A cracking Easter panto at the Dugdale!

robin hood dugdale panto

Our house loves a good panto, so when we were invited by the Dugdale Centre to view its 2016 Easter panto we jumped at the chance!

This  year the egg-stravaganza on offer was Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood – and we weren’t disappointed!  Robin Hood was joined on stage by his one merry man, Little John, plus Tuc-Biscuit. We also got to meet the lovely Maid Marion, the compulsory baddie, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the two puppet babes in the woods.

We paid a visit on a sunny Saturday and so the venue wasn’t packed out. However, after a very quiet start by the audience ,who were very quickly g’eed up by the energetic and talented cast, we came out of our shells and gave a boo and a hiss here, and a ‘cheesy-cheesy, Tuc-Tuc’ there! Poor Little John didn’t gain much traction with his call for ‘hey LJ’ but I think I know why. Each time he appeared on stage and I went to shout ‘hey LJ’ I had to check myself so I didn’t say, hey J-Lo! Perhaps others experienced the same!

The girls absolutely loved the opportunity to shout out and join in the show. They particularly enjoyed it when the cast climbed between the rows of seat, and the Sheriff of Nottingham rifled through my bag and ruffled their Dad’s hair!

As you’d expect from a panto there were lots of comedy moments, but I was really impressed by the talents of the actress responsible for the puppets. Speaking and singing in two different voices was no mean feat, but the performance was perfect. Other stand-out performances were given by the Sheriff, Little John and Tuc-Biscuit. Despite holding the title role, Robin Hood’s character wasn’t a central one but this wasn’t to the detriment of our enjoyment of the show.

Yet again the Dugdale Centre has pulled out all the stops and takes the whole family on an adventure not to be missed!

Good to know:

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Woods is on at the Dugdale Centre until Sunday 10 April. The Dugdale recommends the panto is suitable for age 3 years+. Total running time is 90 minutes, but that includes the interval.

Tickets cost £13 (concessions are £11.50).

Online prices are £12 & £10.50 respectively.
A family ticket for four is £44 (or £40 online).

Venue address is Thomas Hardy House, Enfield, Enfield, Greater London EN2, UK.

For further information please visit the Dugdale Centre’s website.

Have you met Louis Pearl?

Have you met Louis Pearl?

We hadn’t until Saturday but, wow, he’s amazing!  In fact, he’s The Amazing Bubble Man!

Me and the family were introduced to The Amazing Bubble Man at the equally amazing Udderbelly Festival at the Southbank Centre.  Now in its seventh year, Udderbelly is a 15-week festival of circus, comedy shows and family entertainment inside the now infamous upside-down purple cow!udderbelly-slide1

So, getting to sit inside a giant, purple cow. That was the first thing we loved. And then it got even more interesting!

Louis made a low key entrance, but immediately he developed a rapport with his audience of young and old through his dry, but wonderfully warm, sense of humour. And then, there they were!

Square bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles …

Flying saucer bubbles, helium-filled bubbles, cute-little-children-hidden-inside bubbles!

safe_image (3)At one point a young lad – Joseph (who almost became the second star of the show) – fell off his chair and started crying. The Amazing Bubble Man calmly walked up to where Joseph was sitting and created a huge bubble just for him.  Within seconds Joseph was giggling away and later was called to take part in the show, as were a number of other lucky ones who were treated to bubble horns on the head and a huge squirt from a water gun.

Sat listening to all the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ (and not just from the kids), there was a wonderful atmosphere, made even more enchanting by Louis’ musical accompaniment.  Provided by Jet Black Pearl, a singing, voice-sampling accordion-playing sensation, the musical backdrop was at times, uplifting, at other, melancholic.  10404896_860517390680912_1202082807390065896_nAt one point I almost forgot the bubbles and became entranced by Jet Black Pearl’s mesmerising performance.

But back to the bubbles! We even got science. Just a smattering but enough for an audience comprising toddlers as well as the older ones.

At the end of this brilliant hour-long show, there was a feeling of lifted spirits; a mental note to stock up on bubble mixture; and the knowledge that we would never look at a bubble in the same way again.

The low-down:
Udderbelly Festival is at the Southbank Centre and runs from Thursday 9 April – Sunday 19 July 2015. The festival atmosphere continues outside, where there are a range of food stalls, a bar and a Pimms tent.

Udderbelly_Panorama2_LOW_RES_900_419_60For a list of Udderbelly’s other family shows – http://www.udderbelly.co.uk/whats-on/category/family

For more information on The Amazing Bubble Man – http://www.amazingbubbleman

To find out more about Jet Black Pearl and her music – http://jetblackpearl.com/

Our family tickets were courtesy of Gregor Cubie at Borkowski.do