JANE EYRE AT THE LOWRY, SALFORD

JANE EYRE AT THE LOWRY, SALFORD

Jane Eyre at The Lowry, SalfordJane Eyre at The Lowry, Salford

Oppression, injustice and the fight for independence, themes you’d expect to find in any modern day drama but it’s Brontë’s Jane Eyre we’re referring to, a book that was written almost 170 years ago. Now re-imagined and brought to life by the National Theatre, Jane Eyre at The Lowry, Salford, is not to be missed.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jane Eyre at the Lowry, Salford: the reading of classic novels has always eluded me, I favour dystopian, futuristic texts. Nevertheless, after visiting Wycoller and Gawthorpe Hall, places both linked with Charlotte Brontë, the opportunity to see Jane Eyre brought to life on stage, at one of my favourite venues, seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

Working in central Manchester, Salford Quays is only a short drive away. Arriving early, I collected our tickets, programme and of course, all-important snacks before meeting my mum at The Lowry’s box office. As we settled in to our seats, I was given a brief synopsis of the plot by my mum who worried it wasn’t my thing. Turns out, she needn’t have worried as it was, undoubtedly, the best performance I’ve ever seen. From start to finish, I was enthralled.

For those, like me, who haven’t read Jane Eyre, the story tells the tale of the protagonist’s fight for freedom, equality and independence in Victorian times. Orphaned at birth, her early life is filled with injustice, poverty and cruelty. Jane faces life head on, a feisty feminist whose moral compass ensures her final happiness. 

 A co-production from the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, director Sally Cookson is the brainchild behind the tumultuous and somewhat controversial reimagining of this classic novel which opens with an almighty cry from Nadia Clifford, who plays the protagonist throughout, starting with her birth at the show’s opening. Manchester actress, Clifford, is spirited, powerful and convincing: you want her to succeed in her quest for independence and equality. However, it’s Mr. Rochester’s faithful companion, Pilot (played by Ben Cutler) who threatens to steal the show with his playful, bashful mannerisms which are a delight to watch.

Jane Eyre at The Lowry, SalfordImage by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

Without a doubt, Cookson has dragged Jane Eyre into the 21st century with the addition of a live band on stage and a modern soundtrack featuring Noël Coward’s ‘Mad About the Boy’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, the latter bringing goosebumps to my arm as Melanie Marshall, playing Bertha Rochester, uses these lyrics to explain her episodes of madness and to bring clarity to the demise of Thornfield Hall.

The verdict? A riveting and spectacular classic brought to life through a creative director, excellent casting and imaginative staging- not to be missed!

You’ll need to be quick to catch Jane Eyre at The Lowry, Salford. The final shows at The Lowry feature on Saturday 15th April, with a matinee and evening show.

Our tickets were provided complimentary for review purpose.

JOANIE’S WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT :: BEHIND THE SCENES

JOANIE’S WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT :: BEHIND THE SCENES

JJOANIE'S WEDDING PHOTOSHOOTJOANIE’S WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT

Whether you’re a blushing bride-to-be, or a glamour seeking wedding guest, the recent launch of Joanie’s wedding range is music to any vintage loving girl’s ears. As I was invited to take part in Joanie’s wedding photoshoot to celebrate their new edit, I thought I’d share my behind the scenes diary. 

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The Wind in the Willows :: The Lowry, Salford

The Wind in the Willows :: The Lowry, Salford

The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford

Poop Poop! Who remembers Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale, The Wind in the Willows, from their childhood days? I’ve no doubt many primary teachers tried to introduce me to this classic text, but somehow, it passed me by. Arriving to see The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford on Press Night, John and I tried to recall a story famous to us only by name.

Brought to life by producer Jamie Hendry, writer Julian Fellow, composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, we discovered the tale to twee, heartwarming and alive with song,. We’re happy to say The Wind in the Willows has survived the transition from childhood to adulthood and is a treat from start to finish. 

The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford, begins along the riverbank and the grand sound of the orchestra signals the introduction of the opening song, ‘Spring’. We are introduced to Mole first, as the music gradually builds to reveal a cast of anthropomorphic animals busily preparing for spring. Alongside the riverbank set design, it can only be described as mesmerizing.
 
The Wind in the Willows is a tale of unlikely friendship between Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad. When the story begins, Mole (a solitary character) is bored of spring cleaning and ventures out onto the riverbank where he meets Rat. ‘Ratty’ is a good soul and shows Mole the ways of the river. The two become good friends and Ratty takes Mole to meet his friend, Toad, who is wealthy and likes to have a good time. A rich playboy, Toad decides he must own a motorcar. This ultimately leads to Toad’s imprisonment, whilst Ratty and Mole decide to seek the help from Badger. The story unfolds to deliver lessons in morality whilst tugging on the heartstrings. 

 

 
What is intriguing is how costume designer, Peter McKintosh, is able to convey the creature through the use of simplistic costume. Most obviously, Toad, always attired in green or golden scales. Cleverly, the sly weasels of the tale dressed like gangsters with only their ears poking out of their hat to betray their animal tendencies.
 
Fra Fee as Mole and Thomas Howes as Ratty are endearing as their friendships grows alongside the story. Neil McDermott, famed for his television roles, is fantastic as Chief Weasel, leading his woodland pack of weasels, foxes and stoats to take over Toad Hall, whilst Toad is unfairly imprisoned for driving offences.
 
The show is recommended for children and adults alike, although it may not be suitable for children younger than 6. Badger’s language, in certain parts, is antiquated for the purpose of adding to his upper class character. In addition, the show is relatively long: roughly an hour on each side, with a twenty minute interval in between. 

Overall, we found the show thoroughly enjoyable and left the theatre feeling uplifted and singing the catchy songs. It was definitely a date night to remember! 

Have you seen The Wind in the Willows? What did you think? 
 
Our tickets were provided complimentary for review purposes. However, the show is at The Lowry until 6th November, tickets can be purchased here. Readers in and around Southampton can catch the show from the 10th November. 
RUSH HAIR BLOGGER EVENT AT DEANSGATE, MANCHESTER

RUSH HAIR BLOGGER EVENT AT DEANSGATE, MANCHESTER

Rush_Hair_Manchester

Rush Hair Manchester Blogger Event

It seems that last Thursday was the night to be seen in Manchester as a whole host of events were taking place in the city centre: fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, fitness bloggers, beauty bloggers, no matter your field, there was a Manchester blogger event for you. I could tell you that I chose the Rush Hair blogger event because I’m eternally searching for a hairdresser a cut above the rest, or a place with fringe benefits, but I’ll stop with the puns: I’ve been boring everyone about my distaste for my hair’s current state for far too long, I thought it would be a good opportunity to seek advice.


I’ve been bemoaning my short hair for the past few weeks, not only am I growing out the length, I’m also growing out my fringe (and desperately trying to avoid the temptation to have it cut back in). At the moment, I have one style: poker straight and clipped to the side. I’d been told that stylists would be hand throughout the event to offer advice, but I didn’t expect to leave this Manchester blogger event feeling optimistic and armed with skills to tackle my bonce and love it once more. 

RUSH_Logo



Arriving in Manchester city centre, I met Katie from LifeonVista before entering the salon, a bright oasis away from Manchester’s famous rain. Spacious, airy and gleaming, we were among the first guests to arrive and stood self-consciously nursing a glass of Prosecco whilst eyeing-up the largest canapés I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on. Within minutes, a member of the Rush team, Casey, had put me at ease by sitting me in a hairdresser’s chair and asked me to moan about explain what frustrated me about my hair.

Rush_Hair_Blogger_Event


 
Giving me tips on how to transform my eternally growing-out fringe to resemble Bridget Bardot’s iconic swept fringe, I left Casey feeling optimistic and excited to try something new. By then, the salon had begun to fill with familiar blogging faces and also, new bloggers I had yet to meet. Before the event, I eagerly checked Tamsin’s thread on Manchester Bloggers’ Facebook group and followed those who were attending. It was refreshing to be at an event where everyone was friendly, smiling and open to chat. 

It was a pleasure to meet some new bloggers: Rachel from Ode2Fitness, Laura from HairWonderfulDay and familiar Manchester blogger, Fikki from Pasttime Bliss who I met at the Mottram Hall event. I lost track of time chatting away before realising that the event’s attendees had started to undergo spectacular hair transformations: curls, curls everywhere! And that was when I met Lucy, who within thirty minutes, had taken me from drab to feelin’ fab! 

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What do you think?

Since the event, I haven’t pinned my hair back once and have started to embrace the side sweep. I will be returning to Rush, after all it’s not often I find a hairdresser that can make me feel so, so good about a grown out fringe and hairstyle. A ladies cut and finish with one of Rush’s stylist is priced at £44, slightly more expensive than what I’d usually pay, but Rush are offering 50% off for new customers with the code: RUSH50.  

Thanks to the team at Tank PR and the staff at RUSH for a wonderful evening! 
All images taken, with thanks, by Katie from Life on Vista

LEAVING TEACHING ONE YEAR ON :: MY STORY

LEAVING TEACHING ONE YEAR ON :: MY STORY

 

 

LEAVING TEACHING :: ONE YEAR ON

Who could deny that autumn is on its way? Darker nights are drawing in, mornings are laced with dew and there’s a cooler nip in the evening air. I’ve said it before but, to me, the change between August and September always feels greater than any other seasonal change. I used to relate this to the start of a new school year, but this is the first academic year that I won’t be returning to a classroom so I wanted to write about leaving teaching one year on. 

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