Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Review: Thomas Restaurant at Future Inn Cardiff Bay


{Complimentary meal in return for honest review}

I've had more opportunities to try hotel restaurants this year and I’ve discovered there are a few where the standard of the food is amazing; I’ve recommended them to others and have gone back with friends or family. Thomas Restaurant is the newest one to add to this list.


Thomas Restaurant is located within the Future Inn hotel, which is just across from the Red Dragon centre in Cardiff Bay. I didnt know what to expect - I don't often go to this area of Cardiff, but when I walked up and saw the sparkling lights I was taken aback with how effective it was. The hotel instantly came across as warm and welcoming, with tasteful festive decorations up and friendly staff at reception. There's a bar area leading on to the restaurant, with modern hanging paintings adding a splash of vibrancy to the space.


Their menu has had a big revamp this month and the ‘Taste of Wales’ theme shines through with their traditional dishes with a Welsh twist (Welsh rarebit with rhubarb compote is one starter I need to go back for!). Having spoken to people who have worked on this menu, it's clear that they're passionate about changing people's perceptions of hotel restaurants as being stuffy, lifeless places that are only there for people on business trips. With the new menu, they're are establishing Thomas Restaurant as a standalone restaurant, which happens to be located within a hotel.

Starters

I went for the crispy squid. I can honestly say my dining partner (my mum!) and I agreed that this was the best calamari we’ve had in a long time. Tender on the inside with a light, super crispy coating, it was so more-ish, especially combined with that nice zing from the lemon and a kick from the spicy mayo.


My mum had the game terrine which came with celeriac slaw, and homemade sourdough bread. I was pleased to read that they use local produce throughout the menu, with everything made fresh on-site (even the bread is homemade, makes such a difference!). This plate was a delightful mix of textures and just tasted amazing, it was what I’d have if I go again. Perfect portion size too.


Mains

We both went for the same main course, I go through phases where I really crave a good steak with garlic butter so I couldn't resist. We got the rib eye, served with heirloom tomatoes, roast red onion, tasty fries and sides order of mushrooms to share (really recommend these!) as well as a small salad. We also had the peppercorn sauce which I don't usually like, but I tried a bit of hers and it wasn't too heavy or rich so I did use a bit of this. A really good, filling main course, you can swap chips for smoked cheese mash which was lovely.


Desserts

Feeling very full, I was still keen to try the homemade desserts. Raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake was served with a raspberry and basil sorbet, which I nearly swapped for regular vanilla ice cream because I wasn’t sure about the basil. We agreed that it did work really well and the basil was subtle. This was a super creamy, velvety, melt in the mouth cheesecake with that buttery base with a slight crunch.


We had half of the cheesecake each along with half of the ginger & lime sticking toffee pudding which was beautiful. You can really taste the ginger and a little hint of lime, it wasn’t too stodgy.


I really enjoyed my visit to the Thomas Restaurant and am hoping to go back on a Sunday to check out the Sunday lunch. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you haven't heard of them before but decide to pay them a visit after reading this blog!

View full details on their website at: https://www.futureinns.co.uk/cardiff/restaurant-bar/

Click to view full size menu:




Friday, 1 November 2019

October Social at Head of Steam, Cardiff!



I have been organising my social events free of charge and whilst some are a general drink or coffee catch up, I am open to collaborations too! 
Drop me an email on thelittlecardiffblog@gmail.com if your restaurant/pub/cafe is interested in hosting one of our 2020 events, or if you want to enquire about getting involved (local bakers, local photographers, etc.) or to discuss any other ideas you may have.

Head of Steam were absolute superstars this week as the hosts for my second Little Cardiff Socials event! A couple of months ago, I came up with the idea to bring together the people I interact with on a regular basis on 'the gram' into one room and just put a drink in everyone's hand and see how it went. I'm not a naturally confident person and have struggled with anxiety most of my life, so going out of my comfort zone in this way and testing my organisational skills has been really rewarding, and I've got to meet so many fabulous people too.


The team at HOS were just brilliant and they have been every time I've gone in. Really friendly and laid back, easy to deal with, knowledgeable about the menu and just a delight. Big shout out to Assistant Manager, Luke, who was an angel, and also to the head chef and kitchen staff for putting on such a feast.




I wanted to make this an extra fun event so I had a chat with the venue about a little collaboration and arranged for them to host our group in return for my social media coverage. So, we had the upstairs area to ourselves for the night, plus a showcase of dishes to sample from their new menu. I mentioned to guests that they were welcome to tag the venue if they enjoyed the food. From the amount of posts I saw popping up it was a definite hit :)


If you, a friend, or your office are looking to host an event I HIGHLY recommend booking out this area. It's spacious and as you can see from the images it has it's own very cool style with the decor; love the Welsh-inspired wall! It has enough of a buzz from a bit of music to not be irritating and as a bonus, the toilets are located upstairs which is handy! They're taking Christmas bookings now too.

For large parties they can sort out a buffet (even a fully vegan buffet), help you host beer tasting events and can always offer a variety of drinks packages for other events.

Click here to find out about private hire.



One of the best parts of Head of Steam as a venue is the fact you can bring your dogs with you. They offered cute little water bowls for our canine guests. Now, I don't even own a dog. But I know a couple of the girls from IG have some adorable ones and I wanted an excuse to spend time with them. Being quite a big event and the dogs being pretty energetic, their owners did comment ‘never again’ afterwards, which I begrudgingly respect but secretly hope they change their minds...


When the food came out we were all so peckish and couldn't wait to dig in :)


I have to begin with discussing the vegan dishes. Vegans of Cardiff - you need to go here!!!

So much appreciation for the fact their options are so varied; they’ve made a really strong effort to not just have one token mushroom burger. They use 'Moving Mountains' plant-based alternatives for their meat substitutes. I never even knew vegan duck was a thing! If you don’t like meat substitutes there are options with vegetables or jackfruit too.

Beer battered veg were so lush! I have had tempura veg before and this is similar, but I preferred the taste - less greasy and just more flavoursome. Amazing paired with that smoky mayo.

Selection of vegan dishes
I also really liked these crispy chicken vegan bites. At first I didn't even realise they were vegan. Proper impressed as someone who usually doesn't go for fake meat.

Trio of vegan sliders

Back to the rest of the menu. I absolutely loved the lamb kofta kebab, which is weird cos I always thought I hated lamb kofta. The halloumi one was also lovely. It was hard to share the kebabs so we just got stuck in, pulling off bits of bread and scooping bits of the filling up. My absolute favourite was the chicken burger, the brioche bun was just heavenly, it was like eating a burger wrapped in a fluffy cake. I really rate their food and urge you to pop in and try it for yourself!


If you're wondering about the drinks, HOS specialise in craft beer and real ale from across the globe. A few people bought the cherry beer which they all loved. They have some great deals in their happy hour (above) as well.

Click here for the drinks menu 



It was especially wonderful to see people made some effort with the Halloween theme!!

Events with this many people can be a bit daunting cos of course it is impossible to speak to everyone. What tends to happen is people go into little groups and then mix more over the course of the night. We had a few more people than at my first social so I was a bit nervous but I think it all went well and I hope everyone enjoyed the night. Every time we do one it means we get to know each other a little more in a low key, relaxed environment, and it's always great to see new friendly faces too. Cardiff is a small city and I just think it's nice to be creating good vibes.

Thank you everyone for coming, thanks for all your posts and tags and thanks again to Luke and the Head of Steam Team!!! x







(Click menu to view in full size)



Thursday, 31 October 2019

Review: 9 to 5 The Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre



"I'm just a backwoods Barbie
In a push-up bra and heels
I might look artificial, but where it counts I'm real
Yes I can see how I could be misjudged upon first glance
But even backwoods Barbies deserve a second chance"

Dolly Parton is such a treasure, I've always had a real soft spot for her. After watching an interview or two with Dolly it's impossible not to warm to this smart and savvy businesswoman who has worked her way up from nothing, but always remained humble. She radiates charm and always champions being true to yourself. With Dolly's name at the top of the bright, glittering gold posters dotted around town plus the intriguing addition of a past Love Island winner in one of the main roles, 9 to 5 was a musical I knew I wouldn't want to miss.

9 to 5 features original music and lyrics by Dolly and is based on the 1980 film of the same name. Facing an excruciatingly awful amount of sexism and sexual harassment in work, mostly from their atrocious boss Mr Hart, three female employees end up kidnapping him and taking over the company by themselves. A lot of the content was very fitting for the current social climate, in the wake of what's been going on with the #metoo movement and the on-going issues with gender pay gap. As is touched upon in the show, we've come a long way but there's still, infuriatingly, a long way to go.

It's probably for this reason that the humour in the show didn't sit right with some people in the audience and I do understand why - some parts with the lecherous Hart made me cringe badly and I didn't find them funny at all. I wouldn't say I was offended and I understood that he was meant to be the villain, but when the audience were in hysterics at his gross antics I wasn't feeling it and found those bits quite crass and juvenile (not that my sense of humour is exactly high brow...!).



For me, the funniest parts of the show came from the three female leads, who were enormously talented and a delight to watch. I adored the character of Doralee, played by Georgina Castle. Her take on the lovable but misunderstood Southern blonde captured the spirit of Dolly (who played Doralee in the film) so perfectly. Commendable comic timing too. Caroline Sheen was great as the ballsy, ambitious Violet, a widow who has dreams of becoming the CEO of the business. I enjoyed getting to know her character more as the show went on and we saw a softer side to her as she contemplates letting another man into her life.


Amber Davies was the only actor I was familiar with and she was exceptional as the young and naive Judy. When she belted out "Get Out and Stay Out" all I could think of was how she could kill a number like 'Defying Gravity' or 'On My Own'. For someone so tiny, she was an absolute vocal powerhouse! I think she will go on to do amazing things, she wasn't just an amazing singer but also acted the part so well and made you call in love with Judy as she comes out of her shell and proves herself to be a multi-dimensional character with a super sassy side. Love Island won't be what comes to mind when I hear the name Amber Davies anymore.

Dolly Parton makes a few cameos through pre-recorded video clips and she had me in stitches as well. I particularly loved 'If you liked the show, remember to post about it on social media. If you didn't like it, keep ya mouth shut!'. 

The story-line was entertaining from start to finish. There were touching scenes, there were catchy songs, there were some completely bizarre bits - as I've already mentioned, some of these I wasn't a fan of but I was still entertained. I'd rather be anything but bored in a show and there was nothing about this show that was boring. Choreography and costumes were brilliant and coupled with the slick set design, it felt like it had a really high production value. A very shiny and glitzy show with so much joy and energy to it - I was seriously impressed.


9 to 5 is showing in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre until Saturday 2nd November!


Note - invited in return for press tickets


Thursday, 24 October 2019

Chef Tom Martin - Pop Up at Little Man Coffee Co


A new wave of pop-ups, residencies and supper clubs have been trickling into the Cardiff food scene over the past couple of years and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. At a time where committing to a lease for a permanent restaurant is increasingly tricky, due to the rising costs (we've sadly said goodbye to some cracking restaurants in the city this year), the kitchen takeover is proving to be a viable option for an emerging chef looking to build their brand. I can see the appeal - there’s a huge sense of freedom in it - chefs have complete control over their menu, as well as the ability to test out dishes in an intimate environment, getting face to face feedback.

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I’d noticed Chef Tom Martin's name cropping up over local social media channels throughout the past couple of months. His cooking style has been influenced and shaped through experience in some top London restaurants as well as through his work in kitchens in Cardiff, including Chapel 1877, Manor Parc Country Hotel and Holm House Hotel . He’s been the runner up ‘Junior Chef of Wales’ twice and last year was named Foundation Apprentice of the Year in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. The opportunity to sample his cooking arose when I received the invitation* to attend his third pop up at Little Man Coffee Co, which took place last Friday.

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This time, Tom was showcasing a seven course tasting menu featuring local produce and the finest ingredients of the season. A small room with stark decor and wooden chairs and tables, Little Man Coffee's basement area was warm and well lit, perfect for that contrast of sophisticated food and informal setting. I later found out the the kitchen had been incredibly small, which made the quality of the food even more impressive, considering the space had been less than ideal for a chef cooking so many courses in succession.


Cauliflower & Black Garlic Ketchup

This was the course that sounded least appealing, but I was shocked how much I liked it. Through attending dinners like this where there's a lot of interaction with the chefs, I'm finding out a lot about food and testing my taste-buds with dishes I'd never have chosen to try. I'm a novice with all this, so am also having fun bugging the chefs with my non-stop questions and childlike intrigue. I won't learn if I don't ask...

Tom describes this as a classier spin on cauliflower cheese, made using every part of the vegetable. The florets are used for pickling and roasting, the stems are roasted then puréed with a small amount of potato and chicken stock. The pesto is made from the leaves and then the black garlic and roasted yeast bring the dish together. All of this with that subtle nutty flavour and soft creaminess of the cauliflower - superb.


Slow Proofed Bread, Roast Chicken Butter

Tom told me this course takes him back to his favourite Sunday feast as a child, reminiscing over all those lovely smells at the dinner table; sneaking a crispy bit of skin from the chicken and dipping his mother’s homemade bread in the chicken juice.

The butter, made with rendered chicken fat, was super meaty, smooth and pleasantly salty. I was a fan, but I did find the bread a little too dense and could have done with half of the amount of it, or perhaps if it was sliced thinner. My dining partner disagreed and ate both of his slices plus one of mine.


Roasted Cabbage, Pork Broth, Smoked Snowdonia Cheese

Goodness, that has to be the nicest cabbage I've ever eaten. I am such a weird one with broths, it's a love hate relationship, but I loved this one. Tom adores Asian cuisine and there are elements of this influence throughout the menu, particularly in this dish which hes describes as his tribute to Japanese ramen noodles.

We tasted his Tonkotsu ramen broth, which was made using pork tails, cheeks and trotters. A lot of time and care had gone into this dish; the stock was boiled for 48 hours until the fat had emulsified with the broth, producing a creamy, full-bodied, steaming bowl of goodness. So you get this rich porky taste with the shredded ham hock as well, paired with charred cabbage then topped with smoked cheese, puffed pork skin, fresh coriander and coriander oil.

The sweetness was brought out nicely in the cabbage, there was this beautiful caramelised texture with those charred edges - heavenly. A comforting, hearty dish with amazing flavour.


Poached Cod, Greens & “Tartare Sauce”

The fish course is another nostalgic one, paying homage to happy afternoons when a young Tom would pop across to the local chippy for tea, back in the day where you'd also get scraps for twenty pence a bag. The cod was beautifully tender and melt in the mouth, with that moisture preserved through the gentle cooking process. Capers gave a tangy, sharp pop of flavour to each bite and added to the interesting texture mix with those scraps and greens as well. A simple and stunning dish. I probably shouldn't admit this, but someone on a table to the side of me didn't touch hers as she didn't eat fish, so I just asked if I could eat it and she said sure - happy days.


Welsh Lamb Rump, BBQ Lettuce & Anchovy

The lamb was based on the first dish Tom ever put on a menu, in his role as first Head Chef at the Brook Bistro in Llandaff. This one throws it back to the moments where he started to establish his personal style and creativity in the kitchen.

The lamb was cooked in foaming butter and served alongside a tangy barbecue lettuce, which was cooked in the fat from the lamb for more depth of flavour. There are touches of anchovy and basil in the purée on the side and soy pickled onions are tossed in as another hint towards his Asian inspiration. Lamb fat fried breadcrumbs add to the crispy textures on the outside. The generous layer of fat across the top made for maximum juiciness...I relished every bite, it was possibly my favourite of the evening.



Coffee, Cream & Chocolate 

Tom spoke about how he was always noting that the adults in the room would have coffee and chocolates at the end of the meal. He came to see it as a decadent, grown up treat and incorporated it to the menu here, putting his own twist on things by mixing the two together. I can appreciate it was well done and it was a pleasant chocolatey taste, light and not too rich, but it wasn’t my kind of dessert (I usually would opt for cheese).


Pear, Nuts & Berries

The final dish of the night was my preferred of the two desserts. Tom designed this as a sweet, dressed salad with the pears as one ingredient rather than the main component. The pears are poached, puréed and pickled and mixed in with the marinated berries, berry purée and berry granita. Topping it off are nut cream, toasted nuts and winter berry powder. A vibrant, delicious and striking dish that worked well as the finale when we were full and winding down.

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Priced at £40 per person, I believe this is fair for what you get for your money. I had a really lovely night, for me it was all pretty spot on. I also much prefer the ambiance here when trying this type of tasting menu, rather than a stuffy, overly formal restaurant. I would highly recommend keeping your eye out for whatever Tom gets up to next.

Tom's next event is fully sold out - he'll be at Mr Brightsides on 7th November serving up a 7 course welsh showcase. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Notes:
  • *I was invited to dine in return for social media coverage of the night. I was not required to be positive in my review, nor was I obliged even write a full blog, but I loved it so much I felt it deserved it.
  • I referenced this source for the first part of this write up.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Review: On Your Feet! At the Wales Millennium Centre


'On Your Feet!' is an interesting one! A biographical jukebox musical based on the life of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio; I must admit I thought this was a surprising choice for a UK run. Speaking with people of varying ages and backgrounds before attending on the night, none of them could name a Gloria Estefan song, least of all me. After reading into it, it sounds as though whilst she has sold over 120 million records worldwide across a 40 year career, her fanbase over here is rather niche - so a slightly risky choice for a musical. Nevertheless, it looked to be a fun, energetic show and I was keen to find out how well her story lent itself to a dramatic adaptation. 'On Your Feet!' proved to be a lively, uplifting musical, but was overall quite patchy and it won't be one that will stick in my mind.


We meet a young Gloria who resides in Miami with her mother, father and sisters having fled revolutionary Cuba. Much of Gloria's time is spent studying and caring for her father, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Gloria has a passion for singing and she quickly abandons her studies when she meets the charismatic Emilio Estefan, who ropes her into becoming the front-woman in his band, the Miami Sound Machine. Over time, they fall in love and become a force to be reckoned with, determined to succeed in crossing over from the Latin charts to America. They face obstacles along the way to the top, most notably the racism and prejudice from local DJs and record companies refusing to take them seriously. 


Philippa Stefani played the lead role as a very cheery and spirited Gloria Estefan. From what I've seen on Youtube of the real Gloria since watching the show, Stefani did her justice, giving a compelling portrayal of Gloria's ambition and tenacity, as well as her more timid and reserved side. George Ioannides as Emilio was very good in his role too, particularly in his more humorous moments. 

A couple of the cast members with supporting roles were favourites for me though. Karen Mann as Consuelo provided heaps of comic relief as Gloria’s beloved grandmother; Mann had the audience chuckling every time she was on the stage. But Madalena Alberto as Gloria’s mother (also named Gloria) was the most captivating and talented actress, singer and dancer by a mile. She outshone Gloria, with a much more powerful voice, demonstrating a magnetic stage presence when she came into her own in her flashback sequence. Many of the songs in this musical sounded really samey, pleasant to listen to but nothing that wow-ed me, but Alberto has so much talent that her impassioned performances were riveting enough to keep your eyes glued to her every move. 

Her character was the most layered and complex too. She’s full of love for her daughter but harbours a resentment which ultimately pulls them apart for two years. We also see her managing a household whilst struggling to care for her ill partner and later managing through the pain of his death. Maybe a show about her mother would have been better! 


Musical director Danny Belton and his band were brilliant and I loved the scenes where you could view the whole band and their instruments in full, slap bang in the centre of the stage. They were exceptional at delivering the Latin pop numbers and punchy Cuban beats with a flawless sound that effectively transported you to another time and place.

"Conga" at the end of Act One was the most exhilarating performance of the night and it had us in stitches when the cast came out into the audience, collecting people to get up and join the conga line. A handful of other upbeat songs really ignited the stage but most of the ballads dragged on and fell flat for me. It seemed if the writers intended us to feel really emotionally invested by just chucking in some sentimental songs, but it just didn’t feel authentic enough - with one exception. During ‘If I Never Got To Tell You’, Ioannides' voice was complemented beautifully by Madalena Alberto as their characters sang about forgiveness and learning to accept and understand each other. ‘Wrapped’ which followed this was my favourite song in this musical, I was engrossed in the beauty of that  performance and found it to have a very haunting and serene vibe. 


'On Your Feet!' was entertaining and provided us with a fantastic night out, but this musical did not set my world on fire, due to the thin plot and songs which didn't grab me. I didn't become fully absorbed in it, though there were a lot of laughs, delightful choreography and some great vocal performances. I hope this review doesn't come across too negative and I fully appreciate the hard work that goes into all musicals - I also don’t claim to have any hands-on experience or qualifications in musical theatre whatsoever! But opinions are opinions, and I suppose we are all entitled to them. If you're an EsteFAN - I'm sure you will be in your element with this exuberant show.

*Invited to the press night, in return for blog review*

Tickets are still available for this show. Click below to find out what's on at the WMC:



Thursday, 17 October 2019

Review: Grease the Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre


Sandy's a brunette, the T-birds are the Burger Palace boys and 'We Go Together' comes on in the middle of the story, rather than right at the end. Have they taken our most beloved musical film and messed it around just to annoy us? Nope....Grease (in case you didn't know already, in which case apologies for sounding so patronising) in fact debuted on Broadway a fair few years before it became the 1978 classic we are all so fond of. The 2019 stage version is a brilliant amalgamation of the more saccharine on-screen adaptation and its grittier, more stripped-back predecessor, which blew me away when I attended the press night earlier this week. If you get the chance, I urge you to book tickets at the Wales Millennium Centre, there are still some left for the matinees.

Photo I took during the mega mix at the end!

I adored how this version of the story felt like more of the ensemble cast, it wasn't the Sandy and Danny show. Time on stage was dedicated to most of the cast in the form of solo songs or small scenes, so we get to know the Burger Palace Boys and The Pink Ladies better, as well as other supporting cast members including frumpy teacher Miss Lynch and peppy cheerleader Patty Simcox. Every single performance brought something to the table and I thought it all came together wonderfully.


Louis Gaunt as Kenickie stood out as the best male in this performance. I popped to the toilets during the interval and heard a group of women commenting that he should have been picked to play the lead role of Danny, which I fully agree with! The only thing I can think of as a reason for why they didn't go down this route is that Kenickie sings ‘Greased Lightnin'’ and maybe they knew Gaunt would give the most stellar performance of this song. Really high energy with excellent dance skills – he brought so much to this role and you definitely warmed to Kenickie more than Danny.



Peter Andre and Samantha Mumba have had cameos as Teen Angel ('Beauty School Dropout') throughout this run of Grease . I was slightly miffed that we didn't get one, but Darren Bennett was actually an impressive singer and portrayed both Teen Angel and over-friendly radio host Vince Fontaine really well, getting lots of laughs from the audience too. Fair play to him for helping to make my most hated song of the film version into something so captivating and visually stunning on stage.


Eloise Davies as Frenchy, Natalie Woods as Jan and Tara Sweeting as Marty were fantastic in their roles. The Pink Ladies were much more fully fleshed out as individuals than they are in the film. They smashed their solos! The character of Frenchy was identical to the girl you’ll be familiar with (including the distinctive voice!); Tara Sweeting brought the character's kind and gentle nature to life. 


Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky as Rizzo delivered an absolutely outstanding, radiant performance as the brash, unapologetic, misunderstood queen of the Pink ladies. When I was younger, film Rizzo was my least favourite; the complexity of her character and the issues of feminism and 'slut shaming' she stood for were completely lost on me. It's only when you get older that you realise she's amazing, with her tough, brash exterior put on to cover up the fact that deep down, she experiences loneliness and vulnerability, just like any other teenager.

When McCaulsky belted out 'There Are Worse Things I Could Do', it just felt so ‘big’and breathtaking; tragic and heartfelt, sang with a beautiful tone and each lyric full of meaning. Her 'Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee' was bloody dazzling as well. Honestly could not keep my eyes off this woman!


I really liked Martha Kirby as Sandy, she had a gorgeous voice and she played the part well. She shone in 'Hopelessly Devoted to You' which gave me chills and when she and Danny sang 'Summer Nights' it was her side of the stage I was transfixed by, rather than his. I don’t want to discredit Dan Partridge as Danny, you can tell he does have talent, but he was overshadowed by other characters. He didn’t stand out much and I feel as though the lead male should have had more of an impact.

If I have to give further negative criticisms, I would say the end reveal of Sandy in her new leather get up (yes..it still ends the same way as the film and yes...it's a really silly and lazy ending which must be taken with a pinch of salt!) is a bit of an anti-climax. 'You’re the One That I Want' was the only song I thought they could have jazzed up and made more explosive.


This musical brings a fresh take on the story we all know and love. It's more gutsy with an energetic cast and superb choreography (by the legendary Arlene Phillips) bringing more heart to the story in a way the film didn't quite manage to - that's my opinion and I know many people will disagree!

If you go in not having done your research, expecting a carbon copy of the film with the exact same timeline and song placements, be prepared to be let down. But even if you are a die-hard fan of the movie...why not have a more open mind? Not everything has to be done exactly the same way over and over, all the time...that would be so boring!

Last but not least, this review would not be complete without mentioning the hugely talented Musical Director Neil MacDonald and his ensemble. There are some songs you most likely won't have heard before as they didn't make it into the film, but they slot in perfectly and are good songs in their own right. Hearing the spectacular score with professional singers gave me a lot more appreciation for how 'electrifyin' the songs in Grease truly are.

Grease will be touring again in 2020 if you don't manage to catch it here in Cardiff this year. It's a must-see...go!!!!

Coming soon to the WMC (reviews to come!):





Top Local Bakers in Cardiff

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