One of the biggest achievements I have had with Carpe Diem Emmie within the last 12 months is the growth and development in writing more culture based posts, especially in Dance and Theatre. I am no stranger to the world of the arts, having graduated 3 years ago this year with my degree in Dance and having opportunities with a couple of 'big' industry roles, it's a sector I am passionate about.

I almost thought it was all over for me when I took on my job as a Teaching Assistant back in March. It's such a difficult choice to give up on something you gave 100% to, in return for a bit more stability and structure in your life. I'm just as passionate about the arts, if not more and being able to release some of that passion through reviewing performances, planning to attend events and conferences through this blog is a pretty damn great thing for me to do. It feels like I've never left to be honest. I definitely want to immerse myself within the industry a hell of a lot more in 2017 so I'm definitely going to be thinking about what I can do.

I've built some of the most positive relationships with local theatres since pulling my finger out and pursuing these opportunities during the summer. I now work with around 6 different theatres in my region as well beyond that, and I do have plans to pursue the bright lights of the West End this year because why not? I'm still not 100% happy with the reviews I produce but I believe I am really developing my writing style with each review that I write.

Choosing My 10 Shows of 2016 for this post was more difficult than I had anticipated and I definitely needed the help of my boyfriend to confirm my choices. The East and West Midlands theatre's are producing shit hot productions for their audiences at the moment! It's great that we're able to experience such wonderful theatre right on our doorstep and I am so excited for what 2017 has in store too. 


MY 10 SHOWS OF 2016!



Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham

When I heard that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was going to touring across the UK in 2016 I knew I had to snap up some tickets, and I was lucky enough to attend the press night at Birmingham Hippodrome. I loved Stephen Mear's stunning choreography (considering I know him pretty well because he attended my dance school) and the UK Tour brought to life a much loved musical in the most perfect way. I managed to meet some of the cast after the production too! You can read my review of the production HERE

Fagin's Twist, Avant Garde Dance 
Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham

If I can get to watch some incredible dance productions then it is heavily up there as a priority on my list, especially as I miss dancing so much myself. Avant Garde Dance produced one of the most high-energy, thrilling pieces of dance I was fortunate to watch in 2016. I love their fresh and contemporary feel on a classic novel, you can read my review HERE.



Grease
Curve Theatre, Leicester

I was a little sceptical about Curve producing a much loved musical for their Christmas production, but it didn't disappoint and it didn't stray too far from the initial script. From Nick Winston's athletic styled energetic choreography to the set design is flawless! It's had me singing the Grease soundtrack ever since and I'd love for this production to make a UK Tour, everyone should go and see it! You can read my review HERE


'Life' Balletboyz
Curve Theatre, Leicester

Balletboyz are without a doubt one of my favourite dance companies in the UK, they have a real authentic movement repertoire that is visually pleasing but also has the ability of inspiring young dancers. They have a real flow of tempo that works so well too and I'm always excited when I hear they're producing new works, Balletboyz are not a company to be missed. You can read my review about their work of Life HERE

Little Shop of Horrors
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

When I heard that the Little Shop of Horrors would be touring around the UK in 2016 it was a show I desperately wanted to put on my list. I absolutely love the storyline and soundtrack of this musical and feel like it's interactive element of the plant is great for the entire family to watch. What made this performance for me was Stephanie Clift's performance as Audrey, she was really convincing in her character and her emotions especially in the song Somewhere That's Green. I just wish I could have seen it more than once! You can read my review HERE

Sister Act
Curve Theatre, Leicester

Sister Act was definitely a surprise hit with me this year. After hearing it would be produced by Craig Revel Horwood and Alexandra Burke would be the leading lady I didn't know what to expect. The interpretation of a early 1990's film was done brilliantly and I found myself dancing along during the finale. Alexandra was undoubtedly great in her role as leading lady Deloris and her vocals were incredible, you can see why she won X Factor all those years ago. It's going to be coming to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham in 2017 so I'm definitely making another visit! You can read my review HERE 

Spring Awakening
Curve Theatre, Leicester

National Youth Music Theatre's production of Spring Awakening was a strong and unforgettable performance by a group of young people who clearly set themselves up as professional artists of the future. Spring Awakening was a musical that really used modernistic scenery that aligned itself with the historic element of the storyline. It has the most powerful and emotional soundtrack to go along with it too! I'm really excited by what productions NYMT will produce in 2017 and beyond! You can read my review HERE


The Showstoppers Improvised Musical
Curve Theatre, Leicester

The Showstoppers Improvised Musical was such a fun night and their improvisation skills are next to none. With the help of the audience members we created a musical centred around GBBO, what we created was a production that needs to maybe be snapped up and made into an actual thing (and you think I'm joking!) It was a natural funny performance that made for great viewing and I even got the chance to chat to the cast afterwards and they were so easy to chat to about their creative process and influences. You can read my review HERE

Sweeney Todd
Derby Theatre, Derby

I hadn't visited Derby Theatre ever before so when I was invited along to the press night of Sweeney Todd I was really intrigued to see what standard of performances they produced. I wasn't disappointed with Sweeney Todd, it was haunting as it should be and powerful in the flow of storyline and the strength of characters that made up it's plotline. The leading man Hugh Maynard and woman Sophie-Louise Dann for the performance were without a shadow of a doubt performed some of the best acting I have seen in months and I'd be excited to see anything else they had done since. You can read my review HERE

The Rocky Horror Show
Curve Theatre, Leicester

The etiquette of traditional theatre is thrown out of the window when it comes to The Rocky Horror Show. The performance invites you as an audience member to shout out outrageous innuendos from the crowd as well as standing up to join in with some of the show's timeless numbers, especially The Time Warp! At times the plot felt loss in all of the 'have a good time' atmosphere and the dressing up but it didn't stray away from being a feel good show enjoyed by all! It's definitely a show that even next time I will be dressing up for. You can read my review HERE

I'm now ready to dust off the notebook and pen and get right back into watching some amazing performances in 2017! If you'd like me to come and review any performances you have coming up or think i'd enjoy, drop me an email on carpediememmie@gmail.com.


thanks for reading,