The Snowman

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Opening Night Verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Based on the classic book by Raymond Briggs and the much loved film directed by Dianne Jackson, Birmingham Repetory Theatre’s The Snowman flies into Manchester’s Opera House this week.

This enchanting show, now in almost its 25th year remains true to the original story with a few added surprises and unexpected treats along the way. One Christmas Eve we see a little boy lovingly build a huge snowman, hours later, far too excited to sleep he creeps downstairs to find that his snowman has magically come to life and is about to take him on an exciting adventure he will never forget.

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This classic production features a sparkling array of enchanting characters including the villainous Jack Frost, a beautiful snow princess, super cute sleigh pulling deer and even a limboing banana! Ruari Murchison’s set is fabulously festive as wintry projections give a sense of everything taking place from within a giant snowglobe. There is no speech in this dance and musical piece nor is it needed, the storytelling delivered by the cast of colourful characters is wonderfully clear and enchants the very youngest to the very oldest in the audience.

Composer Howard Blake’s score further adds to the descriptive nature of the production, from loud stomping footsteps through the snow, the ticking of a clock to the delicate drop of snowflakes his score is sweeping and magical. Robert North’s choreography suits each individual character perfectly, from prancing penguins to jolly Father Christmas who wiggles his bum before dancing a jig. And of course the classic, “We’re Walking In The Air” is featured to great effect, astonishing the children in the audience entirely, we won’t spoil the surprise though, you’ll have to see the show!

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A perfect introduction to theatre for young children with its clear and vibrant storytelling, The Snowman is an entirely enchanting production offering a taster of ballet in an informal and accessible way. Genuine humour and strong characterisation in this charming tale ensures The Snowman will continue to be a family favourite for many years to come.

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-snowman/opera-house-manchester/

Competition – Teletubbies


The Teletubbies are coming to Manchester this month with the premiere of their first EVER stage tour with the show, Big Hugs!
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po will be taking to the stage at the Palace Theatre, Manchester from Friday 17th until Sunday 19th November in a show filled with love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbies Land.

We have 1 x family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to give away for the 4pm performance on Friday 17th November. To be in with a chance to win simply like our Facebook page, leave your name in the comments box and share this post!

The winner will be announced at 7pm on Sunday 12th November!

Tickets and further information for this fabulous family adventure can be found at www.atgtickets.com/shows/teletubbies-big-hugs/palace-theatre-manchester/

Slava’s Snow Show

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Created by Slava Polunin back in 1993, Slava’s Snow Show has been seen across the world from Argentina to Australia winning multiple awards along the way.

This brilliantly bonkers show feels spontaneous and free with clever improvisation from Slava’s troop of clowns; adults and children alike are captivated by this enthralling and imaginative piece.

Lead clown Assissiai guides us through the evening via a series of scenes which surprise and engage the senses, moving from gentle, precise mimes to loud blaring snowstorms in an instant this multi-sensory piece keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

There is a rich mix of sketches which don’t shy away from the darker emotions of life but offer reflective moments as we observe Assissiai and his bemusement at the world, he is pensive and poetic, juxtaposed to this are the green clowns who accompany him throughout the piece, loud, silly and hilariously mischievous.

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The beauty of this show is the variety and joy it brings; from quiet pensive moments to the jubilant festival atmosphere at the finale this show is inclusive and wonderfully interactive. Nobody in the stalls escapes the giant cobweb which is pulled across the entire audience, tangling them up creating a giddy delight, nor do many escape a soaking from the clowns who clamber across the audience, their broken umbrellas spouting sprays of water onto the squealing spectators beneath them.

You can’t helped but be whisked up in this magical spectacle as the audience is encouraged to be free and act very differently than they usually would at the theatre. Joy spreads through the audience as the finale builds, the energy of the performers is infectious.

Slava’s aim was to ‘…help the spectators be released from the jail of adulthood…to create a show that would take us back to our childhood dreams’ as adults and children joyfully play together in the snow, shrieking with delight as giant bouncing balls approach it is abundantly clear he has more than achieved his aim. Fantastic family fun!

★★★★

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On at the Lowry until Sunday 29th October tickets available here www.thelowry.com/events/slavas-snow-show

 

Family Panto Offer!

Sleeping Beauty

GET £10 OFF A FAMILY TICKET*

Using the code CARABOSSE

This half-term Regal Entertainments present the most spellbinding panto of them all, the enchanting Sleeping Beauty.

Featuring a star-studded cast including TV and West End Star Claire Sweeney as the evil fairy Carabosse, Shameless’s Warren Donnelly as The King, the hilarious Tam Ryan as Chester the Jester, the incredibly talented Laura Gregory as Princess Aurora and St Helens’ resident Dame, Si Foster as Dame Queenie.

Sleeping Beauty tells the enchanting tale of Princess Aurora, who is cursed by the evil fairy Carabosse after failing to receive an invite to the Royal Christening. Aurora is tricked into piercing her finger on a spinning wheel on her 16th birthday by the evil fairy, and is destined to eternal slumber unless a handsome prince can break the curse with true loves kiss.

SLEEPING BEAUTY
ST HELENS THEATRE ROYAL
Date: Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Time: 1pm & 5pm
Tickets: Family Tickets £31 & £45 with this offer

* Offer is valid for online, telephone and in person bookings. Offer DOES NOT apply to Sat and Sun 1pm performances, and CANNOT be used for Golden Seats. The offer will allow customer to receive £10 off a Family Ticket. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, or redeemed against tickets already purchased. Offer expires at midnight on Sunday 15th October 2017

 

 

Stick Man

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“Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, that’s me.”

Most likely most people who have or know young children will be familiar with the heart-warming and witty work of Julia Donaldson and her illustrator Alex Scheffler (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom)

One of the duo’s most popular works, Stick Man – the 2008 tale of a good natured wooden fellow separated from his home and family (which will be extra familiar to many thanks to the recent hit Christmas TV version) – has been brought alive on stage by Scamp Theatre, and is back at the Lowry this weekend.

For anyone yet to experience the bittersweet tale of Stickman, it centres around our eponymous hero who lives in his Family’s tree with his “stick lady love and his stick children three.”

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Upon waking early one morning, Stick Man goes for a jog, before being caught up in a serious of misadventures involving dogs, swans, children and the elements, which serve only to take him further from home.

“Will I ever get back to the family tree?” He wonders? (If only he’d hit the snooze button instead! 

The wonderfully inventive production sees three talented performers play all the roles, along with a mixture of puppets and props – everything from wellies to umbrellas, beach balls and rolls of cardboard are pressed into action to tell the tale on stage.

Christopher Currie brings a nice sense of bewilderment and frustration to the title role, while Euan Wilson and Kate Maylon have great fun bringing all the other characters to life. All three give a masterclass in physical and vocal comedy.

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There’s live music and clever sound effects, and some witty and seriously catchy songs too – the opening number in particular is a total ear worm that I’m confident will be in my head for days.

Absolutely not a panto, there’s still a bit of audience participation and forays into the auditorium by the cast.

And there’s just the right amount of peril without being too worrying for little ones – my almost three year old Godson did slide off his booster seat and onto my lap when Stick Man was caught up in the choppy ocean, but that was as scary as things got.

And being the only one of Donaldson and Scheffler’s tales that is set at Christmas, complete with a scene stealing cameo from the big red man himself, the production has a gloriously festive feel, 

“Again” was the immediate verdict from my little reviewer, as the lights went up in the Quays Theatre.

This really is a beautiful and thoughtful piece of children’s theatre, which treats both the much-loved source material, and young audiences, with the respect they deserve.

For further tour dates head to http://www.scamptheatre.com

 

 

 

BRB – Aladdin

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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.

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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.

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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