The McConie Company’s Jekyll and Hyde

The Old Vic

Earlier this week (24.05.16) my step mum and I went to see Jekyll and Hyde at The Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo, a new dance thriller choreographed by Drew McConie. If you’ve read my previous post about the Olivier Awards you may recognise Drew’s name as he won an Olivier for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In The Heights. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I put two and two together and realised that The McConie Company is the resident dance company at The Old Vic Theatre, of which we have a lot of involvement with at PwC – but more on that later.

Now before seeing any good show, dinner and cocktails are a must. I am always on edge as to whether there’s time to have a full sit down meal in between finishing work and the show starting: there’s about a 2 hour window to get across town, order, eat, and get to the theatre. I booked us a table at Azzurro, a cute Italian restaurant that was just down the road from the theatre, and we got 241 with Tastecard – win win! 1 goats cheese and pomegranate salad, a prawn risotto, a caprese pizza and a bottle of wine down we were ready to head down the road in time to order our interval drinks and find our seats.

The Old Vic surprised me somewhat. I have never been before and I don’t know what I was expecting but it was beautifully classic yet had a quirky vibe about it. We took our seats and I have to say I was impressed with my selection. It’s always difficult choosing your seats when you haven’t seen the theatre as you can’t judge the view, but we were sat in the middle of the back row of the stalls and could see the stage perfectly. As people began to take their seats atmospheric music filled the room. It reminded me of one thing – queuing for a roller coaster at a theme park. If you’ve queued for a roller coaster at Alton Towers or similar then you will know what I mean. There’s something fantastically creepy about it that even if you like rides it will start to make you feel a bit on edge, a bit tense and in this case just waiting for the performance to begin. And I think it’s fair to say that watching the performance itself was like being on a roller coaster – just the nature of the story was dark and twisted, but also had moments of comedy and uplift, and it got very creative.

We were blown away with how powerful the narrative was upheld through only dance and music. It was enlightening, funny, joyful, dark, sad, twisted even – and that’s what made it so good. The stage setting was so clever; they were able to create so many spaces using just one infrastructure the whole way through and the way the dancers moved from one scene to the next was flawless. If you can hold the audiences attention, connect on an emotional level and tell a clear story then you’re doing it right. The McConie Company is definitely one to watch, that’s for sure, and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future!

So earlier I mentioned PwC and I just wanted to touch on this because I think they are doing something really great. Have you heard of PwC £10 previews? No? PwC provides 500 £10 tickets for each of the first five performances of every production at The Old Vic and anyone can buy them. This is in line with Artistic Director Matthew Warchus’ philosophy that there should be no barriers, financial or otherwise, for people who would otherwise find theatre engaging and exciting. So if you love theatre then do keep an eye out on The Old Vic’s website for upcoming shows and take advantage of the £10 tickets – I am and it’s so worth it!

Summer has arrived

And so the holiday season begins, my absolute favourite time of the year. Everyone’s so much happier, there’s such a feel good vibe in the air and the obligatory holiday snaps don’t go a miss. This week I’ve been sunning it up in a small town called Carvoerio, situated in the Algarve, Portugal with some friends. We stayed in a beautiful villa just a 10 minute walk from the town which was perfect for getting to the shops, restaurants and bars. We spent the first couple of days lazing by the pool, topping up our tans (or burning for some of us) eating and of course there was a bit of drinking as well.

When it hit 6pm, it was in the shower and ready to take the evening by storm. We strolled into town looking at the restaurant menus, deciding what we would like to eat – there was so much choice. Afterwards we made our way through a selection of bars including local favourites Round Up (insane karaoke nights), Carvoerio bar and Bar Six before ending up in Mungo’s most nights for a boogie.

Sadly, from Wednesday onwards the weather was cloudy with rain and thunderstorms but this wasn’t going to stop us from having fun. We decided to go for a walk along the coast which took you to a lovely little restaurant in the middle of some rocks and a cave. I wasn’t so sure about the crooked brown boardwalk but we made it there safely and the views were worth it! We had some lunch and sangria before exploring the cave and climbing on the rocks. Luckily the rain held off.

Rock Climbing

Throughout the next couple of days we rested, cooked food in the villa, drank and watched some movies. I was also trying to catch up with Game of Thrones – almost there but not quite, agh! On Thursday the sun came out in the afternoon so Callum, Alice and I decided to go into town and explore. We caught the local train which took us on a tour of the town. To be honest there wasn’t a whole lot to see besides the beach and town centre which was small but it was a lovely ride and we got to nosey at some lovely villas. We also spotted a gorgeous restaurant that we ended up in on our last night.

PortimaoNot wanting to waste our last full day in Portugal we caught the local bus to Portimao – the next nearest town. It had a lovely harbour which we walked along, following the other tourists and locals. 45 minutes later, after walking through a ferry port and down some random roads to our surprise we arrived at the beach! It was a great find. There were people playing volleyball and other sports, it was buzzing. On our walk back to the bus stop later on we took a different route in a bid to find the town (that was apparently a 5 minute walk away). We were unsuccessful this time but we still enjoyed our little adventure.

So that really sums up my week in Carvoerio. I had a great time and definitely feel refreshed and ready to seize the week ahead. It helps that we came back to 25 degree heat in England too! For more snaps check out my Instagram or FB.

Where are you going on holiday this year?

Wine Tasting Weekends 

So I think it’s fitting to begin this post by telling you I absolutely LOVE wine. But who doesn’t? I remember trying it as a child thinking there’s no way I would warm to it, but as my parents told me (and I’m sure every adult you spoke to did), “one day you will”. I’m much more of a white wine drinker than red wine although my palette is starting to adjust to enjoy both thankfully, it seems to be a crime to drink white with a juicy (medium-rare) steak.

So what is wine tasting weekends all about you may ask? Exactly what it says on the tin – minus the weekend as it was actually only about 2 hours. On the tube to work the other day I was immersed in the latest copy of time out, I think it’s great for finding random places to visit or things to do. And right enough I found a free wine tasting event with SA Wines. Free?! Surely it can’t be free. But it was. Perfect. I booked myself and my housemates in and it was as easy as that, just turn up at 3pm in South Wimbledon. I’ve always wanted to do a wine tasting session so this was a great excuse.

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Royal Leamington Spa Food & Drink Festival

A few months ago I decided to take a trip to Leamington with my step mum and sister to check out the Food & Drink festival, so what better way to begin my blog. For a free festival I have to say I was impressed! The turn out was excellent and there were so many exhibitors making sure you didn’t go hungry…the food was not going to be wasted you could say.

Choc “N” Roll’s hand made chocolates (and macarons) had an amazing shine finish to them with beautiful deco, perfect for any occasion.

We bagged three lovely different flavoured salami’s from French Favour – Fig, Olive and Sundried tomato. Try the Sundried tomato for an unusual but tasty treat!

IMG_5170If you have a love for South African delicacies, such as Biltong, then you’d have been in your element! My boyfriend being SA means that I have had the unwanted privilege of smelling and tasting the stuff… to be honest it’s not for me but I know there are some lovers out there who would’ve been thrilled with this outlet.

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