Sunday, 8 December 2013
To an electric sweetie-munching local atmosphere of sugar-high frenzied anticipation, the Peter Pan story began to unfold with Wendy, her brothers and an alarmingly massive gallumping Nanny receiving a flying visit from Peter Pan who transports the children to Neverland. And it's in this enchanted faraway land from an immense glitter ball with a slow reveal that first emerges Su Pollard to humongous whooping and applause, back home in town and on stage where she belongs, brighter, better and bluer than ever as Mimi the Magical Mermaid, giving it her all with Nottingham lovingly giving it all right back at ya.
More pirate and Red Indian high jinx and musical numbers follow until the show is stopped and taken up another mind-bendingly awesome level by the the entrance of David Hasselhoff as Captain Hook, striding onto stage like a mighty towering panto Colossus, a jaw dropping spectacle dripping in brocade, feathers and tumbling jet-black ringlets. Knight Rider, Baywatch and Hoff gags a-plenty abound but it's his big number in the second act that gets those timbers permanently and forever shivered with Hoff commanding and commandeering the stage, legs apart in full-on actor's stance a mwha-ha-ha moustachioed-villian vision in white, accompanied by dancing girls and a cute pirate chorus in a billowing sea of dry ice as he belts and bellows his number like a singing Panto Titan and a Sight To Behold the likes of which You've Never Seen In Your Life.
Meanwhile there's some serious scene-stealing shenanigans afoot from Ben Nickless as Mr Smee with a naughtily delicious chocolate bedtime spoof of 50 Shades of Grey guaranteed to maul and tease you plus a freaky and screechingly funny Pamela Anderson tribute to boot and either ducking from those pesky water pistols, heartily indulging in a foam rock fight with dandy pirate men, singing-along or getting up and down for the Dance-Hoff, aint no way you'll be staying put in your seat when this show gets started, me hearties.
Clap your hands and believe! All hail and be upstanding for the Almighty King Hoff of Panto! Confidentially, we don't care who you have to Hassle for a ticket, just hoist up your mainsail and fly to the second star to the right and straight on till morning to the hands down best show in town and Nottingham event of the year, arrrr!
Full details of Peter Pan performance times and ticket prices can be found on the Theatre Royal website here
Monday, 28 October 2013
The bar will open on Friar Lane on the site of the former Nottingham Building Society building and is the work of Double Impact, the Nottingham-based drug and alcohol charity which received a grant of £340,419 from the Big Lottery Fund.
The bar will be run by permanent and voluntary staff and will offer opportunities to people in recovery to gain work experience, training and employment.
Sobar will follow a social enterprise model, where all profits generated will go back into the charity and allow Double Impact to expand the range of recovery services it offers.
The 60-seat venue is planning to be a 'creative, vibrant space by day and an alternative bar venue by night' and will also serve food in the daytime.
More information on Double Impact can be found on their website www.doubleimpact.org.uk.
Saturday, 26 October 2013
|Photo by Lee Goldup|
With their debut album Signals released in January hitting the number one spot in the iTunes Rock Chart as well as smashing into the Official UK Album Chart Top 40, Mallory Knox will be celebrating the release of a new expanded deluxe edition of their album with a UK tour that sees them play Nottingham Rock City this December.
The deluxe album includes Beggars, a Sarah Cox favourite and one of Zane Lowe's Hottest Records In The World and Lighthouse, the Radio 1 Review Show's 'Most Loved Track of 2012' as well as 5 bonus tracks, special artwork and some pre-order limited edition T-shirt bundles. Albums that are ordered through the band's store will also be signed by all members of Mallory Knox https://www.musicglue.com/mallory-knox/shop/
The Cambridge five-piece will play Nottingham Rock City on December 13 and ticket prices and full details can be found on the Rock City website here
Friday, 18 October 2013
We've just received highly confidential intel for Nottingham eyes only about a covert mission happening right here in the city calling for special recruits. Do you want to be trained in espionage and counter surveillance techniques? Have you got what it takes to become an undercover agent? Fancy stepping into a real life thriller brimming with intrigue, enigmas and surprises? Read on, if you dare...
Genesis of Cr0n is taking place in and around the streets of Nottingham from October 21-25 where special agents will be required to discover Cr0n's secret underground HQ and perform clandestine operations in real life venues as they work to to expose the evil Ministry of Provenance, mwah ha ha.
It's a thrilling and fantastic opportunity to take part in a new form of immersive theatre using a combination of pervasive gaming, new technology and real life locations and to top it all off - it's completely FREE!
Genesis of Cr0n, presented by Covernomics, is part of the GameCity8 Festival that has events running around the city from October 19-26 and the spying fun won't just end there as the event acts as the launch to an even larger project, Apocalypse of MoP, which will take place on-line following the end of the festival.
Will you accept the mission? Trust no one, look out for spies and good luck, Nottingham...
You can sign up for the event on the Genisis of Cr0n website here
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
|Photo by Shawn Ryan|
Now here's a frighteningly good competition for Hallowe'en with a chance to win an overnight stay plus dinner for two at one of the top hotels in town!
Hart's Hotel and Restaurant in Nottingham want people to create an imaginative design for their annual Pumpkin Art competition and this year the contest has been opened up to a global audience so that anyone, anywhere can enter.
Wonderful, wild and wacky carvings are welcome, so to enter the competition either tweet a a photograph of you with your creation to @HartsNottingham with the hashtag #HartsPumpkinArt or upload it to the Hart's Facebook page www.facebook.com/hartsnottingham. To be a valid entry, the photograph must show you with your entry.
The closing date for the competition is October 31st and the winner will be announced online on November 1st. Full competition rules are available on the Hart's website www.hartsnottingham.co.uk.
Have fun getting your Hallowe'en pumpkin freak on- and good luck!
Thursday, 29 August 2013
If you go shopping for boilers in Nottingham today, you're in for a helluva surprise...
Because on a street somewhere in the Hockley district of the city, there's an unassuming shop front that conceals a Narnia-like secret antechamber with a special surprise entrance opening into a table-service cocktail speakeasy in full swing - and that isn't even the best bit...
Because behind all this fun and ingenious subterfuge there are master-drinksmiths at work, and if you're lucky enough to get a seat at the bar, you'll be treated to a hocus-pocus cocktail magic show with clouds of mint-fragranced dry ice, mugs of tropical tiki delights and familiar old favourites flipped on their side, served with twists and blown inside out.
Meanwhile, an instruction-manual-like drinks menu suggests saucy innovative temptations such as the Not-Quite-Right White Russian, the Cinema Paradiso, the Edison Medicine and- hold onto your hats and umbrellas- for the Mary Poppins Hurricane (Beer is also available.)
If the current fashionable surge in popularity for cocktails is all starting to feel a bit samey, this secret little hideaway will refresh your palette fabulously with lashings of fun, delectable concoctions and cups running over with ingenious quirkiness, so follow our clues and find your way to sample the hottest and coolest new covert liquors and tipples in town. Happy hunting, confidential cocktail fans...
Friday, 16 August 2013
|Photo courtesy of The Random House Group|
Whilst his debut novel All in the Mind was based primarily on the theme of depression, Alastair Campbell's latest book My Name Is... revolves around an intricately-formed and vividly disturbing story about a teenage girl's heart-rending descent into alcoholism.The novel follows an imaginative and original structure with each chapter voiced by a different character in the girl's life, most of whom are women, and who are written in a convincing emotionally-charged style.
"With the novel, I didn't want to preach, I wanted to tell a story. I think the story is real and I think people will identify with it, even though she's a teenager and that's very young to have a drink problem. The first time I ever had a doctor warn me that I was drinking too much I was 17 and she said, you know, I think you need to be careful because it could escalate into a problem - and it did. Of course I got through university fine, I got through my journalistic career fine and it wasn't till I had a breakdown that I realised I had to do something about it. I wonder if that's why I've written it as a teenager - the whole thing about the creative process is so weird, you just don't know where these characters come from.
"I think of alcohol in terms of a relationship. The book tells the story from when the main character, Hannah, was born and it charts her relationship with her family and friends but the thing that's driving her on is her relationship with alcohol." One of the most shocking passages in the book sees Hannah describe her worst drinking session, a "24-carat, full-on bender" in which she lists a jaw-dropping, mind-numbing, seemingly inexhaustible binge of chasers, pints, cans, shots, bottles of wine, cider and champagne - plus mini-bar. "That is quite autobiographical, that sense of, you set out with the best of intentions, you have one and then another and suddenly there's a spiral and before you know you're completely out of control. One of the people I've dedicated the book to is somebody who picked me off the floor of the buffet at Peterborough railway station when I was a student and I hadn't got a clue how I got there."
Known probably most famously for his role as Director of Communications and Strategy for Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister, does he feel politicians should be doing more about the drink culture? "Definitely and I never really understood why we did the whole changing of the licensing laws. People called it 24 hour drinking, it's not 24 hour drinking, but we did relax the licensing laws and I never quite bought the idea that Britain was going to end up like Spain and Italy where people sat around drinking coffee and maybe having the odd glass of wine. I think we are a drinking culture but I think it's got worse. If you go into any A&E not just at the weekend, any night of the week, you're basically seeing people who have drink problems, and what happens is they get patched up and get put out again. And if you think about an individual drink problem, it only stops being a problem potentially when you admit it is a problem and I think as a country we have to take the same approach, we do have a problem. The book isn't a political tract but I am going to go to the party conferences and talk about it because Cameron said he was going to do the minimum unit pricing and he backed out of it."
But can he see Britain's entrenched drinking culture ever actually changing? "Well it's interesting, if you look at smoking, back when I was a journalist in the Daily Mirror newsroom in a fog of tobacco, if you'd have said then, can you imaging this ever changing, we'd have said no, because this is part of the culture. And look at it now, it's totally changed. When the Irish government were the first to bring in the smoking ban in pubs, I can remember thinking bloody hell, this is a bit of a risk! But actually, we ended up doing the same. So if you look at France who are now banning alcohol advertising at sports venues, the total ban on alcohol advertising in Norway, Russia's ban on all alcohol advertising on TV, radio, internet and public transport and Ireland is reviewing whether to ban sports sponsorship, as other countries do it, I think we maybe will do it. But I think one of the reasons behind writing the novel is trying to answer that question, I think we have to start thinking about why we do have such a drinking culture. I don't know the answer, I don't know if it's because we're unhappy, because of the climate, whether it's the power of marketing, I just don't know. Everybody's doing it and I always feel that Britain is a very, very hard country not to drink in. You're abnormal if you don't drink as opposed to being abnormal if you do."
Nottingham Playhouse will be hosting An Evening With Alastair Campbell on September 7, so what can we expect to hear him talking about at the event?" I'd like to talk about the book, I'd like to talk about the issue and then throw it open to the public and talk about anything at all. I'm not primarily known as a writer, I'm known because of politics and all the rest of it and I'm perfectly happy to talk about that but I really do want to talk about this book, it's an important story to tell."
And does he know Nottingham at all? "I do, I know Nottingham because I've been to a few test matches at Trent Bridge, I've been to a lot of Burnley football matches, both at the City Ground and Meadow Lane, my mum doesn't live that far away, she lives over in Retford, so I know it reasonably well, and the other connection is Nigel Doughty the Forest owner who sadly died last year, was a very good friend of mine."
And finally, it has been said that the TV character, legendary swear-meister Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It, is loosely based on him. Is that something that's OK with him? "Yeah!" he laughs. "Absolutely fine. Although it's really funny, my mum reads all my books she really hates the fact that I'm swearing in this book, but I think the Malcolm Tucker thing's fine, especially now he's Doctor Who. I can't pretend to know much about Doctor Who but I do think he's a great actor. I think the Malcolm Tucker character is brilliant and I don't have a problem with that at all."
An Evening With Alastair Campbell is at Nottingham Playhouse Saturday September 7 2013. Tickets priced £15 can be booked here
My Name Is... by Alastair Campbell published by The Random House Group is available to pre-order for 12 September 2013 here
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
If you're planning to attend an event at Capital FM Arena from tomorrow onwards, you can now take advantage of a new cheaper travel scheme launched by the Arena in partnership with Nottingham Express Transit (NET) and Nottingham City Transport (NCT).
Commencing on 7 August 2013, the initiative will enable Arena customers with valid event tickets to purchase a return journey into the city centre on the tram or NCT City area buses for £2, saving £1.40 on buying an all day ticket.
The £2 return travel offer is valid for all Capital FM Arena Nottingham shows and events including GMB Nottingham Panthers ice hockey games and the new initiative hopes to benefit the environment as people use public transport and reduce the number of cars on the road.
Customers are advised to book travel tickets at the same time as purchasing their event tickets which can be booked online at www.capitalfmarena.com, via telephone on 0843 373 3000 or in person at Ticketing & Customer Services, Bolero Square, The Lace Market Nottingham, NG1 1LA.
If you've already purchased an event ticket, including Panthers season tickets, Arena travel tickets can be booked separately on 0843 373 3000 or in person at the venue.
Sunday, 21 July 2013
|Jake Bugg © Nottingham Confidential|
Whilst the current epic heatwave conveniently decided to take a Saturday off and cool things down a few comfortable notches, everything else was hotting up way off the scale at Nottingham's Wollaton Park for Splendour Festival 2013.
|KT Tunstall© Nottingham Confidential|
Confidential highlights included Peter Hook and The Light belting out Love Will Tear Us Apart amidst a legendarily mighty Joy Division/New Order set on the Jagermeister stage to a thrilled and bouncing crowd, whilst over on the main stage Dog is Dead keyboardist Joss Van Wilder leapt off stage and dived merrily into pure Nottingham mosh to crowd surf, getting swallowed up and reappearing held aloft, upside down, legs sticking out v-shaped in the air.
|Shane Meadows |
© Nottingham Confidential
Meanwhile over at The Funhouse Comedy Stage compère Craig Murray was handling the crowd well, engaging with audience members and poking gentle fun at the few who dared come under his gaze. Catching the Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, a "mostly" silent act with a mash-up soundtrack, the act interpreted these songs with placards and actions, quite often leading the audience to hear lyrics by suggestion and proving all in all to be funny and entertaining.
Meanwhile backstage we bumped into a very friendly and happy looking Nottingham film director Shane Meadows whilst Nottingham singer Indiana talked excitedly about playing the main stage and her imminent baby arrival in September and Harleighblu told us she couldn't wait for her new album to come out.
|Indiana © Nottingham Confidential|
|Harleighblu © Nottingham Confidential|
Talking about Splendour being "the first proper festival" he's headlining, Jake adds that as it's his home town it really "feels like an achievement" but that he "can't get distracted by a familiar face in the crowd" and goes on to comment on the burgeoning Nottingham music scene "it's brilliant to see it evolving and becoming something really important."
Friendly, politely shaking hands with press on meeting and departure, Jake Bugg comes across as impressively grounded and instantly endearing and likeable, the ultimate local boy made good, and with so much more promised to come from him, confidentially we predict it will all continue to be equally Splendid.
You can see lots and lots more photos from Splendour 2013 in our Facebook photo album here
|Dog is Dead© Nottingham Confidential|
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
|Alastair Cook Photo © Nottingham Confidential|
Of course, Australia went on to win that series 4-0 with the lowest in a series of low points for England that summer a crushing innings defeat inside four days in Nottingham. So while the glitter and swagger of Trent Bridge in 2013 bears hardly any resemblance to the gently fading grandeur of two decades ago, the sense of impotence and frustration that took hold of a partisan crowd just after tea seemed all too familiar.
All this after an auspicious opening ceremony earlier in the day for which full marks for pomp and circumstance are due to the ECB, Investec and Notts CCC. The band of the Coldstream Guards, Lesley Garrett and the Red Arrows produced a surge of patriotism to inspire the crowd and English cricketers, even if one or two couldn't quite remember the words to the national anthem. In fact within a couple of hours it seemed one or two had forgotten which way round to hold a cricket bat as in the face of steady, if unspectacular Australian seam bowling, wicket fell after wicket giving plenty of opportunity for the scorers to give the new, space age scoreboard at the Radcliffe Road end a thorough workout.
It seemed with Bell's dismissal leaving England at 178 for 5 as if things could not get any worse. They did however and despite some spirit from Stuart Broad who endured a verbal battering and a clout to the shoulder for his troubles that put paid to his afternoon, the tail duly collapsed with the last five wickets falling for 37 runs.
But just as in The Matrix the resistance called for and were delivered by The One, circumstances duly conjured up a saviour to the English cause in the unlikely form of Stephen Finn. An unprepossessing start of long hops was followed by a correction to his navigation system and rewarded by two wickets in two balls. Clearly uncomfortable with a mere co-starring role, Jimmy Anderson promptly made the stage his own with headline-grabbing deliveries to undo Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers, passing Fred Trueman's Test wicket record in the process.
Fourteen wickets, just under 300 runs and this is only the first day of the first instalment of the 2013 Ashes blockbuster. England's day, just, but the tourists have showed sufficient discipline to suggest this will be a far closer struggle than previously advertised. Fate, as Morpheus would attest, is not without a sense of irony.