Tag Archives: Sale

Preview: Refract at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

Long time readers of this blog will know that I’m partial to a spot of culture and the arts. I’m a great believer in encouraging my son to enjoy them too, which is why we often go to the theatre, or visit a gallery, or do something to broaden his creative horizons. This summer Refract is coming to the Waterside Arts Centre, Sale. It’s a ten day summer programme bursting with experiential performance, music and events to challenge visitors of all ages to see things differently.

Refract runs from Friday 21st July to Sunday 30th July, and brings together a carefully curated programme of arts, music, performance and thought provoking wonders. With highlights including performances from inside a giant bird’s nest and inspirational theatre on a trampoline, thought-provoking and intimate shows inside a static caravan and interactive gaming on a mega scale.

Preview: Refract at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

We’ve picked out some unmissable performances from the Refract:17 programme. But you can find out more about the full programme of events here.

BBC comedy stalwart Jan Ravens is previewing her brand new Edinburgh Fringe Show on 21st July. Enjoy an evening of stand up with Jan Ravens where she will be impersonating The Queen, Kirsty Wark, Fiona Bruce, Theresa May and many others.

Join acclaimed comic poet genius John Hegley (22nd July 7.30pm), for an evening of laughter. Local legend John Hegley is one of the country’s most innovative comic poets. He has several best selling volumes of poetry to his name.

Other Refract delights include Dylan Thomas’s timeless masterpiece, Under Milk Wood and Waterside favourites Comedysportz, plus drop in activities for all throughout the ten days.

Music lovers will be in their element at Refract this year, with Salford starlet Ren Harvieu appearing on 22nd July as well as Eduardo Niebla on 24th July. Bringing in the Blues, King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys kick off the party on Friday 21 July with one rocking night of jazz, swing and blues. Not forgetting The Shee, The Demon Barbers XL and Nick Cope’s Family Songbook

Preview: Refract at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

There’s something a little different for little people too.  Flock to Flit, Flap, Fly; An extraordinary squawking adventure set inside a giant bird’s nest. With live music, audience participation and birdsong, follow a young bird’s frantic and funny journey towards independence.

Enjoy a charming and comic tale complete with clangs, boings and unbearable hope to make our spirits soar with Anyday. This bouncy trampoline based theatrical performance is bound to put a spring in your step! Get one of your five a day with Goblin’s Peter and The Wolf featuring musical vegetables and puppetry in this hilarious performance. Tiny tots might enjoy Aleena’s Garden. Join lovely Aleena tends to her garden from the first days of spring to the short snowy days of winter.

Preview: Refract at Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

Smartphone addicts will love WiFi Wars.  Not only are mobiles and tablets welcome, they are an essential part of this live interactive comedy game show.

For older kids and young adults (and maybe not so young adults too) there’s Mobile.  Part theatre and part life lesson about class in modern Britain; this intimate, visual and powerful show is staged inside a caravan. Explore your sense of home, belonging, aspiration and the realities of social mobility.

There’s really something for everyone at Refract this year. With lots of free and low cost activities, performances and shows for visitors of all ages. It’s a real community arts festival and it’s all happening directly opposite the Sale Metrolink Tram stop. So it’s very easy to get to from wherever you are in Greater Manchester.

Full listings and information are available on the Refract website.

Painting Pots at Minikin Emporium

On Sunday we toddled off to Minikin Emporium in Sale, Greater Manchester to meet Katy and Laurence from Frank PR. We were there to find out more about Growing Up Milk Info and to have a go at painting a pot.

Minikin EmporiumWe’re no strangers to Minikin Emporium, we first visited about 2 years ago when the boy was but a baby. We had some hand prints done for grandparent presents and this lovely necklace for me; on the reverse is his little baby fingerprint, I treasure this necklace above anything else.

MinikinWe started off by painting a mug, we had lots of colours to choose from and his creativity knew no bounds. He quickly painted the mug inside an out with swirls and curls in a rainbow of colours. He loved it and wouldn’t stop adding to his artwork.

MinikinSoon it was picnic time and he merrily munched his way through a plate of pitta, hummus, tomatoes and veggie snacks and drank several glasses of pink milk (strawberry milkshake). While we enjoyed our picnic, the lovely Claire who owns Minikin Emporium came rounds and wrote everyone’s names of their mugs.

We had a lovely, healthy, balanced picnic lunch and learned a little about the benefits of growing up milk, and how much growing tots need calcium and Vitamin D.

Minikin

Minkin is a lovely, relaxed place to hang out and paint a pot, I very much doubt it’s the last time we’ll visit. We can’t wait to see his finished mug once it’s been fired.

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Frank PR on behalf of Growing Up Milk Info and we have not been financially compensated for this post.

Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play – Review

clI’ve seen more than my fair share of kids telly in the last three years. Some programmes really get my back up, some I tolerate and a rare few I actually love and look forward to.

One of these is Charlie & Lola. Maybe it’s the jaunty theme tune; maybe it’s the deliberately naive animation; maybe it’s the brilliant story lines or maybe it’s because big brother Charlie somehow manages to be wiser and more tolerant of his little sister Lola than any other parent ever.

Whatever the reason, when I heard that Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play was coming to the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale over the Christmas period, I jumped at the chance to get tickets. I did not regret it.

We’ve never been to the Waterside Arts Centre before. It’s a great family venue which really feels like it’s a big part of the community. The facilities are good, it’s easy to find and for once the refreshments are refreshingly cheap. We had drinks and snacks for three for just over £5, anywhere else would’ve easily charged double.

The play takes Charlie, Lola and friends on a magical journey through the changing of the seasons; where they discover that everything is different and not the same. A brilliant team of puppeteers bring puppet Charlie, puppet Lola and their puppet friends to life.

As the seasons change, Charlie and Lola together with their friends discover that they can’t fight change. The changing of the seasons is inevitable and there is always something wonderful or beautiful coming up next. The crisp brown leaves of autumn, the fluffy snow to build a snowman with and the glorious warm sunshine (remember that?).

During the performance, the audience were showered from above by tissue paper autumn leaves, foamy snowflakes, flying fish puppets and springtime bubbles. The children whirled and twirled trying to catch them and the lighting effects drew gasps of wonder from the audience.

It was brilliant. The boy was fascinated from start to finish and even we grown-ups enjoyed it. Sometimes “family” productions can be less engaging for parents, but this we loved. It’s telling that 24 hours after seeing the play and after meeting Father Christmas on a steam train, he is still talking about Charlie & Lola!

It runs until January 4th and it was so good we’re seriously thinking about going to see it again.

Read my other review for Mums & Dads Magazine here.

Disclaimer: I was sent free tickets for this production so I could review it for my blog and for Mums & Dads Magazine.