One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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In the past year I have become a huge fan of the theatre, I love seeing stories come to life in a physical setting allowing me to become immersed in the show. I have been to a handful of shows now produced and performed by Sheffield Theatres, and they have all been brilliant, I haven't ever walked away disappointed!

When I heard that One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was next in line, I was keen to go to a showing and see this, as although not being 100% familiar with the source material(s), I have obviously heard a lot about the critically acclaimed book and its 70s film adaptation. I don't know how I have arrived at this point in my life without having read or seen this, as the story, and particularly the subject matter, is something that I am always interested in exploring. In case you didn't know One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Next was a novel by Ken Kesey and the film stared Jack Nicholson in one of his most famous performances.


The plot is about a persistently reoffending criminal called Randle who is sent to a psychiatric unit after pleading insanity to avoid manual labour on a prison farm. Once arriving at hospital he meets his fellow patients and the head matron on the ward; Nurse Ratched. More than anything else, the story centres around the relationship between Randle and Ratched, and Randle's behaviour as he tries to deal with the new matriarchal authority in his life. Although, the play has themes coming out of its ears, and so there are as many interpretations to what the play is about as there are interesting quirks about the patients in the hospital.

Javaad Alipoor (Director) has set out to portray Randle, and the events of the story, in a darker light to that of the film, with the apparent intention to highlight the seriousness of the way the lead character behaves, and with particular reference to society today, where this behaviour, and the attitudes shown, come across in contrast to the much more progressive views of society at large.


On the evening of the performance, it was announced that there had been a very quick change to the casting as Nurse Ratched, who was to be played by Lucy Black, had been replaced by Jenny Livsey at the last minute. This was due to an injury to Lucy the previous day, but as Robert Hastie (Sheffield Theatres' Artistic Director) said in his impromptu introduction prior to the play, in light of the events, 'the show must go on'. Considering the short notice of this change, to an actor unfamiliar with the cast, company and with minimal rehearsal time, Livsey picked up the role to give a comfortable performance, although I'm sure she wasn't feeling that behind Nurse Rached's steely determination. Because of the last minute casting change, and the lack of time to develop her interpretation of the character, I would very much like to see the play again, to see whether the way the character came across was as a result of this, or whether Jenny Livsey always intended to give life to the performance as she did on her first night.


I loved the production, yet again the Crucible stage space (and beyond) were used to good effect (although perhaps not as imaginatively as Frost Nixon or Julius Caesar). The play is one that does stick with you, and gives you many angles to think about. It has been almost a week since I have seen this and I would love to go back and see this again!

*Tickets were provided in exchange for a review of the production, but the views and opinions are my own.
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Liz Earle Beauty Room

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It has been a while since I have posted on the old Blog but I am back and feeling super refreshed after my Liz Earle mini facial. I am a HUGE fan of Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish, I discovered this a year and a half ago after my skin became really spot prone and sensitive. I use the Cleanse and Polish most evenings to take my make up off as it is quick and easy to do so. You start by applying this onto your face, i usually put this on the back of my hand so I can evenly spread this out. Once a generous layer has been applied, make sure you really rub this in especially if you are using mascara. Then use warm water on a cleansing cloth or flannel and wipe away the day. I tend to use the rule, use a different section of the cloth for each part or your face, this makes sure you aren't just moving the dirt and oil from one place to another. Once you are all cleansed, I then grab my toner on a few cotton pads and wipe this again, making sure nothing has been left behind. I have found this routine is simple and quick I stick to it! After a long busy day, I simply don't have the time or effort to have a million step skin care routine so I found this one suits me well even if I am in a half dream daze.


When John Lewis made me aware of the Beauty Room for Liz Earle in Sheffield I was delighted! I didn't know this existed and I was keen to hear all about it, I did have a Liz Earle voucher for my birthday last year and I wished I had used it for this Beauty Room. The Room has a £10 deposit to book and this can then be re-deemed on any products.


As I am a keen fan already I was also really interested on how the brand started and loved hearing all about the products which the Team will talk all about with you. You will hear all about the amazing smelling ingredients and what they do in the products. They will then talk you through your current skincare routine, what you are using already and discuss how they should be used. Which is news to my ears.. or face as often i read the instructions and wonder if I applying or using something correctly. They will then put together a treatment to leave you feeling like a glowing Goddess or God.

The room was like stepping into a spa with the soft sounds playing the background, it was hard to believe this was just tucked away in the John Lewis department store. I know when I stepped out, I did almost forget where I was as I had became so relaxed during the treatment.

When you buy any products in store there is a loyalty card scheme which after five products can get two products for free, the team are brilliant at recommending products for you too. Which I wished I realised before I did an online order previously!

SO what are you waiting for pop down to John Lewis and get yourself booked in for a pamper!
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The Wizard of Oz - Sheffield Crucible

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Prepare to be plunged into the Christmas spirit by being whizzed off to Oz, on a journey to meet the Wonderful Wizard! I’m not sure what could put you more in the Christmas spirit than sitting back, relaxing and watching a Sheffield Theatres Christmas production (with a large glass of red wine in hand, of course!).


Just like Dorothy, I was blown away by this production of the Wizard of Oz, playing at The Crucible theatre (Sheffield). The brilliant costumes made me smile with delight, and the wonderful melodies and dances got me in the mood for a sing along! 
Gabrielle Brooks who stars as Dorothy, stands out, not just because of her lead role, but because she beams with enthusiasm and has the most contagious smile, one that you see and can’t help but smile back! The cast of fellow pilgrims to the Emerald City (Scarecrow, Tin Man and The Lion) also provide equally good performances throughout.  


The stage and set design is guaranteed to wow you! Having seen several shows at the Crucible before, I knew having a dynamic set is nothing new, and at first sight when entering the theatre, I did wonder what such magic was in store this time. It's fair to say I was very impressed to see this come to life.
The live orchestra adds an extra dimension to the show. The soundtrack provided dramatic tension, as well as the joyful tunes, some familiar, and others new additions, not in the original movie.


Toto has many forms (I won’t go into detail, I wouldn't want to share spoilers), but he really is brought to life! 
From the moment the production starts, you are taken back to the nostalgic Wizard of Oz we all know, but there are plenty of original creatures along the way that keep things fresh. I guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face.



The Wizard of Oz is showing at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield until the 20th January 2018 so there is plenty of time to go along. 

*Tickets were provided in exchange for a review of the production, but the views and opinions are my own.
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Christmas Pamper

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The Christmas rush seems to have arrived so quickly and very soon there will be plenty of socialising, and visiting relatives or friends to cram into your busy lives. With this in mind I have put together a quick pamper guide to help you feel refreshed and ready to P-A-R-T-Y.

Plan your outfit in advance. I always start the deliberations about my outfit choices a week or so before the event. Even if I haven't nailed down my one choice, I have a rough idea of what I'm going to be wearing. This timely planning also allows you time to think about if you need anything new, or if you can jazz up an outfit from your wardrobe with some new accessories and shoes. I have been doing this a lot lately; try wearing a similar outfit with a different necklace, earnings and accessories. This will not only save you money, but if you have worn it before, you won't need to worry about what goes with your top, or if you have a bag to match.
Start getting your outfit ready early or the night before. I try to plan how long I have to get ready and whether or not I am short on time. If I am going out straight after work, I will paint my nails or wash my hair in the morning. This then gives you longer to re-do your make up or will give you time to have a longer shower. In essence, you spend less time rushing around. If you have time to have a bath before, have one! I would try to avoid lavender as this can make you too sleepy, so maybe something with a little zing; like lemon or other citrus flavours. If you don't have time to have a bath but still fancy a pamper, try a shower cream. These can provide moisture to your skin and they prevent the need to apply all-over body moisturiser when you are dry.

I always apply a face mask before a special event as this helps brighten my skin and brings some life back into it. I have been using the Anatomicals face masks which only take 5-10 minutes to apply, so even if you are in a rush you can squeeze a quick face mask in. Using a mask before heading out makes me feel fresher and provides me with a nice healthy glow. (Well I think so anyway!).
My favourite mask is the Charcoal Mask. This is good for oily spot-prone skin and I think if you are over indulging at Christmas it can help prevent break outs, which I'm sure nobody wants. The Chocolate Mask, is perfect if you are a little stressed due to rushing around and need to take 10 minutes out for yourself. The sachets are really handy if you are on the go and a packet does provide a liberal amount of product for your whole face.

On top of all this? Have a cup of tea whilst you are getting ready! Herbal is great if you are a fan, so something that contains camomile or peppermint to help you de-stress whilst you are getting ready will be a big help. I find this allows me to slow down as I am stopping to sip my tea and not frantically rushing around.
What other steps to do you take to have a mini pamper before getting ready?

*Samples were provided by Anatomicals but the opinions and words are my own.
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