Note: This review of The Cat and the Canary is for the 2021 UK tour.
“Twenty years after the death of Mr. West, his descendants gather to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels. Within moments, the heritage hunters turn into prey. Walls crack open, shadows loom, and dark secrets are revealed.”
On a suitably dark and rainy Monday evening, we sat down at the Alexandra Theatre to watch the latest show from The Classic Thriller Theatre Company with their production of 1920s murder mystery The Cat and the Canary.
The original play, written by John Willard, opened on Broadway almost a century ago and has since spawned three movie adaptations. The plot utilises that classic whodunnit setup and setting; assembling an ensemble cast in an ancestral mansion on a dark, stormy night, just in time for things to start going awry when a homicidal maniac escapes from a nearby asylum. Adapted for a modern audience by Carl Grose, and directed by Roy Marsden, the play offers up all the twists and turns you would expect from the genre, along with some tongue-in-cheek humour and, of course, plenty of scares!
Rocky Horror Show has returned to the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham and I was delighted to watch it again, over two years after the last amazing performance.
Directed by Christopher Luscombe, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two all-American college kids who meet the charismatic Dr Frank’n’Furter and the strange and kooky inhabitants of a creepy mansion when their car breaks down. With hits including “Sweet Transvestite,” “Dammit, Janet” and the iconic “The Time Warp,” it is an adventure they’ll never forget, filled with frolics, frocks, and frivolity.
It may be the same show, but there were some changes in cast members and I was intrigued to see what effect this would have on the overall performance.
Note: this review is for the 2021 UK tour of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Jamie is Back!
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie returned to the Alexandra Theatrelast night and this has been a show I had been particularly looking forward to. Jamie was the show that was in house when the pandemic restrictions began in 2020 and The Bloke and I were stood in the foyer, programme in hand, when it was announced that the show was forced to close before the performance had happened. Over 500 days later, the return of the show to a sold-out audience felt like a coming home celebration, and I was delighted to see most of the same cast returning.
Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. He is going to be a sensation.
With Music by Dan Gillespie Sells and the Book and Lyrics by Tom Macrae, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is based on the true story of Jamie Campbell – the star of BBC3 2011 documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 – and has been a huge critical and success since it premiered at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017.
The show tells the story of Jamie New, a 16 year-old who has aspirations of becoming a drag queen.
Note: This is a press review for the 2021 tour of Rock of Ages.
Following a sell-out UK tour in 2018/2019, musical comedy Rock of Ages returned to the Alexandra Theatre. A jukebox musical featuring over 25 classic 80s rock anthems including Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Wanted Dead or Alive and Don’t Stop Believing, Rock of Ages has become a global smash-hit, with sold-out seasons on Broadway, the West End, Las Vegas and spawning a Hollywood movie in 2012.
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As with most areas of social media, I was seemingly behind the rest of the world in realising the power of Instagram as a marketing tool. I’ve actually had an Instagram account since 2015, back in the days when (at least, from my perspective) the platform was primarily a place to share some nice photos, add a snazzy filter and throw in a few hashtags. I’ve had moments over the years where I have made attempts to do something with my Instagram, but it was easy to become disheartened when I didn’t see immediate results. If I’m honest, after a while I paid it little attention. Continue reading →
I’m a big fan of bubble tea, so I was delighted when I got the opportunity to visit the Bubbleology store in the Bullring, Birmingham and try out my favourite flavours.
Bubbleology is a leading bubble tea brand in the UK, beginning in Soho in 2011 with multiple stores now across Europe and the USA, serving a variety of fruit and milk teas, create-your-own brews and skinny drinks. All their bubble teas use freshly brewed organic tea, are 100% vegetarian, handmade to order and many bubble tea options are available in light versions. A favourite in Asia since the 1980’s, Bubble tea originated in Taiwan and gained its name from the floating bubbles that are created by the vigorous shaking to blend a tea base with milk, fruit and fruit juices. Signature bubbles of tapioca pearls (also known as ‘boba’) of a flavour of your choice are added, sitting at the bottom and popping when they are chewed on. Served hot or cold, they are placed in large transparent cups with a wide straw that allow the tapioca bubbles to be consumed at the same time as the liquid.
One of my favourite things about Bubble Tea is that I can pick and choose my flavours and pearls depending on how I am feeling that day. My favourite flavours centre around cold fruit infusions including mango, passionfruit and apple, but I have always been intrigued by the beautiful ‘Utopian’ Bubble Teas that are mixed with cream and come in beautiful ranbow colours. Here are just a few examples of the types of teas that can be ordered – images were taken from the Bubbleology website.
“Look what happens when the trendy lefties move in!”
Adapted and translated by Jeremy Sams from Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière’s hugely successful ‘Le Prénom,’ ‘What’s In a Name?’ made its UK debut in Birmingham in 2017 and has now embarked on a UK tour. Continue reading →
Miguel Angel, AJ Jenks, Sasha Latoya, Cartier Fraser in Buddy
Last night The Bloke and I were invited to the Press Night of Buddy at the Alexandra Theatre.
Telling the story of the Texas-born rock and roll legend Buddy Holly from his meteoric rise to fame before his tragic death at the age of 22, Buddy has become known as ‘The World’s Most Successful Rock & Roll Musical,’ celebrating it’s 30th anniversary year with a 2019 – 2020 tour. Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London’s West End in 1989, the show has has enjoyed extraordinary success, having played a record- breaking 4450 performances over 556 weeks on tour in the UK and Ireland, as well as 5822 performances over 728 weeks in London’s West End, winning numerous awards along the way. Continue reading →
Last night The Bloke and I were invited to watch the hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Alexandra Theatre.
Co-written by the wonderfully funny Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is described as ‘a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring.’ It has definitely been on my ‘to watch’ list. Continue reading →
Last night the Bloke and I were invited to the press night of Band of Gold at the Alexandra Theatre.
Written by the award-winning Kay Mellor,the nail-biting thriller was inspired by 10 months of research in Bradford and Leeds into the world of sex workers. Set in 90’s Yorkshire, Band of Gold tells the story of a group of women – Carol, Rose, Anita and Gina – as they battle to survive whilst working in a notorious red-light district. When one of their colleagues is murdered, they need to find the killer before they strike again.Continue reading →