Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dirty Dancing UK Tour- Theatre Royal Plymouth | Backstage and Review | LittleEllieMae

As a typical teenage girl, Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favourite films; Its filled to the brim with fantastic songs, amazingly quote- worthy lines, and some super sexy dancing from a great cast. 

When I heard that the UK tour of the show was coming to the Theatre Royal Plymouth, I knew I had to check it out!

Dirty Dancing is the unexpected love story between seventeen year old, Frances 'Baby' Houseman, and the cool, rebellious dancer Johnny Castle at Kellerman's family summer camp. The couple overcome trials and tribulations but finally have the time of their life, performing the special final dance of the season and winning each other's hearts. 

 I was kindly invited backstage by the Theatre Royal Plymouth to have a look at the wardrobe, set and meet some of the cast and crew of the Dirty Dancing UK Tour! 

The costumes from the film are so iconic. We all know and love Baby's signature tied blouse and denim shorts, the pink dress and Penny's gorgeous red tango dress. Before the show, I had the chance to have a look at these amazing costumes which were all so true to the film's adaptation. They all followed an early 1960s theme, with high waists, midi lengths and gorgeous florals. 

My favourite outfit in particular was the classic pink dress that Baby wears during the famous 'Time Of My Life' routine at the end of the show. Its the most expensive costume of the show, made from gorgeous pink silk which flows gorgeously whilst Baby dances and is Jessie Hart's (who plays the role of Baby) favourite costume of the show too. This is closely followed by the stunning bright red, bejeweled dress that Penny wears during her dance routines; With a structured, beaded low V bodice and gorgeously flowing satin skirt in a striking red colour- its the dream dress for any girl! Jessie loves the 60s feel of the costumes, and says that she especially likes the flattering high- waisted style of the clothes.

Lewis Kirk, who plays the role of Johnny Castle, has a wardrobe for the performance that mainly consists of monochrome t-shirts, jeans, and suits to match his character's cool, slick persona. Lewis previously played within the ensemble of the previous UK tour so had the chance to experience the floral shirts of the other characters as well as his new array of Johnny costumes now. He said that his costumes aren't too different from his every day casual style, although the bootleg cut of the jeans and Cuban heeled shoes are something he had to get used to! 

I found it really interesting to talk to the backstage crew too; I was shown how the costumes are made so that they are able to be constantly altered- they have no lining or finished seams. Although the costumes for the show are heavily inspired by vintage items, they had to be specially made rather than re-using vintage pieces as they wouldn't be able to be altered as easily as they'd need to be. All of the items are stored in standing wardrobes that are wheeled into the large tour vans and transported from city to city on the tour. 

I was also lucky enough to have a mini dance lesson with Lewis who plays Johnny, who taught me some basic dance steps to a routine. "Please don't judge me, I don't dance!!" was my initial reaction, but I had so much fun and Lewis was a very lovely and patient teacher (more so than his character of Johnny!). 

Jessie Hart, Lewis Kirk and I on the Lyric Stage at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Strictly Come Dancing, here I come..!

After my dance lesson, I sat down with Jessie (Baby) and Lewis (Johnny) to talk to them more about the show. Being such a popular and iconic film, both actors agreed that they felt some pressure to stay completely true to the characters (which I think they did SO well!) because people are so invested in it, but at the same time they like to put their own twist on the roles to make it somewhat more interesting. Furthermore, Jessie feels as though she can completely relate to her character as she has a very similar personality, as well as Lewis who admits he has a rebellious side just like Johnny! The two had impeccable chemistry on stage which obviously stemmed from their intense training before the tour started and matches the characters' relationship perfectly. 

In the evening I had the chance to watch the show itself. It was spectacular. Honestly, it is everything you would want in a show of this calibre, based on the world- renowned film. It is so true to the film, so don't worry about any of your favourite parts being missed out! My favourite scene is when Johnny and Baby lip sync to 'Love Is Strange' ( Come ere lover boyyy! *air guitar*) which was done so well, I was so pleased! The acting is really great, every member of the cast embrace their characters perfectly- there is true chemistry between them. My favourite thing about the show was of course, the dancing; It was mind-blowingly good. In particular the characters of Johnny (Lewis Kirk) and Penny (understudy: Carlie Milner) were absolutely amazing, they perfected every move so professionally yet effortlessly. I was out of breath just watching them! 

The dancing, acting, music, awesome LED light filled set, costumes and props brought together a slick, fun- filled show which left a huge smile on my face! It is such a great night out and will leave you wanting to become a  professional dancer, for sure (gosh, I wish I could dance like them!!)

Thanks to the Dirty Dancing UK Tour cast and crew as well as the Theatre Royal Plymouth for inviting me along for this absolutely awesome experience!  

Dirty Dancing is showing at the Theatre Royal Plymouth until Saturday 4th July 2015 but will continue touring the rest of the country throughout the year, so make sure you catch it when you can- its a show that you definitely won't want to miss! 

Have you seen Dirty Dancing? What did you think?! Let me know by commenting below or tweeting me @LittleEllieMae :)

Have a great day!

Ellie Mae x

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Theatre Royal Plymouth and Dirty Dancing UK Tour for inviting me backstage and to the show. However, all opinions and views are my own. Photo credit to Tristram Kenton. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

My Hair Evolution - Then and Now | LittleEllieMae

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you would have noticed some changes to my hair over the years. I've had ups and downs when it comes to my hair and today I'm going to share my 'hair journey' with you all! 

So this is cute baby Ellie. 
I've shown this photo in my 'Blast From The Past' post that I did a few years ago; I was born with completely blonde hair and until the age of about four years old I stayed blonde. 

After that my hair went darker- more of a mousey blonde colour which always went blonder in the sun!

*cue cringey early teen photos*

When I hit my early teens (and obviously adopted my annoyingly posey hand on hip stance) my hair was really very dark, in comparison to what it was like in my earlier years. 

Just before my sixteenth birthday I went to my local hairdressers to get my hair highlighted as I felt that dark hair washed me out a bit. I gradually went lighter and lighter with more highlights over the year but it then became too expensive for me to keep up in my salon. However, I just adored being a blonde!

I then started dying my hair at home (or rather my Mum started dying my hair... I still don't trust myself to do it yet!). 
I've only ever used 'Nice N Easy' hair dye as its what my Mum has always used and it seems to work well on my hair! Although when switching to a lighter shade recently, it did react with my scalp a bit, I'm definitely used to it now and it gives a great colour. 
However, the hair underneath has always been darker than on top as I only ever got my 'T -section' dyed with highlights, so as you can see from the photos above, the underneath of my hair has always been darker which I don't particularly like... I think it looks like I've attempted to do some dodgy reverse ombre effect!?!

That's when the lovely people over at Bblonde Jerome Russell got in touch with me and kindly sent me their Lightening Spray to test out! 

I've been spraying this product onto my towel dried hair after I've washed it every time for about a month now and its gradually lightened my hair SO much! I've been skeptical over lightening products in the past as they can sometimes leave my hair with a yellowy tint but this one hasn't at all- its given me a fantastic cool- toned lightening effect which I really really love. Its also lightened the underneath of my hair so I no longer have the problem of stripey sections! 

This is my favourite look that I've had my hair like so far! I'm really pleased. 

So that's the story of my evolving hair over the years! I can't wait to see what I'll do next!

Which hair look do you prefer? Let me know by commenting below or tweeting me @LittleEllieMae :)

Have a great day!
Ellie Mae x

Disclaimer- Bblonde Jerome Russell have kindly sent me this product but all thoughts and opinions are my own.