constant compared to previous pantos here, particularly the sort of slapstick humour that has kids in hysterics!
But that aside, this is a highly-enjoyable, warm, family friendly version of a much-loved story brought to life by a cast clearly enjoying every minute.And as usual, tickets are commendably good value and affordable for families – starting at just £11.
Until Sunday 13th January 2019 tickets available here.

Benidorm Live

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reviewed by Matthew Forrest

The last time I was in Benidorm I was chatted up by a septuagenarian and managed to throw up all over myself: not the best holiday experience I’ve ever had, that was some 17 years ago, and I vowed never return. Last night I broke that promise to myself (of sorts) and I’m rather glad I did because Benidorm Live arrived in Manchester for a week-long run and it’s a fantastic, fun night out.

After 10 series and cultivating a huge fanbase show creator Derren Litten decided to turn the much-loved sitcom into a live show. Featuring fan favourites, Hotel Manager, Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson), oily barman Mateo (Jake Canuso), fiery rep Sam (Shelley Longworth), loveable swinger Jacqueline (Janine Dutvitski), and, ‘Blow and Go’ stylists and best friends Liam (Adam Gillen) and Kenneth (Tony Maudsley).

The show carries on where the TV series left off with The Solana Hotel facing a takeover: which could see many of the employees facing the sack. The arrival of stuck-up couple Sophie (Tricia Adele-Turner) and Ben (Bradley Clarkson) leads Hotel Manager Joyce to believe that they are undercover spies sent by the potential new owners. She orders the staff to give them the five-star treatment which of course doesn’t go quite as planned.

The live show is like an extension of the TV series with a bit more razzmatazz: packed with innuendo, stinging one-liners, and a fair few lewd jokes, swinger Jacqueline getting all the best lines: Janine Dutvitski is clearly having a ball and pretty much steals every scene she’s involved in.

There are a few song and dance numbers which look like they’ve come straight out of a jukebox musical, that is of course if said musical had been hammering the Blue WKD’s!

Series regular Asa Elliot demonstrates what a gifted singer he is throughout; whilst Jake Canuso get to show off his dancing skills and what a snaked -hipped performer he is: his entrance to the show is quite the snake-hipped spectacle indeed.

Following the interval, the show moves to the Neptune Bar, (which features heavily in the TV series) for a cabaret evening, providing a great opportunity for all the feature characters to get their moment in the spotlight: the highlights being a sensational singing performance from Shelley Longworth and a performance of comedy gold from Adam Gillen.

All plot strands are tied up neatly here with the entire cast uniting for a fantastic version of Y Viva Espana which is the perfect climax to the evening: camp, brash, loud and lewd just like a trip to Benidorm really. This an entertaining, fun evening out and the perfect way to fend of the winter blues!

Benidorm Live is at the Place Theatre until 1st December. Tickets available here.

Cinderella | Oldham Coliseum

Darren Robinson Photography

Mini Reviewer Daisy, aged 8

This classic fairy tale, based on a girl and her two stepsisters plus their stepmother, has been chosen as the Oldham Coliseum’s Christmas pantomime.

Cinderella is played by Shorelle Hepkin, who shows off her great personality, and of course, there is Buttons, played by Richard J Fletcher who is her mate and has some extra funny scenes.

The costumes are amazing and wow the audience, putting the ‘ooh’ into ‘Shock’.

Darren Robinson Photography

Sue Devaney is fantastic as the wicked Stepmother and shows off some brilliant vocals.

As for the two stepsisters, who are played by Fine Time Fontayne and Simeon Truby, they are hilarious-especially when they come out dressed in emoji costumes with big haired wigs!

There’s a great glittery set, which shines throughout all the scenes and there’s some classic hits I enjoyed singing along too, from ABBA, to Baby Shark to This is Me from The Greatest Showman.

I loved it!

Daisy’s verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Darren Robinson Photography

Mum of Daisy, aged 30 plus 10

The Oldham Coliseum definitely knows how to put on a panto and this years’ offering, Cinderella, is no exception. From start to finish there’s something for kids, parents and grandparents and all come out beaming from ear to ear by the end.

If you want tradition you can’t go wrong here as it’s got everything; not one but two great dames as the ugly sisters (aptly named as Pumpy and Trumpy Squeezepocket played by Fine Time Fontayne and Simeon Truby); the super fabulous Sue Devaney who steals the show as Cinders Stepmother and of course there’s Buttons, the comedy sidekick (Richard J Fletcher).

Darren Robinson Photography

You’ve also got all the classic panto lines to keep the audience involved such as ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh no she isn’t’ plus there’s a mix of current pop tracks that keeps it ‘down with the kids’.

My four year old and eight year old were in stitches when the step sisters ‘flossed’ and joined in with glee when Baby Shark was being sung.

A fantastic festive night out!

Mummy’s verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cinberella is on at the Oldham Coliseum until 12th January tickets available here