West end girl

IMG_9167Isabelle made her West End debut a week ago today at the Novello Theatre, current home of Mamma Mia.

It’s an iconic theatre and we were flanked by famous name shows – The Lion King and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – and famous names, Iz was performing across the street from Jessica Rabbit and Emperor Palpatine AKA Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid.

Iz was on stage to help celebrate ten years of Make Believe, the theatre school that she is part of on a Saturday morning in Southend. And she loved it, and she was a proper little star.

After we got up to London we had to leave her at the stage door, complete with snazzy blue t-shirt exclusive to the Southend school, along with the rest of her classmates, or should that be castmates? With the number of phones and cameras going off you’d have thought that they were all famous, and they all took it completely in their stride. If Iz had a sharpie I’m sure she’d have been signing her name as well!

And so we settled down for the show, awaiting Isabelle’s three appearances, for the songs Blame it on the Boogie, Truly Scrumptious and A Whole New World, all from West End shows or from Disney.

When she remembered, or wasn’t just gawping at the singers on stage, Iz was the consummate professional and performed with gusto, especially the bum wiggles and arm movements. I must admit that during her second performance I even had a proud Dad tear in my eye, thankfully it was dark, but it really was special to see her up there on that stage – as it was for Sarah, Grandma and Rosemary – in front of all of those people, especially as she had only ever set foot on it just an hour earlier.

IMG_9216And of course, her leading man throughout the show was Thomas, who seemed quite the item prior to the show. Perhaps these darlings are the new Burton and Taylor or Ken and Em? They’ll have a spread in Hello next!

Like most things with Iz, she just took the whole day in her stride and just had lots of fun. So, if this turns out to be Isabelle’s debut and curtain call in the West End she’ll always be able to say that she has done it, and after all, to paraphrase Will Shakespeare, all the world’s a stage.

IMG_9235To congratulate Iz on her triumph, post show we all celebrated with coffee and cake, next stop the Olivier awards (perhaps).

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The Newman Files

The_Rockford_Files_(title_screen)Sarah and Iz were away for the week recently and I came back into the living room to find the nice surprise of an answer machine message from Isabelle the night before they were coming home.

Listening back to it, for some reason it just reminded me of the opening of The Rockford Files, so I decided to create a mini homage to it, all the more fitting now obviously since the death of Jim Rockford himself, James Garner.

I even created the card order as closely as I could, although something tells me the original wasn’t done with Ben & Jerry’s playing cards – complete with cows as Kings, Queens and Jacks – which I had to use to fill in the blanks.

As far as title sequences go The Rockford Files is as cool as they come, I’ve only recreated the beginning phone sequence, but the photo stills montage is a classic, cue harmonica.

And here’s the original…

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Iz brings me sunshine

IMG_6529It’s been a day of changeable weather today and on the way to (a soon to be aborted) a trip to the park Iz came across a poster of the forthcoming stage show, Morecambe, based on the life of Eric Morecambe.

Iz took an instant delight to the ‘silly man’ and proceeded to emulate him of sorts. It is, after all, a family tradition of sorts as my dad always used to try and get me with the catching nothing in a paper bag trick and I used to do the whole glasses up and down move when I was in junior school.

I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before she is copying Harry Worth’s shop window stunt or hanging off a clock face Harold Lloyd-style.

Of course, the most pressing question is that does this mean that I am the one with the short, fat, hairy legs? That makes this the blog what I wrote then.

Thankfully we didn’t have to emulate Morecambe and Wise’s Singin’ in the Rain skit as we headed back home just as the heavens opened, the rainy weather theme continued though, of sorts, as in the warmth we slapped on Mary Poppins. We could have certainly done with her brolly.

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Stars in Their Iz: Guinness ad homage is pure genius

How it came about, I’m not really sure, but somehow Isabelle ended up jumping over both Sarah and I laying on the bed. She loved it in some crazy Evel Knievel style way, thankfully stopping short of jumping over the pair of us on fire for the added danger (us on fire not Iz).

Iz certainly floated through the air with the greatest of ease…with a rather spectacular landing, which she managed to carry off again and again, hitting her mark each and everytime.

Her prepping and getting ready for the perfect moment to leap reminded me of the classic Guinness advert with the surfers and the horses in the waves from 1998, which has to be one of the best adverts ever. With that in mind I decided to pay homage to that very advert, right down to the moody black and white.

Okay, so instead of the pint of Guinness glass I used an empty drinks cup with the lid acting as the head and black paper representing the pint. Does that make Sarah and I the horses? Here is the classic original that still packs an adrenaline punch today.

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Raid-Iz of the Lost Superm-Ark-et

raidersShe may not have been wearing the brown leather jacket or the fedora but Iz certainly had a bullwhip cracking good time on a short jaunt to the supermarket.

She rode on the front of our trolley just like the intrepid Indiana Jones hanging on the front of the Mercedes truck in Raiders of the Lost Ark (minus the being thrown through the windscreen bit that saw him get there in the first place of course).

She was continuing a long-standing family tradition (sort of) as my brother and I had hung off one of the actual trucks at some war film vehicle display attraction when we were younger – and yes, I do have photos somewhere. Knowing me we probably ‘threw’ each other out of the window as well.

imagesCAXXRIKKBack to the supermarket trolley, I unfortunately just wasn’t quick enough to snap Iz produce her skipping rope and perform the Yakima Canutt Stagecoach-inspired stunt, where Iz climbs down the front of a moving trolley, slides to the back end of the moving trolley dragged along by her rope, and climbs onto the back of the trolley. Cue Raid-Iz March.

untitledAsking Iz whether she’d planned such an elaborate stunt all along, she shrugged her shoulders and said: “I’m making this up as I go along.”

Coming soon: Isabelle Newman and the Tesco of Doom?

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Easter…the time of miracles

izdressThe miracle in question was getting Isabelle in a dress!

I don’t think we’ve seen Iz in a dress since we went on the cruise last year but she was quite happy striking a pose on the runway (read that as the travelator at Sainsburys) as if she were about to board a plane to some sunny clime (we wish).

She’d spotted the girls next door wearing pretty dresses so wanted to do the same and was keen to don her pretty flower dress, which she also wore to hospital to brighten up Grandma’s day when we went to go and see her.

Naturally, she accessorized it with her Anxious the Elephant and a pair of matching blue sunglasses. Not sure what Joan Rivers would have made of it but it got the thumbs up from us.

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The slipper and the rose

photoI asked Isabelle if she could fetch my slippers from the living room and this is how they – well one of them at least – were presented.

She bounded down the hallway Rhubarb and Custard style with single slipper dangling from her mouth, I can confirm that there were no teeth marks in it though.

Looking at the picture though Iz is more Fred Bassett meets the girl crawling out of the TV in The Ring.

Iz was soon tucked up in her bed, no doubt dreaming of chasing rabbits or something, whilst I hobbled round Verbal Kint-like looking for my missing slipper.

The greatest trick my daughter ever pulled was convincing the world that my right foot slipper never existed.

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