Saturday 19th May 2018, another glorious day, so I’m back at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay for Two productions of ‘The last Ship’, with music for the show written by Sting. I’ve heard good reviews for this musical, really looking forward to watching its last two performances at the Centre before it carries on with its UK Tour.
This show has been a complete surprise, thoroughly enjoyed it. The singing was just superb, fabulous voices and harmonies to die for. A huge set with fantastic graphics and images all over. Richard Fleeshman as Gideon Fletcher and Frances McNamee playing Meg Dawson are just brilliant, shining bright like the sun in the daytime sky, very impressed with these two individuals. Bring in Penelope Woodman playing Peggy White (Matinee performance), who has a stunning singing voice, and you have the makings of a great show with these alone. Joe McGann and Katie Moore (playing Jackie White and Ellen Dawson respectively) also impressed enormously, again fabulous singing voices. In fact some of the harmonies with multiple singers involved were enough to reduce me to tears, as they were so beautiful to listen to.
The influence of the music and lyrics from Sting were eminent throughout, played to perfection from the onstage band, and sang brilliantly from the entire cast (as I think I may have mentioned already).
A great storyline as well, with so many changing scenes, motivating the entire show, captivating the audience at every opportunity. A few tears in the second act, but I’m used to that now, I’d probably cry at Pepper Pig shows if I ever went to see one.
I have to say that for a new musical this could go a long way given the chance. For me it was superb, one to watch again and again, and luckily for me I get to watch the evening performance as well.
Saturday 5th May 2018, yet again another glorious and sunny day here in Cardiff Bay, and another visit to the most impressive Millennium Centre, for two performances of ‘Titanic the Musical’. Another musical I have yet to see, although reading a few of the recent reviews, I’m really looking forward to watching this production.
From the start of this amazing show I couldn’t believe what I was watching and listening to. I honestly never imagined just how beautiful this production was. The music combined with the amazing on stage voices was just phenomenal, I think I had tears in my eyes on every song throughout. So emotional from the very start, within minutes you felt for everyone boarding that doomed ship, and got to know them in a very short space of time. The writers of this musical really pulled out all the stops in this fantastic show.
The cast in this production are so good, I’ve mentioned how good the voices are, with so many different singing ranges to choose, from all the team players. Also so many great scenes to take in throughout the show, meeting the main characters at the start, to the way the different classes of people were treated, and (for me) a beautiful ending, so tastefully done, with more stunning singing to close the show. Above all this musical really surprised me as it was just so brilliant from start to finish.
Saturday 28th April 2018, today I’ve no show, but i’m with my son Andy and Hannah, visiting the Principality stadium in Cardiff city centre for ‘Judgement day’, superb rugby between the four great rugby regions of Wales.
Wow what a fabulous day we had, plenty of food, booze, and great friendship from all we had the pleasure of meeting. It’s so great to go out with my kids and their respective partners to witness life’s great adventures at first hand. I’ve forgotten how much I love my kids, and actually spending the time to get to know them and their loves as well. This day has been a brilliant chance for me to get back to the days of old and embrace my love of what means the most to me, and that is the happiness of my and my children.
Sunday 22nd April 2018, I’m back at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay for a rare Sunday Matinee, this week its ‘Shrek the Musical’, on it’s last day in the Capital before moving venues. I always like to catch the last show at the centre if possible and have done so on many occasions during my theatre visiting history, over the past 5 years or so.
For this afternoon performance we have Steffan Harri alongside Amelia Lily in the title roles, with Samuel Holmes and Marcus Ayton as Farquaad and Donkey respectively. I’ve mentioned before how brilliant Lucinda Shaw is as the voice of the Dragon, I also need to praise Jemma Revell as Gingy, so impressed with her voice too, as Gingy happens to be one of my favourite characters in the show. I remember how brilliant Nikki Bentley was in the role on the last tour, she is now wowing audiences as standby Elphaba in Wicked uk tour, we may even see Jemma doing the same in the next few years.
Yet another impressive performance from a talented cast of actors, it’s gone so quick these past two weeks, it’s amazing to have the chance to watch this show so many times over these two tours, and especially at the best theatre in the world, according to me anyway.
Saturday 21st April 2018, another glorious weekend in the making, so I’m back in Cardiff Bay to watch two performances of one of my favourite shows, ‘Shrek the Musical’, at the Millennium Centre. As you can see from the title, I’ve seen this show a few times over two tours, I never get bored watching it, the show is perfect for kids and adults combined. Both of my sons have now seen this, having grown up watching and loving the film, and I’m happy to announce they thought it was really good.
Today I get the opportunity to watch another actress playing the role of Fiona. Last week I got to see Laura Main, this week is the turn of Amelia Lily as the feisty Princess. Both were just brilliant, and may I say, have excellent singing voices to go with it. I also have the chance to watch Stefan Harri playing Shrek, again another lead with a great voice. (last week it was Micheal Carolan in the lead role). I have to commend the alternative cast members who are brilliant at what they do, as they add a different perspective to the part they play.
so many great things I love about this musical. Some amazing songs and music powerfully sung throughout, especially the Dragon scene (superb voice), the end of act one with ‘Who I’d be’ and also ‘Freak Flag’ in act two. The scenery, lighting and special effects also add to the spectacle that this show offers, to everyone in the auditorium. The comedy aspects of the show are also impressive, with most of the laughs arising from Lord Farquaad and his scenes. This spell in Cardiff has gone so quickly, with the final performance on Sunday, before the tour moves on.
Saturday 14th April 2018, back at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay on this glorious sunny day (finally), for a performance of the utterly brilliant ‘Shrek the Musical’. Tonight’s show will actually be my 18th in all, over two tours, with a new cast to go with it. This happens to be one of my favourite musicals, although I love everything I see, but there are a few that stand out for making me feel so good about myself, this is one of them. It’s so funny with fabulous songs, you walk out of the theatre with a huge smile and feeling contentment throughout your whole self (if that makes sense to anyone but me).
The cast for today’s show consists of Michael Carolan as Shrek, with Laura Main as Princess Fiona, Samuel Holmes as Farquaad, Marcus Ayton playing Donkey and Joseph Dockree as Pinocchio. I must say the voice of the Dragon (Lucinda Shaw) was absolutely outstanding, as Candace was on the last tour. If I’m honest all the cast were again just brilliant,as usual. Another surprise was just how good was the voice of Laura Main, having watched call the midwife for so many years, I never realised she could sing, but was I really proved wrong with an excellent performance tonight.
Another favourite role in this show tonight would be that of Lord Farquaad (Samuel Holmes), he is hilarious, with great songs and quirky dance routines to aid him and his ensemble in supplying the big laughs throughout the show. Talking of the ensemble, who I mention on every occasion I can, were superb again, they perform every day with such precision and rarely get a mention, so it’s up to me to sing their praises.
On my birthday weekend I’ve had such a great day, watching one of my favourite musicals along with my son (Andy) his Girlfriend (Hannah) and my Mum (Hilary).
Saturday 24th March 2018, another fabulous day in the Bay, and a chance to watch two performances of ‘Spamalot’ at the Millennium Centre, another new show to add to my growing collection. It’s fabulous to have such a wonderful theatre so close to home, capable to hosting any show the theatrical world can throw at it, I still consider myself so lucky to be able to watch these superb shows in the City I love so much.
For this run in Cardiff we have the legendary Wynne Evans as Sir Galahad, a real treat to see him in action on the big stage, and at the Centre to go with it. The show itself is typical Monty Python, very silly but great fun, with some excellent singing voices on show. Sarah Harlington as ‘The Lady of the Lake’ has a fabulous voice, very impressive. Although as usual, on every show I’ve seen, all the cast sing brilliantly, another reminder of the tremendous depth of talent we have around the UK at the moment.
The music and songs in the show are uplifting, funny and silly all at the same time, a great credit to its writers, giving the audience something to laugh at, at every opportunity, with quite a few modern day references thrown in for good measure. One song stands out, that we can all take heart from, ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ has a fabulous straightforward lyrical presence, which I myself would love to be able to follow, as I stumble blindly through life.
I have to say how thoroughly enjoyable this musical was to watch, very funny with some great singing, which made me extremely bright and cheerful on my drive home.
Saturday 3rd March 2018, day four of my planned showfest, the last two days though have been pretty harrowing, with all shows in Cardiff cancelled due to this extreme weather hitting the UK pretty hard. Today we have some thawing finally so I get to go to the Millenium Centre to watch two productions of ‘Sunset Boulevard’The reviews for this musical read well, but to be in that auditorium listening to it live was worth the wait. I’ve always wanted to watch it since I heard the Glenn Close cd version, and if I dare say it, this was better. Danny Mac as Joe Gillis is superb and has a great voice for the part. Molly Lynch (Betty) is another with a great voice, so impressed with both. Then you add Ria Jones as Norma Desmond alongside Adam Pearce as Max. The voices again are stunning, Adam has got max down to a tee, stunning vocals, and a huge range to his singing talents, then we come to Ria Jones, and let me just say, the best Norma Desmond I’ve ever heard, (I’ve heard a few people sing her on cd), the sheer quality, every time she sang I cried with joy, and the best bit is I get to cry all over again in tonight’s instalment.
May I also mention the Ensemble cast, yet again these guys were exceptional in everything they set out to do, fabulous voices in their sets as well. I always stake a claim for the Ensemble, they are the just brilliant. As were the Orchestra in the pit, playing this wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber music to perfection. Once again these two sets of players are superb, I’ve yet to hear anything bad from any touring company, everyone seems to be on top of their game, on every performance, and show I’ve seen over the last five years or so.
Two stunning performances from the cast today, makes my mini break worthwhile, although not quite how I’d planned it, but, as they say, there’s nothing you can do about the weather,it’s an uncontrollable factor, that we have to bare, see I knew counselling Would work for me in the long run.
Wednesday 28th February 2018, (day one), my mini break begins with a trip To Bristol Hippodrome for two performances of the superb musical ‘Wicked’. This will be my last visit to this show here, until it’s arrival in Cardiff throughout November, so I’m making the most of it today. With the rest of the week off work I’m on a musicals short holiday (weather permitting) between Bristol and Cardiff over the next four days. Bristol is bathed in sunshine, but it’s freezing to go with it, lots of hot coffee and Costa’s to come.
For both the Matinee and Evening shows we have Amy Ross playing Elphaba with Helen Woolf as Glinda. I have yet to mention the role of Nessarose, played beautifully by Emily Shaw, who has a great singing voice, fitting into the role perfectly, and a real joy to watch. It’s a shame the character doesn’t have a bigger part, I think that’s the only thing I would change in this fabulous musical.
Yet again both performances were superb, the bond between the characters keep growing and getting better with every performance. Amy and Helen are just brilliant together, add in Aaron as Fiyaro, and you get a wonderful mix. All the cast are exceptional making this an absolutely stunning affair, one that I cannot stop watching.
The set, lighting and costumes are so bright and cheerful, adding a huge amount to the brilliance the show produces. With its superb music, played to perfection by the musicians in the pit, the all round quality just impresses enormously, just can’t get enough of it at the moment. So looking forward to November when I can see this wonderful musical again.
Wednesday 21st February 2018, another weekday off work for a trip to Bristol and the Hippodrome, to watch the best musical in the world, ‘Wicked’. A glorious day weather wise and perfect for walks around the river and a bit of shopping on the side, in my other favourite city, alongside Cardiff of course. Today is another milestone for me as I’ve reached a quarter of a century of watching Wicked, 25 shows in all and I still can’t wait to see the next one. As I’ve mentioned before I totally love this show, it never fails to impress on every level.
For this afternoons matinee performance we have the brilliant Amy Ross as Elphaba with the equally brilliant Helen Woolf playing Glinda, this is my third main lead partnership of this tour so far, the first time I’ve seen these two together, from what I’ve seen so far, I’m expecting another absolutely fabulous performance, and guess what, I was right, what a performance, these two are just superb together. Whatever team they put on, the performance is just out of this world. I also have to say that I’m really impressed with Aaron Sidwell as Fiyaro, he has a great voice and is growing into the role every week.
Wicked the Musical has just made my whole day so much better, for almost 3 hours I’m in another world, transfixed by the excellence of this show, and how magical I feel in myself while watching it. This is one of the reasons I’ve totally fallen in love with this musical.