I have spent most of this morning wandering around the house and singing at the kids in my best operatic voice (they obviously loved it). I was so touched and moved last night by the iconic story of Evita, that it has left me wanting to sing from the rooftops (or at least across the Village green), and wondering what happened to Eva Perón and Argentina following her seemingly premature death (Spoiler?!).

I had the pleasure of seeing Evita at Hull New Theatre with one of my lovely friends, and we were both absolutely blown away by the incredible talents and storyline. It was such a beautiful performance, from a cast made up of some of the best that musical theatre has to offer and I just loved the fact it was a true, historic story, filled with such beautiful music and song by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Evita tells the true story of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, and her journey from a humble beginning in Los Toldos, to stardom in Buenos Aires. An ambitious actress, she tries her luck in Buenos Aires and ultimately builds a successful career and image there and throughout Argentina. Eva Perón is attracted to powerful men and following a military regime seizing power in Argentina, and a bad earthquake, her path crosses with Colonel Juan Perón at a charity gala, where he soon becomes her next quest, partner and then later her husband.

Following his climb to minister of war, an arrest and his subsequent win in the 1947 elections, Juan Perón becomes the new president of Argentina with Eva becoming first lady. Here there is no stopping her ambitions and desires, which eventually lead her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people.

Lucy O’Byrne (The Sound of Music, Les Misérables) plays the iconic role of Eva Perón, with Mike Sterling (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Juan Perón. Award-winning West End leading man, Glenn Carter (Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar – on stage and screen, Les Misérables) takes to the stage as Ché. They were each magnificent, as were Oscar Balmaseda (Magaldi) and Cristina Hoey (Mistress).

Following the political, social and historic scenes of Argentina through the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s (as well as the love story and dynamics of Eva and Juan), Evita is such an interesting and powerful story, that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing. It has left me wondering why I have never seen until now!

The performance was absolutely spectacular and brought the story of Argentina under the Peróns  to life in such a wonderful way. I cannot put into words how beautiful everyone’s voices were (especially Lucy O’Byrne), and how real the set felt. It is such a captivating piece and all I can say is that I have never been so moved in a theatre (aside from The Lion King) than I was last night. The whole thing was simply beautiful, and we loved it.

Evita has been captivating audiences for the last 10 years, and now its here in Hull/East Yorkshire. I would definitely recommend it if you love musicals and history, but be prepared to be blown away! If you have the time, then get yourself down to Hull New Theatre this week – Tickets are available  from 6-10 November 2018 and are on sale now. Book at the Hull City Hall Box Office by calling 01482 300 306 or visit the website www.hulltheatres.co.uk to book online.

*Thank you to Hull New Theatre for inviting me along to review this. I was given complimentary tickets in return for an honest review! 

 

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Last night we were entertained to the max, when Ethan, Megan and I had a wonderful night out to Hull New Theatre, where we saw the award-winning stage adaptation of David Walliams’ bestselling book “Gangsta Granny”! It was a fantastic play filled with lots of trumping, crime, mischief and laugh out loud jokes. We had sparkle, dancing, creative scene changes and a whole load of absolutely fantastic acting that kept us engrossed throughout!

It was most definitely worth some bedtime rebellion on a school night!

If you don’t know the hilarious and captivating tale of Gangsta Granny then where have you been?? It is brilliant and filled with some right good British humour! It follows the story of an 11-year-old boy “Ben”, who is doomed to spend Friday nights with his “boring old Gran” whilst his parents pursue their Strictly Come Dancing dreams. He dreads the games of scrabble, the array of cabbage inspired delicacies, but mostly though, it’s the thought of ending his week with a “boring” old lady that smells a bit funky!

But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret – and he soon discovers that Friday nights are about to get a whole lot more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny.

I loved the British humour throughout and each character was played incredibly well. It was a brilliant, family friendly evening and one of those performances where you really feel a part of it – right in there feeling the heart of the whole thing! It was so good to see such a favourite come alive in that way and share it with Ethan and Megs.

We all loved the props, the set, the dancing, jokes and persistent cabbage trumps! We loved the real life granny scooter – “bezzing” (yes I know that’s not a real word!) around the stage and the humorous antics of “Mr Parker” and Ben’s parents. We loved the cheeky character of his Granny and in between all of those laughs and action packed moments, we also loved how it captured our hearts to see the fun and beauty of a relationship grow between a boy and his Gran, when they finally found a shared passion and adventure!!

I would, without a doubt recommend this to everyone. It is so much fun to be a part of and thanks to the Birmingham Stage Company we can now cross “dance with the Queen” off our bucket lists after such a brilliant finale! But don’t take my word alone… I’m a “boring old(ish)” mummy! Here’s what my kids thought of it too – Ethan is 7 and Megan recently turned 6!

Ethans Review: 

“That was so so so funny! I really loved it and thought their acting was just so good – they were all really good and it was so cool how they looked like they were in the car and the water but not a real one! And I loved the stage – yes the stage was so magical because it had all hidden things that turned into stuff and it was marvellous how they did that.

I would give it 1,000 stars – it was really good!!”

Megan’s Review:

“I liked the trumping the best (*of course!) and the dancing cat and Queen were really funny! I didn’t know the Queen could do the floss but that was the real Queen and she can so I will be telling everyone that!

I’d say it was the best night, not becuase we stayed up late, not because I loved it like Ethan and laughed my head off too. I will tell all of my friends they have to see it because the trumps are sooooooooo funny and they have a dancing cat!”

If your kids find trumping Granny’s and trumping Queens funny and, if they like dancing cats and seeing the Queen do the floss, then the exciting tale of Ben’s “Gangsta Granny” with all of its secret plans and plots, is certainly not to be missed. It was a lot of fun and you will certainly not regret a night out to catch a piece of the action down at Hull New Theatre this weekend! Birmingham Stage Company have done a fabulous job of this well loved tale and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

Gangsta Granny is showing until Sunday the 8th July and tickets are on sale now from £15.50! Book at the Hull City Hall Box Office by calling 01482 300 306 or visit their website www.hulltheatres.co.uk.

*This was complimentary press visit in exchange for a review. 

 

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They say that laughter is the best medicine, and after what has been a gloomy period in life recently I was in desperate need of some that I assure you! But when I accepted the invitation recently to see “The Play That Goes Wrong”, I had no idea just how much I would be laughing my head off, and what an overdose of the ‘laughter medicine’ I would be getting into!

Last night laughter filled the air, and we were well and truly overdosed on humour and comedy ,and entertained to the max at the incredibly funny, and down right brilliant performance of “The Play That Goes Wrong” at Hull New Theatre!

I haven’t been to Hull New Theatre since it’s fairly recent refurb, and I must say it is looking grand! It was exciting to be there and the atmosphere last night was most joyful right from the start – it was relaxed, feel good and I cannot tell you how clever and absolutely side splitting hilarious it was! Antics of the play began in the foyer, had some audience participation, contained moments of Improv, and there were jokes and surprises left right and center – as well as up in the box!

The Play That Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.

From start to finish it was clever, impeccably timed and ridiculously entertaining, and quite possibly the funniest theatre production I have ever seen. My friend and I howled with laughter, and it made for the perfect girls night out (or a date or just for the fun of it!).

Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields (all members of the Mischief Theatre Company), are the masterminds behind this epic play, and if you love things like “Fawlty Towers” then this will be right up your street! If not then I dare you to go and try not laugh!

I could, with pleasure, go and see this many more times! I have already said to Mr Smith that it is a must see for him as he would LOVE it, and that we need to try to go again later this week. I can just imagine us both sat there laughing together like my friend I did, because this play creates that type of laughter where tears are rolling down your cheeks, your sides hurt, and you can barely breathe! It is a night out that is good for the soul, and better yet is clean and generally good old original humour!

I cannot thank the cast, writers and producers enough for such a spectacular performance, evening, and all those extra laughter lines! Bravo guys – it was magnificent!

Tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong at Hull New Theatre from 21 -26 May are on sale now. Book via the Hull City Hall Box Office, call 01482 300 306 or visit their new website www.hulltheatres.co.uk 

*Thank you to Hull New Theatre for inviting me along for a piece of the action – it was so good to laugh that hard! 

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