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When The Full Monty MEANS The Full Monty.

Hi all!

A few months ago now I got an email from a man named Julian regarding going to review shows at Darlington Hippodrome. As a huge fan of the theatre, of course I instantly replied with my interest. Julian sent me over a few different shows I could request tickets for and my eye was immediately drawn to two. The first one, was The Full Monty. Now, I’ve always been a huge fan of The Full Monty film because it’s both absolutely hilarious but also touches on deeper storylines such as suicide, joblessness and homosexuality. I requested two tickets, one for myself and one for my friend Tina and we eagerly awaited the day to come.

The day came for us to attend the performance and so I started to get ready. I couldn’t quite decide what to wear but settled on my new dress from Topsy Curvy. I actually won a voucher for Topsy Curvy so I only actually paid £3.50 for the dress – amazing ey?!

I actually ordered a size down in the dress and so I didn’t expect it to actually fit, however when it arrived I couldn’t help but try it on and was pleasantly surprised that it fit.

With it being so reasonably priced I never expected it to look as nice at it did.

I thought it would cling to my tummy and show every lump and bump, however the shape of the dress meant that it flowed over my stomach and tapered back in which made such a lovely silhouette.

I made the decision that I would scrap my original outfit idea and wear my new dress and I was so glad I did. It was super comfy which was perfect for sitting in but also looked really smart. I got so many compliments on social media and felt super confident all night.

I paired the dress with some sock boots with a chunky heel and a pair of tights as it was a cold night!

My hair I kept quite natural and added some sea salt spray to accentuate the natural wave in my hair and for my makeup I decided to try a few products I got in this months Glossybox. I used the STYLondon Palette which was real warm autumnal tones (nothing I’d EVER choose for myself) and the HUDA Beauty liquid lip in shade Girlfriend which I also wouldn’t of chosen for myself – however I really loved both! I felt they really went with the deep green of the dress and felt like the rusty tones on my eyes really made them pop.

As I mentioned, I invited my friend Tina to come along with me. I made the guess that she might like to see the show however I didn’t realise that she was both a huge fan of The Full Monty movie and also Theatre so it was definitely a good guess on my part! Tina picked me up and we drove through the Darlington and found Darlington Hippodrome with ease. Parking was amazing and was literally over the road and through a little walkway and was free after 6- even better. We were both taken back by how beautiful and traditional the Hippodrome looked from the outside and took a moment to admire the stained glass windows and Edwardian architecture. The Hippodrome has been recently restored and they have done a beautiful job which got even more stunning inside.

As we walked into the foyer we were immediately greeted by staff who were so friendly and attentive. All of the staff throughout the venue were so lovely, polite and helpful and it really stuck in our mind all evening. We spotted this poster on the wall of the downstairs bar and then it dawned on us – The Full Monty was in fact going to be the FULL Monty. This made us a little bit giddy, not going to lie!

  

We popped upstairs to meet Julian and collect our tickets and programme, then we settled in with a drink each to flick through the programme and take note of which actors were playing which role. We were pleasantly surprised to see Gary Lucy playing the lead role as well as other recognisable faces from various soaps including Louis Emerick AKA Mick Johnson on Brookside.

We decided to use the loos (and take selfies) and then go find our seats. We were both very pleased to see the toilets were immaculate and found out that “having a look around the facilities” was actually a shared hobby of ours. We probably need to get out more..

We went and found our seats in the Theatre and we were actually blown away. The theatre is so cosy and intimate that you could sit anywhere and feel like you were so close to the show. We were in row K and had a perfect view of the stage without being too close.

We spent the next few moments taking in the beauty of the traditional Edwardian theatre, the detailing, mouldings and the gorgeous ceiling.

 

We chatted excitedly, got comfy and waited for the curtains to open.

The first 60 minutes flew by and it was time for the interview. Julian had kindly arranged drinks for us and they were waiting outside the bar for us to collect. The attention to detail was amazing and the little touch of my blog name on a sign made me feel quite important for a moment!

 

We took the opportunity before we returned to our seats to take some shots in my favourite area of Darlington Hippodrome. The woodwork and tiles were absolutely stunning and we took a few moments to admire them.

We returned to our seats and the last hour flew by whilst we laughed our heads off and got a little bit giddy at the ending. Definitely wasn’t prepared for full frontal nudity when I left the house that leaving but hats off (pardon the pun) to the actors for going for it!

The whole show was amazing. I fell in love with Kai Owen who played Dave and we both really rooted for him. I also loved Andrew Dunn who played Gerald and some of my biggest laughs were at his moments. The whole show flowed effortlessly, it was funny without trying to hard but also emotional at the right moments. All the actors did a brilliant job and even Gary Lucy’s awful Yorkshire accent seemed to add to the humour of the show. The thing that really stood out to me was the staging. As somebody who has studied performing arts and also costume I’ve always been hugely into theatre and the clever transitions just added the extra edge. The best transition was before Gerald’s dance class when the people acting as stage hands danced off. The main set changed smoothly with sliding doors, different “furniture” arrangements and clever lit up signs. It really made a difference to the show and I enjoyed watching the quick changes which were done to different songs – most of which would be on the recently played section of my Spotify.

I would 100% recommend seeing both this show and visiting Darlington Hippodrome. As much as we were gifted the tickets, myself and Tina both agreed that we would of happily paid to see the show because it was so brilliant. We actually looked at where the show was heading next but sadly it wasn’t local – we probably would of went again!

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all the staff at DH who made us feel so welcome and at ease. As a person who struggles with anxiety it can often be quite overwhelming going to events such as this, but everywhere we turned there was a friendly face and somebody who just wanted to help you. To somebody like me, this makes a huge difference. I loved the intimate feeling of the actual theatre too which didn’t make me feel overwhelmed. The other spaces are so light and airy so to me I didn’t feel packed in squashed in with everybody else, this also makes a huge difference to me.

Thank you to Julian for making the arrangements for tickets for us and of course thank you to my beautiful friend Tina for coming along with me. I’ve not laughed as much as we did in a long time and it was truly an incredible night.

I can’t wait to do it all again next week because I’m going with my mum to see Cilla which looks so good!! So watch this space, I’ll make sure to write up about our evening.

Thanks for reading,

Hannah x

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fashion · personal · plus size · wedding

Plus Size Wedding Prep. Spend VS Save

Hi all!

I’ve always been one who loves to try to do things herself, especially when there’s some money to be saved. However, I do feel that sometimes it’s nice to have somebody else do things and leave the stress to them.

In August I attended two weddings. One was my brother Shaun and his now wife Anna, and one was a work friend of Adams. I’ll admit I was shocked I was invited to the full event with me not actually meeting his friend or the bride, but I was grateful to be asked along and happily attended as Adams plus one.

Before the weddings I was having a conversation with my cousin about just how much weddings cost and you don’t realise how much you pay out just as a guest. This set something off in my mind and I thought I would challenge myself to do an old vs new. So, for one wedding I would get my hair/makeup/nails etc done and buy a whole new outfit and then for the other I would do my hair and makeup myself and shop my own wardrobe for a dress!

Now I know personally which look I preferred, and I know which got the most comments etc on the day, but please do let me know below which look you preferred first!

Wedding one – Spend!
Of course I chose my brothers wedding to be the one I splashed out on. I did this for a few reasons. My mum was also getting her hair/makeup done, I had Eleanor to consider so had less time to get ready and I wanted to look my best for my brother.

 

My dress was from Little Mistress via ASOS and originally £62, however I did get it on sale and then used ASOS vouchers I had saved up. I wore my fave flatforms (also ASOS) and carried a beautiful beaded bag with chandelier style beading hanging from it.

 

I loved this dress as it was modest, but not too covered. It was incredibly soft and comfortable and very much “my” style. The tulle straps and top of the dress were my favourite and I felt very girly and ethereal throughout the day.

My makeup was done by an old friend from college who decided to re-train as a MUA. I chose her because I found her makeup style to be very natural but still with an impact. I went for a smokey eye, strong brow and pinky/nude lip and quite honestly loved the look.

My hair on the other hand wasn’t what I asked for, and this is after asking for it to be changed. I had originally asked for a beehive style front, with braiding around the sides into the back and then the hair in a chignon. Instead she fish braided my hair using plastic hair ties and then tucked the bottom up in a weird bulky bun. I didn’t like this at all and asked for it to be changed, but didn’t have time to change the full thing as she was already running 40 minutes behind and I was late for the MUA. My mum actually had to leave me at the hairdressers and get her makeup done first as it was taking so long.
I asked for the plait to be changed more like a bun and the lady did this which I did like more but still wasn’t what I had in mind. Still, it looked pretty and went with the flowers I’d bought to pop in (again from ASOS). Untangling it and those plastic ties however – wasn’t very fun!

 

Some more snaps from the day! It was such a beautiful day and so special. I was so glad to spend it with the people I love and felt confident and happy in my outfit choice.

Wedding two – Save!

The second wedding we went to was a friend of Adams. I was actually quite surprised to be invited to the whole event as I’d not met the bride or groom, but thankful to be going along as Adams plus one all the same. I actually ended up getting to know some really wonderful people who were all so kind and complimentary and I had a really great time. So if you’re reading this Kieran & Aimee, thank you for having me – I had a blast!

For this wedding I decided to go for the save option and did my own hair and makeup and dug out a dress from the back of my wardrobe. I borrowed a handbag from my mum and popped on my nude flatforms (ASOS).

 

The dress is one I’ve had for quite a long time. It’s the Collectif Dolores Doll dress in White Hibiscus print. This one has long sold but you can find similar here. I love the way a the dolores dresses nip you in at the right places and flare out just enough. I actually swapped this dress with another blogger a few years back so didn’t actually “pay” for it. Clothes swaps are a great way to freshen up your wardrobe without spending money but whilst also having a good clear out! Win win win!

For my makeup I went for a more understated look. I went for full coverage matte foundation, light pink blush, a smokey eye with cat flick and a dark nude lip. Oh and as always – a strong brow.

Again with my hair I wanted to give a nod to the vintage vibe of the dress and so curled my already short bette bangs under and pinned the sides back away from my face. I did this both so I didn’t get too warm and also to add some volume. I let the rest of my hair hang down my back and finished it with some pretty cream clips.

      

As I said previously, I had such a good time at this wedding. It was a beautiful day with an intimate ceremony then on to a stunning venue for the rest of the day/night and I felt comfortable in both settings in my outfit choice. My dress wore well and I felt confident all day!

Both days were both wonderful and I felt great in both outfits and got a lot of compliments. I think for me it was good to see that I could shop my wardrobe as needed and give an old dress a new outing.

Either way, I don’t think it would of mattered what I wore (within reason). The day wasn’t about me – it was about those two couples dedicating their love to each other and standing up in front of their friends and family and saying that this is the person I want to spend every day with for the rest of my life. And really, even Collectif dresses aren’t quite as beautiful as that.

Thanks for reading, let me know below which outfit you preferred!
Hannah xx