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Posts Tagged ‘fun’

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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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!

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It is hard to believe but it is true, the furry, stripy Tiger came to tea at Orchard Theatre Dartford today. We were kindly offered the review tickets to go and see the show with my three-year old and eight-year old children. Upon arrival, we have seen that the theatre was full and buzzing. Lots of excited children, going round the gift shop with the tiger soft toy and other memorabilia. Soon the bells were rung and we made our way to our seats.

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The well-known children’s writer Judith Kerr’s book’s musical adaptation was a hit with the audience from start to finish. All the children and adults have read the book time and time again. Thus there was an air of excitement in the theatre, in the anticipation of seeing the Tiger. The play is for ages three and above. But I would say any children older than 1 would enjoy it, including adults. Everybody was getting engaged in singing and dancing in this musical. The squealing children were amazed by their first introduction to the world of a musical. The parents were happily singing along and dancing in this interactive show. Unlike the book, the Tiger does not speak but rather shows with actions and movements, which made the show even funnier.

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The Oliver Award winner- David Wood is the Adapter and Director of the show. The Producer is acknowledged for his numerous works Nick Brooke made sure that “The Tiger who came to tea” is unforgettable, full of fun, excitement and awe moments. This musical play contains magical illusions designed by the President the Magic Circle, Scott Penrose. These illusions left all the elder children who came with their younger siblings and adults startled, let alone the little ones. The latter did not believe their eyes and the sarcastic, to begin with, elder children could not figure out how the illusions were engineered! A little brain teaser indeed!
Have you ever read the book and read it to your children or have little fans who like this classic picture book? Then book your tickets and enjoy 55 minutes of fun, excitement and awe with no intervals!
This musical show is at Orchard Theatre Dartford until the 23rd of August 2017, then it moves on to the UK wide tour. So do not miss it while it is in the area.smile

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