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Monday, 20 March 2017

The Red Shoes ballet

The Red Shoes intro screen on the DVD

Back in December I was lying in bed trying to sleep, when I suddenly thought 'I wonder if they've done an adaptation of The Red Shoes'. I picked up my phone and did a quick Google search. Not only have they done an adaptation, it was current and coming to Cardiff in March! At the time, there were almost no seats left. The only seats I managed to get that were 2 together were on the Saturday matinee. I swiftly bought them and excitedly waited for the 18th March to arrive.

I have a long history with The Red Shoes. When I was 2.5, my mum enrolled me in my first ballet class. I immediately loved it, I loved the dancing, the clothes, everything about it.  Then about a year later, mum put the film 'The Red Shoes' on for me and that too I instantly loved. I wanted to be Victoria Page and dance in beautiful red ballet shoes.  A couple/few years later, my auntie actually bought me a pair of red ballet shoes and I wore them with gleaming pride when I went to my lessons, and I still have them to this day - they live in my bedside cabinet.

My red ballet shoes

When I was about 11-12 I gave up ballet - my asthma wasn't well controlled, my teacher died, and I gave in to peer pressure... I went to a rough school and doing ballet wasn't exactly doing me any favours. I'll always regret giving it up as I loved it so much.

Fast forward decades and I still regularly watch the film and love it, so you can imagine my expectations of the ballet! Nearly 35 years of me watching the film and adoring it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's based on a book by Hans Christian Andersen - it features a ballerina called Victoria Page who when asked 'Why do you want to dance?', replies with 'Why do you want to live?' - ballet is everything to her. She's recruited into the Lermontov ballet. They develop a new ballet called 'The Red Shoes' which she is to star in - but the red shoes have a hold on her.

I won't tell you any more as I don't want to spoil it!

The Red Shoes ballet by Matthew Bourne

The ballet of The Red Shoes was choreographed and directed by Matthew Bourne - his talent is incredible... the set was fantastic and so cleverly used, the outfits were amazing, and of course, the choreography and dancing was fantastic.  When the curtain went up, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and cried - same at the end, I cried my eyes out!  It was fantastic, I loved every moment, every scene. What's more, he did the film justice. I was able to follow the ballet and pin it back to the film (all apart from one scene where he depicts her time away from the Lermontov ballet) which isn't included in the film. It really did live up to my expectations and exceed them!

This was the first ballet my hubby has seen, and he thought it was amazing too - problem is, it's set the bar unattainably high for future ballets for us to see!

All I can say is, have a look, if it's coming to a theatre near you and you think you might like seeing a ballet, please please go and see it.  And if you can, watch the film first :) It's an old 1940s film, they just don't make them like that any more :) 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Pregnancy roundup | Weeks 12 - 16

squidge and mummy

As I'm writing this, I'm 17 weeks pregnant. And tomorrow, we're off for a private scan to hopefully find out if Dot is a boy or a girl. I'm still totally convinced Dot is a girl :) 

How am I feeling?

I haven't had that surge of energy they talk about in the 2nd trimester, but then I didn't when pregnant with Squidge, so I'm not that surprised. But saying that, I'm definitely not as tired as I was. I was so exhausted in the first trimester I was falling asleep all over the place, but that seems to have passed now, phew! Heartburn is setting in too - I'm not able to sleep on my right side much before the burn starts. The worst thing though is my allergies... they're waking me up in the middle of the night, early in the morning and affect me all day. Crazy sneezing, runny nose, sort throat - and in turn, it's making my asthma a little worse.

I've also been quite emotional, easy to cry and easy to get annoyed :P I was pretty even tempered when pregnant with Squidge, so this is all new to me.

Hospital appointments

crochet in the hospital

So I've had 2 visits to the consultant clinic this week. On Monday I had my glucose tolerance test (GTT) testing for gestational diabetes - good news, I don't have it yet! Whoop!!! I'll have it repeated at 26 weeks, which is when it was picked up with Squidge, so expecting it to be confirmed then. Then on Tuesday I went back and had a consultant appointment.  Now, when I was pregnant with Squidge, my conditions pretty much disappeared, which was great. But this time, they're either still there or worse. So because of that I'm being referred back to the antenatal cardiologist for my SVT and will have to wear a heart monitor for 1 day to make sure my heart is ok. Also, because of my BMI they might make me have clexane injections to prevent DVT for the last 12 weeks of the pregnancy, and the 6 weeks after the baby is born. When I had Squidge I had to have them after he was born but that was it. They're really painful and bruise up horribly, so I'm really hoping I don't need an extra 12 weeks of daily injections if I can avoid it.

wrist bruise

They're also upping the amount of tablets I'm taking each day. At the moment I'm having 175mg of Levothyroxine (3 tablets), and a Pregnacare (folic acid, vitamin D etc - 1 large tablet). Each time I take them, I really gag. They now want me to have separate folic acid (higher dose), separate vitamin D too AND a low dose of asprin. So I'm going from 4 tablets to 6 :/ It is what it is, it could be worse, I could be on 20 tablets a day!

Next appointment is my 20 week scan which is in about 2 weeks.

Bump growth?

With Squidge I had a pretty small bump, but this time I'm already sticking out! Of course it's not all baby, I have a fair amount of 'bump' that's my own doing but it's all sticking out a lot more than it did :) I'm still not sure if I'll do bump pics, I might do what I did with Squidge though and a 'bump from above' pic :)

Baby buys?

baby vests

So far we've only bought 2 things for Dot. The day I had the 12 week scan we bought a little toy rattle that Squidge picked out (I did this with Squidge when we had his 12 week scan too). And when I was in Boots the other day I saw the cutest little vest that I couldn't resist buying! Just no idea what size to buy... with Squidge we bought all 0-3 months but that was WAY too big for him when he was born, we had to go and buy loads of tiny baby sizes - so not sure whether to get a couple tiny baby sizes or not... 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Wedding Singer musical | New Theatre Cardiff

The Wedding Singer poster

Last night a bunch of other local mummy bloggers and I went to the New Theatre (somewhere I find myself going more and more recently to see all of their lovely plays) to see the stage production of The Wedding Singer.

The Wedding Singer is one of my favourite films. I've harboured a love for Adam Sandler films for a long time and this is possibly my favourite of all. I think the first time I watched it was probably somewhere between 2002-2005, and instantly loved it! It stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and it's a comical love story with lots of 80s music, outfits and big colourful hair. The soundtrack is truly epic - filled with Bowie, Sugar Hill Gang, Culture Club, Nena, Billy Idol, Hall & Oats, The Police and more... in fact, here's the spotify playlist for the soundtrack :) 

The Musical
The Wedding Singer stage

When we sat down, the stage curtain was up and the stage was set up with a big bill board sign which they were playing 80s film trailers on, I absolutely loved this touch, perfect for setting the scene.

It started off as it meant to go on, loud and with lots of singing and dancing - a really impressive start. I've never seen a musical before, so I don't have any point of reference to compare this to.

The costumes were fantastic, lots of coloured hair, flock of seagulls hair (hehe), pastel suits with the sleeves rolled up, fish net leggings - it was great! The singers were amazing, really powerful voices - there really is an art to being able to dance and sing at the same time and they'd really perfected it.

The musical followed the film pretty well, lots of the script was used, but there were quite a few differences too *SPOILER ALERT* like in the film, Robbie serenades Julia on the plane on the way to Vegas, but in the musical it's done actually in Vegas in a wedding chapel - so the same basic plot, but changed for stage.

It was such an impressive and imposing show, and has definitely left me interested in seeing more musicals, where in the past I'd never have considered them.

My only gripe was that there was no actual music from the film in it - the 2 tracks Adam Sandler wrote (Somebody kill me, Grow old with you) were both in it and were brilliant (especially Somebody kill me - that had a great round of applause!), but I'd really hoped to see Rosie (the Gran in the musical played by Ruth Madoc) sing Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill Gang, and hear Dear or Alive and Culture Club, but none of that was included. It must be a royalties issue, but disappointing nonetheless. 

Overall it was an excellent evening that I really enjoyed. I laughed a lot and even got a little lump in my throat when Robbie sang 'Grow old with you'.

The show is on until Saturday 4th March at the New Theatre here in Cardiff, so if you're a fan of the film, or a fan of musicals, I'd really recommend going as I had such a blast :D You can get tickets on the New Theatre website.

For more information, see the New Theatre website. Here's a little behind-the-scenes video to whet your appetite :) 

A big huge thank you to the New Theatre for inviting us along to have such a great evening, we really did have a blast! :) Here's a picture of us courtesy of Cardiff Mummy Says :)

Photo of local Cardiff mummy bloggers

Pictured L-R: Jo  from First time Valley Mam | Sally from Teddybears and Cardigans | Alina from We Made This Life | Kerry from All About a Mini Norris | Moi! | Cathryn from Cardiff Mummy Says

Let me know if you decide to go and what you think of it :) 
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*Disclaimer - attendance was complimentary in exchange for an honest review
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