The Snowman

‘If I had known how wonderful it was I’d have booked sooner.’

Last weekend we travelled up to London to attend the live performance of The Snowman, one of our favourite stories. It was dad’s Christmas treat to us as a family and he’d booked it back in late November.

I read in the brochure that this is the 17th consecutive performance and is based on the classic children’s book by Raymond Briggs and having seen it I am sure it will continue for many years to come.

You may be wondering how The Snowman would adapt to the stage as it is a silent film with the exception of ‘Walking in the air’ song and this is one of the very reasons I loved this performance as it is told through mime and dance.

In today’s world where we are bombarded by noise from every angle it was a complete wonder to sit back and watch the story unfold silently before us. Of course there is music and lyrics by Howard Blake which accompanies the tale perfectly. I found it very refreshing to sit back and soak in the beauty of the set and the emotion the music gives. I also noted the girls were completely gripped too and had no trouble following one of their favourite stories.

The Snowman Peacock Theatre

The theatre was packed with families with young children and although there wasn’t complete silence, how could you expect little ones to not ask questions, it worked extremely well, all except the one grandmother sat behind me and took it upon herself to carry out a running commentary on the entire performance. It really wasn’t necessary, let the children discover the beauty of mime and dance, they’ll get it. They’ll see what the dancers want to show us.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the reasonable prices at the bar too, not something you often find in London.

The dancer who plays the part of James, The Boy is excellent. He has a huge role and the brochure confirms that the boys who cover James are aged between 10 and 12. All of the dancers take on more than one character and the entire show ran perfectly on stage.

A massive round of applause from us as we really enjoyed the show and would thoroughly recommend it.

disney on ice

This year saw us return to the O2 in Greenwich to watch the latest Disney on Ice – 100 Years of Magic and we were not disappointed, not one tiny bit.

alice and bessie disney costumes

The girls were delighted to wear their brand new Disney costumes from their favourite princesses, Belle for Bessie and Jasmine for Alice and I would recommend allowing your children to do this as it’s the perfect occasion to wear them, it added to the ‘importance’ of having a Disney on Ice ticket.

The show opens with Mickey and Minnie and they introduce us to some of their favourite stories, the show kicks off with one of my favourites, the Genie from Aladdin and a spectacular dance on ice.

disney on ice genies

We move on to Finding Nemo and the girls loved the effect of the bubbles falling over the ice to make believe we are under the sea.

The next part of the show is named ‘A Rose is a Rose’ and begins with the most important fairy tale rose, the Beast’s. We watch as Belle meets the Beast, falls in love and thinks he’s dead, only her true love can save him. The show runs seemlessly into ‘So this is love’ and a spectacular skate with six princesses and their princes including Belle and the Beast, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Ariel, Snow White and Jasmine.

disney on ice beauty and the beast

Toy Story perform To Infinity and Beyond with a fantastic green army, Buzz lightyear and Woody and then Act One ends with ‘It’s a Small World.’ Beautiful, colourful and the costumes will take your breath away. We really enjoyed It’s a Small World as it reminded us of the ride we enjoyed so much at Disneyland Paris this summer.

Disney on Ice 100 years of magic

A vintage selection of Disney that is performed by some of the world’s best skaters coming from Russia, USA, Canada and Japan.

Act Two includes Pinocchio, Mulan, the Incredibles and the Lion King with an amazing Grand Finale which always disappoints as you realise the show is over and you’d want to sit there so much longer.

Oh Mummy, I don’t want it to be the end, I want more!        Alice aged 6

By reminding us of the older less watched films the girls in the car on the way home chatted about finding their Pinocchio DVD, re-watching Lion King that hasn’t been aired for some time and maybe buying The Incredibles which we haven’t seen before.

The costumes are beautiful and the faces on our twins were in awe of the magic being created in front of us. A real must for all and if you have any luck getting Disney On Ice tickets for the Spring performance do let me know as they are sold out and Get Me In are asking ridiculous amounts right now.

disney on ice jasmine

Disclosure: We were given tickets to attend the performance for the purpose of this review, we loved it and all opinions are our own.

 

beauty and the beast margate theatre royal

Last weekend saw us travel down to Thanet to attend the Beauty and the Beast performance by Polka Dot Pantomimes at the Theatre Royal Margate.

With Ricky Groves of Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing fame as Muddles and Robert Rawles, a West End Star as Dame Dotty Doughnut I was sure it would be an interesting show.

beauty and the beast

 

Interesting? It was so much more. It was brilliant.

Bessie on car journey to Margate – Mummy what language do they speak in Margate?

The story is the classic Beauty and the Beast panto, a good fairy, a nasty witch, Beauty, her father, the prince, and of course the couple that kept us laughing all the way through, Dame Dotty Doughnut and Muddles who looked after the palace and the prince.

theatre royal margate stage

This show offers something for everyone, I caught dad laughing at many of the gags and they were hilarious. I love to watch the girls faces as they follow the story as I can see their expressions, they couldn’t take their eyes off the stage.

watching a pantomime

I was incredibly impressed with the music used throughout the show, so many of my favourite tunes that can be heard regularly at this time of year so even though way before the twins time they still recognised some of them. It gave the show a real party atmosphere.

The usual pantomime interaction with the audience is there, ‘He’s behind you!’ “Oh yes you did!’ and a LOT of hissing and booing at Grimalkin the evil witch. One of my favourite parts of pantomime to be honest as the girls were getting really into the show on stage and joining in.

A word must be said for the costumes too as they are gorgeous. You can clearly see a lot of detail and work has gone into making them and Dame Doughnut has a very enviable wardrobe *ahem*

Which was your favourite costume Alice? The pink one. (Always pink!)

One last mention to the dancers on stage who did a very good job, I can only imagine they are from a local school as some were quite young, well done girls, beautiful representation.

Verdict: 10/10 funny, entertaining, wonderful pantomime but if you are in the Stalls make sure you’re not in seat I-15 (restricted view) as your view will be like this, I had a crick in the neck by the interval.

theatre royal margate restricted view

 

Disclosure: We were invited to the show by Polka dot Pantomimes for the purpose of this review.

Beauty and the Beast showing at the Theatre Royal Margate from 13th – 28th December 2014 Box office 01843 292795 or online

 

Tinkerbell Legend of the Neverbeast

There’s a new Disney Tinkerbell film out on December 12th, Tinkerbell and the Legend of The Neverbeast and we were invited along by BritMums to watch a special gala screening in Leicester Square on Sunday.

We arrived with plenty of time as there was lots of activities in the foyer before the film started including decorating your wings, face painting and stroking a host of gorgeous animals including Pugs that look a bit like the Neverbeast. Plus we got to have our photo taken with Tinkerbell and Fawn.

Tinkerbell and Fawn twins

First things first, we all LOVED this film. Pure Disney magic with a strong powerful message – Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Tinkerbell Legend of the Neverbeast

Tinkerbell’s friend Fawn, the animal fairy, is the main character as her passion for looking after animals sometimes makes her heart rule her head. Queen Clarion is not too pleased to discover from her Scout fairies that Fawn has been looking after a baby hawk with a broken wing. Hawks eat fairies! The Queen tells Fawn

Let your heart guide you but listen to your head too.

On an investigation Fawn discovers a very special animal who is in a lot of pain with a thorn stuck in his foot. She wants to help him and listens to both her heart and her head to assist him in removing the thorn.

Tinkerbell Legend of the Neverbeast

The fairies at Pixie Hollow hear him roar with pain and everyone is scared as they’ve never heard such a fierce roar before. Whilst Fawn and Gruff, the Neverbeast, continue to spend lots of time together and become great friends the scout fairies investigate further and discover the old legend of the Neverbeast which says he will destroy Pixie Hollow.

Fawn has to protect her new animal friend from the scout fairies who believe he is a monster out to destroy them, Fawn listens to her heart and doesn’t believe Gruff would ever hurt them. She now has to convince her friends as she needs their help.

 

A lot of teamwork ensues and a lot of lessons are learnt too, the most important being, Never judge a book by it’s cover.

This film made us jump in our seats, it brought tears to our eyes and it made us rethink about how we judge people on appearance.

Tinkerbell Legend of the Neverbeast

I loved it. The girls loved it and even dad said he enjoyed the film. Out in cinemas from 12th December I’d thoroughly recommend it.

 

Disclosure: We were invited to attend the Gala Screening of TinkerBell and the Legend of the Neverbeast as guests of BritMums. All words, opinions and images are my own and may not be copied without my permission.

snow queen magic of the mirror

We went to a ‘private’ screening of The Snow Queen – Magic of the ice mirror on Friday evening. It was held in Soho Screening Rooms where I was amazed to hear a man tell the twins they were sitting in exactly the same spot that Madonna had. It went right over their heads to be honest but not mine. My jaw may have dropped a bit.

He went on to tell me that Princess Diana had also watched a few films in the room where we were to be viewing The Snow Queen too. The twins latched on to the word princess and when they entered they decided where the princess would have sat and where the queen sits when she comes. (The queen doesn’t come as apparently she has her own cinema)

The Snow Queen – Magic of the Ice Mirror was very good, the girls loved it as did all the children that were present. It carries some excellent messages and shows what happens if you don’t listen to these particular messages, the most important one being about lies.

Orm the troll has a terrible habit of exaggerating and lieing and he gets himself into a lot of trouble doing so. Gerda and her friends come once again to the rescue but Orm has to learn his lesson that the truth is always so much better even if at times it does hurt.

The bit I loved most was expressed by the Ice Mirror, every time Orm looks in the mirror he sees a reflection of himself but it’s the bad guy, like the bad voice you hear which tempts you to take the easy way out, be sly or tell a lie to get what you want. He gets lulled into it and I won’t tell you what happens but he has to learn a hard lesson.

snow queen magic of the mirror

Excellent animation with beautiful, captivating pictures that keep you gripped all the way through.

Alice said: Mummy I jumped a few times but it was really good.

Bessie said: My favourite was Luna (Orm’s white animal) she made me laugh when she kept biting his bottom to try and stop him lying.