The other evening, I went to the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden to see The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical. I loved it! For one thing, it is so ridiculously and fabulously over the top - but that's to be expected since the inspiration behind the musical is Roald Dahl's book.
Let me tell you a little bit about this multi award winning musical - only a teeny tiny little bit mind, because you should really go to see it for yourself. Oh and I should say, this is a musical which appeals to adults every bit as much as it appeals to children.
In a nutshell, it is the story of an amazing little girl who loves books and stories. She has an extremely vivid imagination and razor sharp mind. However, her parents can't see the point of books or stories and are really mean to her. As if THAT'S not bad enough, Miss Trunchbull her headmistress is a bully. So, what does Matilda do? With the help of Miss Honey, her really nice class teacher, she takes a stand in order to change her own destiny.....
'‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’ (Matilda)
This show has incredible energy. It is dynamic, charming and exuberant. The cast are fabulous, they obviously love what they do and it shows. As Matilda herself says,
‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...’
A 'relaxed' performance will take place on Sunday 19 June 2022 at 3pm. This offers full access to the theatre for those with autism and learning disabilities and their families. This follows the sold-out success of Matilda the Musical's six previous relaxed performances. What does this mean exactly? Well, a relaxed performance provides a comfortable environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety and stress, including adjustments to lighting and sound levels to soften their impact. The ambience of the auditorium and theatre ‘rules’ are relaxed, everyone is allowed to make noise and move around without restriction.
Designated ‘chill-out’ areas outside the auditorium provide soft seating and activities for those who need to take a break. The production will be captioned and audio-described with an accompanying touch tour. All theatre staff, crew and company members receive specialist training to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.
Tickets for the relaxed performance are at the reduced rate of £15.00, £25.00, £35.00 and £45.00, bookable online at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tickets/accessibility/ or by phoning 020 3925 2998. Trained staff are available to speak to bookers to ensure their specific needs are considered when allocating seats. All bookers will be sent a visual story to help familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and setting before arrival.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL Cambridge Theatre Earlham Street London WC2H 9HU
For full performance schedule and to book tickets visit: www.matildathemusical.com
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon Avon home in 2010 before transferring to the West End in October 2011.
Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards with a record-breaking seven awards and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.
Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Matilda The Musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical. It has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production, Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 . Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.
all images (c) Manuel Harlan
Grace Foods UK, the UK's no 1 supplier of Caribbean food and drink, celebrates their 100th anniversary this year. Since it coincides with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, they have given her a box of Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. How better to help her add some Caribbean island ‘flava' to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations?
Parent company Grace Kennedy began its food and drink journey in 1922, four years before Her Majesty was born. Over the ensuing 100 years, the company has grown to become the world's leading supplier of Caribbean food and drink. Now, to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the company has launched special-edition gold bottles of their legendary Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Special Edition Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
They kindly sent me samples which I was delighted about as I love Caribbean flavours. The box of goodies came with a Jamaican-style Jerk Chicken recipe but instead of using chicken thighs, I made a meat-free version, using a selection of vegetables. Non meat eaters can of course also substitute the chicken with tofu.
Vandu Patel, Marketing Manager, Grace Foods UK, says: "We are so excited to be celebrating our 100th anniversary in the same year that the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee and we wanted to be able to give Her Majesty a special gift from us that will bring ‘flavas' of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth country of Jamaica to her celebrations. A recent survey by Mintel found that 46% of UK consumers chose Caribbean as a food they wanted to sample, so indications are that Caribbean food will be popular this year. We hope that by delivering our special-edition gold labels bottles of jerk sauces and seasonings to the royal household, the Queen will be able to enjoy some Caribbean food and Grace will get the royal seal of approval!" Vandu went on, "Here at Grace we love Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen of Jamaica since 1952. A lot may change for Jamaica in the near future as regards links with the UK royal family but the people of Jamaica will always have a special fondness for the Queen and wish her well in this, her platinum year."
more at gk-100.gracefoods.co.uk
Many of us have problems with our hair - whether it's lacklustre, skimpy, falling out or just simply doesn't have the - 'oomph!' - that we want. No need to fret though, because Hair Gain says all that could be a thing of the past .... read on for more
Backed by trichologists, Hair Gain hair care range combines the clinically-tested AnaGain™ ingredient . Derived from organic pea shoots, biotin, selenium and zinc all contribute to the maintenance of normal hair. Yes, the pea shoot is small but jolly mighty when it comes to hair loss. Its super powerful phytonutrients are clinically proven to stimulate fuller and thicker hair at the root.
Why does our hair fall out or get thinner as we age? It isn't unusual and happens to lots of people. There are many reasons. It can happen when we are stressed and of course starting to lose our hair makes us more stressed. Bad situation. When stressed, different things happen to our bodies, not just the outward signs that you might be aware of like poor sleep and the familiar frazzled-brain feeling but it can affect your appetite which often has a knock-on effect on our hair health too. Calories, ie energy, are required for new hair follicle growth and if you experience extended periods of inadequate calorie intake, this can make horrid things happen to your hair. If you find yourself eating less, your body starts to conserve calories you eat for vital bodily functions - that's the brain, heart and liver. Not hair growth, that isn't at the top of the list.
Some real life, 'before and after' stories are on site here > Hair Gain
Taking time to de-stress is important for mood, sleep and hair. Try to give yourself an hour every day to unwind and relax. This should help alleviate unnecessary adrenal strain and help keep your hormones balanced. Read a book, have a bath, practise mindfulness or yoga. Sleep can help improve hair health, too. Try to sleep in a cool, dark, well-ventilated room and add warm milk or herbal teas to your bedtime routine to help you relax.
And here's a thing. Did you know, water plays a key role in the health of your hair? Not only does water make up approximately 55% total blood volume, the key fluid for nourished hair; it is also necessary for hair follicles to grow optimally - new proteins can only occur in the presence of well-hydrated cells. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, experts say at least two litres daily.
Then there's tea or coffee, a different story. Try and keep a check on how much you’re drinking, because too much isn’t good. Tea and coffee act as diuretics and drinking more than three cups daily could be more dehydrating than hydrating. if it's a problem for you, swap your caffeinated cups for herbal teas and non-caffeinated brews.
Hair Gain has lots of useful information about hair health on their site, do take a look. I'm giving some of their lovely goodies a try and will report my findings in a couple of months or so.
Croft launched the first ever rose port wine in 2008. Now they have developed bold, novel Croft Pink & Tonic. Flavours combine ripe cherry and raspberry, with hints of honey and grapefruit. After chilling, serve over ice with a citrus slice or berry fruits.
Original and unique, I can say that both of these drinks are fabulous in any setting!
all images (c) Mike Pickup
The nice people at https://www.mentzendorff.co.uk sent samples in exchange for an honest review. I can say they went down very well indeed!
CROFT PINK & TONIC stockists: The Champagne Company, The Drinks Emporium, Amazon
TAYLOR’S CHIP DRY & TONIC stockists: Amazon, Harvey Nichols, EH Booth, Ocado, The Secret Bottle Shop
Brain fog, headaches, dizziness, dry throat, sore eyes – all may be clues that you are suffering from high levels of air pollution. 91 % of the population live in areas where air quality exceeds guideline limits, so it isn't surprising that many of us feel the physical effects of air pollution without even knowing about it.
With Earth Day approaching, it is the perfect time to protect against pollution with the BetterYou Air Defence Daily Oral Spray®. Specially designed to combat pollution's harmful effects, this blend of vitamins B6, B12 and D3, folic acid and selenium helps the body to defend against air pollution from the inside out. Some of the most harmful pollutants measure less than a strand of hair, virus or molecule; they invisibly infiltrate the body and damage cells. Building the body’s resilience to these pollutants and preserving long-term health is crucial.
This pill-free health supplement helps protect cells, support the body’s natural immune system and contribute to normal red blood cell formation. Current rates of air pollution can have a huge impact on the body, specifically on the functioning of cardiovascular and respiratory systems, with other symptoms ranging from fatigue to brain fog and grey hair to wrinkles.
BetterYou is also an example of a brand pushing the environmental agenda, going the extra mile to reduce its impact on our planet. BetterYou has partnered with Earthly – carbon-busting specialists – to support its trailblazing mangrove planting project run by Eden Reforestation in Madagascar. To support the removal of harmful CO2 from the atmosphere, BetterYou has pledged to plant a tree for every Air Defence® Oral Spray sold, to help sequester carbon, to improve air quality and create a climate positive world.
[the company kindly sent me a Daily Oral Spray to try]
..... from the Douro Valley, Portugal ........
White port is not terribly well known in the UK so is super value for money. It's not really white either, more of a pale amber or straw colour.
So, to the nitty gritty. Fonseca Siroco White Port first introduced to the UK in the 1950s, is a blend of classic white Port grape varieties, predominantly Malvasia Fina, with smaller proportions of Gouveio, Viosinho, Rabigato and Arinto grown on the cooler, higher vineyards of the beautiful Douro Valley. It gets its crisp dry finish because it is allowed to ferment longer than other Port styles before it is fortified. Ageing in small oak vats gives Siroco its smoothness, blend of fruity flavours and delicate nuttiness.
Generally speaking, Port is enjoyed at the end of a meal. However, the exception is white Port. You can serve it chilled in a white wine glass or pour it over ice then top up with tonic - around 100ml port to 150 ml tonic - garnished with a slice of lemon or orange and a sprig of mint. Personally, I like to add a stick of cinnamon to my glass, but however you choose to dress it up, it makes a refreshing long drink. If real decadence is what you're after, have it for pudding, with white chocolate covered strawberries..... mmm. It's less decadent but also delicious if you accompany it with salted almonds or olives.
Once the bottle is open, dry white Port will keep for around two weeks or so in the fridge. Sweet versions last longer, for a couple of months or more, though are so tasty, they quite possibly won't last that long!
With over 160 years experience, Mentzendorff is one of the United Kingdom’s longest-established wine importers.
Stockists: Secret Bottle Shop, thedrinkshop.com, Amazon, Hay Wines
About: Fonseca Siroco dry white port is a balance of ripe fruit, delicate acidity and elegant notes of wood aging. Full and fruity on the palate, it has a lingering finish and an attractive, refreshing crispness.
Disclaimer: Mentzendorff kindly sent me a bottle of Fonseca Siroco White Port in return for an honest review.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist /author of 13 books. Credits incl: Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, BBC mags, The Scotsman, Daily Express, Country & Town House, Metro, Countryfile, Tatler, trade & consumer cruise titles etc.