BRB – Aladdin

BRB AA

Birmingham Royal Ballet returns to the Lowry’s Lyric theatre this week with their magical, family-friendly production of Aladdin. Taken from the stories of the Arabian Nights, David Bintley’s splendid version of this classic tale, with music by the BAFTA award-winning Carl Davis chose Salford to begin their Autumn/Winter ’17 season.

This enchanting production perfectly balances humour with beautiful chorography, and explores aspects of the tale that audiences may not have been aware of. The story begins with a young, cheeky Aladdin (Mathias Dingman) escaping the clutches of the palace guards with the help of the mysterious Magician, the Mahgrib (Iain Mackay), who subsequently tricks Aladdin into entering the dark cave on his behalf to retrieve the lamp.

BRB AA 2

Each Act has its own crescendo which does not fail to dazzle the audience. The Cave of Riches at the end of Act I, is one of exquisite beauty, in which mischievous Aladdin is surrounded by an array of dancing gems who demonstrate a wide range of styles and techniques much to the delight of the audience. The gems lead Aladdin to the old lamp which places him on a road to riches and leads him to his true love, princess, Badr al-Budur (Momoko Hirata).

The sets and costumes become more vibrant and luxurious as the story unfolds, and as Aladdin himself becomes more accustomed to his life of luxury under the brilliantly blue Djinn of the lamp (played by Tzu-Chao Chou). The performance would not be the same without the dazzling orchestra conducted by Paul Murphy and led by Robert Gibbs, which adds to the atmosphere immensely, allowing the performance to swap and change between suspense and humour seamlessly.

BRB AA1

This production is bound to astonish audiences of all ages, with its delightful and superbly delivered chorography, technicoloured sets, sumptuous costumes and enchanting score. Birmingham Royal Ballet once again prove why they are one of the most loved and celebrated companies around, visually stunning, highly entertaining and not to be missed!

On at The Lowry until Saturday 23rd of Sepember tickets available here http://www.thelowry.com/events/aladdin

Reviewed by Emily Cotter

Lowry Competition!

Comp

We are thrilled to be able to offer a family ticket to see the fabulous Fauna on either Thursday 21st or Fri 22nd September at the Lowry.

Winner of the Total Theatre and Jackson’s Lane Award for Circus at Edinburgh Festival 2017, Fauna is a unique mixture of acrobatics, dance and movement with a brilliant live musical score – a mesmerising evening of extraordinary strength and sublime skill!

To enter all you need to do is follow our page and share this post, good luck!

Further information can be found at http://www.thelowry.com/events/fauna

Cheshire Fest is back!

 

 Cheshire Fest Promo 1 small

Cheshire Fest is back later this month for a weekend filled with music, food and drink, a guaranteed end of summer celebration in the heart of the Cheshire countryside!

The two-day festival returns on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September at its new location, Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle Hulme.

Launched in 2016 the weekend is a celebration of music, food and drink and returns bigger and better than ever for 2017, with a whole host of food and drink offerings alongside a fantastic entertainment programme which includes some of Cheshire’s finest talent.

Organisers have revealed a full programme for the weekend detailing the wide range of activities that revellers can expect from the family friendly festival which boasts free entry for children under the age of 15 with adult tickets starting at £10 (plus booking fee) which includes a free drink.

Cheshire Fest Promo 2 small

The weekend festivities kick off from 11am on both days with a full main stage programme of live entertainment throughout the day.

On Saturday, the #RememberWhen Main Stage plays host to Cheshire’s finest tribute acts including Want You Back (Take That tribute), Dan East is Ed Sheeran, Be-Beyonce, MJ Mimms (Michael Jackson) and Elvis. Joining the line-up are some of Cheshire’s finest local artists Leon Meya and The Sound as well as Britain’s Got Talent finalists’ MD Productions.

Sunday’s musical programme is sure to get the crowds rocking as the #FestivalAnthems Main Stage delivers rock anthems. Line-up includes Antarctic Monkeys, Oashish, The Absolute Stone Roses and Yellow (Coldplay tribute). Local artists Nolan and Leon Meya complete Sunday’s Main Stage Line-up.

Cheshire Fest Promo 3 small

Elsewhere across the festival site attendees can head to the Street Food Village to enjoy an array of gourmet street food and international cuisine. Beer lovers can sample the delights of the Mini Beer Fest with over 30 varieties of beers, cask ales and ciders from across the UK.

In addition to the Mini Beer Fest, festival goers can enjoy a relaxing G&T in the tranquillity of The Gin Garden, grab a cocktail at the Cocktail Bar, enjoy a glass of fizz in the Champagne and Prosecco Bar or savour the taste of summer at the Pimm’s Bus.

 

A silent disco will also be on site where you can dance to hearts content with music as loud as you please with passers by continuing to enjoy the festival. Comic Con and Sci-Fi fans are also being catered for with Star Wars characters parading around the site which is well worth a selfie!

Cheshire Fest Promo 4 - credit Jazamin Sinclair

The Kids Tent will keep the younger festival goers entertained throughout the weekend with a whole host of workshops, games and live entertainment. Stars of the TV show The Voice Kids UK will entertain throughout the day. Frozen meets Beauty & the Beast offers children the chance to meet and greet some of their favourite characters with stage performances throughout the day. There will also be a huge range of giant inflatable castles in Bouncy World, a Family Fun Fair and Little Explorers Activities.

Festival Director Philip Osbourne said, “After launching our first festival in 2016, we’ve taken huge steps to bring on board a cracking team of organisers this year to reinvent the festival. We’re all about big days out with family and friends and we think this new format, location and programme will offer just that! It has been an absolute pleasure to put together the programme for Cheshire Fest, we hope the people of Cheshire enjoy what is sure to be a great weekend.”

Tickets to this unmissable event start at just £10 plus booking fees, which includes a free drink for every ticket buyer! Book now for the perfect end to summer. For tickets head to http://www.cheshirefest.co.uk

 

 

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz Image 3

It may be August (although looking out the window you’d never know) but that hasn’t stopped Regal Entertainment Limited returning to Stockport Plaza with their sparkling summer panto, fan favourite, The Wizard of Oz.

Starring the much loved Cheryl Fergison of Eastenders fame, The Wizard of Oz is a high energy, action packed, family fun show which delivers first class entertainment for all ages. The traditional panto booing and shouts of ‘it’s behind you’ that we all know and love feature, as well as some brilliantly choreographed routines and hilarious performances. There’s just the right amount of cheeky jokes for the Mum’s and Dad’s in the audience as well as lots of giggles for the little ones and plenty of opportunities to sing along to much loved classics and have a boogie to lots of recent favourites too.

The Wizard of Oz Image 1

Cheryl Fergison leads a fine cast firstly as Miss Windy Bottom (much to the hilarity of the audience) and secondly as Eva the Witch. She portrays the perfect baddie, bad tempered, witty and of course totally wicked! Fergison is joined by a very strong cast who each deliver great performances. The casting particularly of Scarecrow (David Heath), Tin Man (Philip Shaun McGuinness) and Lion (Si Foster) is perfect, each give keenly observed performances and are immediately likeable, engaging with their audience and making great fun companions to Dorothy (Maddie Hope Coelho). Coelho delivers a fine performance as Dorothy, firmly doing justice to Somewhere Over The Rainbow with her incredibly beautiful voice she is most certainly a worthy wearer of the ruby slippers.

The Wizard of Oz Image 4

As our cast follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City they’re guided along the way by the glamorous Glinda (Olivia Sloyan) who speaks in rhyme and isn’t afraid to get messy with the rest of this wonderfully talented cast.

This great production will have you wishing it was panto season all year round, laugh out loud funny, highly entertaining and most of all jolly good fun!

On at the Stockport Plaza until Saturday 12th August

 

Family Fun this Summer at The Lowry

Room on the Broom

credit: KW & NB Ltd

Throughout August The Lowry are running a ‘Non-stop Summer of activities’ and Opening Night thought we would head along with our mini-reviewer Daisy to spend the day experiencing all they had to offer.

First stop for us was Room on the Broom, a wonderful family show from Tall Stories theatre company. It is a musical adaptation of the worldwide bestselling children’s novel by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and its arrival at The Lowry follows on from the company’s successful run with their version of The Gruffalo last year.

Fans of the book will be familiar with the tale being told in rhyme and it works perfectly here, with a number of original songs added for extra entertainment. With the duration being just over an hour it also suits the age it caters for (which is 3 years up) keeping them enthralled from start to finish.

For those uninitiated with the tale it follows a jolly witch and her cat on their ‘broom’ adventures. Directed by Olivia Jacobs and designed by Morgan Large every box is ticked in bringing this novel from the page to the stage.

The Witch, played brilliantly by Amy Harris, and her cute cat (Emma Crowley Bennett) are travelling on their broomstick when they pick up some friends along the way – an excitable dog, a green bird and a crazy singing frog. But the broomstick is not meant for five, let alone one, and it snaps in two with hilarious consequences just as a fire breathing dragon appears!

David Garrud and David Bloom add the main comedy and energy to the show, as the extra puppet characters who sing and bound around the set at every opportunity, much to the hilarity of the young audience.

IMG_4460

‘Mini-reviewer’ Daisy has her pen and paper at the ready for Room on the Broom!

Mini-reviewer Daisy (7) was enthralled from start to finish and she loved singing and clapping along to the audience participation songs. The whole show is good family fun full of laughs and surprises as the energetic cast of four produce larger than life characters and perform with all the puppet characters seamlessly.

Following on from Room on a Broom we checked out the dining experience in The Lowry’s ultra-modern restaurant, Pier 8. Throughout the summer children eat free with a paying adult as long as there is a children’s show on at the theatre at the time. It’s the perfect place for a pre or post show meal and the staff were lovely, in particular Rob our waiter.

We ordered the 6oz burger with the added extra of garstang blue cheese and Daisy opted for fish and chips with an ice cream sundae to follow and us, a dreamy rhubarb creme brûlée. It was a great meal and ticked the boxes for choice for adults and children in the perfect setting.

IMG_4463

One very excited child at her free kids meal in Pier 8

If you want to make a full day of it, the fun doesn’t stop there, The Lowry has lots of activities running throughout August for families, from storytelling to drawing and dressing up. We walked off our lunch by visiting the art gallery upstairs and seeing some of the LS Lowry paintings along with getting involved with some of the free creative workshops on offer.

If you are looking for somewhere where the whole family can enjoy a day out then you can’t go wrong this summer with paying a visit to The Lowry.

www.thelowry.com

Room on the Broom runs until 27th August at The Lowry

 

The Railway Children

Rail 2

Exeter Northcott Theatre’s charming production of E. Nesbit’s much loved classic The Railway Children arrives at the Lowry Theatre this week.

Directed by Paul Jepson, the play brings together a well-adapted screenplay, outstanding acting and technical wizardry to create a highly atmospheric and snappily-paced adaptation of the children’s novel.

The production is mostly true to the original story of a mother and three children forced to abandon their comfortable London home for a small cottage in the country following the wrongful conviction of their father. The twists and turns in the plot are cleverly adapted from the original to suit the stage with Perks (the excellent Stewart Wright) as the omnipotent observer who fills in the gaps of the lengthy novel without ever losing an opportunity to show off his excellent comic timing.

Rail 4

The quality of the directing is clear in the naturalness of the dialogue, particularly between the three children Phyllis (Katherine Carlton), Roberta (an outstanding Millie Turner) and Peter (Vinay Lad). Callum Goulden as young John Perks is an excellent comic foil to his more earnest peers; it was a shame not to see a bit more of a highly amiable Andrea Davy as Mrs. Perks. Joy Brook as Mother gives an emotional performance, and the excellent portrayal of family drama is lightened and enlivened by the visits of an increasingly frayed Andrew Josh as the family doctor.

Rail 3

The stage is often transformed into a sepia-toned 19th century by the beautiful semi-transparent backdrops and there are also very effective video projections which give the big moments a cinematic immediacy. There was some evidence of first-night nerves (a banner went up at the wrong time, and the show started somewhat late) but these could not distract a rapt audience. This excellent production runs until Sunday, July 30th and is not to be missed.

Tickets can be found at http://www.thelowry.com/events/the-railway-children

 

Reviewed by Deirdre Warr

Brazilica Carnival hits Liverpool!

Brazilica Parade Crowd Scene - smallA carnival atmosphere will take over the streets of Liverpool this weekend as Brazilica prepares to bring Rio-style colour and music to the city centre!

The 10th annual Brazilica – the UK’s biggest Brazilian Samba Carnival – is a fabulous three-day festival of all things Latino, promising pulsating samba rhythms, fantastic food, entertaining and thought-provoking film, and not forgetting of course dazzling carnival costumes!

One of the absolute highlights of the entire festival is the Carnival Parade, which takes place this Saturday 15 July. Thousands are expected to line the streets to watch the parade as it makes its way from Abercromby Square to Williamson Square, filling the air with colour, music and fun as it passes by in a blaze of feathers, sequins and energetic samba bands.

Starting from Abercromby Square at 8pm, the parade will turn on to Oxford Street and then left on to Hope Street. It will then turn right by the Philharmonic pub and will then follow Hardman Street downhill before moving onto Bold Street. The Parade will then continue into Church Street, before finishing in Williamson Square – a new location for 2017.

The entire Parade will be led by the newly-crowned Carnival Queen, who will be chosen during a hotly-fought competition evening at PANAM on the Albert Dock the night before.

Bascillica route

Details of the parade have been released and will include music and dance from more than a dozen amazing Samba bands including Grupo Sambafriq, Katumba, Paraiso School of Samba, G.R.E.S. Cidade Brilhaute, Manchester School of Samba, Liverpool Samba School, Baque Ogun, Oxiris Wirral School of Samba, Som de Meio, Arco Iris, Karamba Samba, Batala Mersey and Worldwide Samba Drummers & Preston Samba Dancers, ensuring the parade will capture true Brazilian flare, colour and carnival spirit! Meanwhile the samba party will continue until the early hours with the official Brazilica After Party taking place at Camp and Furnace on Saturday 15 July from 10pm – 4am, featuring carnival DJs and live music. Entry £5.

Maeve Morris, festival director, said: “This is the 10th anniversary of Brazilica and we can promise Liverpool a fantastic carnival atmosphere all weekend, with a non-stop party on the main stage at our new location at the Pier Head Village down on the marvellous Mersey waterfront.

“The Carnival Parade on Saturday evening is always a real highlight of Brazilica, and I promise this year will be no exception with a host of brilliant samba and carnival bands and some truly fantastic costumes on display making it a must-see event.”

For details of the full Brazilica 2017 programme be sure to check out the Brochure: http://bit.ly/2tuw3LF

Keep up to date with all Brazilica Festival activity at:

http://www.brazilicafestival.com

http://www.facebook.com/brazilicafestival

Twitter – @BrazilicaFest