Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Love Letters Starring Ryan O'Neal And Ali MacGraw At Nottingham Theatre Royal PREVIEW

Hollywood comes to Nottingham this November when acting legends Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal hit the Theatre Royal stage in the critically-acclaimed play Love Letters.

The play sees the reunion of the two actors who first appeared together in the Oscar-winning 1970 film Love Story which spawned the famous quote, "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

After training as a professional boxer and working as a stuntman, Ryan O' Neal's first major television role was in Peyton Place and he was chosen from more than 300 hopefuls for the role of Oliver Barrett in Love Story opposite Ali MacGraw who began her career as an assistant on Harper's Bazaar and whose acting career began with the leading role of Brenda Patamkin in Goodbye Columbus.

Love Story was a huge success and landed O’Neal both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Ali MacGraw an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe award.

After Love Story Ryan O'Neal starred in the comedy What's Up Doc with Barbra Streisand and the Oscar-winning Paper Moon with his daughter Tatum whilst Ali MacGraw starred in The Getaway with Steve McQueen.

‘I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing two such huge stars to the UK in this wonderful and moving play. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are true Hollywood legends and it will be very special indeed to see them live on stage together' said Love Letters producer David Ian.

Transferring to the UK following a Broadway run and a sell-out US Tour, celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney’s enduring romance tells the story of a love affair lasting over 50 years. Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (O’Neal) wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner (MacGraw) to tell her she looked like a lost princess when they were both seven years old. Through personal triumphs, despair, wars, marriages, children and careers, they poured out their heartfelt secrets to each other defying a fate that schemed to keep them apart.

Love Letters is at Nottingham Theatre Royal from Monday 27th November to 2nd December 2017. Ticket prices, times and booking details are available on the Theatre Royal website here

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Celebrate Chinese New Year At Nottingham Lakeside Arts

Photography by Yuan-Hsiung Wang & Xue Qian

Officially beginning on Saturday 28 January, celebrate the Year of the Rooster in 2017 with traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural events at Nottingham Lakeside Arts which people of all ages can participate in and enjoy.

Led by Dragon Dancers and in a spectacular world premiere, Nottingham-based digital artist Barret Hodgson will illuminate Nottingham University's iconic Trent Building with Jixiang (Propitious) a visual feast of digital projections which capture contemporary and traditional elements of Chinese art and culture. There will be six different opportunities to see the projection over the course of two nights on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January. The event is FREE but booking is essential.

Visitors to Lakeside Arts can also enjoy a FREE photography exhibition in the Wallner Gallery by Yuan-Hsiung Wang and Xue Qian of traditional artisans in South West China ahead of the New Year projections. And there is the opportunity to create your own piece of art in the Chinese Brush Painting For Beginners workshops with visiting artist from Ningbo Jiang Hongsheng.

For more details and dates of events, please visit Lakeside’s website here or call the Box Office on 0115 846 7777

Image by Barret Hodgson 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Nottingham Independents Festival

Photo by Mark Fear

Fantastic and fabulous events will be taking place around Nottingham on Saturday October 1st and most of them are FREE! 

From pizza and doughnut eating contests to fudge tastings and treasure hunts with fire-eaters, singing princesses and a Bubbleologist thrown in for good measure, the It’s In Nottingham Independent Festival, organised by the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), will be taking over the city with five stages in different locations across the city centre with free entertainment happening from 10.00am until 4.30pm. There will also be pop up events taking place at various independent shops, bars and businesses around the city for people to enjoy as well as some exclusive offers.

Below is a selection of the events that will be on offer. There will be even more happening on the day on the five stages set up around the city: one on King Street, one on Chapel Bar, one on Carlton Square, one on Pelham Street and one on Middle Pavement.

Death By Pizza - Suede
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 14:00 - 14:30
Price: Free
Details: How fast can you eat a 14-inch spicy pizza? Find out at the Suede pizza eating contest! The participant with the fastest time wins one month of free pizza from Suede! Turn up to the Carlton Square stage to be in with a chance of being one of the lucky few to enter.

The Public Vs The Doughnuts - The Nottingham Doughnut Co.
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 14:00
Price: Free
Details: Visit the Notingham Doughnut company Facebook page to enter and you could be one of the lucky four that will battle it out for the title of Doughnut champion. The winner will be the quickest to eat 20 glazed doughnuts and will win one of the Nottingham Doughnut Co.'s famous 14" doughnuts.

Free Fudge Tasting Session - The Treat Kitchen
Location: The Treat Kitchen
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: The Treat Kitchen would like to invite the people of Nottingham to come in and try their signature cream and butter fudge. All The Treat Kitchen’s fudge is made on site in the Nottingham store. Plenty of flavours to choose from such as salted caramel, cherry Bakewell and chocolate orange.

The Flying Horse Treasure hunt - Flying Horse Walk
Location: Flying Horse Walk
Time: 9:00 - 17:30
Price: Free
Details: Tell us how many pewter horses with a purple ribbon round their necks you can find hidden in the windows of our great independent shops and be in with a chance of winning an exclusive goody bag full of surprises provided by the businesses taking part.

The “Dawg Eat Dog” Chilli Dog Eating Competition - Last Chance Saloon
Location: Last Chance Saloon
Time: 15:00
Price: £15
Details: You could win a rare bourbon and a £125 cash prize. Pick up your ticket from Last Chance Saloon.

FREE Bare minerals mini makeup and complimentary drink at the cocktail bar - Beauty Temple
Location: Beauty Temple
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: Call and book for this amazing experience on the 1st October-places are limited so book quickly.

Outdoor Golf Course - Lost City Adventure Golf
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: Turn up and show your skills plaing outdoor golf in this unique course.

Pancake Party Family Morning - Cafe Sobar
Location: Cafe Sobar
Time: 9:30 - 11:30
Price: Free
Details: Children and their families can make their own crazy pancakes, prizes will be awarded for the ‘wackiest’ pancakes.

Fatboy Lamzac Demonstration - The Worm That Turned
Location: Chapel Bar Stage
Time: 14:10 or 15:25
Price: Free
Details: Try out an ingenious and gorgeously comfortable new outdoor inflatable seat, seen at festivals throughout the UK this summer - The Lamzac as demonstrated by Nottingham’s only stockist; The Worm that Turned (on Derby Road). Get expert tips on the best way to inflate without looking like an idiot, plus special spot prizes for lucky attendees!

Batik Demonstration with Louise from Missmac Designs - Focus Gallery
Location: Focus Gallery
Time: 1:30 - 3:30
Price: Free
Details: Come and see how Batiks are created using wax resist techniques with traditional tools and techniques. Creating beautiful colours and designs from an age old process in a contemporary style.

Coffee, Cake & Culture - The Specialty Coffee Shop
Location: The Specialty Coffee Shop
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Price: £15
Details: Witness talent coming together for an evening of pure fun and entertainment. Acts include musician Nathaniel Shaw, comedian Gary Wayne and musical exhibition from Courtney Dacres. Also enjoy amazing food and mocktails over the evening.

Ignition - Volt Nightclub
Location: King Street Stage
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: A pyrotechnic infused dance show brought to you by Volt Club in the Lace Market. (Fire Breathers, Angle Grinders, and Stilt Walkers!) Accompanied by a DJ.

The National Videogame Arcade Presents "Mario The Musical" Medley - NVA
Location: King Street Stage
Time: 12:30
Price: Free
Details: The world’s most famous Italian plumber and friends take to the stage to perform songs from their hit show Mario the Musical, featuring all your favourite characters.

Vegan Cocktail & Cake Taster - Debbie Bryan
Location: Debbie Bryan
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Price: £35
Details: Enjoy an array of deliciously tailored cocktails matched to locally baked vegan sweet and savoury treats. My Sight Nottinghamshire are also supporting with raffle tickets; past prizes include Cream Tea for Two and bottles of exquisite wines.

Meet the Maker ‘Be Independent, Be Creative’ - Made in Nottingham
Location: Upper mall, intu Broadmarsh
Time: 10:30 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: a day of events, info, advice and ‘have a go’ workshops with the designer makers in the Made in Nottingham artisan collective and other Indie Retailers.

Purple Dot Day - Derby Road independents
Location: Derby Road
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: Derby Road businesses have an event, offer or promotion on the day. Each offer will be different and full details can be found inside. Look out for the Purple Dot Day posters in windows and purple balloons to find out what's in store.

Free Cookie Day - CookieShake
Location: CookieShake
Time: From midday
Price: Free
Details: Cookieshake will be giving away a total of 200 free cookies, 1 with every purchase, from midday.

DUKKI Dialect Treasure Hunt - DUKKI Designs
Location: Citywide
Time: 10:00 onwards
Price: £2 per person or £6 for a team of 4
Details: Discover the landmarks of Nottingham, and the way we talk, on this journey through Nottingham city centre, starting from the Dukki Shop in the Broadmarsh Shopping centre, and ending at the DUKKI shop on St James’ Street. Prizes will be won for the most correctly answered questions, so take your time! Winner will be announced via social media, once all teams have returned their answer sheets. The route involves some hills, but is wheel chair friendly.

Check the It's in Nottingham website for all the activities that are taking place -

Thursday, 25 August 2016


Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state and then Bazinga! Nine years ago the lovably smart-funny, so-uncool-they're-cool science-geek version of Friends THE BIG BANG THEORY exploded onto our telly screens with a hilarious wallop. Still going strong, the merry mix of PHDs, soft, warm kitties, drive-you-nuts moms, takeaway food and social awkwardness led by brainy anti-sex symbol male icon of our times Sheldon Cooper is now into its ninth gloriously-nerdy season.

Season Nine sees brilliant physicists and roommates Drs. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) back once again for a new set of adventures. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship, Leonard believes he's finally found true love with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and they have finally got engaged. Even Sheldon has found a female companion, entering into a "Relationship Agreement" with neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), before she asked him for a break and everything changed and the story continues alongside their ever-expanding universe of friends, including fellow scientists Raj (Kunal Nayyar), Howard (Simon Helberg) and Howard's adorable microbiologist wife, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch),

THE BIG BANG THEORY Season Nine is out now on Digital HD and available on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 29th August 2016.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang At Nottingham Theatre Royal REVIEW

Tootling merrily into town with a bang on a twelve day flying visit, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang winged its way into Nottingham's Theatre Royal, turning heads with a melodious sugar-rush helluva ride.

With Toot Sweets ingeniously on sale in the foyer and starring the cherubically-curly, sweet-like-chocolate-voiced Lee Mead plus Cindy and Barry outta EastEnders as the evil CHILL-drrren hating Baron and Baroness Bomburst, this stage production takes on a different visual style and slightly later era than the film version, with a motor-biking Truly Scrumptious, violet and purple coloured costume schemes plus added girl dancers also showing what they can do with an ol' bamboo.

It's a successfully super-fun high-energy show, from the imaginative wrap-around projections with Dad's Army style animations to the crackpot inventions to the cracker performances by the show-nicking delightfully naughty comedian spies Boris and Goran to the father-of-all-childhood nightmares, the malevolently cloak-whirling ultra-villain Child Catcher. Carrie Hope Fletcher is a charming and exquisitely-voiced Truly Scrumptious blending into delicious musical concoctions with Lee Mead's endearingly-paternal Caractacus Potts in Doll On A Music Box, whilst a lacklustre Chu-Chi Face is acquitted by a boomingly, bloomingly brilliant Roses Of Success commandingly led by Andy Hockley as a top-notch Grandpa Potts, yes siree.

An incredible, edible sweetie of a show, confidentially, we recommend you fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumper night - with mouthfuls of cheers.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at Nottingham Theatre Royal until May 29. Full details can be found on the Theatre Royal website here

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Nottingham Fashion Week Style Show Live REVIEW

Photo by Laura Patterson
Nottingham's inaugural Fashion Week concluded this weekend with catwalk Style Shows at the beautiful Old Museum building in Nottingham Conference Centre.

Showcasing Spring/Summer 2016 fashions and trends from key national High Street retailers including River Island, House of Fraser, Topshop, Next and Karen Millen, the live shows were hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, Nottingham's very own Alice Levine.

Alice Levine Photo by Laura Patterson

"I think it's a really nice showcase for Nottingham and with fifty retailers represented on the catwalk, it's so nice to see it all in motion." said Alice. "Nottingham is such a great city to shop in and Fashion Week is really celebrating what's here. Whenever I come back to Nottingham I always shop. I've always shopped in vintage and retro shops, love Hockley but also where my mum and dad are in Beeston, the charity shops are amazing, I probably shouldn't tell you, but Sue Ryder is the best!

Photo by Laura Patterson

"With fashion, I know what I like and it's hard to avoid trends if you shop on the high street, you're inadvertently picking up on things, so the vintage thing is nice, you can freshen something up with one piece and not be the same as everyone else. I really like the silhouettes from the 60s, I really like A-line shapes, the long sleeves and high necks."

Key trends on show included boho folksy prints mixed with fringing, suede, denim and ethnic jewellery, the perennially popular monochrome and nautical looks and a big colour-clash finale with hot pinks, orange and this season's must-have yellow.

You can see more photos in glorious technicolor on our Facebook page here

Photo by Laura Patterson

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Belgian Restaurant Belgo To Open In Nottingham

Nottingham is to be be the location for moules, frites and bieres brand Belgo's first restaurant outside of the capital. Opening in Nottingham’s Lace Market on 6th April 2016 following a £550k refurbishment project, the two floor 180 seater restaurant will create 40 new local jobs.

The restaurant specialises in fresh mussels, which are rope grown, grit free and fully sustainable from the Shetland Islands. Traditionally served the Belgian way in mega mussel pots and cooked to order with frites and mayo, there are 13 mussel flavours to choose from whilst the rest of the menu spans Belgian classics like carbonade (slow cooked ox cheeks in Belgian beer), wild boar sausage and stoemp mash as well as freshly grilled lobster, rotisserie chicken and home-made slaw plus giant pickled gherkins. All the steaks (and burgers) are premium British beef, freshly chargrilled and the frites are doubled cooked. Desserts are Belgian waffles or crepes, homemade and cooked to order.

Situated on Weekday Cross in the Lace Market area, diners can expect quirky feature lighting, big banquette seating, reclaimed wood booths, eclectic artwork and a totally refreshed exterior complete with heaters and a ‘Belgian market’ theme with more than 52 bottled craft Belgian beers, served all day every day. Every craft bottled beer has its own particular, uniquely shaped glass or eclectic drinking-vessel including Brugse Zot  made at the famous Halve Maan Brewery in Bruges and which isn't available anywhere else in Nottingham.

“We’re delighted to be creating a new Belgo home in Nottingham. It’s such a fantastic, cosmopolitan city and we hope our bold, Belgian dining and drinking experience will fit right in. We can’t wait to open our doors on Wednesday 6 April” said Amber Staynings, Belgo Head of Marketing,

Belgo Restaurant will open at 9 Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB Phone: 0115 9241765

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Grimes At Nottingham Rock City REVIEW

Following a year in which St Vincent and Julia Holter have pushed the boundaries of possibility for female songwriters and on International Women’s Day with its theme of “Step it Up”, it was an auspicious moment for Grimes’s karmic thermal to drift into Nottingham.

The takeaway? A night of contradictions from an artist of contradictions.

A champion of DIY bedroom synth pop who commands £250 a ticket for a performance from fundraisers at the Guggenheim and who works through revered indie label 4AD but is managed by Jay Z’s global megabrand; such contradictions carried through into her Rock City show last night.

The presence of talented-in-her-own-right backing singer HANA and dancers didn’t prevent Grimes from so much owning the stage as establishing a totalitarian regime simultaneously playing guitar, programming keyboards, singing, and ricocheting to all corners like a technicolour Rorschach test.

Apparently spontaneous yet ruthlessly choreographed, the multi-lingual former Neuroscience undergraduate (“This one’s in Russian!") went, however, from strident confidence in performance to engaging nervousness in her asides to the audience, succeeding in shifting the impression she projected from sleazy to demure in the process.

The set list was dominated by her last two albums with the throbbing bass line intro to Genesis bookended by - her own favourite from Art Angels - Kill vs Maim, but with the audience ready to carry on all night a final contradiction; promptly after 60 minutes the shutters came down and no encore.

”Too stressful” they were advised.

It added up to an experience that was simultaneously brilliant and unsatisfactory, but ultimately it would take the hardest of hearts not to succumb to the quality and sheer audacity of Grimes’s work which are the product of an intelligent and original talent.

A review of YouTube demonstrates the evolution of her live performance; quite how she will transition to the next step of festivals and stadia remains to be seen but will be fascinating to watch.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Nottingham Fashion Week PREVIEW

Emily from Blake Models wearing clothes from John Lewis
Nottingham, prepare to get your glam fashionista on for seven whole days of fabulousness next month when the first ever Fashion Week hits the city from Friday 22 April to Saturday 30 April 2016.

Nottingham's annual 48 Hours Of Fashion event organised by It's In Nottingham and the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) will this year extend for the first time to a full Fashion Week in association with Nottingham's Creative Quarter. The event will take place in several venues around the city and various shows are to be hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, Nottingham’s very own Alice Levine.

Alice Levine
“I am really looking forward to being a part of the first ever Nottingham Fashion Week. It is a real honour to be involved in an event in my hometown,” said Alice. “Fashion is a huge part of Nottingham’s heritage and the city is renowned for its great mix of independents, vintage stores and high end boutiques. There is also a great range of the top national high street shops.

"I am thrilled to be hosting the Style Shows on the 29th and 30th April and excited to see the latest looks from the city’s amazing line-up of shops.”

Nottingham Fashion Week will be dedicated to showcasing the very best of the city's fashion from local designers and independent and national retailers, with various events and activities taking place. New College Nottingham will also be taking part with a variety of flash mob activities popping up at different locations throughout the week to showcase the talent of local students, bringing the city to life with music, performance and dance.

Nottingham Conference Centre’s Old Museum building will be transformed into the ‘Fashion Theatre’ for It’s In Nottingham’s spectacular Style Show Live on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April, presented by Alice Levine. The 48 hour long event will showcase the latest Spring/Summer '16 trends and collections from a host of Nottingham’s independents and high street retailers.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, there will be style presentations taking place throughout the day on Saturday 30 April at The Contemporary on Weekday Cross with fashion advice from style experts on such topics as how to buy and wear vintage, the best fashion for different body shapes and advice on wedding wear given during the shows.

The style presentations taking place at The Contemporary on Saturday 30 April are ticketed but free to attend and will be available shortly.

Standard tickets for the Style Shows on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April at Nottingham Conference Centre cost £5, which includes a goody bag that can be collected from intu Victoria Centre and access to special retailer offers and activities.

VIP tickets are available at £12 and include a reserved front row seat and a £5 voucher to spend in the city’s intu shopping centres.

Tickets for the Creative Quarter’s Nottingham Indie Fashion Showcase can be obtained by emailing -

You can find out more about all the events taking place during Nottingham Fashion Week on their webiste on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NottmFW

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Loom Nottingham Bar And Grill REVIEW

I could feel hints of spring in the cool February air as I headed to High Pavement to sample the new spring menu at The Loom Nottingham. The Loom is a new bar and restaurant which opened about three months ago and joins the many bars and restaurants that have made the Lace Market their home. But in this reviewer's opinion, it is a cut above many that I have visited.

Inside the doorway we were greeted by our waitress Kristen who gave us a warm welcome. The first section of the dining area was very light, with huge windows onto High Pavement through which you can watch the world go by. We were seated in the second part of the dining area which is beautifully atmospheric with low lighting with fairy lights next to our table to add a bit of twinkle. I explored a little further and to the back of the building is a chilled-out bar area with sofas and a small stage, perfect to while away a few hours, drinking and chatting to friends or listening to bands in the evening. I had been inside this building in its previous incarnation as a cafe and business centre and I must say the transformation is astounding. It has gone from white plastered walls and quite an “office” feeling to beautiful exposed brick and natural wood. They even discovered a window that had been plastered over.

I had the beef with creamed mash, fine beans and maple roasted carrots and shallots. The beef was superbly cooked, my knife cut through it easily and it was juicy and succulent. The carrots and shallots had a lovely sweet tang and the creamy mash melted in my mouth. Absolutely stunning food from a chef with obvious expertise and a delicate touch. My companion ordered Derbyshire lamb but wanted a different type of potato than listed on the menu. This was absolutely no trouble for our friendly waitress who suggested crushed new potatoes instead of the garlic potatoes. The two empty plates at the end of the main was a testament to the quality of the food.

I was in a quandary as to what to have for dessert. Kristen recommended her favourite dessert of sticky toffee pudding but I opted for the lighter elderflower panna cotta with strawberry and shortbread. A lovely, light, sweet dish that is perfect for those full-up after the main course but wanting something sweet.

The service at The Loom was perfect. Our waitress was ever-attentive, checking that we had everything we wanted. The bar manager Alex was friendly and told us as much as he could about the history of the building. He even showed us the enormous loom in the basement, which will be on display when the area is opened to customers in the near future.

A relaxed, atmospheric place to enjoy food of fantastic quality, I confidentially recommend visiting The Loom as soon as possible. I'll be returning and maybe next time I'll sample a cocktail from their extensive menu.

The Loom is in the process of developing a two course for £15 or three course for £20 set lunchtime menu which will be available soon.

You can see more of our Nottingham Confidential photos from The Loom in glorious technicolor on our Facebook page here

The Loom is at  3-5 High Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 1HF and full details and menus can be found on their website