Monthly Archives: August 2017

Hairspray (4th and 5th performances).

Saturday 26th August 2017, back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for two more performances of the brilliant Hairspray the Musical. Not only that, also this weekend we have the Extreme Sailing extravaganza going on, loads to photograph and watch between shows. The weather is glorious too, meaning the Bay is the best place to be this weekend. I’ve walked about 5 miles and taken about 150 photos before lunch, today is going to be brilliant and it’s Amy and Gareth 1st weeks wedding anniversary.

Today happens to be the last two performances of Hairspray at the Centre before it moves to another venue. I have been so impressed with this production, it has everything. Fabulous singing from every member of the cast, catchy songs to sing along with, superb dance routines, a great set and lighting to match, complete with a brilliant on stage band, playing to absolute perfection on every performance I’ve had the pleasure to watch.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, the cast for this musical has been fabulous, with so many names revisiting the Centre from previous shows I’ve seen recently. The quality of the touring productions has also been out of this world. I think I will never see anything as good as the last show, but then the next one up is just as good. So far I’ve seen 141 different shows and have yet to hate one, they are all so brilliant.

I have yet to mention the costumes for the show, so beautiful, bright and full of life, with so many fabulous shades and colours blending together on this giant stage, the end scene especially captured the shows essence to a tee.

Again, for the umpteenth time, I’m going to miss this show, so I’m glad I’ve got the CD and have just procured a copy of the American TV special on DVD (only available on region 1 DVD).

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Hairspray (2nd and 3rd performances).

Wednesday 23rd August 2017, and another bonus today, as I get to see Hairspray twice at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay, before I go back to work tomorrow. This has to be the best break I’ve had, with a superb wedding and a few shows to finish off, couldn’t be any better. 

After my first show last night I couldn’t get over just how good the singing was. But where to start, I think that belongs to Rebecca Mendoza as Tracy, a beautiful voice and perfect for the role. Brenda Edwards (Motormouth Maybelle) has such an amazingly powerful voice, which is just right for this huge auditorium. Gina Murray plays Velma, another with a tremendous voice. I’ve also heard Amana Jones (Little Inez), again so good, and she’s the understudy. All the female cast vocals are really impressive, I’m always hearing such high vocal standards, from everyone.

The same can be said for the Boys, with Layton Williams (Seaweed), Edward Chitticks (Link), Jon Tsouras (Corny Collins), to name but a few,  although all of the male cast are just as good to go with it. I have to say I love the work of Tracy Penn (Female authority figure), so impressed with everything she does for the show. 

Matt Rixon as Edna and Norman Pace as Wilbur are brilliant, really getting to grips with their characters, and providing plenty of humour on the way through this hugely impressive production, which seems to get better and better on every showing. Hopefully be able to catch a few more shows before it ends in Cardiff, bound for a new destination on its uk tour.

Hairspray.

Tuesday 22nd August 2017. A perfect ending to a perfect week. After having such a wonderful and emotional time at Amy and Gareth’s wedding in Belfast over the weekend, where many tears of happiness were shed, (quite a lot of them from myself), I’m back at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay for a performance of Hairspray, my first of its two week run in the Bay.

Looking at the cast for tonight, my eyes focus on the brilliant Layton Williams, who played Angel in Rent on its recent tour (which I saw 8 times in the Centre). I haven’t seen this show for a while, but it promises to be another feel good, summer musical, with some toe tapping songs to get you in a happy mood.

And yet again, I was not disappointed. Another slick production, fabulous sound and lighting with really amazing voices from all the cast, literally ringing around this incredible auditorium. Will I ever see a show I didn’t like, probably not, and I hope it stays like that. 

So more shows to come this week, and after tonight I so cannot wait. So impressed with the levels of dance, singing and positive energy, you can’t help wanting more. Until the next time.

Amy and Gareth Wedding Day.

Saturday 19th August 2017. Today I’m in Belfast for the wedding of my son Gareth to Amy Crawford. I am so proud of the both of them, and so looking forward to the day ahead. Early morning preparations are now underway, it’s 9am and going smoothly so far. Suits on at 11, then I’m taking some photographs of us all in our finery, before we head down to the venue, at Belfast City Hall.

Beautiful wedding, Amy looked amazing, Gareth, smartest I’ve seen in ages. Everyone on show really looked the part. Photographs were excellent, taken by Emma (Amy’s cousin). With all the family chipping in with vital sections of a successful wedding reception, and I must say it was a fantastic reception. A really brilliant day and I feel so privileged to be a part of it. My boys did me proud today, speeches went really well and the day just sped along, totally enjoying myself.

Now onto the food at the Chelsea wine bar in Belfast city centre, wow, absolutely stunning 3 courses of our heaven. Then onto the evening session of dancing and music and just having a few beers, chilling with people I know and friends and family. Perfect Saturday night entertainment. 

Oh my god I’ve had loads to drink tonight, I’ve even had about 6 pints and danced for three hours, and I can’t even dance. Best night I’ve had in years.

The Addams Family (4th and 5th performances).

Saturday 12th August 2017, finally the weekend has come, and the final chance to get a few performances of ‘The Addams Family’ in the bag. This brilliant comedy musical ends it’s two week slot at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay before moving on to another venue, on its UK tour. I must admit to a little sadness after tonight’s show, I’m really going to miss this production, it shocked me last week at just how good it was, I was not expecting it to be this good, but after 10 minutes I just fell in love with everything about it, to the extent I watched all three Performances last weekend, and could easily have watched loads more. Getting the CD starring Nathan Lane was even harder, thank god for EBay and an international seller, I finally managed to get a copy (well in about 4 weeks time that is).

Today has been another amazing day, arrived early, walked for miles around the Bay, taking in the picturesque scenery as I’m going, a show then another walk before finally seeing the show again.  To sum up the last two weeks and 5 performances, this class musical has been awesome, I can’t stop talking about it in work, (to the extent I’m now banned from ever speaking about it again), but when a show is this good, then all my mates and colleagues need to hear about it. 

Again today two fabulous shows, made me laugh (loads), made me cry (a lot), made me happy, made me sad, so many emotions but so brilliant to go with it. I love the soundtrack, the music, the singing, so many wonderful voices packed into two and a half hours of pure enjoyment. This is why I love the theatre, its magic unfolds in front of you, and leaves a lasting impression on your every being. So beautiful, can’t wait for my CD to arrive.

The Addams Family (3rd performance).

An added bonus to this weekend, its Sunday 6th August 2017, and I’m back in Cardiff Bay for a matinee performance of the superb ‘Addams Family’ comedy musical. Another real treat on these boring Sundays, I wish all touring company’s would do a few Sundays during extended runs, it really does brighten up the whole weekend, well it does for me anyway. As usual I arrived in the Capital early, had a three hour walk around the bay before lunch, building my step count up significantly, before the show this afternoon.

Having watched this musical twice yesterday, I just couldn’t wait to see it again. As I said in my last blog, the show was superb, so much talent and good music on show, with an excellent score to really admire. Today I’d like to mention the costumes and set design along with the lighting effects. 

Costumes for the show range from ringmaster to jesters, matador to ballet dancers, and gave a really authentic look to the proceedings. Mixing brilliantly with the kooky set and imaginative lighting designs, the whole thing comes together to make the show flow nicely from scene to scene. When you add on the fabulous voices of the lead cast and ensemble, (who, as usual were magnificent in everything they do), the show gets even better. 

Today was no exception, the more you see it, the more you want to see it just that one more time. I, for one, could watch this musical everyday, it never seems to get boring, even after 3 straight shows, that is a sure sign of a wonderful show, brilliantly done. Again I cried as soon as Carrie Hope Fletcher began singing, her voice is just fabulous, I must admit also to having shed a tear at quite a lot of the singing as well, especially with Festa’s moon song, it’s so beautiful, as are all of the songs in the whole show. So looking to next week, and the chance to see it again.

The Addams family (1st and 2nd performances).

Finally the weekend is upon us, after a hard week in work, it’s nice to be back in Cardiff Bay on this glorious Saturday (5th August 2017), for two performances of ‘The Addams Family’, live from the Millenium Centre. I’m having a great day already, with a 4 mile walk around the bay to get me passed 10,000 steps (hoping to reach 20,000 by tonight), taking in the magnificent views the Bay has to offer. When the sun is out, for me, this is just the best place in the world, there’s so much to see, take photos of, or just enjoy the surroundings, as you peruse this wonderful part of the City.

Then onto the next highlight of the day, my first ever showing of this musical extravaganza. So looking forward to this, with another chance to see and hear the truly incredible voice of ‘Carrie Hope Fletcher’ who plays Wednesday Addams. She has to be one of the best voices in the business, and to see her here at the Centre again is just fantastic. My day just gets better and better. 

Can I just say ‘Oh my god, what a fantastic show’, this has taken me by surprise, I never expected it to be so good, I literally fell in love with the show in the first 10 minutes. Carrie Hope Fletcher lived up to expectations, with her stunning voice. Samantha Womack and Cameron Blakely were also brilliant, in fact the whole cast were just excellent. A special mention, as well, to Les Dennis as Festa, a really fabulous performance, showing just how talented this man is.

I had never heard any of the music before, which was really impressive and, in places, extremely beautiful to listen to, and played brilliantly by the orchestra in the pit. I know when there’s something special on the go, that’s when I start to cry, and many times during these performances I found myself doing just that. I would have never guessed that a comedy from years ago, revived on stage, could be so wonderful to watch.