White Christmas sprinkles Christmas Magic

A little bit like the advent calender’s that popped up everywhere yesterday, the 1st of December also saw the Wolverhampton Grand theatre opening the doors to  the latest seasonal classic, the musical stage version of ‘White Christmas’ . The frothy, sparking musical, based upon the classic Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye Paramount Pictures film, was staged with style and panache by the South Staffs Musical Theatre Company. It was an utterly charming, crowd pleasing piece that left the audience leaving the theatre with a warm glow truly believing Christmas had arrived.

We start in 1944, where Privates Bob Wallace and Phil Davis are entertaining the troops on Christmas Eve. Flash forward 10 years and Wallis and Davis are big television stars, planning some time in Florida over the Christmas season. But an encounter with the beautiful and talented Haynes sisters sees them traveling instead to Vermont, and ending up in a failing hotel owned by their General, Waverley. Realising that the man they admire and love has fallen on hard times, they come up with a plan to rescue the hotel, but not before all sorts of misunderstandings thwart the romantic path that Wallace and Davis and Judy and Betty Haynes are traveling on.

White Christmas - Photo Credit Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

White Christmas – Photo Credit Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

As Wallace and Davis, Simon McGee and Luke Renwick are great, with Wallace being slightly untight and cynical, and Davis exuding energy and exuberance. McGee and Renwick are perfect foil for each other and the partnership thrives on the stage – you truly believe they have been working together for 10 years.

White Christmas Photo Backdrop Credit - Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

White Christmas Photo Credit – Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

Equally good are the girls. Rebecca Haydon dances a dream as Judy, and is funny and sassy too. Lexie Bennett has a stunning voice just right for the more guarded Judy, it is shown to it’s best advantage in a moody, sensual rendition of ‘Love, you didn’t do me right’, a real showstopping number that leaves you tingling.

Rebecca Haydon & Lexie Bennett - Photo Credit Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

Rebecca Haydon & Lexie Bennett – Photo Credit Natasha Bennett New Era Photography

Mentions must also be given to the fantastic Maria Shee as Martha Watson, the showbiz dame who brings to mind those fabulous ladies Eve Arden and Joan Blondell from the screwball comedies. Martha has so many of the best lines and they are delivered with aplomb by Maria. Also shining was 10 year old Abi Hathaway, who gives an assured, polished performance as Susan Waverly. Expect big things for this little girl.

For lovely Christmas tinged entertainment, White Christmas is hard to beat. You can catch it at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 5th December. Click here for ticket information.

Selfridges – White Christmas leaves me feeling all festive.

Cover of "White Christmas"

Cover of White Christmas

Last Thursday saw the press day to  celebrate the launch of Selfridges Christmas department. This year the theme is White Christmas, and Fashion-Mommy was able to have a sneaky peak at all the exquisite gifts that will be on offer for the  festive season.

Dior Bear £700

It was quite disconcerting to leave the sticky, summer heat outside and to then walk into a winter wonderland, but that’s exactly what happened. Bing Crosby crooned in the background, whilst a snow machine produced flurries of the white stuff. And this was perfectly apt, because there was an awful lot of white stuff on  offer in the gift department.  Beautiful white leather bags from the likes of Anya Hindmarch, Victoria Beckham and Givenchy, sat next to Smythson leather-bound notebooks and diaries. There was also a gorgeous exclusive Orla Kierly White Christmas bag and purse designed especially for Selfridges. And I couldn’t take my eyes off the snowy white Doc Martens, which were frankly amazing!

Mannequins posed in the snow wearing an array of (what else) white dresses designed by Roland Mouret and Vivienne Westwood. There was also a long white Issa column dress that I can imagine the Duchess of Cambridge, well-known for her love of Issa and the colour white, wearing in the coming months.

But not everything was white, nor was everything super luxurious with a price tag to match. There were gifts from all price points starting at just £5.  I loved the Ugg fluffy ear muffs, and the pretty Viktor and Rolf flowerbomb  perfume set, which comes in a gorgeous glittery box. For the men in your life, there were a stylish array of cuff links from Mont Blanc and Lanvin,  along with fabulous, and now frankly obligatory , Christmas Jumpers.

But the most eye-catching and gasp-worthy items were amongst the smallest. A table was covered in an assortment of the most beautiful miniature shoes made by the likes of Charlotte Olympia, Repetto , Dune, Havaianas and Penelope Chilvers. These were joined on the table by mini Fendi baguette bags, and Westwood Anglomania bags. ‘What are these for?’ I enquired, ‘Are they just collectables?’ No, these were the fillings for the special Selfridges Advent calendar. And the price, if you bought it all complete? A cool £18,000! Definitely worth remortgaging the house for!