Review: Funbox, Superheroes Show

super_centre_image1-730x453While I’d love to be all cool and pretend to be indifferent, I cannot lie – I am a huge Funbox fan. I love them because they are keeping all the traditional songs and silliness alive for my two girls. I love them because, when I tell my kids that we’re spending the afternoon in their company, they light up like little Christmas trees. But mostly I love Funbox because they are just really, really brilliant at what they do.

So it’s fair to say that we were all a little bit excited as we made our way to see their Superheroes show in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre. When we arrived to a theatre packed with little superheroes, my little Supergirl and slightly bigger Animalgirl, were more than ready for the laughter and fun to commence. And it certainly did! As usual, the show included some new and very catchy tunes, some old classics like The Quartermasters Show and Little Bunny Fou Fou as well as lots and lots of laughs including a hilarious and slightly awkward incident when Kevin and Bonzo met for the first time!

As always the gang came offstage after the gig, ready to greet their fans. They are always so generous with their time posing for photographs and chatting with the kids, adding to the excitement of the day. As I watched my two girls cuddling Anya and giggling along with Gary and Kevin, I just knew that meeting the gang, was something that they’d always remember. Funbox have helped to create a special memory for my kids that will last a lifetime. And because of that, I’ll love them forever.

Find out more about Funbox and their current Scottish tour on their website: www.funbox.co.uk

Horrible Histories: Incredible Invaders – Theatre Review

Horrible Histories - Birmingham Stage CompanyWhen it comes to TV, there aren’t many programmes that all four of us enjoy, but the one programme I can always guarantee will entertain my three year old and seven year old, at the same time, is Horrible Histories. The fact that that my husband and I absolutely love it too is an added bonus! Filled with catchy songs and gruesomely horrid historical facts, it’s the one show I can let the kids watch without feeling guilty! So when we heard that the Horrible Histories theatre show, Incredible Invaders, was coming to Edinburgh Playhouse, we were all very excited to check it out.

Written by Terry Dreary, the bestselling author that penned the original Horrible Histories book series, Incredible Invaders tells the story of the UK. Lead character Mavis, played by Hannah Boyce, is a Briton who is desperately trying to avoid a life of slavery at the hands of dastardly interlopers. On her journey through time, Mavis meets everyone from the rotten Romans, the smashing Saxons to the vicious Vikings and finds how their invasions shaped the Britain, we know and love today.

In classic Horrible Histories style, Incredible Invaders is a fantastic mixture of history and hilarity. The small and extremely talented cast, from Birmingham Stage Company, had the audience on the edge of our seats throughout and we spent the hour and a half show, howling with laughter and joining in! The second half, which featured 3D special effects, had the whole audience screaming and ducking as bloody heads and rabid dogs came flying our way, which only added to the great excitement.

We had a splendidly horrid time at this wickedly funny and gruesomely educational show and would highly recommend it.

Horrible Histories is currently touring the UK with their two shows Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders. Please visit: Barmy Britain for more information.

Theatre Review: Little Red and the Wolf at the Dundee Rep

Little Red newStepping into the Dundee Rep to see Little Red and the Wolf was like stepping into a fairy tale. The theatre had been completely transformed into a magical wood, where mischief and mayhem lurked around every corner. Doing away with the theatre’s traditional seating, the action all takes place on set. Perched on our plastic chairs and floor cushions, we were so very close to the action, that we felt completely immersed in the experience the whole time.

Sitting waiting for the show to begin we were greeted by the cast who were mingling amongst the audience. Meeting Granny Island from Katie Morag (Annie Louise Ross), who plays the part of Little Red’s Granny, was a particularly special moment for my two girls who were rendered speechless for the first time I can ever remember. But also seeing the rest of the cast including the beautiful Little Red (Marli Siu) and the very charming wolf Lyka (Cristian Ortega) up close, was also very lovely.

When the play began, it was clear that this was going to be a very special production indeed. Filled with laughs, suspense and plenty of scary moments, Little Red and the Wolf had the whole audience on the edge of their seat.

Superbly acted, the concept of Little Red and the Wolf is very clever, completely turning the traditional fairy tale on its head. Watching the production I experienced the whole range of emotions. One minute I was rooting for characters and the next I was jumping out of my seat. During one particularly touching scene I may or may not have shed a tiny little tear or ten. As the mother of two girls, I was particularly pleased to see a feisty and very clever Little Red, who makes a fantastic role model for children everywhere.

My girls too absolutely loved it too and were completely mesmerised throughout, being so close made them feel like they had really been part of something very special. On leaving one wanted to become a wolf and the other an actress – so I think I can safely say the production made a big impact. All in all Little Red and the Wolf is an absolutely spellbinding production, which is not to be missed. Little Red and the Wolf runs at the Dundee Rep until the 9th of April.

To find out more and book tickets, visit the Dundee Rep’s website: www.dundeerep.co.uk

 

Cinderella at The Webster Theatre, Arbroath

cinderellaI love a good panto. I mean really, what’s not to love? The music, the cheering, the boo hissing, that lovely warm festive feeling inside you have by the time you reach the end? Done well and a good panto can be just magical. But all that really is dependent on it being done well.

After seeing the amazing Jack and the Beanstalk last December at The Webster Theatre, I wasn’t worried. After all both pantomimes are written by the brilliant John Binnie, an award winning Scottish playwright famous for his moving productions. Really, what could go wrong? Nothing as it turns out, everything was just very, very right.

From the very beginning we know that this panto isn’t going to be exactly traditional when we meet our handsome prince who looks more emo than classic Prince charmer. And the surprises don’t stop there, Cinderella is feisty, our fairy godmother has a bright pink bob and Buttons is an irresistibly cute mouse.

The amazing cast of stellar Scottish actors, including River City’s Carmen Pieraccini, had the audience captivated from the moment the curtains went up and we were instantly rooting for the quirky Cinderella and Prince to get together.

All in all the production is flawless. The catchy songs, hilarious gags and lovable goodies and baddies, have the whole audience in an uproar, and at times, quite literally out of their seats. The audience participation makes this production particularly special for the younger guests who were whooping with laughter as the ugly sisters Bangers and Mash made their way through the crowds and through the theatre aisles.

With loads of laughs, plenty of mad antics and some lovely touchy feely moments, I spent my time alternating between giggling happy big girl to blubbering sappy big girl. The kids loved it too, even my three year old, a notorious wriggler, sat transfixed the whole way through, magically mesmerised by the show.

Yes, it’s official, Cinderella at the Webster Theatre is definitely a panto done well. In fact, judging by the immense festive cheer I felt by the end and the sea of smiling, jolly faces that I passed as we left, I’d say that this panto is right up there with the very, very best.

Cinderella is on at the Webster Theatre until the 24th of December. For ticket information visit: www.webstertheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01241 435800.

DragonQuest at Monike Country Park

dragon-quest-1When you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise….especially if it’s the forest at Monike Park! It’s a place I visit often and I’m always on the look out for birds, rabbits, imaginary bears and perhaps a Gruffalo or two, but on Tuesday night I got a lot more than I bargained for!

My adventure into the deep dark woods was all in the name of DragonQuest, an augmented reality theatre experience which involved me walking into the woods armed only with a torch and a scaredy cat six year old for company! Our mission (yes we chose to accept it) was to find Dan and Petra two scientists working for the Dragon Protection Agency who had managed to get lost in the woods. Rumour had it that they may or may not have been captured by trolls (big gulp)!

What followed was a fun and magical evening where we met a whole host of mythical creatures from fairies to unicorns in the beautiful, enchanting and somewhat menacing woods. Using the DragonQuest app that we downloaded beforehand, we even managed to capture a few of the creatures we met on camera.

dragon-quest-2I’m not going to give the game away and tell you whether we spotted any dragons on our travels or whether we managed to save Dan and Petra from the trolls – you’ll need to go along and find that out for yourself! But what I will tell you is that we made it out of the forest alive with very big plans to go back again soon!

DragonQuest is at Monike Country Park in Angus, Scotland until Sunday the 1st of November. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Webster Theatre, Arbroath.

*Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket in exchange for this honest review.