Review

It’s DDC at the S-T-A-G! – Sinderella Review

Last week (Monday 4th Feb) had the pleasure of seeing the Adult Panto Sinderella at The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks. The Panto stars Divina De Campo (Drag Race UK), Rob King (BGT), Stacy Layne Matthews (Drag Race), David Potts (Ibizia Weekender) and Jamie Campbell (the inspiration for the hit musical Everybody’s talking about Jamie). We opted for the VIP tickets which included a photo op, signed poster and second row seats!

Me and my Partner Jon with some of the cast 🙂

The Panto was a hilariously funny, highly entertaining piece from start to finish. David Hopper does a fantastic job as a far ruder version of your typical pantomime Buttons. Buttons arrives on stage various times throughout the panto with a cheery “HIYA GUYS!” met by a chorus of “F**k off!” from the audience, who get a witty retort thrown back at them each time.

There were a few technical issues throughout the performance and I bring this up only because of how well the cast responded to these issues. Divina and Stacy had some issues with their microphones at certain points but they powered through it and still delivered an entertaining and professional performance.

Divina De Campo does a terrific job in her role as the Wicked Stepmother, she’s got those classic panto villian expressions down! She also delivered a great vocal performance, but you wouldn’t expect any less for someone who can sing in 4 and a half octaves, in 5 different languages while doing the splits???

Jamie Campbell and Troy Harris play the ugly stepsisters in this production, who both got a lot of laughs from the audience. Julie Hutchison-Alberts plays Cinderella, who is much more innocent than the other characters in show! I enjoyed her scenes with Prince Charming (Rob King) they both have some fun and impressive musical numbers. David Potts also does a good job as Prince Charming’s right hand man Dandini, forming an amusing double act with Prince Charming.

I do urge anyone who has the chance to see this production to do so. This talented cast pull of a fab show, full of laughs, solid musical performances and lots of naughty jokes!

P.S I also enjoyed the many callbacks and references to drag race, also the reference to my favourite Youtube video the timeless and iconic “Cher Lloyd by Chery Lloyd”.

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Charli – XCX-iting Futuristic Experimental Pop at its best

Charli XCX dropped her latest album on Friday 13th September 2019, her new album ‘Charli’ promising to be her most personal work to date.

Charli XCX is most well known for song ‘Boom Clap’ which featured in he film the fault in our stars. Charli is also known for her hit features on Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and Icona Pop’s I Love It (which Charli originally wrote) 

Charli’s musical career changed when she dropped Her Vroom Vroom EP in which she debuted her new style inspired by PC Music and produced by experimental pop artist/producer SOPHIE.  The song Vroom Vroom features loud,clunky, metallic beats with a super pop chorus, the hard instrumental and spoken word verses giving the song an extra edge. These songs won her a cult following, but not so much mainstream success.

Charli later released two mix tapes ‘Number 1 Angel’ and ‘Pop 2’, these mixtapes were met with critical acclaim especially ‘Pop 2’.  A. G. Cook Head of PC Music was a producer on both mixtapes and also co-produced Charli’s new album. In between these releases she released stand alone single ‘Boys’ a more digestible offering for the mainstream crowd. 

Anyway…After a hacked a google drive, a few standalone singles and two mixtapes the much talked about 3rd album has finally now been released!  And this album is crazy in the best way! I imagine this glitchy futuristic pop style to not be everyone’s cup of tea (Click’s outro sounds like your speaker exploding) but I love how fresh it sounds especially in today’s pop music landscape. 

A vast amount of the album features collaborative tracks with artists such as Christine and the Queens, Lizzo, Haim,Cupcakke, Brooke Candy and Troye Sivan.  On the collaborations Charli is in full on party mode and on the solo tracks she seems to be brought back down to reality as she sings on ‘White Mercedes’ “I hate the silence, that’s why the music’s always loud” which perfectly sum up these quieter, more stripped back solo tracks. 

Social anxiety anthem ‘Gone’ featuring Christine and The Queens, finishes with an brilliantly addictive glitchy break down, which perfectly replicates the feelings of the song’s protagonists. 

It seems that ‘I Got It’ from Pop 2 was a blue print for ‘Shake It’, looped sample from charli? Check! Cupcakke, Brooke Candy and Pablo Vittar?Check,check,check! Big Freida also teams up on the track. A completely bonkers track which gets crazier and crazier with Charli’s vocals getting chopped and changed through out, 

On 2099 Charli teams up once again with Troye Sivan to gives us a weird, crazy, chaotic, alien sounding Bop! The beginning sounds like an alien spaceship engaging the tractor beam and it literally ends with a bang! (And some alien interference)

Track 10 from ‘Pop 2’ gets a re-working on ‘Blame It On Your Love’ with a new instrumental and verse from Lizzo. I wasn’t sure what to think of this new spin on ‘Track 10’ when it was released as the first single but it has definitely grown on me, I do wish Lizzo’s verse was slightly longer though! 
One of my favourites of the album has got to be White Mercedes, but then again who doesn’t love a good ballad? Its a sweet a song and probably the most for lack of better words ‘normal’ of the whole album.

My top 3 songs from the album are White Mercedes, Gone and February 2017 (I love how different the structure of this song is to most songs)

For me this album cements Charli’s status as a great experiment pop artist finally creating the kind of music they want to make.

P.S. I have recently added some new cards to my etsy shop including the “Happy Birday!” and “Toucan do this!”, I’ve also added some more pocket mirrors. Click here to check out my shop!

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Review- Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? – The Rocky Horror Picture Show – New Theatre Oxford

Last Saturday I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the New Theatre Oxford, as part of their 2019 world tour.

The stage show is based on the cult 1975 film of the same name, created by Richard O’Brien. The film was quite groundbreaking for the time especially for its portrayal of sexuality and gender identity. 

This was my first time seeing the show live. Previously I had scene the original film and a live show streamed at the cinema in 2015. The live stream was very good, but I knew it would not be as fun as attending an ACTUAL live screening! 

As soon as we got off the bus in Oxford we were surrounded by people dressed in obvious rocky horror attire, maids, people wearing clothing emblazoned with rocky horror quotes and of course fishnets!

The show did not disappoint. The cast included Joanne Clifton (Janet), Ben Adams (Brad), Philip Francis (Narrator) and Duncan James (from ‘Blue’) in the iconic role of Frank N Furter. The cast did a great job with Duncan James and Philip Francis being the standouts  for me. I also enjoyed Laura Harrison’s (Usherette) renditions of “Science Fiction, Double Feature” which book end the show.

Duncan James portrayed the iconic role of Frank N Furter

The best part of the show had to be the audience participation, which is a major part of the Rocky Horror experience! Audience Participation originally started in certain showings of the movie, this then moved on to the stage show and has become an integral part ever since! Most of the participation comes in the form of shout out  responses to The Narrator eg whenever he says “Brad” the audience responds with “A**SEHOLE!”. The audience responses often change from show to show and often reflect current pop culture, this makes every show unique in its own way!

The audience in our show was very on form for this particular showing, with the members of the front row never missing their cue!
It was fun experience overall and I have to say I slightly regret not dressing up…There’s always next time though!

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Review – Pawsome place for feline fans! – Shakespaw Cat Cafe

It was a few years ago that a friend of mine told me they had recently been to a cat cafe in London, after they explained the concept to me, I had been wanting to visit one ever since. When I recently found out a local cat cafe had opened in Stratford Upon Avon, I knew I had to go!

Cat cafe’s originated in Taiwan before completely blowing up in popularity when they came to Japan. The idea behind it being that people who lived in small apartments (unable to have their own cat) would be able to enjoy cats in a relaxed setting. Cat cafe’s have become so popular recently that they have been popping up all over the world.

Last month, I finally got round to booking a table for my partner and I at Shakespaw Cat Cafe. When we first arrived we placed our order (cake and hot chocolates) and then went off to explore the cafe. We first went over to see the cats in the window sill Hermione, Viola and Puck. Hermione however was moved fairly swiftly by a member of staff as her and Viola don’t seem to get on too well!

My partner was instantly enamoured with Puck an adorable black and white cat, the youngest cat of the cafe who reminded him of his mother’s cat. We also popped briefly downstairs which mainly seemed to be where all the white cats where having a snooze on some chairs.

We returned to our table upstairs for our ‘Unicorn Hot Chocolates’ and slices of cake. The ‘Unicorn Hot Chocolate’ was a lilac colour topped with whipped cream, sweets and wafer for the horn. All of the staff seemed very friendly and enthusiastic on our visit, it seemed like they especially enjoyed making the ‘unicorn’ drinks.

Paws off my man!

At one point a member of staff pulled out a laser pointer for the cats to play with and everyone who was seated enjoyed watching Viola and Bottom chase after it. Viola at one point jumped up next to me and starting to try and look for light underneath my leg!

Viola on her laser quest

It was an interesting experience being in a cafe surrounded by other feline fans, watching their faces light up when the cats would come and visit their table. Have to say that Bottom did seem to be the star of the show, being the most sociable out of the cats (Bottom came and visited almost everyone’s table!)

Bottom visiting our table

Overall my partner and I had a very enjoyable time at Shakespaw Cat Cafe and highly recommend it to any fellow cat lovers. We will be back soon!

PS: Highly recommend the Peanut Butter Stack – purrnomenal!

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I Blog just for you!

I recently attended Troye Sivan’s Eventim Apollo concert in Hammersmith, with my partner. This concert was part of the Europe leg of The Bloom Tour for Troye’s Sophomore album ‘Bloom’.

One of the first things I noticed when I got to the concert was the amount of LGBTQ people/couples in attendance. Being gay myself, my partner and I often refrain from PDA when out and about due to fear of getting attacked or judged. Something as simple as holding hands in public is still a real issue for LGBTQ folks, even though the world is slowly changing and becoming much more accepting!

However in this atmosphere, surrounded by many other members of the LGBTQ community, Troye’s concert felt like a safe space. It’s a hard feeling to describe to a non-LGBTQ person, a kind of fitting in/belonging that I haven’t really experienced before. I haven’t attended any pride events yet but I’m guessing a very similar feeling is experienced at them. I will soon see if this is the case, as I have stall booked for Memeow Gifts (my LGBTQ inclusive greetings card business) at Warwickshire Pride in August! 😁

… Anyway back to the concert!

Troye Sivan’s frequent songwriter/collaborator Leland was the opening act, who has also written songs for artists including Selena Gomez and Allie X. I wasn’t previously familiar with his own music but was very impressed with his voice/performance and  have since been streaming his songs (I recommend Middle of a Heartbreak, Run Into You and Mattress).

Then it was Time for Troye! Troye opened up the concert with Seventeen, which is also the album opener for ‘Bloom’. Troye gave an energetic performance throughout the concert, as soon as the curtain dropped after ‘Seventeen’ he burst into the bouncy high energy ‘Bloom’ followed by ‘Plum’.

The highlight of the evening for me was when Troye sang ‘Heaven’ a song about coming out, while also trying to reconcile your faith/belief, “Without losing a piece of me, How do I get to heaven?”. Unbeknownst to Troye some dedicated fans had placed envelopes saying “Open Please” on every seat in seated areas, which each contained a paper flower. There were 6 different coloured flowers distributed around the venue. The instructions included with the flowers said to place the flower over the torch on your smart phone when Troye started ‘Heaven’.

To Troye’s surprise, when he started singing ‘Heaven’ the venue before him transformed into a rainbow sea. This was a lovely moment, pretty much the whole audience was involved and it looked AMAZING!

Troye also performed versions of his recent collaborative songs ‘1999’, ‘I’m so Tired…’ and ‘Dance to This’, which he managed to pull off without the assistance of his collaborators (Charli XCX, Lauv, Ariana Grande).

Troye came across as very genuine and down to Earth throughout the show, getting the audience to sing Happy Birthday to a fan in attendance and exclaiming how he felt like he was in the ‘Lizzie Mcguire Movie’.

Me and my partner had a great evening at the concert, which came to a close with the tracks ‘Youth’ and ‘My My My!’.

It was awesome show all in all and really refreshing to see the concert of an unapologetically queer pop artist, something we will hopefully see much more of in future, To quote Lizzie McGuire “Hey now, Hey now, This is what dreams are made of”.

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