Basil Brush is back – Check out the Full on Fox Tour

If you are looking for some fun, family entertainment then I would highly recommend you check out The Basil Brush show that is currently in the middle of a UK tour. We saw the show today at the Lichfield Garrick (which is definitely one of the friendliest theatre’s in the UK), and we all truly enjoyed it, with belly laughs a-plenty and Basil proving he has lost non of his wit and charm after 50 years in show business.

BASIL NEW - BROCHURE & WEB IMAGEBasil Brush has recently had a relaunch that has seen a whole You Tube channel dedicated to the pesky blighter. As a fan of the programme from way back when I was really interested to see how the show translates for the current generation of children, including my little boy Joe, who was not really aware of the famous fox. I am pleased to say that Basil Brush proves to be a real crowd pleaser across the generations, with both parents and children alike enjoying the fun and jokes, and even a bit of a soaking from a rather large water gun.

As Basil’s sidekick Mr Stephen, Chris Pizzey is an energetic bundle of energy. He sings (rather well it has to be said), dances, plays the foil to Basil and his wisecracks, and also, rather impressively, directs the show. A highlight of the show is when Basil and Mr Stephen retell the story of Sherlock Holmes (or Sheerluck as he is rechristened.) Chris Pizzey plays four different characters in this segment, each with a different voice, hat, helmet or wig, and the scene is one of manic hilarity that had all the audience laughing out loud.

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The show is perfect for children aged 5+, although there were plenty of pre-schoolers who also seemed to be enjoying the performance. The chance to meet Basil and Mr Stephen after the show, along with the ‘theatre manager’ Mr Snell, is a lovely finishing touch, one which my little boy Joe was very excited about. We left the theatre clutching our autograph and smiling at what had been a lovely afternoon.

Joe meet Basil Brush and Mr Stephen aka Chris Pizzey at the Lichfield Garrick

Joe meet Basil Brush and Mr Stephen aka Chris Pizzey at the Lichfield Garrick

For tour dates and ticket information, click here.

 

 

 

Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play

Half term is a time for family fun, but with the weather being a bit unfavourable (great weather for ducks – ahem), the best entertainment and fun is to be found indoors, with a lovely afternoon in the Birmingham Repertory theatre offering excitement, enchantment and fun.  Charlie and Lola are in town, and Joe and I went along to see their newest show!

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Joe getting excited for the performance. (Excuse the bad phone picture!)

‘Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play’ is a magical trip through the four seasons through the eyes of two children. The Play starts in Autumn with the leaves falling from the trees and Lola learning about hibernation. She decides that she wants to ‘hidernate’ with her best friend Lotta until the sun comes again. But as the mini play progresses, Lola learns there is a lot to love about every season, not least the fun you can have in the snow.

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This is a really lovely play that is perfect for the under sevens. The play is split into two halves, each lasting about 30 minutes, with an ice cream break in the middle (a toilet and treat break as we have christened it.) Charlie and Lola, along with other characters are worked by puppeteers, but voiced by Charlie and Lola (if that makes sense), so it is very real to the children watching, especially those who have watched the TV series, and therefore would recognise a different voice. Joe kept asking ‘Where are the voices coming from mommy?’ and was enthralled by the whole experience. The staging also creates wonderful memories. The set is the same world from the TV series, again instantly recognisable to Charlie and Lola fans. The seasons are also staged with surprising, magical touches. Autumn sees crepe paper leaves actually falling from the sky. Joe collected as many as he could grab and was super proud of his haul. Winter saw a glorious glitter ball send snowy reflections through the auditorium, a magical moment that almost saw me shed a tear. A lovely underwater moment saw the audience catching bubbles as they floated through the theatre. These moments are wonderfully interactive and perfect for the young audience.

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Charlie and Lola’s Extremely new play is at the Birmingham Repertory theatre tomorrow and Saturday. I would highly recommend it if you have young children – they will just love it.

Listings Information:

 

Thursday 29, Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May

 

Performance Times: 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm
Tickets: £12.50, under 14s £10.50

Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Book online: birmingham-rep.co.uk



 

 

 

Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy lights up Birmingham

Mickey Mouse was back in town last night, bringing a whole raft of his friends with him. Yes, Disney on Ice was in Birmingham at the LG Arena with a brand new show. As usual it was a spectacle that was enjoyed by young and old, who were treated to some exhilarating dance, fabulous costumes and a whole lot of wholesome fun.

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The newest show is Worlds of Fantasy. Micky, Minnie, Donald and Goofy embark on a road trip that is curtailed when their car breaks down. Cue the Disney favourites being transported to four different ‘worlds’ that include Radiator Springs, ‘Under the Sea’, the land of the fairies and Andy’s bedroom, and then the daycare centre from Toy Story.

The first set piece was actually my favourite. Having a five year old boy, it was wonderful to see the look on his face when the Mater introduced the ‘Cars’ from Radiator Springs to the ice. Lightning McQueen got the biggest cheer, and this was a really, high energy, exhilarating scene which had children all around the arena on their feet.  I don’t think I was the only one that wished that this segment had lasted a little longer.

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Lightning McQueen

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Next up was The Little Mermaid, and the underwater segment. Beautiful and bright, this was a lovely sequence with great skating displays. Ursula is a little frightening for younger members of the audience, but as true love wins through, all’s well that ends well.

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The third segment is probably the weakest. The Tinkerbell story is quite a recent one, and although beautiful, with a truly magical fairy queen glistening whilst hanging suspended in the air, this is a scene that is crying out for something over-sized, cute and cuddly on the ice. There is not so much of a sense of spectacle about this scene, it looks great, but also a little small scale.

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And finally we have a real audience favourite, with Andy off to college and the toys sent to Daycare. Of course I’m talking about Toy Story, and, in particular, the story from Number three. This was just brilliant, Hamm, the Potato Heads and Re and Slinky Dog all thrilled with their antics on the ice. Woody made a fabulous hero and the songs from the movie were used to great effect – getting all the crowd on their feet and clapping along. This was the perfect finale to another wonderful, Disney filled night.

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Springy dog

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Disney on Ice World’s of Fantasy is at the LG Arena until Sunday 16th March. Click here for ticket information.