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20.9.17

Five Things | Reasons You MUST Watch Blood Brothers

Before both of the boys arrived, and before my marriage ended I used to go to the theatre quite a lot with my mum.
We would go to the theatre in our town or travel to Norwich and go shopping then to the theatre or for dinner then the theatre.
It's something I've really missed about this new life.
8 years ago I had a newborn baby and my first opportunity to leave him with daddy and to have a little evening out with my mum. She'd seen this musical called Blood Brothers, heard it was good so got us tickets. We were looking forward to it, even though we knew nothing about it.
We were a little confused when we sat down and heard other people in the audience mention having their tissues and all discussing how many times they had been to see it.
I felt like being a little smug and turning round to say "I have tissues, except they are in my bra. Guess which new mum forgot to wear breast pads"...little did I know that tissues would not only become handy for that reason, but also because of what we were about to watch.
Our eyes were soaked, we were sobbing in the car on the way home and crying for a couple of days after.
My mum has vowed to never go back because in her words "I won't pay to see something that is going to make me cry".

Me.....I cry so often that it's natural so I didn't mind.
In that time Blood Brothers has come back this way a couple of times but each time I've had no one to go with. Not quite brave enough to go alone. So when I saw it was coming to Norwich this year...a week after my birthday I knew I had to get myself tickets as an early birthday present. Yes, I know. I am so good to myself.
I immediately spoke to my work colleague who is a friend of the theatre and asked if he could get me two tickets the day the tickets went on sale. I knew I had to go and had to be close to the front...as close as possible.
As a friend of the theatre the tickets were released to him sooner and being the utter gent that he is he got me two tickets, in the second row.
I have been on countdown for it for soooo long and when my best friend agreed to come with me...a Blood Brothers virgin herself I just hoped and prayed that she wouldn't cancel on me. (A first date to the theatre is probably a bit much for the guys on Tinder)

I was so ridiculously excited, to the point my Dunlop Dance came out (and that only happens when I go to the TT) and I kept heavy breathing and had fidgety hands, especially as the music started and the actors came on to the stage.
I don't want to give too much away (which is really super hard), but here are Five Things I love about Blood Brothers and five reasons why you MUST go and watch it.


Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone

When I went 8 years ago as I said, I didn't know too much about the different characters. Any mother will automatically connect with her straight away. Since then I have watched various videos on Youtube and have seen different actresses play this character, however, after seeing Lyn Paul in this role 8 years ago I was delighted that she was back again this year. She is absolutely incredible and her voice gives you goosebumps. And when she sings, and you are so close to the front that she is looking at you as she sings, it is amazing.

Mickey Johnstone

Mickey was by far my favourite character when we went before. His cheekiness, and the heartbreak are enough to make you completely fall for him. 
I already knew that Lyn Paul was playing Mrs Johnston again but wasn't sure who was playing Mickey or Eddie. When the characters first came onto the stage I knew that the actor playing Eddie was different but couldn't make out the guy playing Mickey...not until later when he came bouncing onto the stage as a 7 year and I smiled a massive smile and said to my friend that it was the same actor, Sean Jones, as the last time I went.
I don't think I could ever watch someone else in that role as he plays it SO well and perfectly transitions through Mickey's different ages without the audience ever really being confused about how old he now is.
I don't think I've ever seen an adult play a child, a teen and an adult so well.
The final scenes make me crumble. Unlike 8 years ago, when I almost stood up and shouted at him because I had got into it so much, thankfully this year I resisted that urge. However, I desperately wanted to run onto the stage to hug him and to look after him. Proof right there at just how good his acting is as I was so taken in and completely forgot that it's not real.

Humour

I completely forgot just how funny this musical is. I'm not going to lie, there is a massive amount of heartbreak and I think I focused and remembered that more than the comedy aspect. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as I found it took away the aspect of waiting for the point where I knew the floods of tears would be coming. 
I am a real giggler and get full on laughing fits and there were two points in particular that I really had to hold back and keep the laughter in because I knew I would end up snorting or having to walk out to calm down. 

Music

In terms of songs I don't think Blood Brothers has the best songs but for me it's not about that.
However I do have my favourites...the main one being "Tell me it's not true". The best video I could find on Youtube features Melanie C as Mrs Johnstone. To her left you will see "Mickey"...the same Mickey who was in the two shows I have seen. I'ts not a great video at all but you can get an idea of the song and the emotion in it. If anyone in the theatre has a dry eye or doesn't even have a lump in their throat then I would be shocked.

It makes you think

I don't know if this is necessarily true for everyone, but for me, I know that I really enjoy something if I am still thinking about it and talking about it hours, days, weeks, months and even years after I've seen it.
As a twin, there is a massive element of Blood Brothers that gets to me. A certain fear and something that has always played on my mind for years. Again, it would ruin it to write about it. 
I also find that something has really got to me and has affected me if I come home and straight away Google to see if I made sense of certain things, and if I go onto Youtube to listen to the songs again. 
And like this time, I headed straight to Twitter to praise both Lyn and Sean because I think it is so important to let them know personally if you have enjoyed their performance. 
To have the balls and bravery to stand in front of people and do that for so long is amazing, especially when they are as good as they are and when there are moments that are really intense.

Oh I just love it! I urge anyone and everyone to go and see it...and if you need a plus one...I'm willing to travel!

19.9.17

What NOT to say on a first date...Part Two




As dating goes I've never really had a bad first date, until this year. I feel like my good run of dating happened last year and now...well...3 first dates in 2 weeks and all gave me enough to make me want to write about them.


"Have you got greys?"

Seriously, 15 minutes into sitting down I was reading the menu and he came out with that. I didn't quite hear him properly so said "pardon" and he repeated it. Thankfully, yes I do have greys and am quite ok with it. I wasn't at one point and going back to blonde from the darker hair is partly to do with trying to cover the greys or at least to blend them in. I didn't expect my date to point them out and to mention it so loud.

Burp...

Yes, burping just minutes into a first date. Not a quiet "oooh, excuse me burp either". Three loud and proud burps in a row.

Spitting

Soooo unattractive. 

"I've got 15 Tinder messages waiting for me"

Well don't let me stop you from reading them then. Go head, Mr Popular. Didn't realise I was dating such a stud when your Tinder photos actually reminded me of Mr Bean.

"I've got IBS so I need to be careful about what I eat. I love a Calzone but the last time I ate one I was straight on the toilet when I got home, I'm never sure how long it takes until it will go through"

And this is exactly why I dreaded every dinner date with him or eating out in public. Fair enough if it is said quietly but not loud.

"Oh, I just farted"

Nice location for dinner, nice food, nice drinks and then....he laughed and farted and could have got away with it...but decided to point it out. This was after spitting in his beer when he "laughed"...I wasn't convinced.


"My ex, my ex, my ex"

I don't want to know about your ex. I want to know about. I am getting to know you, however, if at the end of this there is a quiz about your ex I am sure to get 10/10.


"Dinner only cost £26! That's a bargain. Really pleased with that"

Ok so firstly, hello cheapskate, and yes...dinner only cost £26 because I bought the drinks. 4 drinks in total that came to the same cost. 

What NOT to say on a first date...Part One

As dating goes I've never really had a bad first date, until this year.
I feel like my good run of dating happened last year and now...well...3 first dates in 2 weeks and all gave me enough to make me want to write about them.


First of all lets look at the guy who had a drink waiting for me when I arrived, ok, slightly dodgy as he could have slipped anything in there but we shall gloss over that.
As I arrived he didn't stand up to greet me, no hug, nothing. Which was probably for the best but also an indication of what was to come.
Within 5 minutes he was telling me the "honest situation with him and his ex" and how they are still living together and until 5 days ago, has still been sharing a bed.
Clearly he hadn't read my profile stating I didn't want to meet anyone with an ex still on the scene in that way.
So as I sat there not quite knowing which facial expression to pull or how to fake my body language to not show how uncomfortable I was feeling, he then talked about threesomes.
5 minutes into the date he talked about threesomes!
Now, I'm an open kind of woman and will talk about sex, however, not 5 minutes into the date and not in the way he was telling me.

As we got onto the discussion of tattoos and piercings...I think I might have managed two words at this point, he let me know that his penis was pierced. And at one point was pierced three times.
Not only that, but he had pierced it himself, and only now had one piercing left in...he had a photo if I wanted to see.
I politely declined.

After a while of him still talking at me, we had gone inside. He gave me countless...COUNTLESS...facts about Whetherspoons and their evening processes, confidential information about their security and staff issues (and no, he didn't even work there!), kept giving staff an awkward thumbs up and head nod (which I tried to counteract with an awkward "help me" grin) we sat down and he discussed how he and his wife went to go through IVF.
I listened and was sensitive to this subject even though I wasn't fully in the room at that point and was wondering how the hell I was going to avoid an awkward goodbye at the end of the night.
I remember trying to focus on what he said and two sentences passed and I realised he had changed the subject. He mentioned not being able to do DIY to which I gave a little "awwww well nevermind. Not every man can"...assuming he meant putting a shelf up, changing a light switch...and then it clicked...he didn't mean that kind of DIY.
Holy sh....what do I say? What is he expecting me to say?! How can I get out of here?!
I somehow managed to giggle and stumble away from that conversation and the moment of him trying to hold my hands occured. Asking if my nails were sharp I dug them into the palm of his hand and as he went to then hold my hands I pulled away and made an awkward joke.

Thankfully, it was finally time to leave. I am far too nice so gave him a hug and then said how cold it was and with him walking one way I quickly walked swiftly to my car, totally unsure of what the hell I had just been through but also able to laugh about it and to be relieved that this is my first awkward first date and other than that...I was thankful that I didn't fancy him either.

Whilst he tried to text me the following morning I did a little of the small talk thing and then told him there was no "connection" or "spark" there for me so I wouldn't be seeing him again.
With a reply of "oh ok. no worries" I was grateful that experience was over.