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Is it this time of the year again? We always look forward to the festive pantomime of the year. This year – The Orchard Theatre Dartford presented “Aladdin”. When I saw that Marti Pellow will be starring, I knew we won’t be let down. We booked our tickets and started the count down.

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The theatre seats were packed, no wonder given the cast, Ricky K, David Robbins to count a few. I was looking forward to the singing of Marti Pellow, who has achieved some of the UK’s biggest number one singles.

Straight from the beginning the show was full of magical moments. The kids were engulfed by jolly music, colourful characters of goodies and baddies. The nine year old, the four year old and the baby were all mesmerised. We didn’t feel two hours pass! The props were fantastic, one feels that a lot of money and creative thinking was put into the process of production. The jokes Ricky K, acting as Wishee Washee was throwing at audience, had us in stitches. The tongue twisters, they were saying with Marty Pellow, were long. We could not believe they could pronounce such long tongue twister sentences in one breath. We tried to say out couple of those, we could only get couple of words, let alone sentences.

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The “Aladdin” panto was in my opinion very well staged. There were lots of connotations of it coming from famous “1001 nights”. The famous compilations of tales created in Asia and travelled through the Great Silk road. Thus it hit home for us. We were really glad to understand and recognise the costumes, the storyline. I was proud to say to my children, that “1001 nights” consisted of more than 260 tales. It is more than “Chronicles of Narnia”, “The Lord of the Rings” and Harry Potter books combined! There is a fascinating fact for my bookworms! The costumes the dances ranged from China, Russia, Egypt and more. This was one of the best family time spent together. Ricky K’s humour, David Robbins’ colourful costumes and wigs were a highlight of the show too. We enjoyed singing together, recognizing the top hits and dancing together. We were belly laughing to the jokes and adults enjoyed the subtler ones. The show included the audience from start to finish, so there was plenty a chance to participate. The 3D effects were a great bonus in the second part of the show and made the trip on a flying carpet realistic. This was one of the best family time spent together.

“Aladdin” gets all of the five starts from us!

 

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Motherhood

Worry.

It’s past 2 a.m. I am awake because I am watching my baby. My three months old baby has a cold. It gives me anxiety that she might not be able to breathe. So here I am drifting in and out of sleep every twenty minutes . At the same time I am goinf into my two elder children’s room, as they are coughing too. Am I thinking of myself? No. I get comfort in knowing they are all fine, despite having touch of cold.

Bliss.

I came into the bathroom. I see tbe squashed tooth paste tubes and their colourful character toothbrushes. It’s amazing how different they are snd they like totally dissimilar things. I find it cute, a warm feeling takes over mt heart. MY children chose and used these. Prior to having kids my bathroom may have been spotless and full of luxury skincare, I think to myself, but now it is an area of happy memory making. The splashing, bubbly baths, the steamy dreamy venue for their snuffle noses- to count a few. Ah yes, I make a mental note, I need to change that soaking bath mat and give the bathroom a good sctib before another splishy splashy bath galore.

Cuddles.

The best thing about having little people at HOME? It is them who make a house a home. Their cuddles are filled with snots, dirty hands, sticky faces (did they find the sweet stash?). But these are tge best cuddles in the world. Priceless. As you hug each and every one of them, you feel their love, joy, energy for life. This alone gives you purpose of life, recharges your batteries. I look forward to cuddles, I can’t wait for those little arms spread and running towards me for a hug. A hug cures all at their tender age. I don’t know when us adults, we forget about the magical qualities of a HUG.

Emotions.

You notice how these children are growing. They start to have big emotions. At times it is quite difficult to handle them. I try to control mtself, try to be patient to help them to get the knowledge of their own emotions. So they know tgat it us normal to be angry, frustrated, dissapointed, happy, joyful, proud, let down and more. It us all part of growing up. The fpur year old became argumentative for a reason. She started to face more of those at school, she is finding it hard to control them. Us parents come to rescue, to listen to their little worries, to encourage them while trying to ignore the banging headache you got from a sleepless night. The nine year old started to change a lot, you see the glimpse of an adultshe us becoming. You try to gang on to that childhood worries she came to you with, comforting her. This comforts you too, for now she needs you. As much as your three months old baby. Oh sge woke up for a feed. Ah the joys of breastfeeding. Love you all my children. And when the eldest asked me, if I would do it again, giving up my glitzy career for them, yes, sweetheart in a heartbeet!

Teletubbies Live

Attention! Attention!

Cbeebies’s favourite show from our childhood, The Teletubbies’ first ever theatre show created especially for your little ones is here!

Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show full of love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Look out for the Tubby Phone, Noo-noo and the Sun Baby in a fun, bright and safe world which captures young children’s imaginations and encourages them to explore the world around them. Join in and enjoy beloved features from the TV series along with brand new songs.

Running time:

Act 1: 30 minutes

Interval 20 minutes Act 2: 20 minutes

Total 1 hour 20 minutes

So with these baby friendly times the “Teletubbies live” is perfect for babies of 6 months and older! I mean they say it is up to 4 years old, but to be frank, I want to see it myself – getting a chance of reminiscing the happy childhood memories.

The show will be running on the 22nd and 23rd of August 2018 at Orchard Theatre. There are 10 am and 1pm shows. Click here to book your tickets, before they will be sold off.

Attention! Attention! Do not say that you did not hear and do not miss this opportunity!

Number 1 pre-school show on BBC iplayer with over 250mln requests, Bing, goes to theatre! Calling  all Bingsters!  Bing  and  his  friends  are  going  on  tour  in  the  first  ever  Bing  stage show- “Bing Live!” will  visit  The  Orchard  Theatre,  Dartford,  on  Wednesday  25  July  as  part  of  a major  UK  tour  in  2018.

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Are not we all lucky to have Bing Live! on stage and oh so close to home. I have jumped on this opportunity to book my tickets and thus I had a very powerful tool of negotiation with my toddler for a FORTNIGHT NOW! Talk about ruling the parenting thing (at least for little while), she has become an image of perfection since hearing about www.bingliveshow.com .

There is no parent who doesn’t know about Bing, the show that we all relate to, albeit it is calmer, quieter version of our everyday parenting struggles. It’s  no  coincidence  that  watching  Bing  and  Sula  squabble over  sharing  a  balloon  or  dropping a  just-baked  cake  sees  the  average  parent  wondering  if  the  show’s  producers  have  been eavesdropping on their parenting lives. For as well as 23  writers,  there  are two  Montessori teachers,  four  education  experts  and  child  linguists  working  on  each Bing  script.  Their  aim  is to  create  a  programme  that’s  just  as  likely  to  teach  parents  a  patient  way  to  help a  toddler through  their  tantrum  as  it  is  to  give  that  child  some  quiet  time  in  their  day.

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Join  Bing,  Sula,  Coco  and  Pando  as  they  learn  how  to  tell  stories  by  pretending,  dressing -up  and  singing  songs.  Flop and  Amma  are  there  to  help,  but  in  this  magical  world  of  make-believe  things  don’t  always  go  according  to  plan… The  CBeebies  favourites  are  brought  to  life  in  a  brand  new  stage  production  full  of  fun,  laughter,  music  and  magical puppetry.   Bing  Live!  is  the  perfect  first  theatre  trip  for  pre-schoolers  and  their  families. Going  to  the  theatre…it’s  a  Bing  thing!

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The  series  has  won  an  International  Emmy  Award  in  the  Kids’  Pre-School  category  in  2016,  a  Writer’s  Guild  Award and  a  BAFTA  nomination  for  Best  Pre-School  Series.  The  animated  series,  which  saw  Mark  Rylance  make  his  children’s  television  debut  voicing  Flop,  is  produced  by  Acamar  Films.

With  Bing Live!  brought  to  life  by  magical  puppetry, producers  turned  to  Tahra  Zafar  –  the animatronics and costume maestro whose career has included  working  with  the Queen  on her  first  ever  acting  role  (at  the  2012  Olympics’  Opening  Ceremony) as  well  as  blockbuster shows  from Harry  Potter  and  the  Philosopher’s  Stone to Star  Wars  VII.

To  book  tickets  or  for  more  information  visit orchardtheatre.co.uk  or  call  the Ticket  Office  on  01322  220000

Every little girl has heard the Cinderella story, but seeing it on stage is another level of excitement. My children were besotted when I announced that we were going to see “Cinderella” on stage and write a review for it.

When we arrived at Orchard Theatre, Dartford, the whole theatre had been transformed into a magical enchanted land. There was a castle right in front of the entry. The boys were getting the light sabres, the girls were getting the light up tiaras and wands.

The theatre was full to the bream and I wasn’t surprised, as the show has a great line up. Starring Louie Spence as Dandini, Michelle Collins as The Wicked Stepmother, Jayne Wisener as Cinderella and Phil Butler as Buttons, don’t miss this year’s unmissable Christmas treat packed full of laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty to boo and hiss at.

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The show has started and from the first seconds, the magical appearance took the audience by surprise. The fun and laughter are there from the beginning to the end of the show. There were lots of subtle jokes for the adult audience, so there was not a moment of a bore for anyone! Thus we can confidently claim this show is for the whole family to enjoy! There won’t be a single yawning adult in view! The music, the singing, the dance, the costumes and the exquisite decorations are out of this world. The beautiful setting is truly glamorous and once Cinders steps into a royal ball, you would feel yourself in a true palace! We really liked the positive message it gave throughout the show – that one needs to keep dreaming and impossible becomes possible!

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Cinderella lives with her Wicked Stepmum and two ugly stepsisters. Not only they are ugly, but they are not blessed with brains either. So the children enjoyed their funny costumes all along the show. Buttons works at the Hardup Hall, where Cinderella lives. He is secretly in love with Cinderella and waits for a suitable moment to let her know of his feelings. But Cinderella is too busy, being torn between the ugly stepsisters and the Wicked Stepmother. Sometimes she goes to the woods to meet her lovely animal friends, that’s where she meets her destiny. But she thinks her love is a servant of a Prince Charming and falls in love with him. Louie Spence, who plays Dandini, is Prince Charming’s dance teacher. And he pretends to be Prince Charming in the woods, thus he is chased by the ugly stepsisters and the Wicked Stepmother. The real Prince Charming gets to know Cinderella and says he will send her the invitation to the royal ball.

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Once the invitations to the Royal Ball arrive, the Wicked Stepmother makes sure that Cinderella doesn’t have a chance of going. So they go to the royal ball, but without Cinderella. Then the Fairy Godmother appears, but before helping Cinderella she tests her kindness again. After that she lets her know her true personality and gets ready Cinderella for the royal ball with the help of Buttons. Cinderella arrives at the ball, beautiful than ever, in a beautiful carriage, spends the whole evening with the prince and leaves hastily when the clocks strike midnight. The Prince looks for her, having only a glass slipper. The news travels fast and the ugly sisters lock Cinderella in a cupboard. Buttons comes to help, and Prince Charming finds his beloved Cinderella. The next funny part is the part of Louie Spence and Phil Buttler, before the sumptuously glamorous royal ball. The Wicked Stepmother and the ugly stepsisters are sent off in a funny way referencing to Strictly Come Dancing and The Eastenders. And the show ends with a huge celebration. There are numerous tricks and use of little explosives so those with younger children may like to prefer back sits. We thought all of this usage of pyrotechnic effects brought the show’s level to the land of magic.

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If you want to feel the festive cheer and the enchantment of this time of the year, this is the show to see. Cinderella is an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, fairy magic sprinkled, yet funny festive show not to be missed! It gets all of five stars from us and we totally recommend it! While watching this panto – you shall go to the royal ball!

Claxon! A splashing new show of “Peppa Pig’s adventure” is out and started this past Friday at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre. We were lucky to be one of the first ones to see the Peppa’s new adventures on stage. From the moment we walked into the theatre, we could see lots of excited children, who were looking forward to meeting their favourite cartoon characters.  They were all bouncing, demanding Peppa Pig and her friends right away. This has set a fantastic energy, which could be felt throughout the show too.

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From the moment the show has started, it was full of surprises, keeping the attention of young children and toddlers on stage the whole time! Director Richard Lewis knew that at 3+ they have a short attention span. They introduced something new and exciting every few seconds, thus keeping the young audience enthralled. Peppa’s and her friends’ voices were so alike with animation movie, this gave an impression to children that, they actually came to life.

In this new adventure they all decide to go on a camping trip, so Daddy Pig, Madame Gazelle, Gerald giraffe, George, Daisy, Pedro Pony, Suzy sheep came along. When they were getting sick and bored in the car they had a great new song to sing. During the whole of the show, the audience is invited to participate in singing, dancing; games and we could actually feel water from the time they were splashing in the muddy puddles. All this interaction and participation in the show kept the children mesmerised and when there was a ten minutes break, they could hardly wait for the show to start again.  Once the camp is set and it darkened, there was a treat in store for the campers. Peppa and her friends could listen and see some nocturnal animals and creatures. The appearance of these quite impressed the youngsters. The show features music from BAFTA award-winning composer Mani Svavarsson. The show has around seven songs, some of them are classic and others are easy to join in. Not only the young audience, but the parents were quite glad to join in singing, dancing and playing the games with Peppa Pig and her friends.

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I and my three-year-old didn’t feel the one and a half hour go by, we have enjoyed every second of it. Particularly, it made me happy to see my child this happy. The whole time she was squealing with joy, dancing, singing and was entranced by the show. The magical spirit that brought “Peppa pig’s adventure” to life was felt by every single spectator! Is there any other feeling for a parent, then seeing your child this happy?! We would give this brand new show five out five stars! We would go back and watch it again, as we loved it a lot!

A must watch show for every Peppa Pig fans out there!

The show will continue all over the UK and the details can be found here www.peppapiglive.com

Autumn 2003, it was a cold Swiss autumn, my landlord who was from England invited me to watch a Riverdance on TV. It was Michael Flatley’s show and I was impressed. I had a dream since then to watch the Irish dance on stage. Roll on 14 years and the dream came true. We were once again in Orchard theatre for the dance show – “Spirit of the dance”. David King the producer of the show, created “Spirit of the dance” being inspired by Michael Flatley in 1996. But the “Spirit of the Dance” is not just Irish dance. This show includes Irish, salsa, flamenco, ballet, ballroom, tap, street dance, and more.

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Two tired adults on a weekday night, we did not know what to expect. From the first chords of the music and the scintillating moves, we knew we were in for a treat! Watching the clever incorporation of Irish dance with some modern hits and ballet, I couldn’t help to think why it won nine global awards. The Irish dance, the team spirit, the quick costume changes, the unanimous moves and the dancers energy was charging the whole audience. We could not believe their stamina. I loved when they came out without any music and tap danced. This showed how good they were and the rapport with audience was great. We were helping them to recreate the clap music and everybody quite enjoyed being part of the show. The likes of flamenco and street dance were unexpected but really well received.  This has inspired us a lot. We won’t just look at after school tap dance, ballet and the likes of it – as just a recreational pass time. “Spirit of the dance” shows how energizing is a great dance show!

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The show is on till 16th of September 2017 at Orchard theatre. It is a great opportunity to catch the breath-taking show, especially if you or your family are interested in some of those dances.