Sun, stage, singers and Wagner!

Lovin' this weather! Today is officially my first day NOT WEARING A COAT (cue party poppers, fanfares, over-the-top applause & cheering). So I’ve come out of winter hibernation and decided to see more than just the 4 walls of the Heart studio or my house!

The Wizard Of Oz launched at the London Palladium at the start of this month, starring the winner of the BBC’s “Over The Rainbow”, Danielle Hope, playing the lead role of Dorothy and the multi-talented Michael Crawford as the Wizard. When you take a step back, L.Frank Baum’s original story from 1900 about a young girl, a talking lion, a heart-less scarecrow and a bloke made out of tin is all a bit bizarre! And that’s even before we’ve mentioned a yellow brick road, a dead witch or some ruby slippers.

But there’s something magical about it that grabs you and leads to a highly entertaining evening!! Despite this being Danielle’s first role in the West End, you would never know as her voice and acting ability is more than qualified to take the lead part. It includes all the songs you know & love from the Judy Garland movie, plus some brand-new extras written by the winning team of Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd-Webber. As with many West End shows, the set is amazing and on the night I saw the show, everything from flying houses, moving roads and flying witches seemed to go without a hitch. It’s fun, heart-warming, and certainly worth a visit!

The X Factor Tour has been wowing crowds up and down the country for the last few weeks, featuring the finalists from last year’s TV series. This was the first time I’ve been to the tour and I’ll be honest, I went with an attitude of “it’s for the kids – they’ll love it – I’ll just sit there ‘til it’s over”! But this is no small production. The spectacular O2 Arena was filled with screaming fans eager to catch sight of either One Direction, One Direction or if they were lucky…. One Direction. Hmm, something makes me think they’re going to be big (!!).

Like the TV show, right from the out-set it’s loud, big, fast-paced, professional and an impressive spectacular. With a live band on stage (which was a pleasant surprise), each act performs 1 or 2 songs. Cher Lloyd, Mary Byrne, Rebecca Ferguson, Paije Richardson, Katie Waissel, Aiden Grimshaw and One Direction (cue screaming) all proved they could keep 23,000 fans happy – even Wagner was weirdly entertaining in places…but don’t quote me on that.

However, it was the winner and headlining act, Matt Cardle who impressed me the most. What a voice. Where as a year ago, he was making his living as a painter & decorator, it seems he’s now really found his natural home. He performed 5 songs including the spine-tingling “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” and his winner’s single “When We Collide”.

It was a great show and clearly a big thrill for the contestants involved. If Cardle continues to perform like that, his success is a certainty. The X Factor tour runs until April 10th. Try and go … whatever your age!

Well, I can’t sit in here typing all day. The sunshine's waiting for me outside!

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