Aladdin at the Webster, A festive treat perfect for the whole family

Originally published in the Arbroath Herald – December 2018

There’s nothing quite like a panto come Christmas time – oh no there’s not! And over the years, the Webster Theatre has gained a reputation for producing a stellar festive show which is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

Thankfully this year’s production Aladdin is no exception. Filled with fun and frolics, goodies, baddies, brilliant songs, fantastic dance routines and laughs aplenty, this pantomime has everything an audience could possibly want and much, much more.

With their own unique retelling of the classic tale, the Webster Theatre’s show captures the heart, soul and funny bones of their entranced audience. As you’d expect from an enchanting story like Aladdin, the production brings plenty of magic to the stage, with impressive special effects and a dazzling flying carpet to wow the audience nightly.

The brilliant cast, sparkle on stage as they act out the captivating tale. Newcomer Tony McGeever, shines in the lead role as Aladdin with Simon Donaldson providing lots of laughs and hilarious dance moves as brother, Lankie Spankie. Arron Usher returns to the Webster Theatre for a second year in a row, this time as the wickedly funny Widow Spankie, as does the fabulous Susan Coyle as the beautiful baddie Abanazar and the lovely Claudia Todd who steals Aladdin’s heart as well as our own, as Princess Jaz. Last but by no means least is champion hip-hop dancer Charles ‘Chuck’ Denton, who lights up the Arbroath theatre once again, as he performs the role of the powerful breakdancing Genie, Jay-Z.

With plenty of opportunities to boo and hiss, shout and scream, sing along and dance too, the Webster Theatre’s production, delivers festive warmth and Christmas cheer in abundance. Do you and your family a favour and catch it while you can.

Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee – Review

I was lucky enough to get the chance to go along to a Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee class in Carnoustie recently.

Led by Abbey Craig and Barry Smale, the interactive music and drama class for children under 5, brings popular songs and rhymes to life, through puppets and role play. I was absolutely amazed by the class that I attended. Filled with songs, fun and frolics, the children who attended had joyous time (as did I!).

What really stood out for me was just how professional the experience was. It really was like watching a live kids show at the theatre! Each week has a different theme to keep it new and interesting for the children whilst also being a familiar experience with Tick Tock rhymes and songs that are enjoyed weekly.

One of the things I loved the best about the experience was how interactive it was for the children. The kids were absolutely thrilled to get involved in the action – whether they were running around the hall looking for props to help the puppets or singing along, you could see by their beaming faces, just how much they enjoyed being part of something so special. It truly was a magical experience for them all.

The only thing that I was disappointed about, was the fact that my two children are now at school and can’t join in on the weekly fun – they would have loved it!

If you’re looking for a class to take your wee ones along to, get yourself along to one of Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee classes. I guarantee that both you and your child, will adore the experience.

For further information about Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee and their classes, visit:






The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers – Review

Photo credit: Paul McDade

Being a literature and music fan girl, I was delighted to hear that a group that combines both passions actually exists! The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers is a band made up of crime writers who also quite enjoying playing live music whenever they get the chance.

And they’re not just any old crime writers either, this bunch are the cream of the crop! The six-piece band consists of Sleepyhead author Mark Billingham, Wire in the Blood creator, Val McDermid, Quite Ugly One Morning novelist, Chris Brookmyre, Those We Left Behind writer, Stuart Neville, Then She Was Gone author, Luca Veste and Crash Land novelist, Doug Johnstone.

Despite my initial excitement, I’m going to be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect from the band when I went to see them perform live at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, recently. Yeah, they can write, I thought, but can they play decent music?

Well hell yes, is the answer to that. In fact, watching them play up on the Lemon Tree stage, it was hard to believe that they ever did anything else. The fact that the group can all write so well too, actually seems somewhat unfair to those of us who are not multi-talented…

But, I had no time to be bitter about my lack of musical skills. I was too busy being thoroughly entertained by the band’s killer playlist, which basically consists of every macabre song that you can think of, from Psycho Killer to the Folsom Prison Blues.

The audience, who seemed fairly staid at the beginning of the night, were wild by the end of it, dancing as if their lives depended it on the now packed and sweaty dance floor. And who knows, maybe they knew something, that I did not…

If like me, you love dark literature and music, make a point in catching the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers next time they perform live. A wickedly good night of music and fun awaits.

For further information about the band, visit their website:

For details on future events coming to the Lemon Tree, visit:

FUNBOX Dinosaur Safari – Review

There’s nothing quite like a family trip to the theatre. It’s some place I’ve loved taking my kids since they were very small, in the hope that one day they’ll grow into theatre fan girls, like their mum.

My favourite show to take them to, is always whatever FUNBOX production is currently running. We all adore their vibrant shows which are full of fun, songs, comedy capers and great big belly laughs (from the audience). This summer’s production Dinosaur Safari is no exception and had everyone clapping, singing and cheering along.

With a captivated audience filled with dinosaurs, cave people and little explorers, the dynamic trio Kevin, Anya and Gary and their beloved naughty dog Bonzo, did what they do best and entertained the socks off of everybody in the room.

As FUNBOX’s continue to tour Scotland this year with Dinosaur Safari and their other show, Rocking Over The World, it’s clear that it’s not just my children who love the awesome musical group.

The fact that they’re keeping Scottish traditional family songs alive, makes me exceptionally happy. There’s no chance of classics like Ye Cannae Shove Yer Granny Aff A Bus, dying on FUNBOX’s watch.

If you’re looking for a way to entertain the kids this summer, be sure to check out one of their shows for an afternoon filled with musical mayhem and fantastic fun. You won’t regret it.

For further information on FUNBOX and for ticket details, visit:

Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee

I’m really looking forward to going along to Tick Tock Music Angus and Dundee’s first Carnoustie class on Thursday!

Run by Abbey Craig and Barry Smale, the interactive music and drama class for children under 5, brings popular songs and rhymes to life, through puppets and role play.

I’ll be reviewing the taster session for Culture for Kicks, but if any of you fancy coming along, here are the details:

Tick Tock Taster Session, Carnoustie
Thursday 21st of June at 11.30
Panbride Church Hall
10 Arbroath Road, Carnoustie

Further information and details of the Broughty Ferry class, can be found here:
and on their Facebook page: