The Glenn Miller Story at The New Alex Theatre – Thoroughly Entertaining

August 24th, 2016

For a night packed with unforgettable songs, a lead character that is both iconic and the subject of one of the most enduring mysteries of the 2oth Century, and for the chance to watch a real living legend still exuding his charm and personality in his 80th year, you must catch The Glenn Miller Story, which is currently at the New Alex Theatre with the legendary Tommy Steele in the lead role. With a big band on stage to give you that 1940s feel, this is a show that has charm in abundance, but it is not without it’s issues.


The main one, unfortunately, being Tommy Steele in the lead role. Glenn Miller was 40 when he disappeared, and Tommy plays the band leader from his start in music in the mid 1920s,until his disappearance in 1944. Theatre is about suspension of believe, but to accept the lovely, charming, but still 80 years old, Tommy as a young man, is asking a little bit too much. He can still tap dance and hoof with the best of them, and he has that undeniable quality that they call stage presence, but when teamed with the super talented and glamorous Abigail Jaye as Helen Burger, you can’t help thinking that they more resemble a girl with her granddad than a romantic couple. Thankfully, their romance is restricted to hugs and cuddles rather than shows of real passion, and Helen is allowed to shine in scenes of her own, including a spine-tingling rendition of ‘At Last’.

And yet, despite the problematic central romance, this is a cracking, polished piece of musical theatre. The 1940s atmosphere is evoked beautifully through the costumes, scenery and those standards that are classics of music. ‘In the Mood’, played by a big band during an air raid is both toe-tapping and spine-chilling, a great evocation of just how brave those with the ‘Blitz Spirit’ really were. ‘Sing, Sing, Sing is energetic and brilliant, with great choreography and exhilaration, whilst Pennsylvania 6500 takes on a new poignancy when you realise the importance of the song to Glenn and Helen, and through the way it is used during the Paris concert that Glenn never reached.

The musical is short and sweet, so a mini concert and singalong added to the end is a real crowd pleaser, the songs never grow old and it really is great to hear them played by such a fabulous orchestra.

If you are looking for a blast of 1940s nostalgia, and want to see a real life living legend still giving it his all, check out The Glenn Miller Story at The New Alex Theatre.

The Glenn Miller Story – New Alex Theatre, Birmingham until 27th August. For tickets and show times click here.

Elizabeth Arden All Over Miracle Oil.

August 23rd, 2016

Many products make the claim to be ‘miracle products’, particularly when it comes to beauty. There are products that will take years off you, inches off you, add a glow you never had before, and generally turn you from tired mother into supermodel with just a few days of usage. In fact, most miracle products are pedestrian at best, and certainly not worth the cost paid for them.

But one product that I have always classed as a miracle product, and one which I am never without, is my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I use it for everything, from sunburnt shoulders and face, to chapped lips, to adding a sheen on my cheekbones. My husband is not adverse to pinching a little for dry skin, and I’ve even used it on my 7 year old to add a little moisture. It is truly a miracle product, so when I heard that Elizabeth Arden was launching an all over miracle oil, that could even be used on hair, using eight hour cream formulations, I knew that this was one product I really wanted to use.



The Oil promises to deliver intensive, all over moisturisation, that would last for up to 12 hours. The idea being you could have your morning shower, towel dry, and then use this to moisturise your body, face and neck, and then even rub it into your hair, from the tips to the roots. The oil contains Tsubaki Oil, Vitamin E and other botanical, natural products that nourish and protect the skin.



I have to say I really like this product, the smell is soft and fresh, not like the scent of Eight Hour Cream which can be very overpowering and medicinal. The oil is not greasy, it is easily absorbed by the skin, but does leave a healthy shine once it is applied, so use sparingly on the face. The fact that this is a pump action spray bottle is a real bonus, it stops you from wasting the oil, and also makes it brilliant for traveling – especially for air journeys where the moisture seems to be totally sucked from your skin – this is instant hyration, a real treat for the skin.



I especially like how this feels on the face and neck. I suffer from dry patches around the edges of my face, and my neck can feel particularly parched and dry at times. I love that this is an instant pick up, your skin feels softer and smoother as soon as it is applied, and, using it daily, I can really see an improvement in my skin condition.

It seems that Elizabeth Arden may indeed have another product that can truly be described as ‘Miracle’.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Oil, 100ml £29 Click to visit John Lewis

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Oil, 100ml £29 Click to visit John Lewis

Learn How Finding an Expert Jeweller Can Help Save Your Money

August 23rd, 2016

Finding the perfect engagement ring for one’s fiancé is something deeply satisfying for both the giver and receiver. Enlisting the help of an expert jeweller will not only make the process easier, but can also provide fantastic value for money.


When the time comes to buying an engagement ring, one can easily start to become overwhelmed with the amount of options, styles, price variations and internal pressure involved in making the perfect purchase.

A few weekends of visiting jewellery stores and dealing with sales staff, absorbing strange new terminology and viewing row upon row of diamond rings can really start to put one on edge. The perfect way to sidestep this stressful situation is to visit an expert jeweller and have them walk you through the process of designing a custom made engagement ring from the various materials of your choosing.


  • Diamond Myths


Many people think that bigger diamonds are always more expensive and impressive, but the price actually depends on many variables such as the weight, colour, clarity and cut or shape of each particular stone. When these stones are compared side by side the sparkling bling factor becomes obvious.


  • Choose Your Setting


Depending on preferences, some couples will choose to feature one main stone in their engagement ring, which is known as a solitaire setting. Others prefer to incorporate multiple diamonds, usually with a slightly smaller stone that is balanced with even tinier diamonds in various patterns surrounding the central stone. These can be set in rows, channels or in geometric configurations; each settings has specific names that the jeweller will remember.

There are sure to be many beautiful ring collections that will melt her heart. Seeing the various styles next to each other soon makes it easy to identify one’s emerging preference and from that point on the choices naturally begin to narrow.


  • Consult an Expert Jeweller


While this may seem like a complicated option, it is actually the exact opposite. An expert jeweller has access to the many different elements that go into making a diamond ring. Generally, they will have a range of diamonds and precious gemstones for sale right there in the store and will happily explain how they are graded and valued.

They can demonstrate the qualities of different stones side by side and help you choose which ones best suit your budget and show how they could be arranged in various settings and styles, all of which will influence the final price.

  • Mix, Match and Save


When you find an engagement rings expert in Brisbane, you’ll save money by mixing different diamond qualities with varying precious metals. For example, a white gold ring with numerous smaller diamonds may work out less expensive than a platinum ring with one larger diamond. Or a plain band with a bigger diamond will likely be more affordable than an intricately engraved band with numerous smaller diamonds.

It is only by viewing the various options at the same time that it becomes obvious where one’s tastes lie. The next step is to settle on a rough budget and explore what elements can be combined to provide the greatest combination of value, style and size for one’s outlay.


  • Craft a Unique Creation


Expert jewellers are wonderful people to deal with because they aren’t limited to selling mass produced engagement rings. They craft unique creations from scratch to your exact tastes in very little time.

Your beloved will be delighted with the thought and care you’ve taken to have the perfect ring lovingly handmade and you’ll have saved yourself the effort of traipsing from store to store, while avoiding the disappointment of the generic offerings that brand name jewellery stores tend to offer.

Visiting an expert jeweller is a practical and creative way to find the kind of ring that will be lovingly appreciated for many years to come.