When you have 2 children (or more) it’s difficult to find quality time with each of them on their own so when my musical theatre loving daughter received 2 tickets to an upcoming production of “Hairspray” in her Christmas presents it seemed liked the ideal opportunity for a bit of mother/daughter bonding (and not just because I wanted to go every bit as much as her).
Of course no female bonding experience is complete without shopping and food, so before the show we took to the High Street, I would love to say it was a shopathon of epic proportions but like me my daughter has no stamina when it comes to shopping, for all these men that complain about sitting outside waiting rooms or hanging around ladieswear departments for hours, we are your women, I like to know what I want, get in, get it and get out. Still we managed more than an hour and a half (a new personal best), and several full bags (nothing it should be noted for me), then it was off to lunch.
I had swithered over where to eat and had previously dismissed the Guildhall & Linen Exchange (one of the Wetherspoons chain) as I had heard lukewarm reviews and had previously experienced lukewarm food! However our bags were heavy and feet sore and it was central and had room so we gave it a shot and were pleasantly surprised.
Rachel went for the chicken breast burger and chips and I went for the bbq chicken, bacon and cheese panini with chips, they came within 10 minutes and were fresh, hot and tasty, the only disappointment being the fact they had run out of both tango and 7up.
It’s not gourmet standard but then it’s not gourmet prices and for £12.18 for our meals and drinks we couldn’t complain, and the chips were fantastic!
So onto the show, we had great seats just 6 rows back and fairly central so had a great view.
For anyone who hasn’t been to a Limelight production before they are an amatuer society who put on a far from amatuer productions and have in recent years specialised in putting on shows which include large child casts such as Annie and Oliver! which I can imagine is pretty hard work (I find it difficult to organise 2 children).
From the opening number “Good Morning Baltimore” it was clear this was going to be a high energy and high quality production.
It was well rehearsed and smooth if there were any bloopers I certainly didn’t spot them.
Even a musical loving 10 year old can get fidgety if a show is slow or drags on too long but this fast moving show kept my daughter riveted and smiling, she loves the film and this was similar enough to make her happy she was watching the right thing but adapted well to work as a stage show, sorry though Link (Nick Tomlinson), brilliant as you were apparently you are no competition in the playground “hottie” stakes for Zac Efron!
All round a rousing and slick performance with some brilliant thought provoking moments such as the show stealing “I Know Where I’ve Been” performed by Motormouth Maybelle (Rachel Brown) and Gilbert (Ibiyemi Osinaike), followed by scenes of segregation and the fight to end it which brought a tear to my eye.
Special mentions also to choreographer Elinor Coulson (also playing Brenda) for some fantastic dance scenes, most notably “Welcome to the 60’s” and of course to Bobby Mitchell for pulling of those dance routines in padding, dress and heels as Edna Turnblad without raising a sweet or breaking an ankle.
A very well deserved standing ovation, but my daughters favourite part of the day? The over the top glam toilets at lunch!