Six Reasons to See Matilda The Musical before it Leaves Plymouth

Matilda the musical has been at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal for the last few weeks, and I am so sad I didn’t get to watch this as a child.

I got invited to attend on a press ticket in January, and I’m so grateful. I was previously part of the Theatre Royal’s Blogger Programme, and have been visiting the Theatre since I was earning enough to buy my own tickets.

This was the first musical I’ve taken Matt to see, and I’m glad. The humour, sharp wit, and Matilda’s sense of wrong and right make for such a unique show.

I really enjoyed the shows. The songs are catchy and stuck in your head, they gave a much loved classic a really original spin. Here are a few of the reasons I would recommend the show;

1) The set is incredibly detailed. The show is framed by Scrabble tile like letter boxes, which spell out key words from the story. As the play goes on, it’s like a word search as they appear before your eyes.

2) The choreography is something else. Be it the alphabet the older students compose on the gates of Crunchem Hall, of the swings in When I Grow Up.

3)The Trunchball is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. I didn’t go into this thinking i would enjoy a song about The Chokey

4) The Children are so incredibly talented.

5) The songs are catchy. Just mentioning the show in work the next morning resulted in two of my colleagues, unprompted breaking into Revolting Children. I am still humming When I Grow Up and Miracle.

6) The story about The Escapologist & The Acrobat had me crying. It’s beautifully told, and terribly bitter sweet.

The only change I would want, would be for the show to last longer. I would have loved to see a bit more of the story, but not enough for any part of the play to be removed.

The show is in Plymouth until February 16th (Saturday), and with a handful of £10 tickets at each show for 16-25 year olds.

(For anyone suffering withdrawal like symptoms, the Matilda film with Mara Wilson is currently on Netflix)

[The tickets were gifted by the Theatre Royal, but the words and opinions are all my own. Photos are courtesy of]

Barbican Blogger Night; Cocktails, Pizza and Cinema

A little while ago, the The Barbican Leisure Park invited a few bloggers on a night out.

I’ve been visiting the Leisure Park since I got a Saturday job as a teenager. It was the venue for my first date, and many, many subsequent dates. It’s where I first discovered Cheesy Bites, and that I am terrible at bowling.

It’s the only place I feel completely, unhesitatingly confident driving as I know the route so well.

Accepting that invite was an easy yes.

We started off at Pizza Express, where there were cocktails and doughballs (and olives, and sun-dried tomatoes and all sorts of incredible things).

We got to sample the new drinks menu, with a light Tails Cocktail as a welcome drink. Espresso Martini’s are an easy favourite any time, and Pizza Express’ addition of vanilla added a sweet edge to the cocktail.

At Bella Italia, we shared some of the new menu options family style. Carbonara, Marinara pasata, Pollo Piccante pizza and a couple delicious vegan options with the both a pizza (i can’t find the name of), and a spaghetti in a lentil ragu.

The pizza was my first time trying Vegan cheese and there was no, noteable difference, i really enjoyed it.

We then split off into smaller groups, a few of the bloggers went to see A Simple Favor (Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick👌), a couple made their way home and Nicole and I went to see Venom.

Avoiding spoilers, it was as fun as the trailers made it look.

We were lucky enough to be treated to the evening, but a trip to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do with Matt, family or friends.

It’s one of the better things about the cooler months, in the last couple weeks I’ve been to see First Man, and Bohemian Rhapsody.Mow just to tick A Star is Born off the watch list…

I’ve added a little highlights section on my Instagram from the evening if you fancy a gander.

A Little Weekend Shopping

I can’t adhere to spending bans. There will always be a book, dress or coffee date which undermines my resolve but ultimately brings me a little joy. Today Sally, Katie and I met up for the first time in the new year and went shopping, there was a vintage fair in the guildhall and that alone is reason for a trip to town.

I managed to keep my spending below the £25 mark, if you exclude lunch and a slice of cake, but I’m happy with the pieces I picked up;

White Pie Crust Collar Blouse (£5 Primark)

This shirt has a collar detail, and huge sleeves; two trends I really bought into in 2017 and I don’t expect to fall out of love with anytime soon. This was picked up in a size 18, and I need to pop into the Habadashery before I wear this to work as the bust needs a couple hook and eyes to help the shirt sit flat.

I will always be drawn to a crisp white shirt, especially when such a simple androdyonous item has such feminine details.

Red and White Vertical Stripe Bow Blouse
(£10 Primark)

I have been eyeing this shirt up for what feels like the last month, but when I tried it on the for the first time today I fell in love. The shirt isn’t overly shaped, with only a couple darts near the bust, but it falls beautifully with the bow adding a very cute detail.

It would probably also benefit from a couple hook and eyes, but this is a trend with any button up blouse I own.

Blue and White Striped T Shirt (£4 Matalan)

I have a thing for striped shirts (generally horizontal stripes), normally I opt for black and white, but this blue and white shirt will probably be worn first thing next week. It’s ideal for work and will fit easily into my casual wardrobe, and the slightly thicker cotton top is ideal for the colder months.

Polka Dot Print Scarf (£4 Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair)

This silky printed scarf was the only thing I picked up from the vintage fair . Smaller than the fairs I’ve been to in the past, where space seemed to be lacking, I picked this out within minutes of getting to the main hall. I sifted through a basket of gorgeous scarves, and found this near the base knowing this would work perfectly as either a neck or head scarf. The neutral colour, and polka dots mean I’ll find it easy to wear.

I didn’t buy anything else from the vintage fair, after around twenty minutes I decamped to the cafe for a piece of cake and to read this months book club pick. I felt really uncomfortable at the fair, it was crowded and cramped and full of bottle necks of people, what I could actually see leant more towards retro eighties style (pins, vintage t shirts, oversized denim jackets) and wasn’t what I was searching for. Hopefully I’ll find a black wool beret at the next fair.

Now I’m off to make a cup of mint tea, and hang these up.

– Emily

Plymouth Turtle Bay Launch Night

Sometimes all you need in life is good food, the company of some incredible friends and delicious drinks.

Last Thursday, I got to visit the new Turtle Bay, with Nicole. We got hugged within moments of entering , and skipped the rum punch to grab some delicious mocktails. Nicole is teetotal, and I’m not a big drinker (a choice I make partially from being a light weight, and also because I’d rather spend that five or ten pound on a new pair of earrings or book any day of the week).

We found a wall of fairy lights, took the obligatory selfies and boomerangs before going for a wander round the restaurant.

We found Jemma and Corinna, and Adam and Alice found us. The rest of the evening consisted of far too many drinks (the mojihto was incredible, and definetly alcoholic), sampling everything that flew by, trying to spot Milly and being blown away by how cute the toilets were.

There were almost 800 people in the venue, and when the live music started Alice and I hovered back and stole quarters of pineapples studded with prawns whilst everyone else rushed to get a better view.

This time last year the most interesting thing I could be doing in the same venue would be watching someone get annoyed at the self service kiosk in the post office.

Thank you Turtle Bay for a very fun evening. Now…. To make a dinner reservation for my birthday next week…

– Emily

 

Turtle Bay launched its 230 seat restaurant Sunday 22nd October. Slightly exciting fact: this is the furthest south restaurant they have in the UK at present.

All photos from official photographer at the launch event.

A Theatre Review: The Here and This and Now

Going into a show with the lightest understanding of what it may entail, definitely leaves for an interesting experience. What I took away from my brief reading of The Here and This and Now on the Theatres website, was a comment on society, and our reliance on things to experience life (never rely too heavily on a Kindle related comment for context). The play itself was a layered look at the business world, and the effect it can have on the physical world, interspaced with character discussions of thier experiences with happiness; past, present and potential happiness.
The plays core revolves around McCabe, a pharmaceutical company who specialise in “Me To” lines of drugs. Products which were revolutionary months ago, and now have a slight spin to separate from the original. Products that rely upon Salesmanship and “likeableilty” to succeed in a saturated market. It tracks those connected to the company Pre, during and post- event. The story begins at break neck speed with four characters yelling “CAPTIVATE” and “DESTROY” whilst moving around the stage before moving directly into a two person conversation, I found myself focusing on Nial in an attempt to add any context or back story to what I was hearing.

 

The story has three key segments; The Away Day, Helens Presentation and McCabe’s Promotional Video. It’s a plot I don’t wish to decode too explicitly, as I feel it’s intended to impact you on a unique and personal level. There are elements of Orwell and King in the second part, and parallels to stories like Never Let Me Go in the final section, or in the least the ethical questions contained within Never Let Me Go.

There are parallels to what Black Mirror has attempted to do with its comments on society. Sometimes dark and poignant, very human and current. It’s difficult to pin down and define, calling instead for dissections and debate over drinks directly after. I worry that it is dreamlike, in that the more you try desperately to grasp at what you experienced in the last two hours, the more it escapes.

Tickets for the show come in at £15 (£11 for concessions), with it running until March 25th.

– Emily

The Theatre Royal Plymouth gifted these tickets as part of thier Blogger Scheme, as always the words and opinions are completely my own.

Gloria In The Mist – A Backstage Peak 

So last Thursday I was on the bus into Plymouth to attend the second event of the Plymouth Bloggers Scheme. I’d had one of those days at work where I barely stopped, and ended up leaving nearly half an hour later than I planned because of things I needed to finish off. In short, I was in a proper mood.
However, cue 18:34 and I was sitting with the other bloggers on the scheme waiting to see backstage of the evenings performance of Gloria in the Mist. Becca gathered us up, and took us through the windy backstage area, where we could hear incredibly talented people rehearsing for the evenings opera. Its the level of talent that leaves you slightly awestruck, and was the perfect little moment to start the evening. After a few more windy corridors we found ourselves on the stage of The Drum where the incredible Spitz & Co were setting up the stage for that night.
What we ended up with, in the time before the show, was an insight into what makes a two woman show. This show consists of Susie and Pauline (a lighting expert, a director and a designer), who met in a comedy workshop where the piece of advice shared with attendees was to go and make comedy as a duo. Susie and Pauline took this literally, and Gloriator (the first in a trilogy) was created. 
Alongside hearing some of the pairs history we were able to pick their brains for favourite comedy acts, how a theatre company wins funding for a project, and how the pair cope with jokes that land flat. We were taken to a dressing room, where Pauline showed us the bed and chicken filets present. The overexcited child in me was particularly impressed by the lighting around the mirrors, with it meeting my mental picture of a dressing room. Sadly, the dressing room journey also resulted in the temporary loss of Brett and Hazel as they discovered firsthand how labyrinth like backstage really is. 
One of my favourite aspects of the evening both before and after the show, were the props. The pair took us through which of the props were their favourite (a light up skyline and a toy helicopter were Susie’s personal favourite), talked through some prop issues they are faced with (anyone know where you can find a child’s triangle tent with three entry/exit points?), how everything has its place and needs to be accessed incredibly quickly. Props are a lot more complicated than they initially appear.
A little while after this, we left the pair be and sat around chatting waiting for the show to start. I have not laughed as much as I did last Thursday in a very long time. Live comedy is incredible, and I need to add it to my To-Do list over an over for 2017. The comedy is accessible, physical, situational and just bloody brilliant. With everything from interpretive dance, to snowball fights the show was unpredictable and incredibly original.
Running until Friday 23 December and priced at less than £15 a ticket the show is worth putting in your diaries. As I write this, I’m sitting here trying to work out how I can fit the show in again before the tour ends…
– Emily

The tickets were gifted as part of the Blogger Scheme at the Theatre Royal, but the somewhat gushing words above are entirely my own.