14/01/14 - Rocking and Rolling in Leeds

No matter how much one of your friends loves their job - and unfortunately, most people don't - it's very rare that you actually get to witness them in action.  Even if they can't get enough of whatever they do, all you'll really know about it is what they tell you and that's the way for most career paths...offices don't exactly encourage people to come and gawp at the workers typing away, even if they are loving life while they do it.  So when I went to Leeds on Saturday to see one of my best friends in her first professional acting job after graduating drama school mere months ago, it was truly an experience.  At the age of twenty one, getting to see someone I love doing what they love and doing it so well...I won't pretend I didn't get a little emotional!  That will really come as no surprise to most people who know me.

Ordinarily this post would be more of a theatre review of Jack and the Beanstalk: the Rock'n'Roll Panto at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall but as it has unfortunately closed, I can't exactly encourage you all to go and buy tickets!  For those who've never experienced a rock'n'roll panto, I suggest you change that next Christmas because you are missing out.  With all the audience participation, corny jokes and festive sparkle of any other panto but with the added joy of a massively talented and hard-working cast who sing, dance and play all the instruments for a series of fun and familiar musical numbers, it is guaranteed fun for all the family.  Back when Rachael and I were little nippers who went to the same music centre on a Saturday morning, we used to go on yearly trips to the rock'n'roll panto in Liverpool and it was always a barrel of laughs...so it was a real treat to see Rach living her dream in such a fun show!

These are our excited 'proud mum' faces!
The City Varieties Music Hall is a gorgeous little theatre, albeit a bit difficult to find!  Even sat up in the gods (second row of the upper circle, right at the top), we had a brilliant view of the whole stage.  The show itself was really fantastic and the cast were insanely talented.  You could tell that everyone in the audience had an amazing time, shouting things out and clapping along with all the well-known tunes.

We couldn't take photos during the performance, so I snapped away at the promotional pictures outside the theatre...ignore my reflection in the window!

After what I worked out is around ten years of friendship (isn't that terrifying?  God, I feel old!), I've seen Rachael perform various of different roles through school and university and I've shared a stage with her plenty of times...but I don't think I've ever been prouder of her than I was at the weekend.  Charl and Laura agreed, and we all got a little bit emotional as we whooped and danced our way through the encore.  There's nothing better than seeing one of your friends looking so happy and making an audience of excited children just as happy.

Afterwards, we hung around for a drink with Rachael and some of her family who had come to see her as well.  It was lovely to have a catch up and chat about all the fun Rach has been having in Leeds.  We all agreed it's definitely the best Christmas job anyone could have!  It was all over too soon, as Rach needed prepare for the evening performance and we scampering off to do some sale-browsing before jumping on a train home, sleepy and satisfied with a lovely day.  I'm looking forward to seeing Rachael's career go from strength to strength as the years go on...watch this space for when she's a big star one day!

Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing a rock'n'roll panto? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Looks like a fun evening! xx

    1. It really was brilliant, nothing better than a panto but even better when it has your best friend starring in it :) xx