What is Christmas without the tale of Scrooge and “A Christmas Carol” in some format? Over the years we have seen various renditions on screen and in Theatres, but non struck me, and left such an impact as that of Hull Trucks rendition of this classic. On Tuesday evening I met one of my fabby friends down in Hull to go check it out, and had a fabulous festive evening of laughter, emotion of all kinds, and many a reflection of life and what this season is all about!

Adapted from Dickens A Christmas Carol, director Amy Leach brings Charles Dickens classic into Hull – complete with an incredible set, Hull accents, gags, music and chilling ghouls. It is, and was an incredible performance, and I have never felt such a roller-coaster of emotions before in such a short space of time!

From sadness and compassion at the scene of illness and poverty, to fear, laughter, joy and contemplation brought to us through the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. I sat in anticipation at each ghost that appeared, spine chilling and creepy, and tension filled the air throughout as each one was presented in such a creative and magnificent way. I have never seen anything like it on stage – the costumes were unbelievable; with Marley’s creepy chains and harrowing presence, to the ghost of Christmas past glowing and moving in a way that made me hope she didn’t get any closer! I can’t even comment on the Ghost of Christmas Future as I could barely look I was the spooked!!! Mixed in with the dim lighting and smoke, these scenes were done in an amazing way and had us on the edge of our seats.

In contrast we saw “Present” burst into life with a jovial spirit, jokes and accompanied with music and dancing, decked in colour and sparkle! One minute I wanted to run, the next I wanted to burst in song with them all! It was absolutely brilliant and with such a small cast, the quick changes between characters and costumes were executed seamlessly.

It opens on the docks of Hull, dark, smoggy and dingy, and a place where sickness is apparent and poverty and suffering are ripe. What is Christmas for these people? How can joy be found in this area of the world? Who will help those who face increasing debt and a need for the simple necessities of life?

We are all familiar with the great change that then comes with in Ebeneezer Scrooge, as through 3 ghostly visitors he is given an opportunity to have his eyes opened to those around him, and his power to be able to help. He is given a change to renew himself and write a new chapter. It remains true to much of Dickens classics with a few extras thrown in for good measure!

From gags, to music and an incredible set, and costumes, it is creative, captivating and a marvellous show throughout. It captures you from the start and takes you on a journey that as a spectator will leave you wondering what more you can do?

It is a great symbol of Hull story and how it itself has been lifted from a label of modern poverty through “The city of Culture”, into a more hopeful future.

Since seeing “A Christmas Carol” at Hull Truck Theatre on Tuesday evening, I have not stopped telling people how great and spooky it was, and recommending it. it was absolutely spectacular and very memorable – a must see this season no doubt. As I watched it and have the goal participate in #LightTheWorld this season, it is a true reminder of our own powers of charity. Let us use the opportunities around us, to live our lives in the present and make the best of the opportunities we have to share with others the spirit of this season, and bring joy and light to them.

A Christmas Carol is been shown at Hull Truck Theatre, in the heart of Hull, right now until Saturday 6th January. Tickets vary between £10 – £22! I wouldn’t take young kids as its quite scary, but am considering taking Ethan (maybe) who is 7. 

*Thank you to Hull Truck Theatre for allowing me the opportunity to come and review this performance in return for a review. Pictures are thanks to Andrew Billingham 

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A few weeks ago Megan came home from school excited to tell me about a concert they were practising for at their new school which we now know to be called “little big sing”. It took her a while to give the deets, and to be honest initially I wasn’t 100% sure whether she has misunderstood something or made it up (which happens a lot in Megan’s world). Over a day or so we mostly understood, and Ethan confirmed they were indeed practising a number of pieces for a concert of some description!

We became even more excited when they said they would be singing at the Bridlington Spa (hello theatre performance!) and yesterday my mum and I had the pleasure of going along to see them.

It wasn’t anything like what we had thought … all of us were expecting to see their school on stage singing and dancing, and they too thought that’s what they were doing. In actual fact there was a live band and music director on stage leading about 10 different schools (made up of key stage 1) in a “big sing” of songs they had all independently being learning. It was so random and funny!

We sat on the balcony and cheered and laughed whilst the little voices rose up sounding absolutely gorgeous. We watched them wiggle, twirl, clap and beam. We tapped our toes and waved along, and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of music and positivity.

For the last couple of weeks we have thoroughly enjoyed being serenaded with duets from Ethan and Megan at home and out and about at train stations and parks – It has been great. I love to hear my kids sing and see them dancing, and I love to have music in our lives and let go together. I love the ordinary moments of feeling joy and free, unified by musical beats!

Little big sing wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was a breath of fresh air from everyday life to be in a hall with live musicians and the joyful spirits of kids filling the air. What a wonderful way to spend a Monday afternoon. Roll on next year and let’s make this a tradition and ordinary moment of Summer!

The Ordinary Moments
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Yesterday I escaped the ever increasing stacks of boxes and “stuff” that filled my lounge, and headed with the kids on the bus into Leeds, for a little last minute adventure and some fun to see “The Scarecrow’s Wedding” at West Yorkshire Playhouse. 

The Scarecrow’s wedding is possibly the only Julia Donaldson book I failed to read to my kids whilst they have been young (mum fail), and yet whilst we were pretty clueless as to the plot beforehand, it didn’t phase us. A trip to the theatre was the perfect half term adventure, and in true Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler style, it was fun, witty and joyful. And we thoroughly enjoyed the production of it.

Straight from London’s West End, it tells of the story of two scarecrows “Betty O’Barley” and “Harry O’Hay” who love each other, and so of course decide to get married! Harry then sets off to search for their wedding day essentials including a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells, and meets all kinds of characters along the way.

Meanwhile, back home, when the farmer notices he is missing a scarecrow, he replaces Harry with the devilishly smooth but dangerous “Reginald Rake”. Dashing, daring and ever so cool, you begin to wonder if Harry will make it back on time or if Reginald will put a spanner in the works?!

Oozing with incredible talents, laughter and jokes galore, this play is engaging for all ages and actually really funny. There were so many laugh out loud moments, captivating tunes, and imaginative props and costumes. The kids loved every minute, and Megan could not sit still – (a) because she’s Megan, and (b) because she was THAT excited to be there!  But it didn’t matter, as this is the perfect place to capture kids imaginations and love for the arts, all whilst embracing their wriggly ways!

Megan was definitely the most enthusiastic of my kids, whilst E played it a little more cool. She laughed, shouted along at certain points and got very involved… she danced in her seat, laughed some more, and bursted with joy. Then, as soon as the lights when up, she lent in and told me “that was THE best thing EVER and everyone just needs to see it”!!! I was delighted it was so good and that both her and Ethan had sat and enjoyed it.


I found the Actor who plays several of the characters (including the farmer) absolutely hilarious and generally incredible with every role he took on! They all have great chemistry on stage and it worked well with just the 3 actors.

Overall we thought that it was cleverly created, with a great set (something Ethan especially loved) and country style music you can’t help but toe tap along to.

We all had a wonderful day out and both Ethan (6) and Megan (almost 5) absolutely loved it. Alice too loved watching the action and bounced along to the beats of the quirky tunes.

I am loving my kids keen interest in theatre and that we had such a lovely day out yesterday to see another wonderful production at West Yorkshire playhouse, they really are the hub of great shows!

Following the fun, laughs and adventures at the Playhouse, we enjoyed a wander around the City, market and had a cheeky subway lunch. It was a lovely day and one I am glad to have braved with 3 kids in tow solo.

Why not end half term with the sound of wedding bells and a crazy farmer, and pop along for this “down on the farm” adventure. You will not be disappointed!

The Scarecrow’s Wedding is on at West Yorkshire playhouse until Sunday, and tickets are just £12.50 each. It is recommended for ages 3+ and is the perfect length once again for wriggly bum kids at just 55mins, with engaging performance throughout.

*Thank you to West Yorkshire Playhouse for inviting us to see this in return for our thoughts on the blog! 

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It’s been ages since I laughed so much at the theatre like I did today with Ethan, his date and her mum, when we had the pleasure of seeing “The First Hippo on the moon” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

I have never read David Williams book that this stage performance has been adapted from, but that’s okay. You don’t need to know the story to appreciate and enjoy this marvellous adventure which features puppetry, music, mayhem and a giant space race to the moon! It was absolutely brilliant with fantastic props, costumes, jokes left, right and centre, music and a feel good moral. The cast worked incredibly hard and it was plain to see from start to finish.

As Megs was at Grandma’s, Ethan invited one of his female friends and so of course we mothers did what we do best and bigged it up to be a date! Complete with some sneaky hand holding on the way, smuggled lolly pops and lots of laughs, it was everything you’d want for a date at 6 years old (with or with out parents).

I loved to see not just them, but the whole theatre (old and young) laughing their heads off. Such a great atmosphere and even better – It kept their attention through out and was the topic of conversation on the way home too. Ethan said “It’s the best best bestest play in the world, because it is all about trumps and Poo-poo (every 6yr old boys dream apparently!!), and the hippo uses poo to fill the rocket up!”.

If you want to know what he is chatting about, then get yourselves to the playhouse for a gander! There are 2 days left to see this, with at least 2 performances being shown, and the kids will most definitely love it.

I really do love the theatre, and being there with my kids. It’s so special and exciting, especially when it’s a bit quirky, and more so when its quirky and laugh out loud funny. It was the perfect thing for kids from 3 upwards and the length was perfect and it captivated us all! I cannot say enough how brilliantly funny it was – I look forward to sharing more from David Williams with the kids, its right up our street!

Thanks to the West Yorkshire Playhouse for giving us a complimentary visit in return for our review.

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