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Birmingham

  • Theatre Review: The Lovely Bones at Birmingham REP

    My name is Salmon. Like the fish.

    You may have read the bestselling novel, or seen the film directed by Peter Jackson, but now you have another chance to see The Lovely Bones on stage as it returns to Birmingham Repertory Theatre before embarking on a UK tour following a hugely successful debut last year. Directed by Melly Still with incredible set design by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, it tells the story of 14 year old Susie Salmon who’s a very normal teenage girl in Pennsylvania with a crush, a questionable wardrobe and Biology homework. That is, until she’s not. On 6th December 1973, she is raped and murdered by a neighbour. read more

    Culture, Lifestyle
    / September 10, 2019
  • Walking out of the hotel in Marks & Spencer clothing

    Finding #MyMarksFave at Marks and Spencer Longbridge

    This is a paid collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

    During our recent shopping trip to Marks and Spencer in Longbridge, my Mom and I got talking about the future for fashion shopping. We’d planned an afternoon treating ourselves in M&S, picking up some bits and pieces for the upcoming summer months and enjoying a cuppa in the Cafe afterwards: a proper Mother-Daughter laugh-filled day out. It was SO MUCH FUN, although we couldn’t help but speculate whether these kind of trips had a shelf life. In a world that is becoming increasingly digitised, and with news of the ever-declining high street constantly ringing in our ears, we were worried about our future fashion purchases being solely online based. read more

    Fashion, Lifestyle
    / April 20, 2019
  • Pickle at the Ice Age exhibition at Botanical Gardens

    Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

    I’ve a lot of love for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It’s such a beautiful expanse in amidst our bustling city, offering lots for little ones to explore, a brilliant park area and so much gorgeous photography opportunities. This week, we ventured down with some friends to see the new Ice Age exhibition: a trail of over 40 installations of animated life-sized beasts, including a Sabre Tooth Tiger, Mastodon and the centre piece Woolly Mammoth.

    Our Day Out

    I’d first heard about the Ice Age exhibition from a new friend at work. Our boys are both very similar in age and she had planned on going, sending me the details as she correctly guessed that it sounded up my street! A few days later, I had an email invitation to check out a preview of the attraction, and I knew just who would make for the perfect companions on our trip. read more

    Days Out, Parenting, Reviews
    / April 7, 2019
  • Press Image from Little Gift Theatre show for children a man standing in front of lots of suitcases

    Theatre Review: Little Gift – M6 Theatre at Birmingham REP

    This is a press review of the 11.30am performance of Little Gift at The Birmingham REP on 23 February 2019.

    If you read my February children’s theatre post, you’ll know I was particularly excited about seeing Little Gift, the latest touring production from M6 Theatre, performed by Guy Hargreaves, someone I’d had the privilege of working with many years ago through the National Youth Theatre. Sometimes, I can get an idea in my head of what a theatre production might be like before I go (rightly or wrongly), and it can often set me up for a fall – anticipating the show to be one thing, when the reality is quite different. Not this time. read more

    Aged 2+, Culture, Days Out, Parenting, Reviews
    / February 24, 2019
  • Our Date in Birmingham

    This is a collaborative post with Hotels.Com

    High on my priority list for this year are date nights. Or date days. Since becoming parents, the quality time I’ve spent with Little Pickle’s Dad has sadly dropped, and now that leaving Pickle with a babysitter is a lot easier, it’s something we want to really dedicate more time to. With that in mind, when Hotels.Com challenged us to spending the best day in Birmingham we could think of, we jumped at the opportunity. It was the perfect excuse to spend our January date in the city we love – I just wish we’d have had even longer. Next time, we need to look up some hotels in Birmingham to really make the most of it, especially as I spotted some amazing looking places for breakfast or brunch. read more

    Days Out, Dining Out, Lifestyle, Marriage
    / January 24, 2019
  • Little Angel Theatre's Sleepyhead - Dada attempting to put Baby to sleep

    Theatre Review: Sleepyhead – Little Angel Theatre at mac birmingham

    I’m sure I’ve written before about the special place in my heart reserved for mac (Midlands Arts Centre). It was where I worked my first arts job after graduating, and I spent a very happy year there – even if the commute killed off two cars (the stop/start traffic through Kings Heath is not kind on old knackered bangers). They have some of the best family programming in the region, and it’s always a delight to visit the arts centre as a family.

    This week, we bundled up warm and braved the traffic to watch one of mac’s two children’s Christmas offering’s this season: Little Angel Theatre’s Sleepyhead. After loving Little Angel Theatre’s Me last year, I knew we’d be in for a treat and I wasn’t wrong. Sleepyhead follows the night-time antics of Baby, who successfully brushes off all of Dada’s attempts to get them to sleep and has a magical midnight adventure instead.

    Mix in some magic, a pinch of circus and a large dollop of silliness and you have the recipe for a little adventure with a lot of laughs!

    Little Angel Theatre’s productions are masterclasses of puppeteering, with each little detail carefully contributing to gorgeously realistic movement: a perfect example is the small up-and-down movement of Baby, curled up hiding on the carpet, the talented performer quite literally breathing life into the performance. It’s these details that create characters everyone in the audience could relate to – the parents laughing along at the baby’s antics and seeing themselves reflected in the playful bumblings of Dada. I’m sure I speak on behalf of most parents whose children struggle to get to sleep that seeing Dada try all his tricks (magical or not!) raised a chuckle or two of recognition. As different as all our parenting styles are, there are some things that I’m sure we all do from time to time… and falling asleep whilst putting our children to sleep must be one of those parenting levellers, a real rite of passage.

    This playful production kept Pickle captivated throughout (without me having to resort to snacks to keep him sat still – which says a lot). I hope I always remember how lovely it was to snuggle up to each other whilst sat on the front row. It was beautiful to hear him properly giggling at the action, finding such joy in the slapstick humour. It’s been quite a few months since his last theatre visit, and his speech has come on such a long way during that time. I absolutely loved chatting to him about the show afterwards – he loved reminding me that the Baby did a big poo (!!!), and he babbled away telling Little Pickle’s Dad all about how the Baby wanted cake and thought carrots were ‘yak’ once we got home.

    The production is aimed at 2-5 year olds, and our audience certainly had children from both ends of that range – with giggles and squeals of delight coming from them all! We had a lovely school group in our performance which really added to an excited and energetic atmosphere which I’m sure also helped contribute towards the merriment. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Sleepyhead, and strongly encourage you to book tickets if you’re looking for a special pre-Christmas family treat.

    Sleepyhead runs at mac Birmingham until Sun 2 December 2018, with two performances a day (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon to help you choose whichever best fits in with naptime!). There is also a relaxed performance on Friday 30 November 2018, with BSL interpretation. Tickets cost from £9.50, and in my opinion, are worth every single penny. For more information and to book tickets, take a look at the mac Birmingham website.

    Disclaimer: we were invited to this production of Sleepyhead for press review purposes. All opinions and views remain my own.

    Culture, Reviews
    / November 23, 2018