9 to 5 at the Alexandra Theatre

Yesterday The Bloke and I went to see 9 to 5 the Musical at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.

Based on the 1980 hit American comedy movie, 9 to 5 tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy – three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor after he blackmails them, will the ladies manage to reform their office – or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? While the film was released nearly forty years ago, many of the issues highlighted are still a prominent part of social commentary, particularly on the topics of equal pay and roles and treatment of women in the workplace.

Louise Redknapp as Violet Photo by Simon Turtle

Louise Redknapp plays Violet, a smart and ambitious senior office administrator and widow who is overlooked for a promotion in favour of a man that she trained. She is absolutely perfect for the role – strong, confident and self-assured with a beautiful voice and a presence onstage that demonstrates why she has had such a long and successful career as a performer.

She is joined by Amber Davis in the role of Judy, who has been forced to find a job for the first time after her husband has left her for his secretary. Made famous by her appearance in Love Island, I was admittedly a little dubious about the casting choice, but she quickly dispelled any doubts with a truly incredible performance – sweet, funny and making her own way in a new world, Davis has an absolutely sensational voice. Continue reading


Amélie the Musical at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Last night The Bloke and I went to watch Amélie the Musical at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. The 2001 Oscar-nominated film is to date one of the biggest international successes for a French movie and is renowned for its feel-good and whimsical story, which the musical version closely follows. This beloved story of an imaginative and shy romantic with a gift for helping others, in a vibrant re-conception with new orchestrations and has garnered critical and public acclaim leading to a sell-out season.

Amélie is the story of an astonishing young woman who lives quietly in the world, but loudly in her mind. She secretly improvises small, but extraordinary acts of kindness that bring happiness to those around her. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realises that to find her own contentment she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Although times are hard for dreamers, Amélie is someone to believe in… Continue reading

#RentLive: My RENT Obsession

No Day But Today

Those who follow the blog regularly will know that I love a good musical. I’ve been lucky enough to see a number of musicals performed in theatres both locally in Birmingham, in Manchester, on the West End in London and even on Broadway over the last decade. However, there’s one musical in particular that is my favourite above all the others, that I know inside out and will watch over and over while feeling like I’ve been reunited with a group of friends every time I do…


As with most things, I was very late to the RENT party, only discovering its brilliance in 2016 – 20 years after its first Off Broadway performance, 11 years after the release of the movie and 8 years after its final Broadway performance. Continue reading

A Wicked Evening on the West End

The Bloke and I are in London to celebrate The Bloke’s 50th birthday. We’re staying in an awesome apartment and have had a whole bunch of things on the itinerary for the last few days. 

Last night we went to see Wicked for the first time. It has been something that we have both wanted to watch, and I have always been jealous of the fact that I never got to see the Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel partnership. Whenever we have come to London and wanted to see a show it has always seemed to either be sold out or too expensive and we have ended up going to watch something else instead. However, this time at least, as if the stars had aligned, we were able to get reasonably priced tickets in great seats, and I had been looking forward to it. Continue reading

A Lovely Break

The last few days have been fantastic, but I’m glad that I have a little bit of time left before I go back to work so I can recover!


Some of the tube stations we visited


The Bloke and I couldn’t afford to go abroad this summer, so we decided to have a short break in London – there were a few things that we didn’t get the opportunity to do last time we were there and it’s somewhere that we both love…
I have just about managed to figure out the tube system – it works brilliantly but for some reason all the lines we wanted to use were delayed so we had to be creative in the routes that we took to get to our different destinations!

Our first day was spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum where we toured the ‘David Bowie Is…’ Exhibition. We were lucky to get tickets – it was the last day of the exhibition and it had been sold out for a while, but MRH had bought us tickets when she’d visited a few weeks before. It was really interesting – we were given wireless headphones which linked to different songs and videos as we were walking round, adding an extra dimension to it. His costumes were highly unusual and creative (and it’s evident from the size of them that he’s a very short and slender man), but the highlight for me and The Bloke were his suit from the ‘Life On Mars’ video and some props from Labyrinth, a film that we adore. We then took the opportunity to explore the Japanese section – I love the samurai armour!


In the evening we ate the most beautiful food at the ‘Gilbert Scott’ restaurant at the newly refurbished St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. My dessert in particular (chocolate mouse with marshmallow and toasted walnuts) was so fabulous I almost cried a little. I’ve never received service like it before – we were made to feel really special and it was such a wonderful experience.

The next day was the zoo. Both of us are animal mad, neither of us had been before and we were really excited. It’s situated near Camden, so we walked past the famous market and several Amy Winehouse tributes (her flat where she was found dead is in Camden) and arrived just as it opened. We were there for hours and only left when our feet and sore eardrums (from all the screaming kids) could take no more. I got back to the hotel and slept for several hours.


In the evening we went to see ‘Rock Of Ages’ at the Garrick Theatre. I’ve
seen the film a million times, but had never seen the musical that it was
based on, so I was looking forward to it. It turned out to be the best production I’ve ever seen. Fabulous is not the word. It was a small, incredibly talented cast who absolutely did justice to every element of the show. We left the theatre with a buzz, and I’ve had one of the songs in my head ever since.


The following day was spent being tourists in Covent Garden and down by the London Eye next to the Thames. I sat on a bench generally people watching (and resting my feet) and The Bloke went off with his camera for a while. It was windy but warm, I loved the calm and serene atmosphere and I had a really interesting time people watching.  Bliss.


We returned to three sulky cats (my friend has been looking after them while we away and they always sulk at us for leaving them) and now The Bloke is asleep on the couch.

A wonderful few days… Time passed far too quickly!!