Wicked The Musical: A Review

Ever since my daughter danced to a song from Wicked in Year 3, she has been wanting to watch the musical. Last weekend her dream finally came through and it was SO worth the wait.

We were invited to attend an arts and craft session with Claireabellemakes.com at The Reubens at the Palace Hotel before going on to watch the show.

The children got on with making witches’ hats as well as some broomstick bags – filled with sweets!

And then the best part – we walked on to the Apollo for the show.

We were very excited. I think I was the most excited as I’d been waiting to watch this one too.

Jadyn is now older and is learning to appreciate shows more and gets the essence of the plot too so it’s great to be able to watch a show and then discuss it with her.

 

The story –

When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch, we only ever heard one side of the story. Gregory Maguire’s “outstanding novel” (The Independent), ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, ingeniously re-imagines the Land of Oz, creating a parallel universe to the familiar story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ in 1900. WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Following an encounter with The Wizard, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Experience this unforgettable musical and discover that you’ve not been told the whole story about the Land of Oz…

What we thought –

In short, it was AMAZING!

From the backdrops to the costumes to the music – each was special and held us spellbound.

I love how it weaved in stories about characters from The Wizard of Oz so beautifully.

I think everybody in some way will come away with something from the show.

To me, I got the message that we so often misjudge people for the things they do or the way they seem. Often people are not what they seem to be and people just victims of circumstances. We came away wondering who was really ‘wicked’ in the show? I can’t expand on that without giving the story away. I don’t want to as I would hate to spoil the show for anyone.

Both the main characters are played beautifully by Laura Pick (Elphaba) and Sophie Evans (Glinda). They have truly awesome voices.

Each character in fact played his part to the hilt and we were caught up in the spectacular singing and dance sequences. Our favourite songs were ‘Defying Gravity’ – when Elphaba first starts use her spells, ‘One Short Day’ – when Elphaba and Glinda reach the Emerald City and ‘Popular’ – when Glinda decided to give Elphaba a makeover.

I marvel as how quickly the costumes are changed and the costumes are so gorgeous.

It is difficult to review this as I want to write so much but one really needs to see it to be able to understand what a great show it is.

Here’s a little more information about the show –

  • Recently acclaimed as “the must-see wonder of the West End” (Andrew Pierce, LBC Radio), the renowned musical will become the 15th longest running show in London theatre history on 19 October 2017, when it surpasses the run of We Will Rock You.
  • WICKED currently stars Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose), Jack Lansbury (Boq), Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda)
  • WICKED has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

FOR GOOD…

Through its FOR GOOD programme and other charitable endeavours, WICKED is proud to support the remarkable work of the following UK charities: Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA); the Cybersmile Foundation; the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity; Stonewall’s ‘Education For All’ campaign; The Woodland Trust and the National Literacy Trust. Further information can be found at www.WickedForGood.co.uk

For more information about performances and tickets – www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk

There is an extra matinee show especially for the Half Term on 26 October at 2.30 pm.

I leave you with some more images from the day…

 

New Aero® Heavenly Mousse Review

The children love the little Aero® mousse pots. They like both the flavours – the chocolate and the mint chocolate. This time round, we were sent some of the new Aero® Heavenly Mousse to try out and we loved them.

The new Aero® Heavenly Mousse comes in 2 flavours – Rich chocolate mousse with salted caramel sauce scattered with hazelnuts and a Salted Caramel mousse swirled with caramel sauce and pecan nuts.

You’ve got to admit both sound pretty good. They are 170g pots (3 servings)  which are perfect for sharing.

Our thoughts on Aero® Heavenly Mousse

We loved the combination of smooth, fluffy mousse with the nuts. It kind of made it even more delicious. We liked the Salted caramel one but our hands down favourite was the Rich chocolate.

The bigger pots means we can share which is so much more fun.

It’s great for movie time and chilling time after dinner. A perfect dessert for the family or to enjoy on your own!

Aero® Heavenly Mousse is priced at £1.79 per pot and is available at all major supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and online at Ocado.

Have your tried the new Aero® Heavenly Mousse? Which one is your favourite?

Croco Jungle Research Station from Schleich: Review

This has been one of the most popular toys we’ve received recently. Ethan loves playing with animals and the Schleich animals are perfect for this. When I told him we were going to review the Croco Jungle Research station, he was over the moon and kept asking me everyday whether it had arrived.

When it did, it didn’t disappoint. It is a large set, requiring a good amount of floor space. It has loads of accessories and here’s what all is included in the set –

  • large CROCO skull with secret hiding place
  • jungle research building
  • railings
  • Ranger Tom
  • crocodile
  • orang-utan
  • black panther
  • Asian elephant calf
  • hoist container
  • net
  • viewing platform with trapdoor
  • radar
  • mast with flag
  • hammock
  • 2 shelving units
  • 4 hooks
  • folding chair
  • 4  silver-coloured cage parts with doors
  • dividing wall for cage
  • 6 enclosure parts,
  • treasure chest with gold pieces,
  • crystal skull,
  • 2 torches,
  • treasure map,
  • fire pit,
  • tripod with hook,
  • kettle,
  • 2  tree trunk seats,
  • aluminium-coloured box,
  • spade,
  • axe,
  • survival knife
  • Binoculars with carrying strap
  • 2 x plates
  • 2 x camping cups
  • Mobile phone
  • 1 x laptop
  • 1 x sticker sheet

As you can see, there is a LOT included with it. It requires a bit of construction and there are clear instructions included in the package.

The research station itself has lots of attention to detail. As you can see in the list there are so many accessories that make the playset real.

Ethan likes the fact that it comes with animals and the Schleich animals are always so well made that they are a pleasure to play with. He added his own animals – Schleich tigers to the set for added fun.

What I like about the set is that there are different ways to play as you can attach the enclosure parts to the cage doors or have two separate cages or have one large one with a divider.

The crocodile head is pretty large and you can open the mouth and keep it open with a log for added effect. Each and every part of the set of such good quality and I know that this is one that will last a long time. Good thing too as Ethan just loves it.

It is also a great product to make stories about and Ethan has used this in his homework too where he has made a myth around it. I love it when toys can inspire creativity and though this is not a creative toy in that sense it inspires imaginative play.

The set is priced at £99.99 and it looks like it is expensive but when you consider the number of items included in the set and the quality, it is well worth it. And it is well worth seeing the smile on your child’s face when he or she receives it.

You can also add to the set from the Schleich Wild life range. To find out more visit https://www.schleich-s.com/en/GB/wild-life.html

Schleich Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor Set Review

Another winner from Schleich, we were sent this Large Skull Trap Set with Velociraptor to review. Ethan loves dinosaurs so this was a very welcome addition to our growing Schleich family.

The set includes a large dinosaur skull – a really good size to play with and also to perhaps take into a classroom as it does look rather real. It opens up too which is the really cool part. There is also a velociraptor included as well as a Compsognathus and a lizard. If you have no idea what it is (as I didn’t) – its a dinosaur that was two-legged and the size of a pheasant. There is also a small lizard with the set. 

 

 

With countless ways to play and stories to be made up around it, this set is great value for money at £24.99

The velociraptor also has a moveable jaw and arms to make it all the more exciting.

The set is perfect for play on it’s own or to add to other sets in the range. I love the look of this Giant Volcano with T-Rex and this Dinosaur set with cave.

Like all Schleich products, this has so much attention to detail. The products are hand painted. This is an ideal Christmas present for a dinosaur lover.

To check out the products in the range, visit www.schleich-s.co.uk