Simon Webbe Breathes Life into The Big Bad Wolf in ‘The Three Little Pigs’

If you are looking for a highly original, family friendly show to watch this Summer, then you need to check out Stiles and Drewe’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Starring Birmingham’s own Simon Webbe as the Big Bad Wolf, the ‘Three Little Pigs’ promises to be a new spin on the story, with jokes and songs, and a chance to find out a little more about the snouty faced creatures who somehow manage to outfox the wolf.

Simon Webbe as Wolf in The Three Little Pigs

Simon Webbe as Wolf in The Three Little Pigs

As well as Simon, who I had the pleasure to grab a few words with earlier this year when he was in town for the Strictly Come Dancing Live shows, the cast is full of stars from The West End musical theatre. Simon will be joined by Alison Jiear (Olivier Nominated – Jerry Springer The Opera, On The Town, Britain’s Got Talent 2015), Leanne Jones (Hairspray), Wolverhampton’s Taofique Folarin (The Lion King, Avenue Q) and Daniel Buckley (Book of Mormon). The Three Little Pigs is another hit from the multi-award winning musical theatre song-writing duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (Mary Poppins, Honk!, Betty Blue Eyes).

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Stiles and Drewe say: ‘‘Most children will know the story of THE 3 LITTLE PIGS, so our job has been to reinvent it in a theatrical way, with hummable, memorable songs that will appeal to the whole family. Our 3 Little Pigs – Bar who loves to exercise, Bee who is “green” to the core, and Q the insatiable bookworm – learn to work together as a team to defeat the Big Bad (but possibly misunderstood) Wolf. We love surprising and bewitching our younger audiences, some of whom will be visiting the theatre for the first time. We take it as a great responsibility to encourage and nurture audiences of the future, so we try to ensure their first experience of a musical is a memorable one.”

With a performance running time is 55 minutes with no interval. This is a lovely family friendly show that is a great way to introduce young children to live theatre. It is suitable for children of all ages from 3+.

‘The Three Little Pigs’ is at the Town Hall, Birmingham from Tuesday 28th July – Sunday 2nd August. For show times and ticket information, click here.

 

Lego Deep Sea Explorers at Birmingham Sea Life Centre

The Sea Life Centre in Birmingham is one of the City’s top family attractions. Each Summer it has a special themed event to tie into school holiday time, with Moshi Monsters and Octonauts being featured in previous years. This year, children are offered the chance to be Deep Sea Explorers with Lego City, having a dive log book which they are able to stamp as they proceed around the centre finding Lego equipment and answering questions about the creatures of the Sea Life Centre. On Saturday, I took my family to the centre to attempt the challenge. We had great fun.

Outside the Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Outside the Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Any trip to the Birmingham Sea Life Centre starts with a visit to the penguins. These are definite favourites with the whole family, and I love the fact that you can find out a bit about each penguin by looking at the coloured tag on their wings. This is to help you identify the penguins, and from this you can find out their name, how old they are and a little bit about their personality. The penguins are frankly so cute, you could watch them all day and not be bored.

Penguins!

Penguins!

 

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Once the penguins had been cooed over, it was time to start the challenge. The great thing about the Sea Life Centre is that it really is suitable for all ages. Joe is 6 and just loved the place, but we also had our two year old niece Renee with us and she was terribly excited too.

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We followed the trail around – answering the questions from the Dive Log book and then using the stampers at various stations around the centre. Joe particularly loved handling the Starfish from the rock pool area (although he wasn’t convinced it was real!), while Renee thought she had spotted ‘Big Bad Barry’ from ‘Ben and Holly’ when she spotted a particularly big fish. The undersea tunnel is always a favourite, and both Joe and Renee insisted on putting their hands on the belly of a shark as it swam overhead.

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The Lego Deep Sea Explorer theme definitely adds another layer of interest as you walk around the attraction – Joe loved spotting the Lego creatures and pieces of equipment in the tanks and pools. As you reach the end of the Sea Life Centre a special Lego station has been set up where children are encouraged to create their own deep sea creature which can then be placed on display.

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We had a wonderful time at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre, a visit is always great fun and you definitely leave with a huge smile on your face. I would highly recommend a trip this Summer if you are looking for something to do, especially if it is a rainy day.

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With one of the Owls from The Big Hoot project.

With one of the Owls from The Big Hoot project.

*We were given a family ticket in order to review our experiences at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre.

 

 

A picnic in the park

Last week I received a lovely email asking if I would be interested in taking Joe for a teddy bears picnic in order to test a special alphabet picnic game designed by Waitrose. I loved the idea, we often have picnic lunches in the garden when the sun is shining.  Joe also enjoys a challenge, so I knew the game would definitely interest him. So I replied with a great big ‘YES’, and on Monday we set out to a local park with Sooty, Sweep and Soo to take on the challenge.

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Cheslyn Hay park is truly lovely, with lots of grass and trees for children to run and explore, a great little play area with swings and slides, and also goalposts for a nice game of football. It is definitely one of Joe’s favourite places, and the perfect place to both have a picnic and a play session, and also to attempt to find all the things on the alphabet game list.

DSCN8608We packed a picnic of sandwiches, crisps and savoury biscuits, yoghurt and fruit, and a cartoon of fruit juice. I also added my current food obsession, jelly filled with fruit (in this case raspberries), and added plastic cups, spoons and a blanket, and we were all set to go.

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With Sooty and Sweep.

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Little cutie.

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Soo looks after the juice.

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Joe practices his photography skills!

Once the food was finished, it was time to take up the challenge. We didn’t find everything on the list, but still did pretty well. Here are some of the things we did find.

B is for Bumble Bee

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F is for flowers, G is for grass that is perfect for rolling on, and H is for hedges.

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L is for leaves

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R is for rainclouds…which luckily passed straight over.

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U is for Undergrowth

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Z is for Zebra…or at least something stripy!

DSCN8628We found lots of other things on the list, from ants, to yellow flowers, nasty stinging nettles, and a couple of mammals who were being walked in the park. Joe loved doing the challenge, and carefully ticked off each item we found.

DSCN8633We had a lot of fun with our picnic and the teddy bear challenge. If you would like to have a go this summer, you can download your own game from the Waitrose website (click here to visit.) You will also find lots of summer recipes and picnic ideas.

*We were sent a voucher from Waitrose in order to shop for our picnic. Soo chose the juice – it’s her favourite.

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