Just before Christmas last I was invited to review a musical production titled Eunice (which you can read at https://rhysreviews.com/2020/12/20/eunice-musical-review/) which was was a musical about a horse who feels as if they don’t belong. Due to the global situation, I was not able to travel up to see the show but instead was sent a virtual recording of the show. I was able to interview Robert who was organising the show (which you can view on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/X6Yh097G8PM) so I was incredibly excited to be invited to another event organised by the same people! Funny story actually, the original email that invited me to the event went through to my spam folder and so I only noticed it at 10 pm the day before the event itself! I emailed back on a whim and the organisers did everything within their power to sort out everything for me (including a little surprise that I will talk about later) which I was incredibly grateful for! The day was split into two separate events which were Mama G’s Family pride celebration and then an after-hours pride party for more mature people. I will review both sections separately and you can check out my review of the after-party by following this link https://rhysreviews.com/2021/07/06/moma-gs-after-hours-pride-celebration/
So after booking the Megabus and travelling to Stanley Arts in London (all in the space of twelve hours) I was super excited to celebrate pride amongst people as all the events have been cancelled for just under two years. The event had both an in-person and online audience (I was lucky to be in person) and the tickets were pay what you want with the proceeds going to support the charity Mermaids so not only are you having a fun time celebrating pride but you are also supporting a worthwhile cause! As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a healthcare advice person who did some readings for our BMI, blood pressure and diabetes test which will very informative and useful to learn about it did feel somewhat out of place at an event where being happy with who you are in the main purpose. Don’t get me wrong people need to be more aware of there but there should be an appropriate time and place for such testing. There were also a range of wonderful arts/crafts and photo opportunities upon arrival which friend took full advantage of! When the actual event started the audience were greeted by the wonderful Mama G (who had been circulating and chatting to the audience as they arrived) and introduced the running order. Moma G not only organised the event, hosted the evening but also did their performances throughout the evening as well. I enjoyed Moma G’s storytelling session where she commanded the stage with simply a few queue cards which are incredibly difficult but she did it with ease! The story itself was a very powerful tale about a gay fairy who falls in love with another male fairy but is met with prejudice from their friends. This story then repeated in a slightly different form during the pride pantomime section of the evening. Throughout the whole event, the acts were promoting their LGBTQI+ inclusive products which can only have a positive effect on their businesses which I personally really love!
The drag queen Gary King was also helping make sure the night ran well but also did numerous performances which is impressive for both Gary and Moma G! Gary did a drag aerobics session in the family pride event which had everyone on their feet and getting involved (Covid friendly of course!) The highlight for me was the rendition of whipped into shape from Legally Blonde where Gary sang and skipped rope at the same time would be very difficult and tiring! The performance of Stilles and Drewe’s Musical “three little pigs” was artfully performed by the two vocalists. This performance was classical musical theatre and gave off very Shrek the musical vibes so if you enjoy that cartoon/musical hybrid then I strongly recommending check this production out. If you are a fan of Britain’s got talent you will most probably be aware of Lorraine Bowen who received a golden buzzer for her performance of her iconic crumble song. Well, My friend and I have been massive fans of her work for a while and recently had a crumble night where we made the dessert ourselves and listened to her music on repeat. She was at the event and delivered an incredibly fun performance that the whole family could enjoy! By the end of her set, she had parents and kids alike up doing the hokey cockey which always goes down well. I was given the incredible opportunity to interview Lorraine after her performance which you can watch on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/fjQ6-CJF2oA She was an absolute gem to met and we even went for tea and cake with her and chatted about life which was honestly so lovely! The family pride event with a short pride parade where the adults and kids marched around the street donned in rainbow clothes/accessories and flags which was amazing. There is always a big debate online as to whether or not children should be allowed at pride events and after attending Mama G’s family pride celebration I can unequivocally say they absolutely should be!
Overall this was a super fun event that had something for all ages with pantomimes, drag performers and singers! There was always something to do which meant that kids could be crafting or dancing and never getting bored which is fantastic. I would rate this event 4.5 stars out of 5 and would recommend people near Stanley arts centre to keep an eye out for their next event as they are not to be missed!