Review – Jack Frost’s Frozen Christmas – Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

You may (or may not) have noticed that all has been rather quiet on the blog front recently.  Alongside the usual Christmas craziness, we spent two weeks locked in with a tummy bug.  Such is life.  As a result, I missed the press night of Jack Frost’s Frozen Christmas at our local theatre.  Happily, James was still able to take the children, and invited our lovely friends, June and Imogen, along for the ride too.  Here’s what they made of the show:

“Taking our seats in the front row, we eagerly awaited curtain up.  The show started with a sad, almost dramatic scene which made the kids wonder what they were in for.  Jack Frost took to the stage with menace and the youngest grabbed my hand in proper panto fear.  He needn’t have worried as we were then transported to the North Pole and were treated to elves, penguins and a talented ensemble singing and dancing in Santa’s workshop.  From this point the action didn’t let up.

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Photo credit: Imogen Boath

Marcus Collins, as Silly Billy, demonstrated why he made it all the way to the X Factor final with a tuneful and confident performance. Jack Frost, played by Richard David-Caine, was fantastically evil, and his two henchmen were hilarious.  They performed ‘magic’ tricks that Tommy Cooper would’ve been proud of and produced comedy asides that had me in hysterics.   Miss Knutt, Santa Claus, Candy Frost and the dancers were all very good, and the show really did contain something for everyone.

The show contained an ecological subplot concerning the existence of the North Pole, which seemed to go down well with the majority of the audience.  Otherwise, the story closely echoed previous Christmas shows at the same theatre, which is seasonally inevitable, but with just enough of a difference and strong enough performances to keep it fresh and hold everyone’s attention.

I heard a few adults say that the show made them fee like kids again, and the kids in the audience were enthralled.  It was a hit with our family, and I thoroughly recommend that you see it while you have the chance.”

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Photo credit: Imogen Boath

When James and the children returned home, they were buzzing.  The boy could not sleep before he had told me all about the show; he was very excited and remember a lot of the plot, which made me smile.  After the show, they were lucky enough to be able to meet the cast and Miss J did not waste this opportunity.  She collected autographs from the entire cast and fell in love with Marcus Collins.  I would like to thank the cast for giving my little girl such a magical evening.

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Jack Frost… runs until January 1st and tickets can be bought here.  Thoroughly recommended by adults and children alike, and even this parent who didn’t see the show, but saw how much her children loved it by the way they spoke about it afterwards.  A great pantomime, go see!

We were provided with free tickets in return for an honest review.

With thanks to Jim Ellis and Imogen Boath for words and pictures.

My Sunday Photo

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On Tuesday, we are surprising our very own Princess Jasmine with a very special meet and greet with Princess Jasmine.  She will, of course, also be dressed as Princess Jasmine.  It’s all very exciting!  An early Christmas present for sure.

Are You Trying To Get Pregnant?

Are you or do you know someone who is trying to get pregnant? The most important thing to know when trying to conceive is timing your ovulation to be able to know when to “baby dance.” There’s only a very short window of opportunity a woman has each cycle to be able to get pregnant. This is called the 2-most fertile days; this is the time that the woman’s body releases the egg and the best time for the sperm to catch it for more chances of conceiving. Since that is just a very short time for those couples trying to conceive, it is very important to be able to know when exactly those days are. There are several ways to determine when you ovulate.

Pregnancytips.org gives us many possible ways to be able to know when you are ovulating. First is to check your cervical mucus. When your cervical mucus resembles that of an egg white, you are most probably ovulating. Second is, you can use some tools to track your ovulation. You can use some inexpensive ovulation predictor kits that you can purchase over the counter, you may also use a basal body thermometer to chart your temperature daily and you may also use an online app to help you determine when you’re ovulating. Whichever tool you use, what’s important is when you know you are ovulating, the sperm should be able to catch the egg for more chances of getting pregnant.

In the past, we had no trouble conceiving.  Miss J was an accident (or a blessing, as I prefer to call it), and we didn’t even know I was pregnant for five months!  With the boy, we tried for about six weeks before falling pregnant.  Very lucky indeed!  However, having now been diagnosed with PCOS, after months of trying for baby number three, I can see the ovulation tools and more clinical side of conception playing a bigger part in our lives.
We have everything crossed that, one day, our planning results in a much-wanted younger sibling for our two beautiful children.
jas and sonny

The Mystery of 27

I’m not sure if turning 27 is purely to blame, but my poor old brain is certainly struggling to acclimatise to its new age. 27 is still a mystery!

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At 27, I can remember:

* The number plate of my Year 7 P.E. teacher’s car
* Telephone numbers that belonged to places we’ve not lived at for years
* The name of a girl in my reception class who moved to Australia that year
* What I did on this day three years ago (for example)
* The exact day, date and time my sisters and cousins were born, as well as their birth weights

At 27, I cannot remember:

* My own mobile number
* Why I walked into a room
* The actual birthdays of my sisters and cousins
* What I did yesterday
* What I’ve already bought the children for Christmas and got hubby to wrap (still, at least keeping them a surprise is all taken care of!)

Honestly, it’s not easy being me!

Review – Aladdin – Connaught Theatre, Worthing

Nowadays, it’s all downloads and iTunes but, for most people over the age of 21, buying their first record is a memory that will never leave them.  Mine was, in fact, not a record, nor was it a CD.  That’s right; it was a cassette tape.  The very same thing that my six year old recently asked of her father, with a mixture of fear, disdain and confusion, “What…is that?”.  A sure-fire way to make a girl feel old!  I digress…

I was 12 when I bought my first cassette, which was the debut single of a band I came to love – S Club 7.  Fast-forward fifteen (yes, it is that long) years and I’m taking my two children to see the band’s finest vocalist, Jon Lee, in Aladdin at our local theatre.  Joined by a cast that  includes Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Kieran & Sarah (Genie of the Lamp and Slave of the Ring), and pocket rocket Terry Gleed (Wishee Washee), Lee shines in the lead role.

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With an impressive singing voice and charming smile, Aladdin is played brilliantly, though it is other members of the cast who bring most of the laughs, alongside the more traditional pantomime style.  Local Heart FM presenters Tom and Jack are great as respective PCs Ping and Pong, with their slapstick visual humour that tickles the younger audience members.  Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee also supply a lot of laughs throughout, as well as the all-important audience participation.  Kieren and Sarah provide a memorable moment with a cracking rendition of Nessun Dorma, too.  For my very own little Princess Jasmine, however, Jade Chaston was the one to watch, as the beautiful daughter of the King.

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Imagine her disappointment, then, when the promised meeting with the actual Princess Jasmine did not materialise.  We had been booked in to the VIP night back in August and greatly anticipated it ever since.  However, we learned today that a mistake had been made and that the VIP night, complete with the chance to meet the cast of the show, had been missed.  I must stress that this error is in no way the fault of the cast or the production team and it is not with them that I am disappointed.

Unfortunately, there were a few issues with our evening, thanks in no small part to the staff at the Connaught Theatre.  Our seats were double-booked and we were asked to move, after being effectively told that paying customers hold greater priority over reviewers.  This attitude, I must admit, left me feeling cross before the show had even started and, subsequently, I was a tough crowd.

Happily, though, the downright silliness of Aladdin had me laughing along in no time, and I couldn’t help but be caught up in the singing, dancing and general feel-good factor of the pantomime.  Overall, I would thoroughly recommend taking your children, grandchildren, or even your neighbour’s kids, along to see the show, but double check your seats at reception first.  This is the third time that our tickets have been cancelled and resold without so much as a mention and, on a busy night, this could prove a little more than inconvenient.

Thank you, cast and crew, for rescuing what could have been a pretty rubbish evening.  I will be singing Reach to myself for the rest of the week!

Edited to say that Worthing Theatres have dealt with our complaints to our satisfaction and promised that the way we were spoken to will be addressed so that it doesn’t happen again.  Furthermore, Jasmine will be getting to meet Princess Jasmine after all.  We are, once again, very happy supporters of our local theatres.

Catch Aladdin at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, until January 4th 2015.  We received complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review.