27 August 2019

Our review of The Very Hungry Caterpillar show

The Very Hungry Caterpillar show must be one of the best ways to get your young kids initiated into the world of theatre. Using puppets to explore the rhythmic classics from the well-known author and illustrator Eric Carle, young kids are loving the action. 

We were invited to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar show in London, at the Trobadour White City Theatre for review purposes. The show will be there until 1st September, after which it will tour around UK.

mum and daughters at the very hungry caterpillar show

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show ran through four Eric Carle books. In 2019 run they were Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Lonely Firefly, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The stories presented may change occasionally, and in the past Mister Seahorse and The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse have also been treated to theatre magic.  

The show was very child-friendly, and unsurprisingly due to the very young audience, it was occasionally quite noisy with the occasional cry. It was a relaxed kids-oriented show, so you didn't have to feel bad if your child was a bit unruly or acted, well, like children do! 

The children were mostly mesmerised by the stage, and loved the rhythmic telling of the stories. By the time we got to the all-time favourite caterpillar story, the audience joined in and some little ones could not contain their excitement and shouted out the lines when the puppeteers weren't quite as quick with the lines as they'd like.

10 little rubberducks story

brown bear story

caterpillar puppet

caterpillar turned butterfly puppet finale

The show was beautiful, and I enjoyed seeing how true to the books the puppet characters and the stage were. I had with me a one year old and a six year old, who both thoroughly enjoyed the show. The one year old was mesmerised by the stage, and stayed quiet and watching intently most of the one hour show. I was a bit worried my six year old would find it too babyish and slow for her, but in fact, she was excited and loved repeating the lines along with the puppeteers. 

It would have been nice if there had been a chance to have a closer look at the puppets in the foyer after the show, although I can appreciate it might be difficult to organise with so many young children around. It would also have been good if there had been any small activities like crafting for kids to do while waiting for the show. The theatre is situated next to a big grassy area though so in good weather kids can run around a bit if you get there early.

mum and daughters at the very hungry caterpillar show

All in all, we had a great time. The one hour show was perfect for young kids with the recommended age is 1+ (under 18 month olds can enter as babes in arms). The theatre is also very close to Westfield shopping centre, so perfect if you want to go shopping or have a meal after the show. 

You might also like: Our day with the dinosaurs in London: Dinosaur World Live and Our amazingly fun first visit to Zippos Circus

26 August 2019

"It's like a ball gown!": David Charles Childrenswear review

Now, who wouldn't love a luxurious party dress?

David Charles Childrenswear is an iconic British brand specialising in high-end designer dresses for 2-16 year old girls. They are the dresses you see little princesses and young actresses wear at parties and film premieres. And now also my six year old daughter, who was lucky enough to be asked to choose her own party dress from the David Charles spring/summer 2019 selection to review.

girl in pink heart sunglasses, David Charles Childrenswear gold and cream shift dress, in front of pink flowers

"Ooh, it's like a ball gown!" my daughter exclaimed as she examined the dress. In her words, it was "amazing".

She had chosen the Cream and Gold Shift Dress and it really was a dress fit for a little princess.

The dress is a comfortable shift dress, more of an A-line than a straight, and has three layers - cotton bottom layer, a sheer polyester tulle layer with white dots in the middle, and a sheer polyester tulle layer with golden embroidery on top. The bottom layer has a bit of tulle to puff up the dress and the on the top layer, on the shoulder there is a layered flower corsage from the embroidered tulle and small costume pearls. Overall the quality of the materials and the workmanship is top notch, and I can't spot any mistakes anywhere.

I liked that the bottom layer was cotton, making it comfortable on the skin. The white dots in the middle layer and the golden embroidery on the top layer made for an interesting combination, playful and whimsical. The embroidery, golden leafs and branches, is incredibly detailed and well executed. Corsage just adds to the special event vibes of the dress.

girl with pink heart sunglasses and corsage on David Charles Childrenswear dress

corsage David Charles Childrenswear

girl in a cream and gold thread David Charles Childrenswear luxury dress

golden embroidery David Charles Childrenswear

see-through tulle David Charles Childrenswear

The dress came presented with its own special padded silky hanger, adding to the feeling of luxury. Overall, the dress is a very luxurious and beautiful creation for a little girl. 

The sizing was accurate, perhaps a bit on the smaller side. I chose the size 7, as my daughter is six  years old and I wanted her to be able to wear it through the year. She is of average height and build for her age. The length of the dress was good and is slightly loose still, which works well in a shift dress. 

The retail price of this dress is £295 (in the current sales it is £189). I could see myself buying a dress like this for a very special occasion, such as if we were getting married and she was our flower girl or for another once in a lifetime event. Normally however, it would be out of our price range for regular party wear.

David Charles Childrenswear cream and gold shift dress

girl in cream and gold dress by David Charles Childrenswear

girl in cream and gold dress

If this is in your price range for kids party wear, or you are looking for that very special dress for a special occasion David Charles do stunning high end designer dresses fit for little princesses.

My personal favourite from the spring/summer collection was the Yellow Floral Swing Dress, which has a gorgeous and intricate embroidered floral pattern. The delicate pale pastel floral pattern makes the dress quite special, and has a very couture feel to it. It is unlike any other child dress I've seen before and really quite special. My daughter was more keen on the golden embroidery though, so that's the one we got. 

All in all, I found David Charles Childrenswear dresses to be truly one of a kind pieces. Gorgeous and intricate "ball gowns" suited for a very special occasion for a very special little girl. They are well worth a look if you are looking for something luxurious and different for a special occasion. 

And  as some of the special offers start from £59 for a dress, you might find incredible bargains for your little star for the special occasion, whether it is a wedding, or a family event or an important party.

girl in David Charles Childrenswear dress pretending to be a ballet dancer

7 August 2019

Our day with the dinosaurs in London: Dinosaur World Live!

Last week we were invited to review the new/old show in town - Dinosaur World Live - which is running until 1st September 2019. A mix of stage show, puppetry, and audience interaction geared towards the kids. And my, don't the kids love it! The show is old in the sense that it is back again after a successful 2018 run - and new in the sense that this year it is located in a new area - Trobadour Wembley Park theatre. 

meeting a dinosaur

petting a dinosaur

Our whole family attended the show - mum, dad, six year old and a toddler. It was a fun show. We got introduced to the dinosaurs by Miranda, an energetic and happy explorer, and got to see several of them, ranging from the well-known Triceratops and T-Rex to more obscure Segnosaurus. 

The dinosaurs were fantastic, and it was incredibly interesting from an adult point of view to watch the interaction between the puppet and puppeteer, and how they moved. So skilful, both the puppeteers and the construction. My six year old didn't even notice the puppeteers, so deeply was she enthralled by the living, moving, and shrieking dinosaurs.

I also enjoyed how interactive the show was, and how the audience was drawn into the jokes. It was fun to participate by shouting and clapping and all and made the show particularly child-friendly. Few lucky kids were also invited to the stage to directly interact with a dinosaur. As for the story, there wasn't much of a story and the show was more of introducing one dinosaur after another, with a bit of information about the species, some jokes and then the presenter interacting with the puppet. It worked for the little kids, but I would suspect tweens and teens would find it boring.

stegosaurus dinosaur world live puppet

t rex puppetry

trobadour theatre wembley park

theatre trobadour wembley park

dino merchandise

dino egg

posing inside a dino egg

posing inside a dino egg

The age recommendation is 3+, but you can bring in younger ones too. My one year old was mesmerised by the puppets, and seemed to enjoy the show. Surprisingly for her age, she stayed mostly put and watched the stage with interest. My six year old, loved the show and the dinosaurs, and was excited how audience was drawn in to the story. There are a couple of somewhat scary dinosaurs that can scare the younger audience members, but overall, a fun experience for all ages. You get to meet and greet one or two dinosaurs after the show as well, so kids are bound to love that. 

After the show, I would definitely encourage you to walk around Wembley Park area - it was surprisingly nice! It has gone over a serious regeneration effort, and there were many fun settings great for social media photos, a kids play park with climbing frames and slides, a great big outlet complex and another complex for small independent shops, restaurants, and a water fountain area kids loved playing in.

dinosaur family photo

dinosaur family photo

petting a dinosaur as a family

Top tips:

  • You get to meet and greet a dinosaur after the show! Not sure how close you get as there can be a lot of audience but I'm sure kids will find it fun. We were in a press show so got a chance for a quick photo-shoot - probably not totally reflective of the real deal.
  • You can take photos during the show! It's dark though so I'd recommend just enjoying the show. 
  • Few kids got to go on stage so this may cause a bit of jealousy... I explained that everyone got to meet a dinosaur after the show and that you just have to be grateful for what you get, so just be prepared this might be an issue with younger kids. 
  • The theatre is lovely and has a good bar so it's quite nice to come there in time and chill a bit before the show. There is also a crafting area for kids!
  • Go to Wembley Park afterwards - it is such a nice family day out!

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