Week 2: The Tinneys visit the city of Nottingham
Our weekly email from the girls at Experience Nottinghamshire told us to be at Nottingham Playhouse at 10.15am, where we would be given our second Golden Envelope.
We resisted the temptation of looking on the Playhouse website to see what was on, and so it was a total surprise to find out that we were going to see Grandpa In My Pocket.
The show was great, a fantastic mixture of singing, dancing, energy, puppetry and a really beautiful set.
After the show, we met Dave and Heather who are part of the Playhouse team, and we were lucky enough to be given a backstage tour.
We started off by meeting the actors, who were having a well earned break before the next show, then we headed down into the warren of corridors to see the dressing rooms. The dressing rooms even have beds, as during a run of shows, the actors practically live in the theatre!
The Playhouse even has its own No. 10. We knocked on the door, but no one was home. Next stop was the props department. All the props for the shows are made here on site. One of the technicians was busy painting a gravestone – a prop for The Importance of Being Earnest, which is the next show to be held at the Playhouse.
And from there, we climbed up a spiral staircase, which lead us directly into the backstage area. All the props, puppets and costumes for the next show of Grandpa in My Pocket were waiting in the wings.
The girls were even allowed to try on some of the costumes that they’d seen the actors wearing earlier. Maisy wore Great Aunt Loretta’s hat, and Molly, Mr Mentor’s coat.
Next, we stood on stage, and looked out into the theatre. From stage, the theatre looks huge. And the seats in the stalls are very close!
From there we went upstairs to the costume department (My favourite department!) Just like the props, nearly all of the costumes are made on site. We even got a wee peek of the Sheriff’s costume for this year’s Pantomime too.
Finally, we went outside to have a look in Campo; the Campervan from the T.V series. The girls got to sit inside Campo.
After our brilliant morning at the Nottingham Playhouse, we were treated to our lunch in Couture, the Cafe Bar in the Nottingham Contemporary.
Maisy worked on some of the activities in her Grandpa in my Pocket Programme while she waited on her fish-finger sandwich (which she highly recommends, by the way!).
Our lunch was gorgeous, and the girls loved their food too. The cafe is running a special offer over the summer where Kids Eat FREE. Well worth a visit!
After our lunch at The Contemporary Gallery, we crossed the road and arrived at The Broadmarsh Centre for our next activity – a guided tour of the City’s Caves. Nottingham has more man-made caves than anywhere else in Britain and the cave network has Ancient Monument Protection.
During our tour at the City of Caves, we learned how the caves were used throughout history dating as far back as Anglo Saxon times.
Some of the caves were used as tanneries, where animal hides were turned into leather and more recently the caves were used as air raid shelters during World War II.
Some caves were even served as slum dwellings in the Victorian era.I can’t believe that I’ve lived in Nottingham for twelve years now and haven’t visited the caves yet! Our tour took about an hour to complete, and at the moment, you can buy a joint ticket to the Galleries of Justice Museum and the City of Caves tour – a good option for a rainy day like today.
Our final treat of the day was a visit to Homemade Cafe on Pelham Street, to sample some of their yummy milkshakes and famous homemade brownies, Molly checked out the cakes in the window, and finally decided on a chocolate brownie.
Homemade is very child friendly, and the girls had lots of crayons and a fairy colouring book to keep them busy while we were there.
Next time I’m shopping in town, I’ll definitely make a beeline for Homemade – the menu looks fab. (Wait ’til Maisy hears that there are fish-finger sandwiches here too!). We’ll definitely be back!
Thanks so much to Dave and Heather for the excellent backstage tour and for making us feel so welcome! Thanks very much to the staff at Couture, The City of Caves and Homemade who looked after us really well.
For more photos from the Tinney’s adventures this week, see our Love Notts Facebook page.