Toddle About Blog

Review of Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre

Aladdin PantomimeWritten by Toddle About HQ.

We would like to thank Milton Keynes Theatre for our invitation to see this year’s Pantomime which is Aladdin starring the very funny Joe Pasquale as Wishy-Washy and star of west-end musicals Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat).

Joe Pasquale shines with his manic energy, helping to create a really fun show throughout. The children absolutely loved his character and his crazy comedy routines and they were belly laughing whenever he was on stage! Lee Mead plays his part with a great sense of humour, being on the receiving end of a lot of Pasquale’s pranks. The vocals from himself and other members of the cast were excellent and bring a high-quality musical element to the show and the staging and effects were fantastic as usual.

There was one part involving the legendary flying carpet that left us wondering how on earth they created the effect in a theatre (I won’t spoil it!).

There were great performances from The Dame Widow Twanky and the bad-guy Abanazar along with great singing performances by the Keeper of the Ring.

There was certainly enough going on to make sure for a jammed-packed pantomime that you and the family will remember for the rest of the year.

The show runs until Sunday 12th January and you can purchase tickets, you will not be disappointed and it is a great family day out and you can expect amazing effects and fun for all the family!

Aladdin Pantomime MK Theatre

Review: The Owl and the Pussycat at Northampton Royal and Derngate

Owl and the Pussycat

Owl and the Pussycat

Review by VIP Member Victoria Coombes

The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-cat written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Charlotte Voake has been brought to life this Christmas at The Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton. The performance runs from Thursday 28th November until Sunday 5th January and is a magical puppet show aimed at the under 7’s.

The performance was set in the lovely underground theatre room at The Royal & Derngate, with a large number of cushions on the floor as well as seating laid out. The children could sit comfortably and as there was no raised stage area they could get up close and involved with the story without characters towering over them. The show lasted for 40 minutes (without an interval) and involved a cast of two telling the story through the mediums of the original music, songs and fantastic puppetry. My two daughters aged 6 and 3 were captivated for the entire show and particularly loved the very realistic puppets. The cast really brought the puppets to life with their sound effects and movements. The scene changes and the props used were simple but very effective and the large variety of puppets really kept the children’s attention as they tried to identify the next characters from the story. In the small theatre the lighting and sound had been well set up so that it wasn’t too loud or bright but enabled parents to interact with their children through out the show without impacting on others. A relaxed performance is also being shown on Saturday 7th December with reduced sound and lighting for those with a range of disabilities.

This was a lovely way to introduce younger children to the theatre in an informal and relaxed setting. My girls certainly enjoyed it and as huge fans of the Julia Donaldson books it was great to see one of them so cleverly and professionally adapted for the stage. We will certainly be looking out for similar shows in the future.


Review: Peter Pan – 2018’s Christmas Panto at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Royal & Derngate's 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan - and it's quite possibly the best panto I've ever seen

Royal & Derngate’s 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan – and it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen

If you enjoy a good panto, then this Christmas’ offering from Royal & Derngate – Peter Pan – is well worth a visit. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen.

We attended with our children and it has been pitched perfectly for a family audience, so the kids loved it too. There’s nothing too scary, nothing too rude – though still plenty of jokes for the grown ups. And good jokes too. Too often I find pantos churn out the same gags, and they get a bit tired – but not this version of Peter Pan. Continue reading

Review: Emerald Storm Irish Dance Sensation

Emerald StormBy Lorraine Holmes at Toddle About HQ.

My daughter and I had the pleasure of attending the Emerald Storm show at The Grove Theatre in Dunstable at the weekend and we can honestly say we had a truly amazing evening.

The show includes a mixture of different genres of dance from gentle ballet style and fiery Salsa to your high energy, toe tapping Irish Tap with a more modern day twist to it and all performed by an amazing cast of highly talented dancers and we were both engrossed right from the start.

The Story, which is told throughout the show, takes you on a journey where mortals are trying to save the mythical land from destruction and this is all told through a range of dance, music and singing.  The lead vocalist, John-Philip Bowen, has a voice that is out of this world singing solos, duets and also singing along with the dancers performing it was just stunning and we didn’t know where to look when the stage came alight with the whole cast performing all at the same time. Continue reading

All aboard for the unmissable swashbuckling pantomime adventure – Peter Pan at Royal & Derngate

Peter Pan PantomimeDarren Day, Flawless,The Grumbleweeds and Abigail Dever brought a touch of early Christmas magic to Northampton today as they officially launched Peter Pan, this year’s swashbuckling Royal & Derngate pantomime, with a photo call at Northampton’s Riverside Hub play centre.

Actor, singer and television presenter Darren Day will play the dastardly Captain Hook. Darren has had a varied career having starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, Summer Holiday and Godspell and numerous UK tours. He since went on to host You Bet! and Don’t Try This at Home for ITV and appeared in The Bill and Holby City. Last year Darren came third in Celebrity Big Brother, released his album This is the Moment and starred as Tick in the UK tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Last year Darren starred as the Teen Angel in Grease across the UK, joined the cast of Sky TV comedy Stella, and starred in Hollyoaks and Holby City. This year Darren will be seen in the feature films Rudy and Demon Eye. This production marks Darren’s third time donning the infamous hook. Continue reading

Disney On Ice presents ‘Dream Big’ is coming to the UK

Disney on Ice Dream BigAudiences will set sail with the wayfinder Moana as she makes her UK debut live on ice in Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. This all-new production, produced by Feld Entertainment, assembles a collection of inspiring stories connected by a cast of characters with a desire to explore the depths, heights and horizons of their dreams. Alongside Moana and demigod Maui are eight tales of courage and heart, including Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled.

Courage leads the way for Disney’s most daring heroines, in this brand-new ice skating spectacular. Travel to the kingdom of Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf in a dramatic retelling of the sisterly love that saved a kingdom. Jump into amazing adventures with Aladdin as he seizes his chance to outwit his adversaries in the marketplace of Agrabah. Discover uncharted worlds with Rapunzel and Jasmine. Battle the villain Maleficent in the form of a fire-breathing dragon alongside Prince Phillip, igniting the ice in a blazing spectacle. Dive under the sea with headstrong Ariel as she yearns to explore life above the waves and is willing to risk it all for curiosity and the thrill of adventure. And find the inner strength that comes from kindness and determination with Belle, Aurora and Cinderella. Plus, arrive early to celebrate 90 years of Walt Disney’s true original, Mickey Mouse. High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget! Continue reading

Disney On Ice presents ‘Passport To Adventure’ is coming to the UK


Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they take audiences on a fun-filled tour in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Journey to the most memorable Disney destinations with all of your favorite characters and get swept away by classic tales that have captivated the world. The show will be in the UK from 22nd September to 30th December and tickets are available from

You and your family will explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. You’ll also be whisked away to the wintery wonderland of the number-one-animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, for an extraordinary adventure with sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favorite huggable snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all. If that wasn’t enough, don’t miss the pre-show party! Enjoy every second of this sensational show – starting with the chance to warm up at the fun Fit to Dance pre-show featuring Zootropolis! Continue reading

Disney On Ice presents Frozen to the UK for the First Time

#1 Animated Movie of All Time Brought to Life on Ice in Brand New Production

Tickets for the UK tour are on sale NOW  

Elsa and Anna in Disney's Frozen on Ice

Elsa and Anna in Disney’s Frozen on Ice

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, announced that its 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life.  Disney On Ice presents Frozen is set to mesmerise audiences when the show begins touring in the UK from 13th October; tickets are on sale now at

The entire Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this brand new production, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Continue reading

CBBC’s Bear Behaving Badly Takes to the Stage at Northampton’s Derngate

Bear Behaving Badly-WEBBringing chaos and calamity, the hilarious CBBC show Bear Behaving Badly takes to the stage in its first ever nationwide live tour, coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March.

Children and their parents alike will laugh along with Nev, boogie with Beatrice and sing along with Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood. Joining them is Crazy Keith, Aunt Barbara and Mr Prank in an adventure full of mischief, laughter and mayhem!

Will Nev be able to resist Mr Prank’s ice cream? Can Keith help Nev control his crazy cravings in the kitchen? And can Beatrice encourage Mr Prank and Aunt Barbara to bust a groove with keep fit moves?

This hugely interactive, fun and vibrant production also educates children aged from 4 to 12 years old about the benefits of healthy eating and leading an  Continue reading