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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Flashdance UK Tour Cast Announced.

Flashdance UK Tour Cast Announced.
Thursday, 22 June 2017
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Selladoor Productions and Runaway Entertainment will be presenting the 1983 film, Flashdance in an exciting new UK Tour production arriving at it's first stop at Glasgow King's Theatre on 05 August 2017.  

It's the first time the musical will return to the stage since 2011 and will star Joanne Clifton, the World and European Champion ballroom dancer took dancing partner Ore Oduba to win last year's BBC Strictly Come Dancing. She is now taking to the stage once again, having performed in things such as the No 1 UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie where she received raving reviews. Joanne is thrilled to be undertaking her latest starring role as leading Alex Owens, mentioning that;
"I think everyone in the world whether dancer or non-dancer as soon as they hear 'What a Felling' remember that iconic scene at the end of the film and I'm so incredibly lucky that I get to do that night in a UK Tour along with the fabulous numbers like "She's A Maniac" I'm over the moon!".


Joining her on the tour as her leading man, Nick Hurley will be singer-songwriter Ben Adams, best known for being the lead in the boy band A1. His career has took him to many places over Europe as well as recording various albums as an individual in classical music as well as within his band. The band itself racked up 10 million record sales, 2 UK number ones, 5 studio albums and toured throughout the world, winning a Brit award among many others. 

Presented by Selladoor Productions - producers of Footloose, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors  and Runaway Entertainment producers of In The Heights, Guys and Dolls and Lazarus, Flashdance - The Musical is like their other productions before, not something to be missed! 

You can check out full details of tour venues and dates by visiting the Flashdance UK Tour Website 





Monday, 19 June 2017

Oxford Photo Diaries

Oxford Photo Diaries
Monday, 19 June 2017
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Earlier this year when my cousin announced he'd be getting married in June, I was extremely excited for him. He's like the sibling brother I never had and we've always bonded over having a good time, enjoying the smallest things in life especially Gin and Tonic being one of those so I was so bloody excited for him to become a husband. The wedding itself was being hosted in Oxford, a city I have wanted to explore for so many years now. It's architecture filling the streets of this incredible town, the literature history it holds within it and it's part to play in some of my favourite books and films ever, Harry Potter. 

The wedding was gorgeous, I felt kinda emotional throughout the day (it was probably the amount of Gin and Tonic I had to consume in the hotel before going to the reception venue because it was hella expensive, dammit Oxford!) but yeah I felt sad because this important figure in my life was now going to be living somewhere new, he wasn't going to be 15-20 mins away for a trip to the pub before Christmas. However, after exploring Oxford I came to the realisation that he'll be in the most beautiful city I have seen in a very long while and I'm going to use every excuse I can to pop on down to explore it even further, even in the 3-4 hours we got to see what we did wasn't enough. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

What's On in Birmingham Summer 2017.

What's On in Birmingham Summer 2017.
Sunday, 18 June 2017
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If you've seen recently on the blog you'll see that I shared with you some of the best Whats On in Leicester Summer 2017 as well as Derby Theatre's Autumn Season 2017 but there's also some pretty incredible stuff coming up in other cities in the Midlands, including Birmingham. 

Birmingham's art scene is thriving at the moment, with some of the best productions heading to some of their theatre's to sell out performances it'd be no surprise that I was pretty excited about writing up some of my favourites with you. 

*Miller & Carter Steakhouse, Enderby

*Miller & Carter Steakhouse, Enderby

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On a warm summers evening there's nothing quite like escaping to a good restaurant to enjoy good food and drink outside a great pub. I was invited to sample the menu at Enderby's new restaurant, Miller & Carter Steakhouse. I do enjoy a good steak dinner so I was excited to see whether this would be a restaurant I would visit more than once. 

The location of the restaurant itself is the perfect place to stop and unwind after visiting Fosse Shopping Park, the Leicester City Centre or even the National Space Centre only a stone throw away. The restaurant is always conveniently located just off the M1. The atmosphere ad interior of the place is very comfortable, classic and clean. They've really paid attention to every little detail and corner in the place.

The menu itself is packed full of great, mouth watering prime steaks which are Miller & Carter pride themselves upon in their produce. Therefore it would be silly to miss out on the opportunity to sample these for ourselves. 



I was quite surprised in their Starter menu line up, there was enough choice on there to satisfy the appetites of most people, I for one for struggling for choice. We decided to sample two of them, sharing them so we could sample them both for ourselves. The Garlic Bread with Cheese was a predictable choice in it's flavour and presentation, but I enjoyed how soft the bread itself was. We also sampled the Pulled Brisket Croquettes. These were short box shaped tender pulled brisket that was flavoured with bourbon and coated in panko-style breadcrumbs, with lemon aioli and dressed slaw on the side. 

The presentation of the product very much reminded me of baked cheese products, it's flavour was surprisingly good, full of meaty flavouring and the lemon aioli was really nice to dip the croquette into! 

Onto the main course, we both opted to sample their steaks. I sampled their 120z Ribeye and Jordan decided on the 8oz Sirloin. Both of the steaks came with fried onions, parsley butter, a generous helping of chips and your choice of lettuce wedge. With the lettuce wedges you were able to choose your topping from a selection of choices, I had never heard of this option for a steak meal but it complimented the meat well. I didn't manage to eat a lot of the wedge because the rest of the meal was very filling so I felt a little like it was a wasteful product. I think that this should be offered in a smaller portion size in that case. The steaks were very tasty, we both asked for ours to be cooked Medium Rare and they both definitely on first appearance and in flavour to be more medium which was slightly disappointing. However, everything was really enjoyable and I enjoyed sampling the meat flavours along with the rest of the food that came with it. 




I'm surprised that when dessert came round we could manage anything else, it was so filling! For my dessert I decided to take a recommendation of our waitress for the evening (who was lovely by the way, very assertive and played a great host to explain Miller & Carter to us!) and she said that the Raspberry Creme Brulee was one of her favourites and I could agree with her after sampling it for myself. The dessert was a Madagascan vanilla glazed brulee, with fresh raspberries and a raspberry sugar crunch. Served with it was a home baked vanilla biscuit which I thoroughly enjoyed dipping into the brulee! It was the perfect summer pudding, very refreshing and not that heavy after a filling main course.

Jordan decided on the simplistic Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, a cheesecake served with Raspberry sauce on the side. He must have enjoyed it because he scoffed it within minutes! 



All in all I thought that Miller & Carter was a really pleasant dining experience, the food was great and we were made to feel really comfortable whilst dining there. The only thing I would consider with this restaurant is it's price, it's quite expensive for what I would consider for a meal out. However, if it's quality and a great dining experience you are after then I would definitely recommend Enderby's Miller & Carter Steakhouse. It would just be just as good for that oncoming special occasion in your diary too!

thanks for reading,
* I was invited to sample Miller & Carter Steakhouse in Enderby in return for this review to be published. Photos and opinions are my own. 
Thursday, 15 June 2017

Funny Girl UK Tour, Nottingham Theatre Royal

Funny Girl UK Tour, Nottingham Theatre Royal
Thursday, 15 June 2017
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Funny Girl (UK Tour)
Theatre Royal, Nottingham 
★★

There's something about a musical which tugs at your heart strings, really grabs your attention and EVEN leaves you feeling full of emotional. The UK Tour production of Funny Girl I recently saw performed at Theatre Royal totally did that.

The bittersweet, classic musical drama introduces us to the infectious fun and beautiful young Fanny Brice (Natasha J Barnes) as she starts out as a part on the New York City vaudeville stage. She believes in her ability to be the next greatest thing and works her way, deservedly to stardom on Broadway. She starts to become valued by the renowned theater owner Florenz Ziegfeld in both her vocal and comedic talents. Fanny continues to thrive in the theater and doing what she's always dream to do, she then meets the handsome businessman Nick Arnstein (Darius Campbell) whose influence on Fanny reveals a whole different story.

Our Fanny Brice in Natasha J Barnes was an absolute hit from the moment she entered the stage, undertook the leading lady role with flare, confidence and a natural humour that makes you love her. Her stunning tones and vocal range was really shown off in this production, Rain On My Parade was without a doubt the performance of the night for her and the reception from the audience demonstrated that. There was a few minor points in the performance when things would happen but Natasha remained professional and relaxed about it.

Her chemistry and relationships between each of the characters intertwined into the story was really heartwarming, there was a real sense of love and support that resonated well. Her particular relationship with Nick Arnstein (Darius Campbell) and Eddie Ryan (Joshua Lay) were both really enjoyable to watch. I was slightly disappointed by Darius's performance in the song Temporary Arrangement, whilst I understand he may not find the high level choreographic routines easy to do what felt kind of half-hearted attempt made it one of the musical numbers I didn't enjoy.



Whilst I haven't seen or heard too much about this production, it's storyline was really easy to follow and executed in a way that would engage its audiences well. I thought the entire production as a package was great, from the set and costume design that was stunning, the minimal but effective use of props to move through the scenes and the choreography which was flawless. Joshua Lay's execution of the tap dancing in a solo number in his character Eddie Ryan was really beautiful, memorising and had the audience cheering for him from around the theatre.

Despite the little knowledge I had on the production it was definitely up there as one of my favourites. I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to see this wonderful production having missed it a few occasions before. The creative team really blew it out of the water bringing the story of Funny Brice to life.

You really should try and see it before the UK Tour comes to a close!

thanks for reading,
*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Derby Theatre's Autumn Season Announced.

Derby Theatre's Autumn Season Announced.
Monday, 12 June 2017
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Derby Theatre have recently announced what's to look forward to in their  upcoming Autumn 2017 season and boy doesn't it sound already.  The 535 seat theatre itself  is nestled in the same building as Derby's Intu Shopping Centre and brings top quality performances to their local audiences

This Autumn the theatre will present a hold host of great productions in the lead up to it's Main House Christmas production, J.M Barrie's Peter Pan and even The Gingerbread Man for younger audience members aged 3+

From Friday 29 September until Saturday 21 October they will begin the season by both producing and presenting a crisp, fast-moving production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. This production is adapted by Neil Bartlett, who will use the iconic language from the original Dickens' story. Directed by Derby Theatre's own Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham will take on a bold new production that will bring to centre stage the Dickensian world of Estella, Miss Havisham and Pip to Derby Theatre's stage. The ensemble of actors will include both familiar and new faces to Derby audiences, brought together by the stirring and evocative music from Ivan Scott. 

Peter Pan Promotional Image. Photo Credit: Derby Theatre
Great Expectations Promotional Image. Photo Credit: Derby Theatre
Some other top class touring productions coming to Derby during Autumn 2017 including the award-winning Graeae Theatre Company, in co-production with the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, with their highly acclaimed production of Reasons to be Cheerful. This will be a strident musical featuring the hits of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. The Julues Verne's classic novel Around the World in 80 Days adapted by Laura Eason and presented by the New Vic Stoke and The Royal Exchange Manchester.

Derby Theatre haven't forgotten about their Family audiences during the Autumn with some excellent productions including Metta Theatre's production of Jungle Book, a spectacular production where a breathtaking combination of street dance and circus to bring Kipling's classic tale to life in the 21st Century. Also on offer is Tales of Birdal by Mashi Theatre in association with The Spark Arts for Children, both a vivid and vibrant production which sees the use of humour, puppetry and music to explore Indian sub-continent timeless and treasured fables.

This along with many more productions are coming to Derby Theatre during the Autumn, you can find out about these productions plus more by visiting their website here



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