Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World – February 2024

Who? Kenny Wax Family Entertainment in association with MAST Mayflower Studios

What? Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World

Where? Chichester Festival Theatre

When? 14-18 February 2024

What the show is about? The show is about a girl called Jade who gets lost on a school trip and ends up in an off limits part of the museum. Whilst there, she meets some of the women who changed the world in wonderfully different ways.

Jade usually always does the right thing and usually gets the feeling that she is invisible. The women she meets throughout the play inspire to be braver and take more chances her by telling her their own incredible stories.

The women she meets include: Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earheart, Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst and many more motivational women who you may have heard of.

What was really good about it? I liked the songs and the dancing especially ‘Quiet Children’ because the chorus sounded quite good. Another good one was ‘ Where do you wanna go?’ because the harmonies sounded brilliant. Also ‘ Deeds not Words’ sounded good because the lyrics talk about the hurdles the women had to jump over to get the vote. I also enjoyed ‘World of Colour’ because they talk about having ‘wings to fly’ and ‘painting outside the lines’ which basically means breaking some of the rules at the time and just having fun.

I really liked that we could see the band above the stage during the show. There were 3 of them who played a variety of keyboards and percussion instruments and one of them came down to join the actors for one song when they did a drum solo.

What could be better? Maybe an interval to have an ice cream in but it was a 1hr 15mins performance so that is ok and anyway afterwards I had ice cream for the dessert after my meal at the Bell Inn to top off a very nice fish fingers and chips.

I can’t think of much but my sister suggested the sound could have been better because at the beginning of the show she couldn’t hear what the actor were singing properly. I only had this problem for a couple of minutes but after that it was fine.

What my Dad thinks? It’s the second time we’ve seen this show and I think it’s got a bit better in the last two years. The whole thing was just that bit tighter, the asides that bit funnier, the songs that bit more impactful and just generally a better show. That said, I couldn’t pin point anything in particular that was different, but it just was, okay? We sat slightly to the side this time and it’s clear show is designed to be played on a proscenium arch stage and it would have probably been a better experience both visually and in terms of the sound quality. A thoroughly enjoyable show though and a really inspiring one to take the children to.

Star Rating? 5 Stars!

THE WEE FREE MEN – A Tiffany Aching Novel

The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett

Tiffany lives on a farm with her family, makes cheese and when she grows up she wants to be a witch, a proper one, with a pointy hat.

Her journey to witch-hood really begins in earnest when her younger brother is taken by an evil queen into a world of nightmares. Tiffany, along with an unruly group of fairies, goes on a mission to save him and she learns a great deal along the way.

Tiffany Aching is the brave and intelligent lead in this book, but the real stars, for me, where the fairies, or pictsies, or Nac Mac Feegle, or Wee Free Men. They are brilliant and hilarious. They have three things they excel at: fighting, stealing and drinking. They give the reader the perfect opportunity to show-off their full range of Scottish accents. The book is packed with stereotypes about Scots which I may have found a little offensive if I was Scottish or sensitive, but I’m not, so it was funny.

Tiffany is an excellent role model for all readers, but especially young girls. She literally see the world differently from others and is able to use her gifts and intellect to overcome sound pretty major challenges.

An honourable mention for another excellent character is the Toad. When we discovered his backstory late on in the book, it really tickled me.

Throughout her quest to save her brother, Tiffany goes in and out of dreams belonging to herself and other people, because of that, I did get a little lost at points in the middle, but it all makes sense in the end.

Overall, we enjoyed the book and had many laughs along the way.

Tom aged 10 says… My favourite characters are the Wee Free Men because they are funny and very Scottish. My favourite part of the story is when we meet the Toad and Miss Tick gives Tiffany the lesson. This is mostly because I like the Toad and he turns out to be a very clever lawyer.

Bella aged 8 says...My favourite character is Tiffany because she is rave and noble. I really liked the parts of of the story with the Wee Free Men when they are shouting, ‘Waily, waily’, and ‘Crivens!’ They are really funny and I get to practice my Scottish accent. Tiffany’s brother is quite funny, too.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi – December 2023

Who? Simon Friend Entertainment

What? Life of Pi

Where? Chichester Festival Theatre

When? November 16 – December 2

What’s the show about? The show is about a girl called Pi and it is her recount of the ship, the Tsimtsum, sinking along with the rest of Pi’s family and how she survived.

She starts the recount by setting the scene in an Indian zoo, where she lived. The government had had a few arguments with one another and India became a dangerous place to live. There is also a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, who is new to the zoo and he eats a goat, who does nothing to her, and this makes Pi annoyed.

The family decide to move to Canada as India has become too dangerous. They do this by boat. On the boat they had put the zoo animals in container ship crates. The ship’s cook is quite the butcher. Pi turns down the offer of food as she and her family are vegetarians. They then meet the friendly sailor, who is also Indian.

The ship sinks in a storm and everyone, except for her, drowns and goes down with the boat. She then finds a lifeboat with an injured zebra lying on the deck. The Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, also finds the boat and is hungry. The hyena, from the zoo, is on the boat as well, and is also looking for a meal. It’s a very dangerous place for any child to be. The hyena eats the zebra and after a few days, Richard Parker eats the hyena.

She is telling this story to the Canadian and Japanese government’s officials in her hospital room after being saved after 229 days at sea after the ship sunk. Back to the recount…

For the next few weeks, it is just Pi and Richard Parker. One day, when Pi cannot see anything because she was hallucinating through lack of fresh water, she thought that Richard Parker was talking to her in a French accent. This was my sister’s favourite part of the show and probably mine too because it was funny.

The government representatives don’t believe her and they ask her to tell them the real story with the proper facts and so she does.

In this version the ship also sinks and Pi’s dad and brother both drown. She also finds a lifeboat but this time the cook from the ship and the Indian sailor are on the boat as well. Then her mum comes across the boat and joins them. The Indian sailor’s leg is broken and Pi’s mum is the best doctor she can be to him until the cook suggests amputating the leg. He amputates it himself using his butcher’s knife. After a few weeks, the cook kills Pi’s mum. Pi then gets so angry at the cook that she also ends up killing him as well. It’s all pretty gruesome and very sad.

This time, the government representatives believe the story more than they did the first recount Pi told them. Pi asks if it matters which story was true because they both involve her losing her family, the ship sinking and all of the crew and animals dying. They agree it doesn’t really matter, but that the one with animals is the better story.

What was really good about it? The set looked really good with the lifeboat being on set most of the time. The hospital room/bed looks good also. The projections on the stage looked like the water was real and when the characters touched it, the water actually rippled. There were also sea creatures along the stage, or at least it looked like that anyway. The storm also looked menacingly good.

The puppets were very nicely done. The main puppet was Richard Parker but other puppets, like the hyena, needed more than one puppeteer. Another puppet was the turtle. All of the acting was good and I enjoyed watching the show.

What could be better? It was a bit too gory for me to give it 5 stars. I know it had to be in there because that’s what’s in the book but I didn’t really enjoy those bits.

What my Dad thinks… This was so good. I didn’t know the story beforehand as I’ve never seen the film or read the book, but I adored it. There are some quite dark and graphic moments, so it’s not suitable for younger children really, but my 8 year old thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn’t have thought children younger than that should see it, really, but we were careful to explain what to expect to both of the children and that some of the animals die in the story, so it will have sad moments.

The puppetry (and acting generally) was fantastic. The staging, including excellent projections, was really cleverly done. The reoccurring theme of religion is handled really well and it made for an excellent conversation starter with the kids. For me, the plot turned into a modern day parable that hits really hard was the bit that will stay with me. As humans we often find it more palatable to use animals in stories in place of the humans to explain some of the more extreme behaviours. Overall, it was simply brilliant. The national tour continues into 2024, so go and see it if you can.

Star Rating… 4 Stars

Chesham United VS Gosport Borough – 18.11.23

Setting the scene

It was a top of the table clash between 2nd and 3rd in the league. Chesham were looking to bounce back from 3 defeats in a row, 2 in the league and 1 in the FA Cup. It was my 1st time at The Meadow, home of Chesham United, who are nicknamed The Generals, and they hosted Gosport Borough, who, like us, had travelled up from Hampshire.

The Line-Up

How the teams lined up…

First Half

The first five minutes were with lots of long balls in the air and it was fairly end-to-end and scrappy.

Chesham settled into the game well and had a few chances. Ogochukwu Obi and Ricardo German, who represents Grenada internationally, couldn’t quite find the space and time to convert the chances and the Gosport Borough defence were very well organised.

On around 40 minutes, the Gosport striker went through on goal and the goalkeeper (Algerian, Zaki Oualah) made an amazing save to keep the scores goalless just as the linesman raised the flag to signal offside anyway.

On the brink of half-time, Ricardo German scored a powerful header from a Harry Rush corner to make it 1-0 to Chesham United! The crowd erupted and went into half-time happy.

Second Half

Gosport started the second half quite strongly. Both teams had a couple of good chances in the first fifteen minutes of the half. I got a hotdog and it was good.

The game was then settled around the 80th minute when the Gosport goalkeeper, Toby Steward, took out Zak Joseph inside the box and he got a red card. Joseph showed pure tenacity to chase down the ball that seemed lost to give Steward no choice but to take him out. This meant that an outfield player (Harvey Rew) had to go in goal as Gosport didn’t have a ‘keeper on the bench.

The penalty was converted by Ricardo German to collect a brace and up his tally for the season to fifteen goals from fifteen games in the league, which includes 3 hattricks so far this season. He went hunting for his fourth, and the game was over for 10-man Gosport Borough.

When German got taken off for Jordan Edwards without his hattrick it was safe to say that he looked quite annoyed, and I don’t blame him.

Ricardo German scores a penalty to make it 2-0 to The Generals

Full Time!

Chesham 2-0 Gosport Borough.

Chesham stay 3rd but close the gap on Gosport to three points and Chesham have a game in hand over them and 1st placed Salisbury.

Player Ratings

My man of the match was Ricardo German due to his two goals and looking dangerous throughout the 2-0 win for the Generals. I also enjoyed watching No. 7, Zak Joseph, the winger who also looked dangerous over the 90 minutes.

The official Chesham United Man of the Match was Harry Rush because he tirelessly worked hard in the centre of midfield.

Oualah 8 , Jones 8 , Duru 8, Rolfe 8, Murphy 8, Brown 8, Rush 8, Upward 8, German 9, Obi 8, Joseph 9

The teams line up before kick off
Kick off at The Meadow


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow has a pretty wretched life. She is considered to be one of the cursed children because she was born on Eventide and as a result is blamed for every piece of misfortune that befalls the people in her town and, worse still, she is doomed to die on her eleventh birthday.

She is saved from this fate at the last minute by a mysterious, flamboyant gentleman called Jupiter North. North takes Crow to Nevermoor where he looks after her in his hotel and invites her to join the powerful Wundrous Society. All she has to do is pass four impossible trials, one of which involves a talent – only she doesn’t know what the talent is, or seem to have it.

We both adored this book. Although Morrigan Crow comes from a privileged background, she is very much the underdog throughout and overcomes many an adversity in her quest to join the Society. Who doesn’t love an underdog story? I also enjoyed the way Jessica Townsend slowly reveals clues and adds twists and turns along the way before setting up the sequel perfectly at the end.

Tom, age 10, says: “The chase trial was brilliant because it was really hectic and exciting. If I did it I’d probably like to ride Fenestra the Magnificat as well, it was a really good choice.

“My favourite characters are the 3 main character: Morrigan, Jupiter and Hawthorne. Hawthorne and Jupiter are quite funny. I liked the bit during the show trial when Hawthorne asked Morrigan if she can fart with her armpit.”

Havant and Waterlooville vs Yeovil Town – 28.8.23

It was my first time at Westleigh Park this season to watch Havant and Waterlooville who are yet to win in their 2023/24 campaign. I wasn’t expecting a win considering the Hawks start to the season. My pre-match prediction was a 2-2 draw even if they were at home.

The Line-Up

How The Hawks lined up…

  1. Worner 3. Innocent 5. McNerney 8. Mehew 9. Kealy 10. Faal 11. Busari 12. Willson 19. Blair 20. Deacon 21. Roberts (Captain)

First Half

The first chance came on six minutes for the home side with captain James Roberts crossing in for Muhammadu Faal, and after taking a touch he blazed the ball over the bar. Faal made up for his mistake two minutes later. From a second Roberts cross, Faal, from near the penalty spot, headed the ball home. 1-0 to the Hawks!

Just 4 minutes later, Kealy finishes off a move and it was 2-0 to Havant. The Hawks were flying.

Roberts looked lively down the left from the start and I could see why he was captain.

On 26 minutes, Yeovil pull one back through Olly Thomas. 2-1 to Havant!

Yeovil brought a good sized crowd with them and were well supported by 658 passionate fans.

Just on the brink of half-time, Jordan Maguire-Drew was bundled over in the box. Maguire-Drew took the penalty and scored. 2-2!

But the first half action wasn’t over there. Another penalty was awarded, this time to the Hawks after five minutes of added time. Faal stepped up and Buse, the Yeovil keeper saves the first attempt but the rebound fell to Faal and he began his hunt for his hattrick. 3-2 to the Hawks at half time!

Faal’s second goal makes it 3-2 to Havant at half time

Second Half

On 51 minutes, Jamie Collins, the Hawks manager, gets sent off after speaking to the linesman. Yeovil spent much of the early part of the second half on top, but it was Havant who had the better chances in the opening exchanges, hitting the bar and the post with two chances in rapid succession.

It was quite scrappy for most of the second half with loads of yellow cards – 8 in total. Eventually, Yeovil did create an opportunity when Rhys Murphy went through on goal and slid the ball across Worner into the far corner. 3-3! This was getting exciting!

But it wasn’t over yet. In the sixth minute of stoppage time, Kealy finished off a smart move. 4-3 to the Hawks and the crowd went wild.

There was still time for a little bit more drama when Charlie Cooper got a second yellow for diving in the box and trying to win a penalty. Yeovil finish the game with ten men!

Speaking after the match, Jamie Collins said, ‘The quality of the goals we scored was superb but I think the grit, determination, desire not to lose, to concede a goal in the 90th minute and to come back and get a winner just shows what the team is about.’

Full Time!

Player Ratings

My man of the match was James Roberts, he was involved in everything good in the first half. He dropped off a bit in the second half though but was still probably the best Havant player. Two goal each for Muhammadu Faal and Callum Kealy was pretty good as well.

Worner 7, Innocent 7, McNerney 8, Mehew 8, Kealy 9, Faal 9, Busari 8, Willson 7, Blair 7, Deacon 7, Roberts 9

The Lion King

The Lion King – August 2023


What? – The Lion King

Where? The Lyceum Theatre, London

When? – Since 1999

What’s the show about? The show is about a lion cub called Simba who is next in line to become king, the king being his father, Mufasa.

Scar, Mufasa’s brother and Simba’s uncle, is the bad guy and he tells young Simba about the Elephant Graveyard to try and tempt him to go there. When he goes there with Zazu, Mufasa’s trusty African red-billed hornbill assistant and Nala, Simba’s best friend, they meet Scar’s evil sidekicks, the hyenas. They close in on Simba and Nala and Zazu can’t do anything to help them but luckily they are then saved by Mufasa. He then teaches Simba about the mighty kings of the past, and that they are watching him from the stars above and so when he’s alone the kings will be there for him.

At a stampede of wildebeest, Scar sets a trap for Mufasa’s death and puts Simba in the middle of it. Mufasa saves Simba, but couldn’t save himself, as Scar shoves him away into the middle of the stampede where he falls to his death.

Simba is told by Scar to run away and never return and Simba obeyed, so Scar claims the crown of the Pride Lands. Scar claims that it was Simba who killed Mufasa and that Simba is dead.

Simba runs away and finds a meerkat and a warthog, Timon and Pumbaa, and they teach him Hakuna Matata which means take it easy. Over the many, many years they spend together they become a good trio.

Meanwhile, back in the Pride Lands, there is no food left because Scar has made it a barren and lonely piece of land. Nala eventually also leaves and then comes across Simba in the jungle. At first, they don’t recognise each other, but once they do, Nala tells Simba all about what has happened in the Pride Lands and that Scar is king. Simba still doesn’t yet decide that it’s time to leave Timon and Pumbaa, but after a talking-to from Rafiki, he goes back to challenge Scar to take the crown back as he is the rightful heir to the crown.

He completes his mission and becomes king with Nala as his queen.

What was really good about it? I enjoyed the songs and the performances to go with them. I especially enjoyed I Just Can’t Wait To Be King and Hakuna Matata. The puppets were also really impressive and there were loads of them, including; lions, Zazu, Timon & Pumbaa as a duo were great, the giraffes, the hyenas & elephants as well.

I Just Can’t Wait To Be King included Zazu and a few giraffes. Some of the characters came right down the aisle beside us which was quite cool.

The stampede of the wildebeest was impressive and it looked like the wildebeest were literally stampeding.

Scar, played by George Asprey, was an impressive bad guy. He came across as a really scary and cunning character.

The hyenas are funny, especially Ed, whose puppeteer is called Mark Tatham. Ed just sticks his tongue out and laughs a lot which made me laugh a lot too.

Timon (Jamie McGregor) and Pumbaa (Mark Roper) were probably my favourite characters because they were funny but also really kind to Simba when he needed a friend.

This was my first show in London and it was great to go to the West End and we got to see Covent Garden before the show. There was a juggler performing and he was really good. The Lyceum is a big, old theatre and I enjoyed sitting in the stalls.

What could be better?  I think it was quite hot in the theatre, but that meant that we needed an ice cream at the interval, so that was okay. I had a strawberry one and my sister had a salted caramel one which she didn’t like. According to her, the salted caramel ones in Chichester are much better.

What my mum thinks? I really enjoyed seeing this for the first time with the family – its been on the list for a while! The opening was epic and I loved seeing the animals walk past and onto the stage. Visually impressive with epic singing and costumes/puppetry. Great for the kids and I loved it too. Also big shout out to the staff who were super helpful and friendly.

Star Rating –  🧡💛💚💙

This is the theatre before the show.
Us before the show.
Me and my sister after the show.
Me as we got into our seats before the show.
Me and my sister doing our best lion impressions.

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music – August 2023

Who? – Chichester Festival Theatre

What? – The Sound of Music

Where?  Chichester Festival Theatre

When? – 10 July – 3 Sep 2023

What’s the show about? The show is about a young nun called Maria who is sent by Mother Abbess on “God’s errand” to become a governess to the seven von Trapp children. As soon as Maria arrives in the house she is welcomed in by Frau Schmidt, Captain von Trapp’s housekeeper, and after only a matter of few seconds Captain von Trapp enters and greets Maria.

The Captain brandishes a golden whistle and uses it to command the children to march down the stairs and into a straight line. However, only six arrive on time and around ten seconds later the seventh child enters the room, engrossed in a book and Captain von Trapp snaps it shut and she runs to join her siblings. Captain von Trapp tells Maria that they each have a whistle signal in case Maria needed them.

He tells Maria to listen carefully and then instructs the children to step forward and step back once they have said their name. The order is oldest to youngest, like this: Liesl (16), Friedrich (14), Louisa (13), Kurt (11), Brigitta (10), Marta (7) and then Gretel (5).

Captain von Trapp goes to Vienna for a visit to Frau Schraeder and his friend Max. He ends up being engaged to Frau Schraeder and nearly getting married. Meanwhile, Maria had taught the children how to sing (starting with the unforgettable Do, Rey, Mi) so that when the children meet Frau Schraeder for the first time, they sing to her. Afterwards, Captain Von Trapp sings Edelweiss to the children.

They then have a party where Maria feels as if she is falling in love with Captain von Trapp and, because she feels like that is unprofessional, she leaves to go back to the abbey. After having a talking to from Mother Abbess she decides to face the problem rather than hide from it, and so she goes back.

Once Maria takes her job up again she finds out about the engagement between Captain von Trapp and Frau Schraeder. However, the Captain and Frau Schraeder have an argument and the engagement is called off.

Then in a scene where Maria and Captain von Trapp are alone together, they find out that they both love each other so they get married and go on their honeymoon. When they return the Nazis have taken over Austria and the Captain is expected to join their navy and fight for them. He doesn’t want to do that, so they make a plan to sing at the Salzburg Music Festival and then flee the country. It’s sad that they had to leave, but good that they could stay together as a family.

What was really good about it? I enjoyed every song and the way it was performed. I was told that the singing was quieter and the lights were brighter because we went to the relaxed performance, I didn’t actually think the singing was quiet because it still sounded good to me.

Just, on the whole, it was an amazing show to see. If you don’t go to see this show you will regret it.

Gina Beck as Maria was incredible, especially her singing. She was just like Julie Andrews in the film.

Ed Harrison plays Captain von Trapp really well. I liked him because he sticks to his morals throughout but changes from being a stern father to a nicer, more loving one.

I really liked Max’s character because he was funny because he always wanted to be around rich people and was always trying to get his own way by getting performers for his show. Ako Mitchell was great as Max.

I got a salted caramel ice cream at the interval. It tasted so, so nice.

I was lucky enough to meet some of the cast after the show and they were all really friendly. There was Ed Harrison who plays Captain von Trapp, Ako Mitchell who plays Max and Rebecca Ridout who plays one of the Nuns. You can see me with them in the photos below.

What could be better?  I think the only problem was that, in my opinion, there was slightly too much kissing and that is not one of my favourite things.

I didn’t really like all of the Nazi symbols and soldiers because they were a bit scary, but it did give us a good understanding of what it would have been like for them.

What my dad thinks? I’m not ashamed to say I got a bit misty-eyed at this one. The first act is all warm nostalgia brilliantly executed but the second act hits a whole other level of powerful poignancy.

All of the singing was fantastic, but the harmonies created by the Nuns particularly blew me away.

The performance we went to was a relaxed performance and I must give enormous credit to the cast of SoM and the staff at CFT who did a great job. They really considered everyone’s needs and made it an enjoyable experience for all. Inclusion really does matter and they did a great job of making everyone welcome.

Star Rating –  🧡💛💚💙💜

Me with Ed Harrison, Ako Mitchell and Rebecca Ridout from the Sound of Music cast
Ed Harrison plays Captain von Trapp in the Sound of Music
Ako Mitchell plays Max in the Sound of Music at CFT
Rebecca Ridout was one of the nuns in the Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is on at CFT until 3 September

Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire

Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire – Andy Stanton

Although this is the second book in the series, this was the first Mr Gum book I ever read when I was a trainee teacher. I loved it, and have since read it to both of my children and many of the classes I have taught.

It’s the story of a very wealthy gingerbread man with some curious ideas about friendship. The evil Mr Gum and his side-kick Billy William, steal the money and try to escape to France. Fortunately, a little girl called Polly and her friend Friday are on their trail to save the day. Despite a few set backs (and a lot of laughs) along the way, all ends well.

Bella, age 5, says: “I liked that Jake showed up in the end, because Polly was missing him and she was worried. I also liked that Alan Taylor and that he got his money back and threw it in the air.”


The Land of Roar – Jenny McLachlan

We LOVED this book. It’s a magical adventure featuring dragons, a wizard, mermaids and a particularly scaring scarecrow. The journey Arthur and Rose go on is truly epic as they venture through a portal in their Grandfather’s loft into a realm created by their own imaginations.

The adventure they go on in order to save their Grandfather is incredible and full of danger and excitement. However, it is how the relationships between the characters develop that I really enjoyed. The twins at the centre of the story are growing apart at the beginning. This is often the case with siblings, as they mature at different rates and find different interests. It’s lovely to see them grow closer together as they find a new respect for each other and remember how much fun they can have when they believe.

The Land of Roar is a modern classic and I’m sure it will be made into a major feature film at some point soon. The follow up, ‘Return to Roar’, has recently been published, and it’s already in the pile of books next to my bed, waiting to be enjoyed.

Tom, age 7 says, “It was very, very dangerous at times, but I liked it lots.”