Disney on Ice 2015: Frozen, Cars and Ariel


mickey and minnie mouse disney on ice

One thing I love about the autumn and the run up to Christmas is the Disney on Ice spectacular show that tours the country every year. I took the girls for the first time in 2013 and they fell in love with the show, how could you not? The music and characters they know and love so well, the costumes, the ice and the skating which is all so beautifully done. It really is an awesome event.

Every year Disney make changes to the performance and that starts with the title, Disney on Ice 2015 is Worlds of Enchantment. A journey through four magical locations, this time we will visit the Disney Pixar Cars world, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story 3 and of course the Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa. Mickey and Minnie mouse and their two friend Goofy and Pluto also make appearances throughout the show lending that special Disney magic we are so accustomed to.

I know the twins will be beside themselves with joy as we watch Anna, Elsa and Olaf in their home wintery world of Arendelle, I imagine they’ll want to wear their Frozen dresses on the day too which adds to the unique experience of such a great show.

frozen disney on ice

Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment is running across the UK from 25th September through to 3rd January visiting Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield and London. For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website and stay current on the latest news through social media:

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PAN film review – Every legend has a beginning

Pan film review

On the 16th October PAN, the new Warner Bros film, will be in the cinemas perfect timing for a Half Term treat. Warner Bros invited us along on Saturday to a screening before the World Premier on Sunday 20th. I was gutted I couldn’t make it, take a look at the trailer below and you’ll understand why.

However Paul and the girls did make it and when I spoke to them later they were all raving about it.

Pan is a new take on JM Barrie’s classical story which we all know and love. The adventure follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland where he finds both fun and danger. He also finds his destiny, to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan.

From the trailer alone you can sense the drama and awe the film inspires in the audience. The costumes are fantastic as are the props and scenery, the whole feeling of being swept away on a dramatic adventure to Neverland to save the day comes over in every part of the film.

Dad’s Pan film review

Dad’s Pan film review. He loved the film but he mentioned it is a bit dark and quite scary in places. He said at one point Alice was leaning right on him for security, however she soon brightened up once the film got going and when asked later if she had been crying, she flatly denied and said she loved the film and would want to watch it again.

Alice’s Pan film review

Alice loved the film and has offered to accompany me to see it in October when it comes out at the cinema, she also wrote her own review for you

Today we watched Pa, it was a little scary. In the end the boy got to know that he was the Prince of the fairies. First he was at a working at a School for boys and there was world war. But the world war was only to try and stop a pirate ship from going to Neverland. When they got there they had to work for Blackbeard the naughtiest pirate on the land of Neverland. — Alice, age 7

Bessie’s Pan film review

Bessie was full of descriptions and remembered the story very well although she may have hopped all over the place in telling me. I’m not going to give away any spoilers but judging the family’s enthusiasm I would say this film is excellent and well worth making time to go and see it.

Pan film review

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Theatre Royal | Covent Garden

Charlie and the chocolate factory

What’s the best way to keep twin 7 year old girls amused? Take them to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Covent Garden’s Theatre Royal.

We went as guests of Today Tix, a revolutionary theatre ticket app created by Broadway and West End producers to give you inside access to the best prices available on this week’s theatre tickets. But more of the app in a moment.

As our visit to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coincides very neatly with Roald Dahl’s Day – 13th September, I want to tell you about the show.

It was fantastic.

Charlie and the chocolate factory

Directed by Sam Mendes, the show has recently celebrated its third year in the West End. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory won two Olivier awards in April 2014 and has been seen by over 1,400,000 since June 2013.

The sets are awesome and I was continually amazed by the amount of detail gone into each piece that was on stage, the colours have been carefully selected, at first to represent the poverty and dire circumstances of Charlie Bucket and his family and then a rainbow kaleidoscope that represents the wacky world of Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas.

charlie and the chocolate factory

The acting was spot on and kept us gripped all the way through and the children have been casted perfectly. Each child was true to the 50+ year old story, easily recognisable, their parents too.

A lot of detail has gone into the costumes, the music and the lyrics and all together the viewer is awarded with a magnificent and unforgettable performance.

The show was so good I would gladly go and see it again.

Today Tix

iphone vertical with TodayTix London 1

Today Tix is the clever new app that allows theatre goers to save money, check availability for the current week, get great seats and set alerts.

Today Tix asked me to book my tickets using the app so I could see for myself just how easy it was.

Available for a free download for iOS and Android the home page takes you to a list of current West End shows, currently you can find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Kinky Boots, Memphis (my mums said it was brilliant), Wicked and many, many more.

Clicking through to your chosen show, in my case Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I can see images of the show scrolling at the top and underneath a short description and list of dates and times covering the coming week. There is also an indication of the cheapest tickets available.

Today Tix app

Clicking on your chosen performance you are taken to a map of the theatre, underneath an area to indicate how many tickets you are looking for and under that the sections of the theatre with prices.

By clicking Select you are then taken to your chosen area and shown the best seats available for the number of chosen tickets you selected. If you are happy with the suggestion click Checkout and go through with the payment. Your tickets will be available at the theatre for collection.

It is amazingly simple and you are sent an email with confirmation.

Today Tix Facts and Figures

1 ticket sold every 53 seconds

2,300+ 5 star reviews

$5,800,000 amount of customer’s money saved on tickets

Roald Dahl and his legacy

Roald Dahl lived from 1916 – 1990 and next year celebrations will be in place to celebrate his centenary. Roald Dahl Day has been going since 2006 and celebrates his birth month and his work, he was one of the world’s most inventive, mischievious, successful and loved storytellers with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory celebrating 50 years last year.

Two charities have been founded in his memory: Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, to make life better for seriously ill children and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre which is a cultural, literary and education hub in Great Missenden.

10% of the author’s roaylties from all of his books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

Disclosure: We were given three tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Today Tix, all opinions are my own.

Cinderella by Disney: the costumes

Cinderella exhibition

As school broke up for the Easter holidays I changed the girls out of their uniforms and whisked them off to the cinema for a full immersion in the film Cinderella by Disney only this time played with real actors.

cinderella maid dress

Cinderella, the animated Disney film, has long been a favourite of ours, we adore Gus the mouse, we get angry with the ugly sisters and very much dislike the evil stepmother. We know the words and songs by heart and the story is engraved on our hearts forever, just as a true fairytale should be.

cinderella - lady tremaine

The latest Cinderella film directed by Kenneth Brannagh is utterly spellbinding from the very start. Set in a kingdom not too far away the beautiful child Ella is adored by her parents. Her mother sadly dies when she Ella is still a child but not before leaving her with the most important message,

Where there is kindness, there is goodness… and where there is goodness there is magic.

cinderella pumpkin

Her dad decides to remarry and Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother and her two daughters, Anastasia and Drisella become Ella’s new family.

cinderella step sisters

When her father passes away Lady Tremaine and her daughters show their true colours and rename Ella ‘Cinderella’ giving her a very tough time but true to the fairy tale, Cinderella remains a sweet hardworking girl looking after the house and home, cooking, cleaning and mending. Fuelled by her mother’s words, Have Courage and Be Kind.

Cinderella fairy godmother

Helena Bonham Carter plays the best Fairy Godmother, the carriage is stunning and the film is peppered with humour all the way through alongside the innocence and humble lifestyle of Cinderella.

Cinderella Carriage

The film really stands out for the excellent costumes and over the Easter break the girls and I met up with one of their school friends and mum and we all went up to the Swarovski exhibition in London’s Leicester Square for a closer look at the costumes and props used in the film.

Cinderella costumes exhibition

The film’s costume designer is the Academy Award Winner Sandy Powell who allows you to walk through and follow her creative process from the initial designs to the final creations. The spectacular ball gown took my breath away and the glass slipper was enchanting.

cinderella ball gown

The solid crystal slipper features 221 facets in a crystal blue aurora borealis coating, impossible to not fall in love with it. Six versions were required to create the perfect shoe and 150 hours of design time went into the making.

cinderella glass slipper

Swarovski provided over 1.7 million cut stones to embellish the costumes of the ball gown, the Fairy Godmother’s dress and her magic wand, and the Wicked Stepmother’s glamorous arrival outfit.

cinderella Sandy Powell

Swarovski opened it’s archives and lent over 150 tiaras and jewellery pieces for the famous ball scene.

Creating a live action version of the classic fairytale gave me the freedom to channel fantasy and that ‘Once upon a time’ feel through all of the costumes. It really was a costume designer’s dream job. — Sandy Powell

Interview with Antonio Banderas: Spongebob Movie

Antonio Banderas and Marianne Weekes

The day one of my dreams came true was the day I met Antonio Banderas, whom I’ve had a lifetime crush on. Can you imagine the thrill of meeting him for REAL?

I’m still in awe that it ever happened. I could retire on that and be happy telling my grandkids who wouldn’t have a clue what I was on about.

Antonio Banderas plays Burger-Beard the Pirate in the new SpongeBob movie by Paramount, Sponge out of Water. He is a formidable pirate with an incredibly loud voice, the perfect pirate accent and he’s a wonderful baddie; very naughty, just the right amount of selfish, a bit crazy and his crew are a team of seagulls.

With such an important task at hand, I studied the film, researched his character and realised I too wanted the recipe to make the Krabby Patties that the whole film were going crazy about.

Plankton manages to get his hands on the secret formula by hiding in a penny and being tossed in the safe….

So gather round as I have a plan…..

If I use a bit of Paramount magic and hide myself in a penny, pass the penny to Antonio Banderas who in turn gives it to Burger-Beard because he knows how much his ship sailing friend likes shiny coins. Burger-Beard tosses it in his treasure chest which contains the magical book. I can rewrite the story.

I would star in it (alongside Antonio of course) and return the secret formula to the world so the children of the world can enjoy Krabby Patties whenever they wish.

All I have to do is give the penny to Antonio…