Theatre tickets – A great Christmas Gift idea

I don’t mind admitting I am a bit of a theatre buff. I love nights spent at the Birmingham Hippodrome, watching the Birmingham Royal ballet perform, and also enjoy musicals and all manner of plays, from drama’s to comedies. I have a hitlist of things that I want to see at the theatre, with Wicked Musical tickets currently at the top of my wishlist for 2014. Theatre tickets and vouchers are a great idea for a special Christmas gift for a loved one, and I have detailed some of the hot tickets for 2014 below.

Some Girl I used to know

Denis Van Outen is a brilliant theatre performer, and this one-woman show, littered with hit songs and references from the 1980s promises to be both touching and funny in equal parts. If you can remember the days of taping songs from the radio, of big air and big fun, then this is definitely worth seeing. Coming to Birmingham’s Alex theatre in February.

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Dial M for Murder

I’m a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan, and a huge Grace Kelly fan, so this is a must see for me. I loved the film version of this, but did always find it a little bit ‘stagey’ – you could tell it was adapted from a stage play. This makes it a must see on an actual stage.  The play is being directed by Lucy Bailey, who has already adopted a film classic, ‘The Postman always rings twice’ for the stage, so this is all set to be a masterpiece. Can’t Wait. This is coming to the Birmingham Rep in May 2014.

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Wicked

One of the most popular musicals of all time is now doing a tour of the UK and Ireland that will make it the nationwide hot ticket for 2014. Wicked is the story before the Wizard of Oz, the story of the two witches Glinda and Elphaba, and how they came to be the good witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked has won over 90 international awards and counting, and is the musical that people go to see again and again.

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Look out for more theatre reviews coming up, a post about Ghost the musical will be on the blog later this week.

Strictly Come Dancing Live at NIA, Birmingham

Last night ,I attended Strictly Come Dancing Live at the NIA, Birmingham, and what a fabulous spectacle it was. Glamorous, sparkling and oh so entertaining, it was a show that made you laugh out loud one minute,  and swoon in awe and wonder the next. I absolutely loved it!

The Live show is different from the television series. Kate Thornton takes over the Bruce and Tess role and brings sass, sarcasm and wit to the role, not to mention the fact that I had serious dress envy at her wonderful Marios Schwab dress. (I have to thank Kate for tweeting to confirm my suspicions about the designer of the dress – it truly made my night). There was no Darcy on the judging panel, but the terrible trio of Bruno, Len and Craig were in turns hysterically funny, with Craig in full panto baddie role, Len playing his grandfatherly voice of reason, and Bruno so animated you thought he might wet himself at any given minute. Clearly we were in for an exciting, fun-filled night.

There were seven contestants, six from the most recent series, including winner (and all round sex god – let’s be honest here) Louis Smith and fellow finalist Denise Van Outen. They were joined by Phil Tufnell, who must have been added for comic value, sticking his bottom out like a constipated duck for most of his dance.  Michael Vaughan was also showing that dancing can be a game of two halves, amazing and graceful during the American Smooth, terrible during the Salsa.

Lisa Riley, Fern Britton (with hilarious sob stories), and Dani Harmer completed the team, each bringing their own little bit of magic to the proceedings. The girls all looked beautiful, showing why Strictly is a little girl’s dream series. Fern summed it up perfectly when she said that Strictly is like living in a snowglobe, all glitter and sequins. I couldn’t agree more, seeing the NIA transformed into a huge ballroom , complete with glitterball and shimmering chandeliers.

The snow was pretty horrendous on the night, but it was well worth braving for what was an amazing exxperience. Denise topped the leaders board with a perfect score of 60, but Louis was once again the people’s champion, with his dreamy interpretation of Dirty Dancing totally wowing the crowd. The audience was all on their feet at the end, a perfect finale to a perfect evening.

 

My Favourite Wedding dresses…will Kate top this lot?

Ok…17 days to  go to the wedding of the century, so today I will focus my attention on the dress. Kate Middleton is going to look fabulous, whether the dress is designed by Sarah Burton, Alice Temperley or George at Asda. She is one of those lucky people who always seems to look beautiful, groomed and poised. And all brides look beautiful on their wedding day, it’s a given.

I’ve been perusing the archives looking at lots of wedding pictures, from Royals to celebrities, from Rock chicks to the landed gentry looking for my favourite wedding dresses. Here are my choices, will Kate Middleton top these lovely ladies?

Grace Kelly

The Hollywood star who became a Princess wore a stunning dress by Helen Rose that seemed to be 2 parts Hollywood glamour  and two parts demure royal. Nicole Richie used this as a model when she married earlier this year, and many believe this is the most beautiful Royal wedding dress.

Princess Diana

Yes, it was too big due to the weight she lost before the wedding. Yes it was overly fussy, and yes, it creased badly in that carriage. But the design was exquisite, she looked radiant and the dress is iconic. And it made the Emanuel’s the key designers for weddings in the early 1980s.

Princess Margaret

The fashionable and tiny Princess wore a simple gown by Norman Hartnell when she married Anthony Armstrong Jones in 1960. This is another timeless look which I just love for the simplicity of the design.

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones

The best dressed royal bride of recent years has been the supremely elegant Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones. The daughter of Princess Margaret chose Jasper Conran to design her dress, and like her mother she eschewed fuss for simplicity. A stunning dress.

Sara Buys

Fashion writer Sara Buys may well be the secret influence behind the Royal wedding if the designer turns out to be Sarah Burton. Kate is said to admire the dress Sara wore when she married food writer Tom Barker Bowles. Simple again, but with the beautiful lace veil it is also unashamedly romantic and stylish.

 

 

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon recently got married for the second time to Jim Toth and looked so pretty. She wore a soft pink dress by Monique Lhullier, with soft make-up and hair. She looked perfect.

Leah Wood

Ron Wood’s daughter Leah Wood had a rock and roll wedding, complete with Kate Moss on the guest list. But she plumped for the most delicate vintage dress that really suited her slim frame, and was wistful and beautiful.

Denise Van Outen

Denise plumped for a strapless Jenny Packham dress for her wedding to Lee Mead. She teamed this with a jewelled headband for her tropical wedding. This was a lovely look that totally matched the wedding setting.

Bianca Jagger

Not a trouser suit, as everyone seems to  think, but a YSL long skirt and jacket, that she famously wore with nothing underneath, Bianca was the ultimate rock and roll bride. This is a look copied by rock chicks everywhere, but Bianca was a true original, and that is hard to beat.

Portia de Rossi

Portia wore a beautiful pink and cream Zac Posen halter neck dress for her civil wedding to Ellen De Generes. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a pink dress, but I love the ice cream colours with her simple hairstyle and make up.

So, there we go…Kate, you’re next. See you in 17 days!