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Why You Should See CILLA this Week

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Oh Hull New Theatre, you did book a treat for us this week and I was lucky enough to be in the audience! “Cilla the musical “ is showing this week and “wow!” what a fabulous production this is.

Kara Lily Hayworth stars as the wonderful Cilla and it’s clear to see why she was chosen to represent such a star; what a superb voice this young lady has! You could close your eyes and she WAS Cilla. She had such amazing clarity and range, as well as being such a good actress. Kara is definitely one to look out for in the future.

The story follows Cilla’s early days. This lady did so much in her life they couldn’t possibly condense it into two hours. The audience felt part of the intimate atmosphere of Liverpool’s Cavern Club where Cilla sang with The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. The music was pure 60’s joy, “I like it” (I loved it), “Twist and Shout”

Cilla was managed by the same manager as The Beatles; Brian Epstein, who was brilliantly portrayed by Andrew Lancel (The Bill and Coronation St). Epstein was the mastermind behind her career and steered “our Cilla” to stardom.

Cilla’s beloved Bobbie was played by Alexander Patmore. I had not known that Bobbie could have had a singing career of his own. Epstein wanted to sign him, but alas he gave it all up for Cilla! And that point of the show, was where I wanted to go and slap Cilla for being so selfish. However, Cilla won me over with her singing.

We glimpsed Cilla’s home life with her parents so proud that she left school with a report saying she was suitable for office work. The first to do so in her working class family. But Cilla had to win over her dad (played by John Macdonald) to get him to sign her contract for her (as she was under the age of 21). He brought some humour to the show, in particular when he met Danny La Rue; his face was hilarious! He had the audience in stitches telling Bobbie to “watch out for that one… I was in the Merchant Navy, I know these things!”

Act Two of the show was filled with more great classics such as Cilla’s 1964 number-one hit “You’re my world “, the haunting “Alfie” , “Step inside love” and many more of Cilla’s hit songs. The audience lapped up every note of the foot tapping tunes sung by the cast.

Younger audience members might find it fascinating how the “Stars” in those days had to rely on calls from public phone boxes to tell them how high up the charts their songs went that week. No convenience of mobile phones and the internet in those days.

Should you go and see this show? Hell, yes! It’s bright, breezy and loving in its portrayal of Cilla’s life and the music scene in the 60’s. You will come out of the auditorium on a high with classic songs ringing in your ears.

Cilla is showing at Hull New Theatre this week until Saturday (22nd September). Don’t miss this treat while it’s here! Tickets are available from hulltheatres.co.uk and start at just £16.50.

UB40 Announce Hull Gig

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Legendary reggae band, UB40 (Featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey) have today announced they’re coming to Hull City Hall on 27 March 2019 with their Real Labour of Love Tour – a celebration of their most successful album for 25 years, which debuted at No.2 in the Official Album Chart earlier this year.

First formed in 1979, the band will celebrate 40 years in the business with a greatest hit set featuring global smashes including Red Red Wine, Cherry Oh Baby, Rat In Mi Kitchen and Kingston Town, accompanied incredible eight-piece reggae band.

As founding members of Britain’s biggest reggae band, singer Ali Campbell, second vocalist Astro and keyboardist Mickey Virtue topped the UK singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth yet rootsy musical blend to all corners of the globe.

Between 1983 and 1998 UB40 produced three Labour Of Love albums, bringing hits such as Eric Donaldson’s Cherry Oh Baby, Lord Creator’s Kingston Town and Johnny Osbourne’s Come Back Darling to a new, global audience. They also topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with their reggae cover of Neil Diamond’s Red Red Wine. Now ‘A Real Labour Of Love’ takes a fresh look at the hugely popular series of albums, putting the focus primarily on reggae tracks from the 1980s.

Tickets for UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey – A Real Labour of Love 40th Anniversary Tour go on sale from 10am on Friday 21 September 2018. Book at the Hull City Hall Box Office, call 01482 300 306 or visit our new website www.hulltheatres.co.uk to book online.

Why Your Family MUST See Madagascar The Musical this Week

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Madagascar the musical has arrived at Bridlington Spa and wow! What a show it is! After much anticipation, I was lucky enough to attend the opening night with a friend and our two children; I can safely say all of us left feeling well and truly entertained, singing our way back to the car!

Matt Terry became a household name when he won the X-Factor and has since gone on to release many singles. He has once again proven himself in this musical extravaganza, though his character certainly wasn’t the only one to take the spotlight!

The Story

Based on the hit kids film, Madagascar; The musical follows all of our favourite friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and unexpectedly find themselves on a journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Alex The Lion is the ‘king of the urban jungle’ and the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and, with the help of some prodigious penguins, makes his escape to explore the world.

The Cast

Although Matt Terry is clearly the star of the show as Alex the Lion. A very talented Antoine Murray-Straughan plays the superbly charismatic Marty the zebra (who has quite the flair for rapping I must add!) entices the audience to join in with many infectious songs – not to mention the occasional ‘dab’ dance move.

Antoine plays the character with flair and immeasurable enthusiasm; thoroughly entertaining with every line delivered. The melodramatic giraffe, Melman, played by Jamie- Lee Morgan, adds a little panicky humour to each scene, with Gloria, the hippo with attitude, showing the guys who’s boss! The determination of the escapist and often ingenious penguins caused many a giggle from the children.

Another hugely noteworthy character to mention is King Julien, played by Jo Parsons. Children and adults alike were charmed and delighted by his hilarious antics and inpatient snipes towards his lemur crew!

The Show

Although we found the whole performance incredibly entertaining, we all agreed that the ‘We like to move it move it!’ was our favourite song. It was very difficult to decide as we were treated to a real plethora of infectious tunes. This got the children up and dancing, with the parents dancing along too!

The costumes were simply “WOW!” I can honestly say I’ve never seen a show with such a high production value. Every costume, prop and element of staging was expertly executed- even down to the singing steaks!

The scenery changes complimented each scene perfectly and were creatively mastered; the giant crates and Madagascan jungle scenes were particularly impressive. Lighting was used cleverly to focus our attentions and further add mood to each scene. Thunderstorms were brought to life right in front of our eyes!

Sitting upstairs, we heard every word throughout the performance. Sound effects were executed in perfect timing, adding further realism to the show.

Madagascar truly is a real ‘showstopper’ of a performance and I’d recommend it in a heartbeat. It truly felt like a full ‘West-End’ production experience; we felt truly lucky that this experience has been brought to our doorstep!

If fun packed musicals with hilariously endearing characters are your thing- you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Madagascar is showing at Bridlington Spa every evening this week until Saturday (22nd September) with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets start at £29.50 adults and £17.50 kids. Don’t miss out while it’s here!

Extra Hull Date for Boyzone

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Hull is set for a second date from Boyzone after their initial date at the Bonus Arena sold out in record time. The band has confirmed they will be returning to the arena for an extra show on Monday, 28 January 2019.

“We’re eager to invite you all to one final celebration of twenty-five years of Boyzone and our journey together. We would love for you to raise the roof one last time as we head out on our farewell UK and Ireland arena tour. We know this love’s forever. That’s all that matters, no matter what.” said the band.

Boyzone’s first date at the Bonus Arena sold out of all 3,000 tickets in approximately half an hour. It is the quickest sell out at the arena yet, just managing to beat George Ezra and The Courteeners who both sold out in less than an hour.

The dates at the Bonus Arena on 21 and 28 January are part of a major UK arena tour which is also visiting London’s O2 Arena, Manchester Arena and the first direct arena, Leeds.

Tickets for this second date go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday 19th September) at 9am.

Tickets for this seated concert go on sale at 9am on Wednesday from Ticketmaster or alternatively call 0844 8440444* Accessible tickets can be purchased by calling 0800 9884440.

(*Calls costs 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

The Predator is back: let the hunt commence!

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Copyright: 20th Century Fox
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By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub

1987; feels like a long time ago doesn’t it? In fact, some of you reading this I imagine weren’t even born way back in the late 80s. I mean, I was only a twinkle in my parents’ eyes at that time. But I digress.

What’s so special about 1987? Well, it was the year that Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked serious alien butt in the first Predator movie. Of course, the franchises now infamous fall from grace is the stuff of legend, and along with Alien, the original remains a true high point in the sci-fi horror genre.

Rebooted for 2018 with Iron Man 3 director Shane Black at the helm, The Predator aims to revitalise the public’s interest in this flagging horror franchise. Looking at Shane Black’s unusual resume, he seems a strange choice to take charge here, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. But just how good, or bad, is The Predator?

Copyright: 20th Century Fox

From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.

The aforementioned ragtag crew of ex-soldiers includes Boyd Holbrook, a vastly underused presence in last year’s Logan, that thankfully receives much higher billing here. Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguilera make up the rest of the team and whilst their backstories are limited to one scene on a bus, they feel fleshed out enough to carry the film.

Less successful is Olivia Munn’s Casey Bracket. Biologist and when required by the screenwriters, experienced military personnel, she’s probably the most badass biologist you’ll see on screen this decade, when the script requires it of course.

Finally, we have the ridiculously talented Jacob Tremblay as Holbrooks son, Rory. His subplot which surrounds his daily struggles with autism is poorly realised but should be praised for bringing awareness to the condition in a mainstream Hollywood film.

Thankfully, Shane Black injects his trademark dark humour throughout and surprisingly, it works better than I had anticipated. The jokes are well-placed across the running time and each one manages to at least raise a titter.

Now let’s get to the part everyone reading this is interested in; the Predator’s return. Portrayed by stuntman Brian A. Prince, this Predator is virtually identical to the 1987 original in every way. And that’s a good thing, because when the 11ft hybrid shows up, it spoils the party a little. Rendered in CGI, rather than practical effects, its movements are a little too fluid and lack that sense of realism you get with a real man in a suit. The addition of the Predator Dogs however is an inspired choice and they work well despite some sloppy CG at times.

Nevertheless, the film is shot very well and the copious amounts of gore are both restrained and animalistic. It earns its 15 rating most definitely as the Predator works its way through a massive number of victims, but it never crosses the line in which you’d have people saying ‘enough is enough’.

The special effects are on the whole, very good indeed. Considering a relatively modest $88million budget, there are only a few instances of poor CGI and the practical effects used throughout are a nice touch. There’s some incredibly poor editing in the film however. A couple of character decisions will leave you scratching your head as you wonder how on earth they knew that.

But this is very much fan service to the original and for that, you’ll either love or hate it. There are many references to its predecessors, some subtle, some smack you in the face obvious. The classic Arnie line “get to the chopper” is there, but that’s definitely in the latter camp, and it’s one reference that doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Overall, The Predator is definitely the best film since the original, although that really isn’t saying much. And that’s a little bit of a disservice to what Shane black and the cast has managed to achieve. It’s a confident film with a cracking sense of humour, good special effects and just enough call-backs to please series diehards. Is it a horror movie like the original was classed to be? Absolutely not. But it’s worth a watch for both Predator fans and those looking to scratch their sci-fi itch.

Our score: ★★★☆☆

Watch if you liked: Alien, Predator, Terminator.

The Predator is showing now at Odeon Cinema, Hull

Check Cinema Times

Boyzone Bringing Farewell Tour to Hull

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One of the UK’s most iconic and successful boy bands are coming to Hull early next year.

After six UK number 1 singles, five UK number 1 albums and 25 years together, the iconic Boyzone will embark on their 25th anniversary and farewell tour which will be heading to the Bonus Arena, Hull on 21st January 2019.

Boyzone have stratified themselves as one of the most endearing groups to emerge from the “boy band” music sphere. Their signature line up consisted of members Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and the late Stephen Gately.

“Twenty-five years is a long time. We’re certainly not boys anymore, and we all feel that we should now call time on our lives together as Boyzone and go out on a real high.” said the band.

“We’re eager to invite you all to one final celebration of twenty-five years of Boyzone and our journey together. We would love for you to raise the roof one last time as we head out on our farewell UK and Ireland arena tour.

We know this love’s forever. That’s all that matters, no matter what”

Boyzone will release their final album ‘Thank You & Goodnight’ on 16th November. Along with their one night performance in Hull, the tour is also visiting some of the country’s biggest arenas with dates at London The O2, Manchester Arena, Liverpool Echo Arena and First Direct Arena, Leeds.

Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Monday from ticketmaster.

The 3,500 capacity Bonus Arena officially opened last week in Hull with a show by the legendary Van Morrison. Other gigs announced so far at the Arena include Courteeners, Jack White, The Vamps, Rhod Gilbert, Rick Astley, Boy George and Culture Club and The Harlem Globetrotters.

Why you should try Beverley’s new inflatable arena

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As parents, we’re always on the look-out for new things to take the kids to. Inflata Nation has just popped-up at Beverley’s Flemingate today. We got to have a sneaky peak last night as the media and other local VIPs were invited to give it a thorough test.

There are only 3 other Inflata Nations in the UK and now East Yorkshire can proudly boast this very unique indoor play arena.

If you’re not sure what it is, it’s basically one gigantic inflatable that you and the kids can bounce around on until you drop. It’s one of the largest in the UK and the very first to feature a double-deck where there’s an assault course underneath a mountain of drop slides.

I must admit, it was really good fun chasing my 5-year old daughter around, throwing her about and not really caring. But that was before we arrived… (only kiddin’!). Of course that’s what happened when we got on and I’m glad we did as it was a lot of fun for us both.

There’s a decent choice of activities in the main arena, which is mainly aimed at age 4 and upwards. I’ve already mentioned the obstacle course, but there are plenty of slides and large bouncy cushions to jump around on. There’s also a climbing wall, ladder races, air-filled bouncy pillars and even a gladiator-style raised platform for duals where you can really take it out on the other half… or siblings… or even the kids.

There’s also a nice little segmented area for the younger ones too. Our 18-month old daughter loved the little slide and ball pool.

It genuinely was really good fun for us all and I can highly recommend giving it a go. We have some great indoor fun centres throughout Hull and East Yorkshire. This is a great new addition to give us parents some extra choice in keeping our kids occupied, especially on rainy days.

A 1-hour session costs £5.95 for under 4s, and £9.95 for 4+ and adults. You can also double your time for £3 and £7 respectively. Parking at Flemingate is really good at £1 for 3 hours. It’s easy to get parked too with plenty of large spaces.

Flemingate has taken some time to get established, but it’s got some really good choice for a bit of a day out now. If the weather’s good, there’s a free kids play area and a cinema just opposite.

There are some great places to eat there now too. We tried the new Sumo Pan Asian restaurant while we were there which is out of this world! But there are restaurants like Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Firepit, Wellington Pizza Pub and Estabulo which are all great options for a proper sit-down meal. But if you fancy something a bit lighter there’s a Subway, Deli No.1 (which has 20% if you have our Hub discount card), Starbucks and a Greggs.

Inflata Nation is open from 10am today at Flemingate, Beverley. More info at inflatanation.co and flemingate.co.uk

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