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.

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.

Of Kith and Kin - Sheffield Crucible

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I was invited along to the production of Kith and Kin at the Crucible Theatre Studio in Sheffield and I jumped at the chance. I had been to the theatre only a handful of times and loved the experience on each occasion. The immersion of the theatre leaves me with a warm feeling. I always come out feeling rather sophisticated and wishing that I went more often, to take in more culture in this medium and definitely more of Sheffield Theatres' great productions.

Of Kith and Kin is a black comedy, with a slightly dark and insightful edge to the story line... it is a co production between Sheffield Theatres and London's Bush Theatre. I won't go into too much detail regarding the story line as I am conscious about giving too much away, and nobody likes spoilers these days! The play is centred around a married gay couple, Daniel and Oliver, in the process of having a baby through a surrogate, Priya, who also happens to be a good friend to them both. The play focuses on the dynamics of the couple's relationship, and how past and present societal perceptions of families and same sex marriage can have a great effect, not always positive, even if on the outside it seems that hard-won rights signal a move closer to equality. I felt this storyline was up to date with the changing patterns of modern families and households, yet the influence of a child on a relationship is a story with echoes coming from well in the past. It was a refreshing contemporary take on it all.

Every part of the production had been thought about in detail, from the video games being played on the television, the music, and Daniel and Oliver's relationship with Priya the surrogate mother of their child. This all allowed me to relate this to society today.
The production is being shown at the Studio in the Crucible. I felt this was a perfect setting for this, as it is a more intimate feeling setting, where you as the audience really feel in touch with the characters' emotions throughout. The play then moves to the Bush Theatre in London on October 18th for a run taking the show well into November. 
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