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Jan 9th

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye


The last time I saw Rumours of Fleetwood Mac was in January 2012 and 5 years on, I’m happy to say that the concert is still as brilliant as ever.  Close your eyes and you would believe you’re listening to the original artists.  The vocals are extraordinary with the band reproducing hit after hit in their latest ‘Hit to Blues Tour’, which began in October 2016, encompassing nearly five decades of this legendary band’s music.

With over 600 major concert events behind them to date the British Rock Anthology Tribute Concert ''Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac'' has now performed to over 600,000 MAC fans across the world. 'Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac' is now recognised globally as the ''Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Concert Experience'' and is endorsed by founder 'Fleetwood Mac' member Mick Fleetwood. 

From the exultant heights of such classic hits as ‘Rhiannon’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘You Make Loving Fun’, and ‘Seven Wonders’, to the cathartic relationship autopsies contained on the bestselling Rumours album, ‘Hits to Blues’. Like previous Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac concert performances, the show guarantees to offer its audiences a rich and emotive musical experience, blowing away the cobwebs and rekindling those precious personal memories in a way that only the best music can. 
True to the band’s roots, ‘Hits to Blues’ features a comprehensive profile of the work of legendary British bluesman, and Fleetwood Mac founder, Peter Green. With faithful renditions of early Mac masterpieces such as ‘Albatross’, ‘Oh Well’, and the plaintive ‘Man of the World’, the show promises to bring the full depth and power of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac back to life. 
From the outset, the Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac musicians and performers have always striven to combine their deep personal love and reverence for the music of Fleetwood Mac with the excitement and spontaneity of live performance. Immersed in this music as they are, they know that these are songs which simply refuse to be played without passion and intensity. 
It is now half a century since Fleetwood Mac first emerged onto the world stage. Over the intervening five decades it is fair to say that both the band and the world have been through some considerable changes. Throughout it all, however, the music of Fleetwood Mac has retained its place in the hearts and souls of hundreds of millions of fans the world over. Join Rumours of Fleetwood Mac this Autumn and experience the very best of Fleetwood Mac, from ‘Hits to Blues’.

Further establishing Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac as the world’s premier Fleetwood Mac concert experience, RFM Concerts welcomes original Fleetwood Mac guitarist, RICK VITO back to the RFM tour. Catch Rick on the following tour dates...

Fri 19 Feb - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Sat 20 Feb - Northampton Derngate, Tue 23 Feb - Glasgow Pavilion, Wed 24 Feb - Aberdeen Music Hall, Fri 26 Feb - Inverness Eden Court, Sat 27 Feb - Dundee Caird Hall, Sun 28 Feb - Edinburgh Queens Hall, Mon 29 Feb - Gateshead Sage.

Full tour dates can be found on their website

The songs are a mix of instantly recognisable rock, pop and blues tunes, appealling to all ages and it was good to see lots of people in their 20s & 30s in the audience. The only thing I’d like them to change would be to introduce the band a bit earlier, and get the audience up on their feet for ‘Big Love’ and ‘The Chain’.  We were all itching to dance at this point and felt a bit stuck in our seats, so having a few more songs to join in with towards the end of the concert would have been perfect.  The original Fleetwood Mac are still touring and should be releasing a new album later this year, so I can see that with over 50 years of material to reproduce, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac will continue to tour for many years to come!


Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye




Dec 13th

Aladdin @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

Aladdin Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Forget the Christmas ads starting in October, the festive season actually begins when panto starts!  Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a visit to your local theatre to see a pantomime, with its colourful costumes and sets, bawdy humour, audience participation, romance, singing and dancing, there’s something for everyone.

This year’s panto at The Waterside Theatre is Aladdin, with not one but two genies.  Former Eastenders actress, Michelle Collins, plays the Genie of The Ring , with Joel Ekperigin making a spectacular entrance as the Genie of The Lamp.  Joel started out as a street dancer before training full-time at the Wilkes Academy in 2014.  His acrobatic jumps and tumbles are breathtaking and add a new dimension to the show.

The cast work their socks off, especially Andy Collins who is run ragged as Wishee Washee in his annual rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist La Voix is perfectly cast in the role of Widow Twankey, with her garish costumes and has a mighty powerful singing voice.

Danny Colligan is also perfect as Aladdin, with just the right balance of sweet innocence and determination to win the hand of his beloved Princess Jasmine, played by reality TV star Jasmin Walia.

Nicholas Pound’s wonderfully deep, resonant voice is very strong as he creates the evil Abanazar, the audience loved to boo.  In his second panto at the Waterside, David Whitworth plays the Emperor and Chris Nelson plays PC Pong, as well as being the director.

The costumes and sets are absolutely divine, with a wonderful use of colours, textures and glitter, making the scenes look spectacular.

The show is full of energy and fun making it perfect family entertainment to make the most of the festive season.

To book tickets:


Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye



Dec 5th

The Elves and the Shoemaker at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead

By Clare Brotherwood

For many youngsters, Norden Farm’s Christmas show is their first experience of theatre, and this year’s production from the Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company should ensure that they come back for more.

Excited chatter turns to squeals of delight as two little green men set about helping hapless shoemaker Sam Lacey make magic shoes in artistic director Niki McCretton’s adaptation of Vera Southgate’s all time favourite.

Stuff and Nonsense’s claim of making ‘energetic, mischievous and inspiring theatre’ is spot on.

The fun starts when Sam’s neighbour Belinda bustles through the audience, chatting animatedly to all and sundry, making the little ones feel part of the production.

Her enthusiasm continues throughout the show, not only for life but for Sam and his good fortune. She’s desperate to make friends, and Chloe Conquest’s lively performance endears her to all.

Sam spends the entire time in his pyjamas, which may be a clue to the fact that he is a bit slow and sleepy. Certainly, his ideas of making shoes out of bricks and bread show that he is not the brightest, and Graham Elwell portrays his ineptitude in such a way that he has his audience screaming with laughter and offering plenty of support when the elves appear to shouts of that Christmas anthem ‘Look behind you!’

The elves, looking like distant cousins of Kermit the Frog, are also the subject of great hilarity and excitement as they turn up when least expected and from all sorts of hidden places, keeping little minds engaged. Sarah Moody’s quirky music, which sounds like a collection of kitchen utensils banging together, also adds to the mix.

There is, of course, a feel good factor, a message about helping each other and making friends, but most of all it’s an entertaining 55 minutes which will hopefully nurture future theatre audiences.


The Elves and The Shoemaker is at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead until December 30.

Box office: 01628 788997

Nov 30th

High Society at The Mill at Sonning

By Clare Brotherwood

Think of High Society, and Cole Porter classics such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, True Love, Just One of Those Things, and Samantha, come to mind, sung by original cast members Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

It’s a frothy, funny, feel good show you’d think would only be at home in Hollywood movies or on the West End stage. But, to quote Mr Porter, you’ll be ridin’ high if you join in the swell party this is at The Mill at Sonning.

Just how this ‘big’ musical fits so comfortably in The Mill’s small space must be an illusion. The audience is certainly not short changed by the intimacy of its surroundings, nor the calibre of the performers. It’s full-on, fast-paced, all-singing, all-dancing entertainment, yet it isn’t in your face - and we must thank director and choreographer Joseph Pitcher, who has been resident director on the RSC’s West End production of Matilda for the past two-and-a-half years, for striking the perfect balance.

Perfect is an adjective I think I shall be using more than once in this review.

High Society is set on Long Island in 1938 and charts the events leading up to the wedding of the fabulously wealthy Tracy Samantha Lord to the humourless George Ketteridge. Enter Tracy’s ex-husband, a couple of undercover reporters wanting to dig the dirt on Tracy’s erring father, and a lot of Champagne, and things don’t always go according to plan.

From the outset, Kirsty Ingram proves she is a star in the making as Tracy’s kid sister Dinah. Although aged 22 and only in her second professional production, she sparkles throughout her perfectly portrayed role as a petulant child, bossy and cheeky, but with a vulnerability, especially in scenes with Tracy’s ex, on whom she obviously has a crush.

At the other end of the scale, David Delve is an old hand at musicals, both in the West End and on tour, and although his larger than life performance as Tracy’s Uncle Willie would satisfy audiences in big theatres, it is not over the top in this smaller venue. The big expressions, flashing eyes, swivelling hips (and wandering hands) all make for a great deal of hilarity.

All 11 members of the cast must be congratulated on their fine contributions to this perfect way to celebrate the festive season, not to mention musical director Charlie Ingles’ hard-working band, Callum White on percussion, Pete Hutchinson on double bass and the impressive Joe Atkin-Reeves on clarinet, sax and flute.

As Tracy’s mother, Elizabeth Elvin, a regular at The Mill, fits right in with a cast whose background is in musical theatre rather than as actors who sing. Bethan Nash has an amazing voice and sings and dances her way through the role of Tracy Lord with fluidity, pose and an endearing sense of fun, but among my favourite scenes are those between Rachel Moran as Polly the maid, and Grant Neal as Chester the butler. Every time the stiff, poker-faced servants launched into a wild, abandoned song and dance routine the audience erupted. A swell party indeed!


High Society is at The Mill at Sonning until January 14. Box office 0118 969 8000

Nov 3rd

Pierre Bensusan at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead

By Clare Brotherwood

Occasionally, when I find myself moved so much by a performance other than acting, a review about music finds its way onto this website.

Last night was such an occasion. Pierre Bensusan is recognised as one of the premier musicians of our time. Winner of the Independent Music Award and voted Best World Music Guitar Player in 2008, his humility is touching as he tells his audience he is privileged to be playing for us. But let us tell you, Monsieur Bensusan, the privilege is all ours.

I had gone along to the theatre disgruntled - by too many things happening in my life. By the start of the second half I was in a state of quiet euphoria, totally at peace with the world. I was even moved to the odd tear. Music at its best is like that, isn’t it? It’s magical; it can make a difference, and Pierre Bensusan makes a difference.

Not that his music is an easy ride. He is famous for using the Dadgad method of tuning which isn’t always melodic, but it does wake up your senses, and makes you aware of the complexities of the guitar. You wonder, are there really only six strings on this instrument which seems a living extension of this gentle yet passionate performer? His music is both soothing and invigorating, and his songs, which he and his wife, Doatea, compose, can be moving or amusing. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are in French. Infact, that adds to the appeal.

Bensusan may be known as The Mozart of the Guitar and, as such, is worthy of the title, but he takes after no-one. He is unique.

Pierre Bensusan tours continuously worldwide, and his remaining dates in England and Scotland are:

Nov 5: Bristol Folk House

Nov 6: The King Arthur, Glastonbury

Nov 9: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Nov 10: Broadoak Hotel, Ashton-Under-Lyme

Nov 11: Crown and Mitre Hotel, Carlisle

Nov 12: Milngavie FC, Milngavie

Nov 14: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Oct 4th

The Woman in Black at the Theatre Royal Windsor

By Clare Brotherwood

You would think that, after seeing The Woman in Black four times (three times when I was working for a newspaper and once when I took a friend to London for a birthday treat) I’d sit nonchanlantly through my latest visit, laughing at the reactions of the other audience members.

But such is the magic of this show that it still surprises me and the delicious tingling down my spine went all the way to my feet.

First timers do, of course, react differently, especially young audiences who have flocked to see Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s story since it was made into a film in 2012 (which, I have to say, wasn’t anywhere as good as the stage version). It’s good to see a theatre full of youngsters, and they are ideal fodder for such a tale. Their gasps and screams must be wonderful feedback for the performers on stage.

For those who have been living on the moon and don’t know the story, so he ‘can sleep at night’, retired solicitor Arthur Kipps hires an actor to help him tell the terrible story of a ghost who haunts Eel Marsh House, which stands alone at the end of NIne Lives Causeway in a remote part of Britain. When the owner dies, Kipps, then a young man, is sent to the house to sort out her affairs, and what follows is a tale of terror and tragedy.

With the help of Kipps, The Actor tells his story, but this turns out to have several layers, with the action flitting from story to stage in an instant, but at times becoming alarmingly entwined.

It is extraordinary that two men acting out a ghost story in ‘an empty theatre’ with just a suggestion of a set can hold the imagination of theatregoers for a whole evening, let alone for a 27-year run in London’s West End. And even more extraordinary is the fact that, from the outset, it has been directed by the same man. But Robin Herford keeps it fresh and helps it grow by changing the cast every nine months.

With his latest team he certainly has another winner.

Both David Acton and Matthew Spencer are expressive actors, making it easy for their audiences to imagine the various locations and even a dog. Acton is especially versatile as Kipps, growing from a timid, frightened old man to a passionate performer who helps to act out his story by playing a multitude of characters.

Since I first saw the play it has become even more horrifying. Thanks to the sound team’s effects you can’t get away from blood curdling screams - and more, but there are moments of extreme quiet as the tension builds, and, thankfully, some lighter moments so the audience can relax - but not for long! Of course, the lighting and Michael Holt’s special effects all add to what is a rollercoaster of an evening - and that’s without The Woman in Black!


The Woman in Black is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Oct 8

Box Office: 01753 853888


It then tours:

Oct 10-15: Royal Derngate, Northampton

Oct 18-22:Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

Oct 24-29: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Nov 1-5: Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Nov 7-12: Everyman & Playhouse, Liverpool

Nov 14-19: Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Nov 21-26: Theatre Royal, Bath

Nov 29-Dec 3: Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Jan 9-14: Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea

Jan 17-21: King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Jan 23-28: Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Jan 30-Feb 4: Curve, Leicester

Feb 6-11: Courtyard, Hereford

Feb 13-18: His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Feb 20-25: Theatre Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

Feb 27-Mar 4: Princess Theatre, Torquay

Mar 6-11: Grand Opera House, Belfast

Mar 13-18: Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

Mar 20-25: The Lowry, Salford

Mar 27-Apr 1: New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Apr 3-8: Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Apr 10-15: New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Apr 17-22: Theatre Royal, Norwich

Apr 24-29: Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

May 1-6: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

May 8-13: Cast, Doncaster

May 22-27: Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

June 5-10: New Theatre, Cardiff


Sep 30th

Blithe Spirit at The Mill at Sonning

By Clare Brotherwood

Spirits abound in The Mill at Sonning’s latest production - not least because The Mill has just won The South East Award for Most Welcoming Theatre 2016!

First night elementals may have spooked both the cast and the audience but Noel Coward’s endearing comedy continued on to conjure up some spirited performances.

Set designer Michael Holt, Matt Smee on sound, and Matthew Biss, who is responsible for the lighting, go all out to produce special effects for this evening of fun and frights which will have you both giggling and gasping.

Written by Coward in just six days in 1941, Blithe Spirit charts the course of events which occur after eccentric medium Madame Arcati accidentally summons up the deceased wife of novelist Charles Condomine.

Charles has invited Madame Arcati to dinner in order to research the occult for his latest book, but his smug scepticism, so well portrayed by Darrell Brockis, soon turns to annoyance when the ghost of his wayward first wife makes a play for him, with tragic consequences.

Madame Arcati is one of the most colourful characters on the English stage and former EastEnders’ Mrs Hewitt, Elizabeth Power, causes much mirth with her outlandish antics, and outfits provided by costume designer Natalie Titchener. Natalie also adds a nice touch by duplicating the ethereal spirits in a pair of hung pictures onto the diaphanous clothes worn by the grey ghost of Elvira.

As Elvira, Finty Williams is sultry, mischievous and childlike, even down to some impressive tantrums, but there’s a steeliness which is quite alarming. It is Phillipa Peak, as Charles’ current wife, Ruth, however, who steals the show. From starting out as strait-laced and sensible, if not a little unnerved at the prospect of a seance, she plays some spectacular scenes as her failure to cope with an unwanted guest she cannot see drags her down into moments of pure hysteria. A real tour de force.

Directed by Tam Williams at a steady pace, the cast is completed by his mother Belinda Carroll and his stepfather Michael Cochrane, and Janine Leigh, who makes the most of her part as the nervous new maid - though the sound effects of her hurrying about the house could be toned down a jot.


Blithe Spirit is at The Mill at Sonning until November 19.

Box Office: 0118 969 8000

Sep 29th

RSC's Cymbeline Live Screening @ Second Space, The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye

The live screenings have proven to be a huge success and this time it was the RSC’s acclaimed production of Cymbeline that was screened around the country.  This little performed play was set in ancient times when the Romans ruled Britain, which was alienated and on the brink of disaster, as questions were raised about the taxes that had to be paid, as well as national identity.  Director Melly Still brings a fresh contemporary interpretation, with comparisons to Brexit, making it as relevant to today, as when it was written.

An ineffectual Queen Cymbeline rules over a divided dystopian Britain. Consumed with grief at the death of two of her children, Cymbeline’s judgement is clouded. When Innogen, the only living heir, marries her sweetheart Posthumus in secret, an enraged Cymbeline banishes him. Behind the throne, a power-hungry figure plots to seize power by murdering them both.

In exile Innogen's husband is tricked into believing she has been unfaithful to him and in an act of impulsive jealousy begins a scheme to have her murdered. Warned of the danger, Innogen runs away from court in disguise and begins a journey fraught with danger that will eventually reunite Cymbeline with a long-lost heir and reconcile the young lovers.

Cymbeline mashes up a variety of different Shakespeare stories, with a woman dressing as a man, a ring being given to a lover, a poison that’s actually a sleeping draft, ghosts to name but a few.  As one of Shakespeare’s last plays it’s in the Romance grouping, which are more sharply tragicomic than his comedies: threats of death and scenes of suffering are more acute.  Personally, I felt it was very violent and bloody, especially with a beheading and headless corpse being hugged, but maybe the sense of humour was different in those times?

Gillian Bevan takes the title role of Cymbeline, the first woman to take on the role for the RSC, as it was written as King Cymbeline.  Gillian gives a very strong performance, but actually she is rarely on the stage and it seemed to me that the play really was about her daughter Innogen, so perhaps that should have been the play’s title?  Bethan Cullinane gives a critically-acclaimed performance, as Innogen, as the wronged wife seeking to find her misled husband.

The most enthralling performance of the show for me though was by Oliver Johnstone as Iachimo, the Italian nobleman who sets out to deceive Posthumus.  Oliver’s commitment and intensity make him so compelling to watch and I’m sure he’s someone we’re going to hear a lot more of in the next few years.

A cleverly designed set, for this theatre in the round production, worked well to create the different countries and the photographs and graffiti added to the feel of the piece.  The only downside was that when the translations of Latin were screened on the wall, the cameras moved off too quickly so we couldn’t always read them.  Still it’s a great way to see an RSC production, at a fraction of the cost of travelling to the theatre itself and there are 2 more coming up, King Lear on 12th October and The Tempest on 11th January, so book your seats at your local cinema/theatre now!

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye

Sep 28th

The MGM Story: The Magic of the Musicals

By Clare Brotherwood

To generations of film fans, MGM meant glitz and glitter.

Between its foundation in 1924 and its demise in the 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Hollywood studios produced the biggest though not always the best musicals, launching the careers of the likes of Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

If audiences of this show expect even a little of the glamour of MGM’s productions, however, they will be sorely disappointed.

Set on a drab, disused film set, this budget production from Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment Concerts and Szpiezak Productions Ltd is essentially a small show with big songs. There isn’t even a whimper from MGM’s famous signature lion.

But there are big performances.

West End veteran Miranda Wilford heads a hard-working, all-singing, all-dancing trio which also gives a light but informative history of one of the largest, most glamorous and revered studios ever, with some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories.

Her beautiful renditions of some of the most famous songs to come from America are faultless. James Leece, who trained at the Royal Ballet School and has worked for Matthew Bourne, also gives a fine performance - his voice has a vintage quality which suits the era, though tiredness was beginning to show towards the end of the first night show. Completing the trio, Steven Dalziel literally throws himself into his role. He’s full of enthusiasm and with his expressive face and flexible body would go far as a comedy actor.

But this is essentially a musical revue and the songs really are the stars.

Musical director Charlie Ingles and his handful of musicians take audiences down memory lane with nostalgic arrangements of such classics as That’s Entertainment, Broadway Melody, Over the Rainbow, Meet Me in St Louis, New York, New York, I Got Rhythm, Singin’ in the Rain, Make ‘Em Laugh and The Night They Invented Champagne.

This show proves that there really is No Business Like Showbusiness!


The MGM Story: The Magic of the Musicals is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until

Oct 1

Box Office: 01753 853888

Further performances:

Oct 7: Playhouse Norwich

Feb 18, 2017: Chipping Norton Theatre

Sep 28th

Sunny Afternoon @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

By Yvonne Delahaye


Reaching your teens is a time of great anxiety for everyone, as many changes are taking place in your life and body.  Imagine that on your 13th birthday you're given a guitar by an older sister, who then goes out to a dance and dies from a heart attack?  Such a terrible personal tragedy at that delicate stage of life, must leave an indelible pain in your heart that could never be erased.  This is exactly what happened to Ray Davies, but he turned this personal heartbreak into a very successful career spanning many decades, as he wrote songs from the heart.  Unable to express himself because of a terrible stutter, Ray turned to writing and his lyrics still remain relevant 50 years on.

Sunny Afternoon tells the story of Ray and his brother Dave’s rise to success in the 1960s, as The Kinks exploded onto the scene with a raw, energetic new sound that rocked the nation.  The show opened at The Hampstead Theatre to critical acclaim, before transferring to The Harold Pinter Theatre in October 2014.  In April 2015, Davis won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement for the show, which also won Best Actor in a Musical for John Dagleish, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for George Magquire and Best New Musical.

Ray Davies continues to be very instrumental in the production of the show, including the casting and development of the roles.  This tour features Ryan O’Donnell as Ray Davies and he has a superb range, which can belt out the rockier numbers You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night, but also portray the depth of emotion in I Go to Sleep.  It’s a very sensitive performance, that gives a unique insight into the real man behind the music.    Mark Newnham is also outstanding as the younger brother Dave Davies and the rest of the cast are also all very talented musician/actors.

I didn’t know much about The Kinks before seeing the show, so was very surprised to hear two lovely ballads, Stop Your Sobbing and I Go to Sleep, as I knew they were both big hits for The Pretenders in the 1980s.  Ray had a relationship with lead singer of that group, Chrissie Hynde and they had a daughter together, so that’s where the connection comes in.

The story of how The Kinks became another band that made up ‘The British Invasion’ of The States in the 60s, was very interesting.  They also managed to get themselves thrown out after disputes about non-payment of union fees!  It’s a great story and the theatre was packed to the rafters with fans, old and new, who loved the songs and whooped and applauded with a standing ovation.  My top tip though if you have sensitive hearing is to take a pair of ear plugs, as it is very loud!  Also at nearly 3 hours with the interval the show is very long, but you won’t be disappointed when you hear all their old hits being played live.

For further tour details go to:

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye