The Canterville Ghost has always been one of my favourite stories from when I was younger, along with the play The Rivals which I studied when doing my A Level In English Literature. Both have stayed firm favourites as I have grown older. So I was really curious to see this adaptation at the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge. This was my first time visiting this particular theatre and I was impressed with the actual working theatre space inside. The Unicorn is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences and has an extremely wide programme for children up to 18 yrs old.
So for anyone who isn’t familiar with the Oscar Wilde piece,The Canterville Ghost is a story about an American family who move to a castle that is haunted by the ghost of a deceased ancestor. Sir Simon Canterville, killed his wife and was then starved to death by her brothers. What makes it different from other ghost stories, is the fact that it’s funny rather than scary and the characters are not frightened by the ghost at all.
Although the story itself is set in a time gone by era, the humour in this adaptation is most certainly modern. It’s directed towards the younger audience of today (and us that are young at heart) and definitely captures their interest right from the start.
The play 4 Stages ( by BC Allen) at the Bread and Roses Theatre is directed by Natasha Kathi-Chandra. It centres around 3 characters, Alex (Andre Skeete), Ben (Brett Allen) and Cat ( Natasha Redhead) on their monthly games night. Presented in four parts which represent four separate nights spread throughout one particular calendar year. Ben and Alex interview each other over the four nights about how and where they grew up. As the nights go on there are some startling revelations which lead to some very frank discussions along the way.
‘ Two best friends Ben and Alex, who grew up together, now in their 40’s, meet every last Sunday of the month for ‘Games Night’. They are from different backgrounds but are as close and tight as brothers. Ben has recently had a child with his partner Cat.’
This theatre is extremely intimate and is set with seats on opposite sides with the ‘set’ in the middle dressed as a room in Ben and Cat’s home which works perfectly as they use the exit door as their door to the rest of the ‘house’. With the space being small it enhances the feeling of being a ‘fly on the wall’ overlooking events unfolding in these characters lives. Each night is cleverly separated in a way that you know the story is moving on and yet works perfectly in the small space they have with regarding the set.
Gutted is a black comedy that is set in a fish factory in 1980’s Dublin written by Sharon Byrne and directed by Chris White. It explores the lives of three strong women who are friends through working in the same dead end job. Yet all have dreams of something bigger and better than what their lives are at the moment.
The stage is sparsely set with nothing but a plain white backdrop with strip lighting, standing lamps and ceiling lights. However, the lights are cleverly linked and used as extra characters throughout and this is incredibly well presented. The story is told in interlinking comic monologue from the three women Deidre ( Niamh Finlay), Delores ( Sarah Hosford) and Breda (Eleanor Byrne) covering just one particular night of their lives.
It is Irish storytelling at its best with comedy concealing a powerful undertone of hurt and heartache that is hinted at throughout. It’s raw and relatable and immediately transported me back to my teenage years with the girls singing excerpts of some songs of the time. Notably Tainted Love (oh the memories!) and yet tainted love can totally sum up the underlying theme of the play.
I’ve had a lot of firsts for me this year on the blog and now I can add Fringe Theatre to that list.
When someone says Fringe Theatre what do you think?
I literally had no clue what to expect when I was invited along with another theatre lover to see the play At Last at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in the Kentish Town area of London, to see this production by Proforca Theatre Company, written by James Lewis and Alexander Knott and directed by David Brady.
The pub itself looks as though it has been quite newly refurbished and was inviting and welcoming inside. The theatre is upstairs and reminded me of my son’s blacked out school drama theatre, so think small and intimate and as a guesstimate there was about 45 of us there last night (give or take a few). So it was a sold out performance.
First of all I want to make it clear that this was my very first time in an escape room ever. So this review is based solely on that one experience rather than a comparison to other escape rooms of other styles. I was lucky enough to be asked to go along to London Escaped Vampire Slayer to review.
London Escaped have a couple of different rooms to experience such as the Da Vinci and The Prisoner. I went with a lovely group of escape room veterans via Love London Pop Ups to give their new Vampire Slayer game a try.
As someone who hasn’t been to an escape room before I was literally going in blind with absolutely no clue of what to expect. I knew there would be clues and puzzles to work out and obviously you are under a time pressure to ‘escape’. We were a group of 7 people and for this game they advise between 2-8 people. But it can accommodate up to 10 people if necessary and it lasts for 60 minutes. We were there for a 4pm start and at that point in the reception area it wasn’t busy. It was great opportunity for a novice like me to get a sneak peek into some of the other rooms.
Buck Buck Games The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar
I was recently invited to attend a new immersive theatre game. The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar, by Buck Buck Games, held in their residency at The Owl and the Hitchhiker pub on Holloway Road, London.
I’ve never really attended anything immersive theatre, or escape room related before. I literally had no idea what I was walking into. The Buck Buck Games website describe it as ‘ Our event games and characters combine escape rooms, immersive theatre and murder mystery with fun fuelled challenges’.
So I thought I would take my husband along for unique evening out.
The pub itself is a complete hidden treasure in itself and it’s quirkiness is apparent as soon as you walk in. It has hairdryers all hanging from the ceiling above the bar. There’s a table tennis table around the back of the bar and there were a group of people playing card games at one of the tables. We even spotted couple playing monopoly. Not your typical pub in any sense.
They have a great menu. Our plan was to eat before we played but unfortunately the traffic was not on our side that evening and we didn’t have enough time. But it included an extensive vegan selection. Although we didn’t get the chance to eat, the food that was coming out of the kitchen looked very good.
Anyway, on to the games. As we arrived and got a drink we could see more groups turning up and congregating at the bottom of the stairs were the games were advertised.
Ok so I would like to get it out there first that in truth I’ve never been a huge Ricky Gervais fan (which stems from seeing a clip of one of his stand up shows where he takes the piss about M.E ……….no, I’m not just a bit bloody tired!) anyway, I wanted to be honest and say that up front now.
My son however is a MASSIVE fan of him and watches (and re watches) both The Office and Extras some of which I love……..favourites being the Sir Ian McKellan and the Ross Kemp ( super army soldiers) episodes. I even a few years ago managed to get BBC audience tickets for a recording of him doing the David Brent song to be used in a show, so you know that shows a mothers love doesn’t it? On said outing my son lost his wallet and had to back into the studio to look for it, everyone else had gone and because we had been delayed leaving we were lucky enough to see Ricky Gervais come down the corridor past us………………………we didn’t stop and ask for a picture but did the casual look and nod instead………..honestly I think my son would have died of embarrassment had I asked for a pic but looking back I really should have for his benefit at the time.
I am surrounded by boys in this house, teenage boys with the biggest one of all being my husband! Anyone out there with teenagers will know apart from the forced grunts of Hello and Goodbye the only time you see them is when they are down raiding the fridge and kitchen cupboards for food.
Therefore, when I was recently contacted to try the new Chicago Town Takeaway pizza I jumped at the chance.Let’s face it it’s pizza and generally 90% of what teens will agree to eat anyway.
I will admit I personally am not a lover of frozen pizzas in any shape or form. I find they are overly processed and generally have bases that could break windows.
Our favourite pizza takeaway would always be Dominoes and they would generally retail around £15 mark for a large size. To be honest we always buy 2 large. Not only will they eat it that night but they also like a few slices left over for the next day. So, typical teens.
I stumbled upon this little hidden treasure in Greenwich a week or two ago. I hadn’t been down to the market ( which I love to mooch around) for quite some time, but I was chaperoning my son on a photo shoot there and he happened to be in the next shop!
Granted it doesn’t look too eye grabbing, however, this is a new venture after starting on a stall in Spittlefield Market. This is their 1st premises and they do make everything FRESH in their kitchen here!
This is what caught our eye initially……….
Enough to entice anyone in I should think. They have a great competition running at the moment (probably a week or two left) where you have to guess how many eggs in the tub……………BRILLIANT!
I’m going to guess but send my OH if I win as he weighs much more than me LOL
I cheekily asked to try some of their signature makes, salted caramel fudge, milk and dark chocolate, chocolate fudge to name a few……………………………..
but check out the pics below to see some of the more unusual makes
I feel it is important to help promote local businesses in these far from easy economic times, especially one as ‘feel good’ as this little treasure.
The staff were VERY friendly and in fact encouraged you to come in and have a taste test before you buy- that’s how strongly they believe in their products.
Their name basically says what it is on the tin…………...Mighty Fine Choc and Fudge………in my humble opinion it totally lives up to the name. My OH totally endorses their dark chocolate saying it was much nicer than the regular Bournville! I am a total milk chocolate snob with only Galaxy and Diary milk meeting my high criteria, however, I tried their milk chocolate and biscuit slab which just melted in my mouth leaving no bitter cocoa aftertaste and absolutely went down a storm with a good ol’ cuppa.
My favourite had to be the Salted Caramel fudge, as fudge should be, sweet and sickly but oh soooooo moreish! So if you are watching your weight this probably isn’t the shop for you , but for a total treat or a great pressie for someone with a sweet tooth then this is the place to go.
I will go back, in fact I have to go back as they had told me about one of their signature makes that they unfortunately didn’t have at the time…………..CHOCOLATE BACON!!!
Yes you heard it here first, chocolate bacon??? I can see how this would work but I will DEFINITELY need to try.
Be warned @chocandfudge I will be back!
DISCLAIMER: I was not approached by this company for a review I simply saw it and tried and wanted to promote. I have not received any payment for this review and the opinions are totally my own view!
I have spent the last 3 weeks swanning around lookingfeeling pretending to be a yummy mummy in my brand new Volvo XC60 ( on loan only).
I have enjoyed my bum being warmed by the heated seats, the fantastic CD/DVD/Digital TV, the cruise control, the comfortable leather interior the genius Blindspot indicators and even the reversing camera. I have driven safely across over 400 miles both on longer journeys and lots of urban shorts, with the standard safety that Volvo insists on (as most of the safety features, Blis, side impact, extra airbags etc coming as standard).
Yet as I look out of my window today I see this…….
YES it’s the empty space where it used to sit!! They came yesterday and took it from me………my time with it was up *weeps into my coffee*!!
As you can see I will be back to driving my regular family ‘cab’ car again, with a very cold bum and no fancy extras.
Hey, who was I kidding anyway…………..me- a yummy mummy?…………dream on!
THANK YOU VOLVO FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRY DRIVING IN STYLE AND SAFETY…………………IT’S BEEN FUN!