Why should you go to a baby show?

You’ve just had the happy news that you will soon be hearing the pattering of tiny feet. You’re over the moon of course, but then you face the realisation that there is so much to prepare before you get to meet your little one. Everything from a cot and a pushchair, to a little wardrobe of baby clothes, to all the other things in between, it all needs to be relatively sorted before you baby comes along. Which is why a visit or two to some baby shows are such a good idea.

Baby Shows are Fun

You can have a great day out at a Baby Show. In general, they are enormous events so you can make a day of it – have a bite to eat, watch the demonstrations and browse the stalls, maybe ticking a few items off your ‘to buy’ list as you go.

Grab a bargain

There are many stores at baby shows that have a good range of products. Pushchairs, cots and bulk buys of baby toiletries can all be purchased at prices that are far cheaper than the normal recommended retail price. In addition, you may get to try/view products that are new to you, and there may also be samples/goody bags that also have free products in them.

Meet the Experts

Most Baby shows have experts who can answer your questions and queries. These can be related to feeding or sleeping, or can also be of a more technical nature – maybe you’ve not decided what sort of travel system you want, or have questions about choosing your baby monitor. Baby Shows are a great way to get your questions answered.

Find everything you need in one place

If you have a hatred of shopping, but don’t really enjoy getting things online either, then a Baby Show could be a great way to find everything you need in one place. You can place orders for the ‘big things’ like cots, highchairs and prams, which can then be delivered to your door, but you have also had the chance to look and test drive these things first – something you can’t do if you just shop online.

Did you go to a baby show when you were expecting?

 

Dirty Dancing At The New Alex Theatre

Top five chick flicks of all time? If you ask anyone who was a teenager in 1987 they will surely have Dirty Dancing as their number one choice. The coming of age story of Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, an idealistic young woman who finds her beliefs and hopes tested when she takes a Summer holiday at Kellermans family resort. However she also meets the enigmatic, sexy Johnny Castle when she has to cover for his pregnant dancing partner Penny. They fall in love, but Johnny is certainly from the wrong side of the tracks and is not going to be the choice of her doctor father. Dirty Dancing is one of those feelgood films where you know everything will be sorted by the final scene, but it is none the worse for it.

The stage musical version of this iconic film arrived at the New Alex Theatre in Birmingham last night, whisking the audience off to the Summer of 1963, just before Beatlemania took over the world and it changed forever. The stage show is just as melodic and hypnotic as the film, and with all those famous lines in place (I carried a watermelon, nobody puts Baby in a corner) it is as fun, frothy and quotable as ever.

Dirty Dancing is all about those leads, and Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey are hard shoes to fill, but in Katie Eccles and Robert Colvin, who was stepping in for Lewis Griffiths we have the perfect Baby and Johnny. Katie is great as the idealistic Baby, particularly in those early dancing scenes where her unease and awkwardness make her efforts both poignant and funny. Her later skills show Katie to be a great dancer, particularly during that final scene. Robert is brilliant as Johnny, his playing of the mean and moody dancer is both virile and brooding and his physicality is perfect for the role. It doesn’t hurt matters that he is gorgeous, and with the walk and the physical strength he compares very favourably to Patrick Swayze in the role. He also, in the final scenes, looks like he is really enjoying himself in the role, and this is just infectious.

Penny is played by the outstanding Carlie Miller, her dancing impeccable and her elegance, illustrated best by her amazing legs, with which she performs a range of kicks and moves without breaking a sweat. The hilarious Lizzie Ottley brings the silly, vacuous Lisa Houseman to life with a passion, especially when performing her show tune in the most tuneless of ways, providing one of the comedy highlights of the night. Comedic value is also added by Greg Fossard as the annoying Neil Kellerman, a nerd with a nice range of chat up lines, whilst Sophia Mackay and Michael Kent, as Elizabeth and Billy provide the musical highlights.

The staging is uniformly excellent, with the revolving scenery providing brilliant backdrops that really take you to the Catskills. And, of course, those musical classics from the likes of Otis Reading and Solomon Burke still have the power to soar. Dirty Dancing is entertaining from start to finish, if you love the classic film, you will love this faithful adaptation.

Dirty Dancing

New Alex Theatre

Wed 31 May – Sat 03 June

Click here for ticket information

Father’s Day gift ideas for the discerning dad

Father’s Day is the next special date in the family calendar, and with the bank holiday is over, we can now firmly concentrate on finding the right gift for that special man in your life, whether he be your own father, or your baby daddy. All the usual suspects are available – beer, socks, unispiring toiletries, but if you want to find something a little different, more thoughtful or unusual, then step this way as I show you a few things I have my eye on.

Football Crazy – these may be the answer.

Toffs is a fabulous company that makes reproduction football shirts from bygone days. They have a wide range of shirts from teams that are in the Premier League, and also shirts from other divisions. The shirts can range from tops from the 1970s, to shirts that go right back to the 1920s and 30s. These are perfect for anyone who is nostalgic for the golden age of football, or who has a very special memory linked to an equally special shirt.

West Bromwich Albion 1978 Away Retro Football Shirt £43 Click to visit Toffs

If a football top is not quite your dad’s thing, maybe a signed photograph of his favourite player would be a good option, especially as it could cost less than £20.

Personalised Arsenal Giroud Autograph Photo £19.99 Click to visit Toffs

A wooden watch

Wooden watches have become a big fashion story in recent years, looking stylish, often hand crafted, and making a genuine fashion statement. Tense watches currently offer a free engraving service that means that, as well as looking beautiful, they can be totally personalised for the person you love. These are a gift that show thought and elegance, and will totally last forever.

A touch of Mr Bond

In the month when my favourite Mr Bond, the suave smooth Roger Moore, died, a great gift for your dad could be a little piece of James Bond himself, or at least his favourite drink. Selfridges have another great gift idea from Tipplesworth, a mini martini set that is sure to leave dad ‘shaken not stirred’ when he opens his present on Father’s Day.


TIPPLESWORTH Classic martini mini cocktail kit £19.99 Click to visit Selfridges

What are you getting for your dad, baby daddy this Father’s Day?