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Friday, 4 September 2015

The Best Acting In Theatre I saw (2011-2014)

Coming up to nearly 5 years of me having this blog I wanted to celebrate by looking back on the best acting performances of theatre I'd seen in the last 5 years (I've not included this year as I've yet to decide what's been the best/may not have seen it yet!). What's been the best performances/productions you've seen? Let me know in the comments below.

You can look back at my theatre awards (I pick from the shows I saw what was the best, all for a bit of fun) for the past years, 2011-2014, on the links below:

Best Supporting Actresses in a play:
Lucy Briggs Owen in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Production of A Midsummer Nights Dream in 2011.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00qbqm7 - see Lucy perform the Lover's Scene on the BBC Shakespeare Unlocked website.
Susie Trayling as Constance in the RSC Production of King John in 2012.
Susie Trayling as Constance in King John. Zuleika Henry Photography
Rose Reynolds as Lavinia in the 2013 RSC Production of Titus Andronicus.
Rose Reynolds as Lavinia in Titus Andronicus. Photo by Simon Annand.
Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn in the RSC Productions of Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies.
Joanna Horton as Celia in the RSC Production of As You Like It
Joanna Horton as Celia. Photo by Keith Pattison
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavina in the Shakespeare's Globe as Titus Andronicus
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia. Photo by Elliott Franks.

Best Supporting Actors in a play:
Martin Hutson as Prince John in the RSC Production of The Heart of Robin Hood.
Martin Hutson as Prince John. Photo by Eggert Thor Jonsson
Ray Fearon as Mark Anthony in the RSC Production of Julius Caesar.

Pearce Quigley as Bottom in the 2013 Shakespeare's Globe Production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Jo Stone-Fewings as Buckingham in the 2014 Trafalgar Studios production of Richard III.
Jo Stone-Fewings as Buckingham. Photo by Marc Brenner
Mark Rylance as Olivia in Shakespeare's Globe Production of Twelfth Night

Stephen Fry as Malvolio in Shakespeare's Globe Production of Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry as Malvolio. Photo by Simon Annand
James Garnon as Caliban in Shakespeare's Globe Production of The Tempest
James Garnon as Caliban. Photo by Shakespeare's Globe.

Best Leading Actresses in a Play:
Iris Roberts as Marion in the RSC's The Heart of Robin Hood.

Pippa Nixon as Bastard in the RSC's King John.
Pippa Nixon as the Bastard. Photo by the RSC
Pippa Nixon as Rosalind in the RSC's As You Like It.

Pearl Chanda as Julia in the RSC's Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Pearl Chanda as Julia. Photo by Simon Annand
Francess Rufelle as Edith Piaf in the Curve's Production of Piaf.

Best Leading Actors in a Play:
James McArdle as Robin Hood in the RSC's The Heart of Robin Hood.
James McArdle as Robin Hood. Photo by Eggert Thor Jonsson.
Michael Hodgson as Manny Rat in the RSC's The Mouse and His Child.
Michael Hodgson as Manny. Photo by Keith Pattison
Jonathan Slinger as Hamlet in the RSC's Hamlet.

Martin Freeman as Richard III in the Trafalgar Studio's Production of Richard III.
Martin Freeman as Richard III. Photo by Marc Brenner
Alex Waldmann as King John in the RSC's King John.
Alex Waldmann as King John. Photo by Keith Pattison.
Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell in the RSC's Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell. Photo by the RSC.
David Dawson as Ferdinand in the Shakespeare's Globe production of The Duchess of Malfi.

Gavin Spokes as Francis Henshall in touring production of One Man Two Guv'nors.

Alex Hassell as Prince Hal in the RSC's Henry IV Parts One and Two
Alex Hassell as Prince Hal. Photo by Kwame Lestrade.
Jasper Britton as King Henry IV in the RSC's Henry IV Parts One and Two Two

Best Supporting Actresses in a Musical:
Hannah Waddingham as The Wicked Witch of the West in the west end production of The Wizard of Oz.

Victoria-Hamilton Barritt as Louise in The Curve's Production of Gypsy.
Victoria-Hamilton Barritt as Louise. Photo by Catherine Ashmore
Natasha J.Barnes as Svetlana in the Union Theatre's production of Chess.
Natasha J Barnes in rehearsals for Chess. Photo by mugphotography
Zizi Strallen as Penny Pingleton in the Curve's production of Hairspray.
Zizi Strallen as Penny (left). Photo by Pamela Raith
Ceris Hine as Columbia in the UK Tour of The Rocky Horror Show.
Ceris Hine as Columbia.
Sandra Marvin as Mama Morton in the Curve's Production of Chicago
Sandra Marvin as Mama Morton (left) with Verity Rushworth. Photo by Pamela Raith

Best Supporting Actors in a Musical:
Simon Lipkin as Lonny in Rock of Ages.
Simon Lipkin as Lonny. Photo by Ben Pruchnie
Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical

Oliver Boot as Captain Hook in Finding Neverland.
Oliver Boot (right) as Captain Hook. Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg
Tam Mutu as Javert in Les Miserables.

Matthew Barrow as Amos in Chicago.
Matthew Barrow as Amos Hart. Photo by Pamela Raith.
Ian Stroughair as Angel in Rent

Daniel Robinson as Luther Billis in South Pacific.
Daniel Robinson as Luther Billis. Photo by Jems Photography.

Best Leading Actresses in a Musical:
Natalie Andreou as Sherrie in Rock of Ages.
Natalie Andreou as Sherrie.
Sophia Kiely as Matilda in Matilda.
Sophia Kiely as Matlida. Photo by Manuel Harlan.
Caroline O'Connor as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Kara Lane as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
Kara Lane (centre) as Reno Sweeney. Photo by Jems Photography.
Gemma Sutton as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Gemma Sutton as Roxie Hart. Photo by Pamela Raith.
Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba in Wicked

Louise Dearman as Mrs D in The Water Babies
Louise Dearman as Mrs D. Photo by Johan Persson
Emmi Christensson as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera
Emmi Christensson as Christine. Photo by Johan Persson

Best Leading Actors in a Musical:
Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom in Love Never Dies.
Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchball in Matilda.
Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys.
Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.
Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

David Hunter as Guy in Once

Oliver Tompsett as Drew in Rock of Ages.
Oliver Tompsett as Drew. Photo by Ben Pruchnie
David Bedella as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd.
David Bedella as Sweeney Todd. Photo by Darren Bell.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Mounts Bay Inn, Mullion (Cornwall)

The Mounts Bay Inn is a lovely pub/restaurant set in the lovely village of Mullion in Cornwall. Mullion I've been having yearly holidays for pretty much all my life (my first was during my 2nd birthday!) and is the most glorious little place set on the Lizard Peninsula. It has a lot going for it, it's very near the coast within easy reach of many tourist attractions, coastal walks and of course beaches all this and I haven't even mention the beautiful Mullion Cove. Mullion though has the finest of all the pubs in it, The Mounts Bay Inn.
The front of the pub.

The pub itself we rarely visited until a couple of years ago for whatever reason, but ever since we've started having visits yearly it has been the finest meal out of our holiday. This year's trip me and my partner Megan decided to visit on the Monday evening as it was our anniversary. So we rang up in the middle of the day and made a reservation. Megan being wheat intolerant means it's not always the easiest to find places that offer a wide selection of food. Not this time we'd looked online and they offer gluten free options.

We entered the pub and were given a lovely table within the restaurant area of the pub, the lovely waiter brought my menu, a great selection of locally sourced food such a steak and fish. Megan was given the allergy menu, and it had possibly the biggest selection of Gluten Free food I've seen a pub offer. I think she was most pleased. She ordered the Double Steak Burger (without the bun and the onion rings of course) and my the Scrumpy Chicken (Chicken breast, bacon, apple sauce and brie cheese), both served with chips and a salad.
Megan with her double steak burger
The food came and it was the most delicious meal we've both ever eaten, so well cooked and just delicious. We truly loved it. Of course when this was all eaten and washed down with a lovely drink, we asked for the dessert menu, another pain the people who can't eat gluten (and from most places I've been with Megan for food) is that the dessert menu can be lacking, it often just contains Ice Cream. Not here, half the dessert menu was a gluten free option, from Sticky Chocolate Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Cake and more! This was brilliant.

Megan chose the Sticky Chocolate Pudding and myself I had the Pear and Dark Chocolate Crumble. Megan loved hers but mine was incredible, so delicious. The best pudding I've ever had. In fact in general this was the best meal I've ever had.
Our Monday evening puddings.
 On the night we tweeted how much we were enjoying this food, and just as we were ready to leave one of the male workers came over the our table telling us he'd just had a telephone call from the pub manager who was having a night off, she'd seen our tweet and asked that we'd gotten a free round of drinks. This was a lovely touch and topped off the night. The gentleman said it was the head chef''s night off also, but this we couldn't have told and whom ever was head chef the night we went did a fine job.

So we left full to the brim and a bit merry from a few drinks. Both raving how good the food and the service was.

Thankfully before our holiday ended for another year we did get to attend on the Saturday for lunch, again the food was delicious (we both this time had the Double Steak Burger) and as we were leaving we were able to personally speak to and thank one of the managers Cheryl (Peter her husband being the other). She said they had a fantastic team there, this I agree on, the whole staff and the chefs in the kitchen are superb.
My double steak burger on the Saturday lunchtime.
So we left and now back home nearly a week on, I'm looking forward to future trips to the pub, as the Mounts Bay Inn is the greatest pub in the whole world. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

For more information on the pub itself, menu, location or anything please visit - http://www.mountsbaymullion.co.uk/index.html

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Fame: Leicester Theatre Group.

Last night Me and my partner, Megan, went to see the Leicester Theatre Group production of Fame at Hansom Hall, we mainly went for Amy who is one of the cast members but I just wanted to write up a few words about it.

I didn't know anything about the show before it, only the main song (and everyone knows that!). I enjoyed the story and the music and I must praise the live musicians who sounded excellent. It's a show I think really worked for the age (yes there's some adult themes in there but they didn't really effect anything).

I must highly praise everyone on the stage, especially as this way their opening night. There was a few I wanted to name as they were excellent. Maeve Wood as Carmen Diaz has a voice to match any on the West End stage as does Joseph McErlean who played Nick Piazza. In the future I certianlly reckon these two have a future. Amy Crighton, Stef White and Aaron Patel offered great supporting roles, all of these stood out in the scenes where they were on stage. Praise the everyone off stage too, who are pulling great things with this company.

For an amateur production this was done really well. I'm sure everyone involved in this show is proud and they deserve to be.

For more information on the LTG company itself or to even join visit - http://www.leicester-theatre-group.co.uk/

Monday, 11 May 2015

Frozen Fever.

I confess maybe more recently I've had the Disney bug (with a holiday to Disneyland Paris and a trip to see Disney on Ice and also a highly obsessed Disney fan girlfriend, Megan), and these days you mention the word Disney and I think you'll probably get Frozen mentioned. Frozen has surpassed all expectations with how successful it has become (the sixth highest grossing film of all time). For me until recently I've not really been hugely converted, but now I'm almost obsessed!

A story of two sisters, Elsa who has magic powers of Ice and Anna a simple Princess who simply wants love. After Elsa runs away when her powers become apparent to the Kingdom of Arendelle but in doing so she plunges the land in to an eternal winter. Anna sets off to try to convince Elsa to return and in doing so end the deep freeze. Along the way they meet Kristoff, Sven and the snowman they created as children Olaf. (Seriously you must ALL know the story by now though!).

The catchy songs you just HAVE to give yourself into, who doesn't love a singing snowman dreaming of summertime? We ALL know the words 'Do You Want To Build A Snowman?', 'For The First Time In Forever' and 'Love Is An Open Door'. The writing duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez have created a soundtrack generations all around the world love and are inspired by. Kids and adults, all ages we know it word for word.

I couldn't mention the films music without mentioning the biggest hit from the film, Elsa's solo number 'Let It Go'. The song is simply superb, one of those songs that they couldn't have done it better. I found myself making my sandwiches today just casually singing it, I probably hum it most days and who among us hasn't said 'the cold never bothered me anyway'.
I went to see Disney on Ice yesterday in Nottingham, there was hundreds of children, girls and boys (and even a couple of adults) dressed as characters from the film, Elsa and Anna for the girls and Olaf for the boys! During the Frozen section people of all ages were singing along. You couldn't help but be dragged in.

Frozen may be the greatest Disney film of all time and quite possibly one of the greatest movies of all time. The film has and will continue to amaze children and adults for many years to come and rightly so. I for one have a bout of Frozen fever.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Our Disney Favourites

As me and Megan are massive Disney fan’s (and go to Disneyland in under 3 weeks!), we’ve decided to compile this blog of our favourites, done in a variety of different categories. 

Top 5 Disney Animated Films:
1. Frozen

2. The Little Mermaid

3. Beauty and The Beast

4. Pocahontas
5. Tangled

1. Hunchback of Notre Dame

2. The Lion King
3. Robin Hood
4. Sleeping Beauty
5. Mulan

Top 5 Disney Non-Animated/Part Animated Films:
1. Song of The South
2. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
4. Enchanted
5. The Muppets

1. The Muppets
2. Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
3. Mary Poppins
4. The Muppets Most Wanted
5. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

Top 5 Disney Princesses:
1. Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

3. Anna (Frozen)
4. Rapunzel (Tangled)
5. Merida (Brave)

1. Anna (Frozen)
2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
3. Mulan (Mulan)
4. Pocahontas (Pocahontas)

5. Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)
Top 5 Disney Princes/Heroes:
1. Eric (The Little Mermaid)
2. The Beast/Prince Adam (Beauty and The Beast)

3. Flynn Rider (Tangled)

4. Kristoff (Frozen)
5. Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

1. Walter (The Muppets/The Muppets Most Wanted)
2. Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

3. Kermit The Frog (The Muppets/The Muppets Most Wanted)
4. Robin Hood (Robin Hood)
5. Captain Jack Sparrow (The Pirates of the Caribbean Film Series)
Top 5 Disney Sidekicks:
1. Maximus (Tangled)
2. Olaf (Frozen)
3. Sven (Frozen)
4. Pascal (Tangled)
5. Mushu (Mulan)
1. Abu (Aladdin)
2. Animal (The Muppets/The Muppets Most Wanted)
3. Baloo (The Jungle Book)

4. Genie (Aladdin)
5. Evinrude (The Rescuers)
Top 5 Disney Villains:
1. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)

2. Ursulla (The Little Mermaid)
3. Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

4. Prince Hans (Frozen)
5. Doctor Facilier (Princess and the Frog)

1. Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
2. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

3. Scar (The Lion King)
4. Prince John (Robin Hood)

5. Hades (Hercules)