Birmingham Hippodrome Launch Cinderella at Villa Park

Cinderella – Birmingham Hippodrome Panto Launch 2017. 20th September 2017.
Pictured are Beverley Knight, Matt Slack, Suzanne Shaw, Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall.
Picture by Simon Hadley.

Wednesday saw Villa Park turned into a pantomime wonderland (not for the first time this season it has to be said – Baggies fan Joke!).  The Birmingham Hippodrome were launching this year’s panto, Cinderella, with an all star cast. Beverly Knight, Suzanne Shaw, Matt Slack, Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall were all there, in their best panto finery, talking to this year’s panto producer and director Michael Harrison. It was a funny, happy occasion and certainly wet the appetite for what looks set to be another astounding success for the Hippodrome.

Suzanne Shaw,Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall

For Suzanne, this is the third time playing Cinderella, although the first time playing at the Hippodrome. She was asked about songs and revealed that she will be singing some songs in the panto, including a duet with her handsome prince, Danny Mac. She also has a new song called ‘At the Hippodrome’ which tells of the history of the Hippodrome. Suzanne says she is a little scared to be singing alongside Beverley Knight – saying ‘who wouldn’t be’, and also joked how lucky she is to have some ‘eye candy’ over Christmas in the form of the delectable Danny Mac.

Veteran pantomime dames Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall are coming together this year as the Ugly Sisters, enjoying the chance to play the wickedly evilas Voluptua and Verruca  rather than cuddly dames. As ever, the costumes were the subject of much excitement, described as showstoppers, ‘so big they could be scenery, and the audience was told that the costumes to look out for are when the sisters arrive at the ball.

I loved all the little backstage details like make up taking around an hour due to needing to shave, cover eyebrows etc. Someone asked if the costumes need to be specifically cleaned and Ceri Dupree had the audience in hysterics as he said ‘no, just spray a little Febreeze around the crotch and you’re done’.

Matt Slack

Matt Slack could be considered a Birmingham Hippodrome legend, after starring in the last five pantomimes, holding the record for the most consecutive pantomime performances at the Hippodrome. Earlier this year Matt won a British Pantomime award  for best comic for his role in Dick Whittington. This year Matt is playing Buttons for the first time and joked that it is the role that gets lots of the laughs and the pathos, but that it is going to be rewritten so he also gets the girl.

Matt is well known for being the king of Birmingham Panto, but he is also a talented serious actor. This year has seen him playing in Eastenders and in a touring production of Mrs Henderson Presents, playing a 1930s Cockney Comic in the story of the Windmill Theatre.

Matt says he is lucky to be able to do diverse things, but that his heart always lies in panto.

Cinderella – Birmingham Hippodrome Panto Launch 2017. 20th September 2017.
Pictured is Matt Slack (Buttons).
Picture by Simon Hadley.

Beverley Knight

Making her pantomime debut this year, Midland born Beverley Knight was clearly happy to be back home in ‘God’s own country’ as she described it. Beverley is playing the part of the Fairy Godmother and is really looking forward to performing ‘Knowing that friends and family are just up the road.’

Beverley was resplendent in her gorgeous glittering costume and said ‘I’ve never been so sparkly and sequinny, I love the fact that I can float in and out of scenes.’

Beverley was asked about her other West End theatre roles, including playing Grizabella in Cats. She explained how much she had loved singing Memory, saying ‘If you have a voice, who wouldn’t want to sing Memory.’ She also said how happy she was to be singing in this year’s panto and admitted ‘ I will sing whatever is put in front of me.’

CINDERELLA runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Mon 19 Dec 2017 until Sun 28 Jan 2018.  Tickets from £15.50* can be booked on 0844 338 5000† or from birminghamhippodrome.com.

 

Beautiful Jewellery From The Eternity Rose

The Eternity Rose is a company specialising in precious-metal-coated or glazed natural roses. Their flagship product is a stunning 24kt gold dipped natural rose, but as well as these most romantic of gifts, Eternity Rose also create some exquisitely beautiful pieces of jewellery that make a perfect gift for a birthday, Christmas or as a wedding anniversary gift, particularly for a special year, like a silver anniversary. Their website has some great and long lasting gift ideas,which are well worth checking out if you are looking for a gift for a wife or girlfriend.

The Eternity Rose pendents are both beautiful and unusual. They use real miniature rose petals and are edged with 24kt gold which makes them very striking  and eye catching. The rose is adorned by two pretty leaves that have synthetic diamonds to add to the sparkle of the pendent. The pendent is on a matching 24 karat gold multi-link chain, and is presented in a lovely velvet pouch which can then also be used to store your necklace safely.

I absolutely love my Eternity Rose pendent. The actual rose is exquisite, beautifully detailed and quite substantial in its weight, which makes it sit nicely. The chain is good quality, similar to a rope chain, but more delicate, which definitely suits the delicacy of the rose. You could easily use the pendent on a longer chain if you wanted to change the look of the necklace, this would still work and look great, particularly if you wanted to wear this with jeans and a t-shirt for a daytime look. The necklace costs £51, which is, quite frankly, a steal for something that is so unique and unusual.

Eternity Rose jewellery gives you a little bit of quality to add to your jewellery box. Each necklace comes with a lifetime guarantee and an authenticity certificate. When you add in the detail that each pendent is a unique gift that it takes around three months to produce, you have something that is truly special.

Update Your Living Room This Autumn

As we hit Autumn, and particularly as September starts to roll on (where, exactly is the month going?) we start to think more about getting our homes ready for Christmas. Now, but that, I don’t mean we start sticking the decorations up any time soon, but we do think about the final home improvements of the year, and those little touches that will have the house looking its best before it is descended on by hoards of relatives.

The most popular room to redecorate and modernise is the living room, which is why you see all those furniture shops who have those never ending sales promising sofas that can be delivered for Christmas. But a living room update doesn’t have to involve lots of new furniture, it can be as simple as adding some new lighting, accessories and candles to give your room a new feel.

Change your lighting

The lights you use in your living room affect the whole ambience of the setting. Crystal lighting, in the form of chandeliers, is particularly beautiful and adds a touch of luxury to any room by being a focal point – a real statement piece. if you feel your room is too small for an ostentatious piece, then a crystal table lamp is another very attractive option. You can find some great examples of both at Sherwood Lighting.

Diyas Evelyn Chrome/Crystal Table Lamp with white shade

Chiffon 3lt Fitting 3 Light

Candles

Candles can leave a room smelling fresh and fragrant, and can also help to define the season through their scent. Yankee Candles are well known for the enormous variety of scents they create, including scents specifically for Autumn and Christmas. Autumn varieties include Autumn Night, Autumn Glow and Fireside Treats, both names that evoke the idea of nights drawing in and being warm and cosy in front of the TV. With prices starting at just £1.99 for a votive with 15 hours burning time, these are an affordable way to update your room for the new season.

A few new accessories

Re-doing a room from top to bottom can be very expensive, but adding a few distinctive and attractive accessories can make a real difference to a room. A mirror for a chimney breast is a great way to make a room look different, and appear bigger. As a lover of all things Art Deco I would try to source original pieces, but this is becoming more difficult, House of Fraser currently have some great Art Deco dupes in their fabulous Biba range, which give more than a passing nod to the great trend of the 1920s and 30s.

Biba Clara Art Deco Shaped Mirror

Scatter cushions, rugs and vases filled with fresh flowers also add lovely touches to any living room and help you to stamp your personality on your space.

Are you planning to revamp a room this Autumn?