Theatre
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2:22 A Ghost Story - A Hauntingly Good Time

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Disclosure - We were invited along to the press night of 2:22 A Ghost Story

I have always enjoyed going to the theatre and I have mentioned before that although I love musicals we have been exploring different types of shows over the past few years including The Mouse Trap, Wish You Were Dead and Murder In The Dark. They have really opened our eyes to what the theatre can offer and we have really enjoyed the suspense these type of shows create. We recently went to see 2:22 A Ghost Story and had no idea what to expect as we try to avoid any reviews. If you do like to know a little about a show before watching then keep reading our review of 2:22 A Ghost Story at The Lowry.

a man holding up a 2:22 A ghost story theatre programme


Plot and Setting
Set in a modern-day home that feels both familiar and unsettlingly isolated, 2:22 A Ghost Story centres around Jenny and her husband Sam, who have recently moved into a new house. Jenny is convinced that the house is haunted, hearing strange noises every night at 2:22 AM. Sam, a skeptic, dismisses her fears as mere imagination. The tension between belief and skepticism is a central theme of the play.

One night the couple invites their friends Lauren and Ben over for dinner, the conversation inevitably turns to the paranormal. What begins as a casual evening of drinks and debates soon descends into a night of fear and revelation. The play's real-time format keeps the audience on edge, counting down to the 2:22 moment, building anticipation with every tick of the clock.

Characters and Performances
The strength of 2:22 A Ghost Story lies in its characters and the actors' performances. Jenny portrayed by Fiona Wade has a raw vulnerability that makes her fears more realistic. As a new mum it would be easy for the audience to assume she is suffering from lack of sleep however her terrified belief is compelling and believable.

Sam portrayed by George Rainsford is a rational thinker, everything can be explained and does make a good argument when trying to figure out exactly what is happening.  

Lauren and Ben, the couple’s friends, add layers of complexity to the narrative. Lauren portrayed by Vera Chok is more open to the supernatural and acts as an intermediary, bridging the gap between Jenny and Sam's polar beliefs. Ben portrayed by Jay McGuiness has his own experiences with the supernatural and does everything he can to prove Jenny is right. 

The dynamics between these four characters are electric, with sharp, witty dialogue that keeps the audience engaged. The actors' chemistry ensures that each emotional beat hits with full force, making their fear and tension feel immediate and real.

the stage setting for 2:22 A Ghost Story


Direction and Atmosphere
Under the deft direction of Matthew Dunster, the play’s atmosphere is one of constant unease. The set design is brilliantly claustrophobic, with shadows and dim lighting creating a sense of impending dread. Every creak and groan of the house is amplified, turning the setting into a character in its own right.

Sound plays a crucial role in building tension. The use of silence, punctuated by sudden, jarring noises, keeps the audience on edge. The countdown to 2:22 AM is particularly effective, with each passing minute heightening the sense of impending doom.

Our Thoughts
2:22 A Ghost Story explores the human need to make sense of the inexplicable. Jenny’s insistence on the house being haunted stems from a deeper need for answers, a way to rationalise her fears and anxieties. Sam’s refusal to believe is equally telling, a defence mechanism against the chaos that accepting the supernatural would bring into his orderly world.

The play is a masterful blend of psychological drama and supernatural thriller. It captivates with its well-drawn characters, sharp dialogue, and relentless tension. The play doesn’t just scare; it provokes thought, challenging the audience to question their own beliefs about the unknown.

Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, “2:22 A Ghost Story” will leave you questioning what you think you know and looking over your shoulder long after the final curtain falls. It’s a hauntingly good time that is not to be missed.


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Michelle
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The Best Family Shows To Book in London this Half Term

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Disclosure - this is a collaborative post

When it comes to watching a show at the theatre you really can't beat visiting London. We have travelled many times to the capital to watch shows such as Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Fame and Grease. There's something magical about heading to the West End and if you are looking for something to do with the kids this half term then there are plenty of family shows in London to choose from. 

view from the circle in a theatre

It's only in the last year or so that we have enjoyed going to the theatre as a family, until then it was just the two of us. However there are so many family friendly shows to see it's a lovely day out with the kids. 

the lion king musical poster



The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, ‍21 Wellington St, London WC2E 7RQ
The Lion King is probably one of my favourite shows I have ever seen. I am a huge fan of Disney so I was always going to love this, but it really does appeal to everyone of all ages. Everything about the show will take your breath away from the set, the music and the amazing puppets that grace the stage. It really is a show that you can watch over and over and it's no surprise that its has won multi awards.

The Lion King tells the tale of a young lion, Simba. Following the death of his father, Simba starts a new life away from the African Pride Lands. When responsibility beckons, Simba must return to his homeland to take on his foes and regain his crown as king.

Mrs Doubtfire musical poster


Mrs. Doubtfire The Musical, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP
Mrs. Doubtfire The Musical went straight on my bucket list as soon as it was announced that they were creating a musical version of the much loved 90's classic movie, Mrs Doubtfire. Reviews for the show have been amazing stating it's "A Surefire Hit' and "She's On Fire".  

For those unfamiliar with the story out-of-work actor Daniel will do anything for his kids. After losing custody in a messy divorce, he creates the alter ego of Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives. As his new character takes on a life of its own, Mrs. Doubtfire teaches Daniel more than he bargained for about how to be a father.

wicked poster


Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Rd, London SW1V 1LG
Wicked is the show I have seen the most, first seeing it at the Apollo Victoria, then when it toured the UK a few years back and I have tickets booked again for this year when it heads to the North West. I didn't know anything about the show when I first saw it so I had no idea what to expect. It was the first show that ever made me cry (both times) and no doubt again when I see it next. 

Wicked imagines the fascinating backstory of Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Discover the decisions and events that shaped the two characters’ renowned destinies, as the unlikely friends begin their journey together in this heartwarming tale.

frozen musical


Frozen the Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
A classic Disney movie adapted for the stage. I don't think anyone could have imagined how popular Disney's Frozen would be but  Frozen The Musical is proving to be just as popular. This is another show that's on my bucket list as I absolutely love the movie and can only imagine how magical it would be to see on stage. 

When Queen Elsa’s hidden powers plunge the land of Arendelle into an eternal winter, her sister Anna sets out to find her and save the kingdom before it’s too late. But as the storm rages on, both sisters must learn that only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.

sister act the musical poster


Sister Act, Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Ct Rd, London W1T 7AQ
Playing at the first ever theatre in London I visited, Sister Act is up there with one of my favourite shows. As a huge fan of the movie and it's leading lady at the time Alexandra Burke I loved everything about the show when I saw it on it's UK tour a few years ago. It a feel good show with amazing music that will have you dancing in your seat. 

A story of music, mishaps and nuns on the run is a joyous and uplifting tale of finding your voice and singing out, with your sisters by your side.

There are lots more shows to see this half term in London and you can find out more, prices and book tickets by visiting London Box Office. 

What is your favourite show and what show would you love to see in the future?

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Michelle
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Here and Now, The Steps Musical

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I have been a Steps fan since the very beginning. I have seen them on tour more times than I can remember and I cannot tell you how excited I am that they announced Here and Now, The Steps Musical. This brand new musical will be based on the much loved catchy Steps songs. It promises to  be a hilarious and heart-warming show.

Here and Now, The Steps Musical


Here and Now, The Steps Musical
Welcome to seaside superstore Better Best Bargains, where it's Friday night, the vibe is right, and everyone's dancing in the aisles. But when Caz discovers the shelves are stocked with lies and betrayal, the summer of love she and her friends dreamed of suddenly feels like a tragedy. Have they all lost their chance of a 'happy ever after'? Or does love have other plans in store...?

Where Can I See Here and Now, The Steps Musical?
Currently there is only one venue announced however it has been promised that more dates will be announced soon. 

Sat 9 Nov - Sun 24 Nov 2024, The Alexandra, Birmingham
CLICK TO BOOK TICKETS

After Birmingham it seems it may move to the West End. As soon as I have any more information I will update.

This brand new musical is produced by Steps themselves, ROYO and pop legend Pete Waterman. I have read that this is something Steps have wanted to do for a long time but wanted to find the perfect script. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

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Michelle
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Madagascar The Musical Review

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Disclosure - We were invited to watch Madagascar The Musical. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. this post contains some affiliate links

It's hard to believe that Madagascar the movie took the world by storm 19 years ago. We all fell in love with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria as they escaped from New York Zoo and ended up in Madagascar where they had to brave the wild so far away from home. Big J was only 3 when the movie came out but he absolutely loved it and I think we used to play "I Like To Move It" on repeat. Since then it's become a family favourite and we were so excited to see Madagascar The Musical on it's UK and Ireland Tour. 

Madagascar The Musical



Madagascar The Musical 
Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.

Madagascar The Musical cast on stage


Our Thoughts
Madagascar The Musical was better than I expected. It was bright, colourful with a great script and even better music. I fell in love with all the characters again and I now have a new favourite - King Julien. 

The first half of the show lasted about 40 minutes and was based around New York's Central Park zoo and Marty's birthday wish to 'visit the wild'. When Marty escapes the zoo he is soon joined by his three friends as they try to ride the subway but are soon caught by animal control. The whole first half was so enjoyable with great songs and really showcasing the friendship between the four main characters especially Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra. 

Alex (played by Joseph Hewlett) and Marty (played by Francisco Gomes) dominated the first half of the show with their great chemistry and catchy duets. I would have loved to see more of Gloria (played by Jarnéia Richard - Noel) and Melman (played by Joshua Oakes Rogers).

cast of madagascar the musical


The second half started after a 20 minute interval and began in Madagascar. The animals have washed up on the beach and are ready to explore the island when they meet King Julien, Maurice and Mort who are hiding from the Fossa, the largest carnivore on Madagascar. We see how Alex struggles to think of anything other than steak, Gloria and Melman begin a romance and Marty loves being in the wild and feels right at home. However Alex overcomes his desire to eat steak and helps his new friends be free of the threat of the Fossa. 

The highlight of the second half was King Julien (played by Karim Zeroual). He was absolutely brilliant as King Julien. He really made us all laugh out loud and dance in our seats to 'I like To Move It'. 

With a running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes approx including the interval it's perfect for all ages. 

Madagascar The Musical program


Where Can I See Madagascar The Musical?
The Uk and Ireland tour is on now starting in Manchester and ending in Southampton.

08 - 11 Feb 2024 - Manchester Opera House

14 - 18 Feb 2024 - Alhambra Theatre Bradford

21 – 24 Feb 2024 - Blackpool Winter Gardens

28 Feb – 02 Mar 2024 - Swansea Grand Theatre

06 – 09 Mar 2024 - Grand Opera House Belfast

14 – 17 Mar 2024 - The Alexandra Birmingham

21 – 24 Mar 2024 - Grimsby Auditorium
Click Here For More Info and To Buy Tickets

29 – 31 Mar 2024 - Liverpool Empire

11 – 14 Apr 2024 - Dublin Gaiety Theatre

18 – 21 Apr 2024 - Oxford New Theatre

25 - 27 Apr 2024 - Edinburgh Playhouse

2 - 5 May - Inverness Eden Court
Click Here For More Info and To Buy Tickets

09 – 11 May 2024 - Wimbledon New Theatre

16 – 19 May 2024 - Regent Theatre Stoke on Trent

22 – 25 May 2024 - Sheffield Lyceum
Click Here For More Info and To Buy Tickets

27 May – 01 Jun 2024 - Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

06 – 09 Jun 2024 - Dartford Orchard Theatre

13 – 16 Jun 2024 - Eastbourne Congress Theatre

19 - 23 Jun 2024 - Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple
Click Here For More Info and To Buy Tickets

27 – 30 Jun 2024 - Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff

10 – 13 Jul 2024 - Newcastle Theatre Royal

18 – 21 Jul 2024 - Northampton Royal & Derngate

24 – 27 Jul 2024 - Nottingham Theatre Royal

01 - 04 Aug 2024 - Southend Cliffs Pavilion

7 – 10 Aug 2024 - Glasgow King's Theatre

14 – 17 Aug 2024 - His Majesty's Theatre Aberdeen

Wed 21 – Sat 24 Aug 2024 - Southampton Mayflower Theatre

Have you seen Madagascar The Musical yet? if not have you booked your tickets? You definitely won't be disappointed. 

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Michelle
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Pretty Woman The Musical Review

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I have waited what seems an eternity since receiving my tickets as a present to see Pretty Woman The Musical and I can honestly say it was worth the wait. I always worry watching the stage show version of such an iconic movie such as Dirty Dancing and The Rocky Horror Show but they are always done so well and Pretty Woman The Musical was everything I had hoped it would be. 

pretty woman the musical poster


I'm sure you all know the plot to the movie Pretty Woman but if you don't then Pretty Woman is a true fairytale. Vivian works on Hollywood Boulevard with her room mate Kit as they try to make enough money to pay rent. Edward is a successful business man who finds himself in need of some directions to his hotel room at the prestigious Regent Beverly Wilshire. 

What starts as just a one time thing, Edward and Vivian are drawn to each other and after making a business deal to spend the next 6 days together we watch as their love for each other grows and grows and the unlikely couple soon seem a perfect match. 

I knew I was going to love Pretty Woman The Musical as it is one of my favourite movies but I absolutely loved the songs. I thought both Edward and Vivian really showcased their vocal talents but for me Edward stole the show. His singing was effortless and I'm glad he got the chance to showcase his talent throughout the show. Filling Richard Gere's shoes is a hard task, but he did the job!

Pretty Woman The Musical is touring the UK and more information on venues and dates can be found below. 

23 Jan - 3 Feb 2024 - Liverpool Empire

5 Feb -  10 Feb 2024 - Hull New Theatre
Book Your Tickets Online Here

12 Feb - 17 Feb 2024, New Wimbledon Theatre

20 Feb - 24 Feb 2024, Grand Opera House York

27 Feb - 16 Mar 2024, Palace Theatre Manchester

19 Mar - 30 Mar 2024, Milton Keynes Theatre

2 Apr - 13 Apr 2024, Edinburgh Playhouse

15 Apr - 20 Apr 2024, Theatre Royal Plymouth

29 Apr - 5 May 2024, Wales Millennium Centre

6 May - 11 May 2024, Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Book Your Tickets Online Here

14 May - 25 May 2024, Leeds Heritage Theatre

28 May - Sat 8 Jun 2024, Sunderland Empire

15 Jul - Sat 20 Jul 2024, Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

20 Aug - Sat 24 Aug 2024, The Alexandra, Birmingham

Have you booked your tickets to see Pretty Woman yet?

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- If you enjoyed this post leave us a comment.

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- If you would like to work with us please visit on Work With Us page for more details

Michelle
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