Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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My 10 Favourite Musicals

Leicester, UK

Musicals are my ultimate favourite and having a night at the theatre is something I just love to experience.

As someone who has been involved in the arts world since I was a little girl, from beginning dance school from the age of around four/five until today where I write tons of reviews for theatre and dance shows to recently completing a year as a National Dance Ambassador for One Dance UK.

I embraced the atmosphere that a theatre brings you and love watching many exciting things with the company of my boyfriend, friends or my fellow theatre enthusiast my mum.

I don't know why I haven't created this post a lot sooner but with a YouTube video created on the same subject I also wanted to talk about it here too. More on the YouTube video at the end of this post.

So in no particular order I would like to share with you my 10 Favourite Musicals.

01. Wicked
Wicked is without a doubt one of my favourites, it's incredible (was going to put wicked but that'd be a terrible pun and nobody needs to read that). But it is such a good musical. I've seen this musical twice, once in the West End and the second time at the Birmingham Hippodrome on it's UK tour and both times it blew me away.

The storyline isn't that hard to follow which is always a win when watching a musical for the first time and if you love Wizard of Oz, then you'll love this take on a story that happens before we see Dorothy turn up in Oz. I love Elphaba's character and I am always blew away by the incredible vocals from the entire cast. The soundtrack is also pretty good too, some of my favourites are One Short Day and Defying Gravity but I pretty much sing to the whole album on a weekly basis.

It has had a really good run in the West End and I believe it's currently celebrating it's 10th year so I would definitely check it out, it's definitely one that lives up to it's expectations.

02. Rent
I was first introduced to Rent back in college when my friend told me how incredible the soundtrack and storyline was, she instructed that I had to give it a go and I was hooked! It does come with a pretty strong storyline, following a group of friends through relationships, friendships, love, loss and struggle. It's definitely not to everyone's taste.

There's a tagline in it, 'No day but today' which I am still determined to get tattooed on me one day. The soundtrack is also a bit of a gem with incredible songs like Seasons of Love, Another Day and every other song on that album!

I really like the 'rock' feel to this musical and the ability to pull on your heart strings with it's storyline!

03. The Sound of Music
It would not be a list about musicals without mentioning this iconic musical. I have the fondest memories of when I first watched this with my grandparents. They used to have a cupboard full of VHS's, whether it was Police Academy or musicals I was completely hooked.

It's a musical that I could watch over and over again, it's unfortunately something I haven't watched live though. I'm not sure whether I would like to either because the film is so important to me that I wouldn't want to see anybody other than Julie Andrews play Maria.

Plus with the Von Trapp children and with amazing songs to sing a long to like Do Re Mi at the top of the lungs in the comfort of your living room you wouldn't want to see it live would you?

Anyway I am still to head to the hills in Austria and sing the hills are alive whilst whirling around, I can only dream and wish this happens soon..

04. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 
If your looking for a musical perfect for your family then Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is without a doubt the one for you. It's based on the story created by Ian Fleming and original film which starred Dick Van Dyke.

The story is completely brought to life in the stage adaption and the Childcatcher is just as terrifying on stage as he is in the film. I've seen this musical twice, once on the West End when Wayne Sleep played the Childcatcher and then again just recently when the UK Tour was at Birmingham Hippodrome. It starred Lee Mead, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Claire Sweeney and Phill Jupitus. Supported by an amazing cast it was definitely a great adaption of what we saw in the West End. Also the choreographer, Stephen Mear is someone who trained at my old dance school and his work is amazing in Chitty. I wrote a review here if you'd like to check it out.

It's one of the most energetic musicals I have ever seen so I would definitely recommend you'd to go and see it whilst it's still on tour. 

05. Mary Poppins 
There's something really exciting (but can also be daunting) when a Disney stage adaption happens, we almost hold our breathes in the hope that the magic created in the film isn't lost on a stage. But Cameron Mackintosh's adaption of Mary Poppins is incredible and with Matthew Bourne OBE and Stephen Mear on choreography you know your in safe hands.

What is created is a aesthetically amazing masterpiece! I think the adaption works so well and the energy from the musical is such an enjoyable watch. 

06. Sister Act 
This is one of the new additions to my favourites list and one that I just have loved talking about and listening to the soundtrack ever since I saw it in August. Sister Act is honestly one of the most feel good musicals I have ever seen and the whole cast just compliment the work so much, especially Alexandra Burke who playDeloris Van Cartier so perfectly!

I thought the piece was very funny too, I couldn't stop laughing and even though the music isn't the same as it in the film it works SO well! I can't stop listening to The Life I Never Lead and think it's such a lovely ballad number.

It's currently on a UK Tour so if you can I would urge anybody to go and watch it, you can read my review on it here

07. Footloose
Footloose is up there as one of my favourite 80s films ever so after watching the musical in the West End a considerable amount of years ago now I instantly fell in love with it's high energy and the music which made me fall in love with the film in the first place. 

It's kept very much to the same storyline as the film which is great for audiences when they come to see the musical and it'll have you dancing in your seat! 

If you love the film music like Let's Hear it for The Boy, Holding Out For a Hero or the title song Footloose then you'll love it! 

It's currently on a UK Tour so if you can I would urge anybody to go and watch it, you can read my review on it here

08. We Will Rock You 
I remember being introduced to this musical after my college friend had told me how much she loved it and she couldn't have been more correct. We Will Rock You packed a show full of punch, great storyline and a Queen soundtrack (music genius's if you ask me!). I couldn't believe how much I loved the musical. I saw this musical around 2-3 times and everytime I never seemed to get bored of it.

My parents are huge Queen fans so I was delighted that when I recommended that we went to see it they enjoyed it just as much as I did. I'm just gutted it's no longer in London, there's definitely a huge void now that it's not there anymore. Can we get a UK tour please?

09. Lion King 
So here's another Disney adaption and one I couldn't not forget to talk about. Lion King is an example of pure imagination and creativity at it's best. You will not be disappointed in what they've created in their stage adaption and everything from the set design to the costumes has been thought about thoroughly to produce such a stunning musical.

I remember how much this musical captivated my own imagination when I first saw it on a school trip at high school and it's done so well in West End and beyond when it did a UK tour! I really would like to go to London and see it again because it's just so magical and will not disappoint it's audiences.

10. Spring Awakening  
Here's another new favourite and the last musical on my list, phew! You can have a nap after this, thank me later!

Spring Awakening is a musical that's soundtrack I loved before I saw the musical recently at the Curve Theatre in Leicester. It's just such a powerful performance that involves young performers as their cast. The musical had me in tears at some points with it's pure strength in musical score, give Left Behind a listen and you'll know what I am on about. The storyline was a lot easier to follow than I had expected and would be fine for newcomers to the musical to come and enjoy. 

It's not a musical that comes around often so I was really glad to have the opportunity to watch it! 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, please tell me about your favourite musicals if you have any and why! Also please suggest to me any new soundtracks to listen to, I'm always looking for more to add to my playlist. 

I did have a great little natter about these musicals over on my YouTube channel so I'll leave the video below for you to watch..


  1. I absolutely love Wicked, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins!

    1. Wicked is definitely one loads of people love, I'm looking forward to it's second UK tour next year! I will be so obsessed with it again! :D x

  2. I love Mary Poppins, Chitty and Wicked a lot. I'm going to see Chitty again tonight at the Hippodrome and I can't wait. Super excited.

    Thanks for sharing
    Steph xx

    Steph's World | Lifestyle Blog | www.stephsworld.com

    1. That's cool glad you got to see Chitty again, I can't believe it's nearly been a year since it was at the Hippodrome! where has the year gone?! x

  3. Love this list, has definitely motivated me to go and check out some of these musicals! I love Wicked, I saw it for the second time recently and it was brilliant :D

    Paris x

  4. I definitely haven't seen enough of these! 😍 I'm also a big fan of the Sound of Music, it's my Mum's all time favourite musical so she even has the sheet music! My favourite is Sweeney Todd, in fact I'm reading the original serialised novel that the musical is based on at the minute! Thanks for sharing!

    Abbey 📽 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  5. Love this post! There's quite a few of these I haven't seen yet but have heard great things about them, I'll have to go see them/watch them when I get the chance to :D I was obsessed with chitty chitty bang bang as a kid, literally would watch it all the time, getting ready for school, when I got back from school, over the weekends on repeat haha was crazy! Amazing soundtrack though :D

  6. I just loved this post. I love musicals, but I don't know why I just kinda was not with the whole hype of Wicked. I mean staging, the singing and dancing was incredible, but I just feel like there are better musicals out there. I do love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Footloose and The Lion King, but a personal favourite has to be Chicago.
    Alicia x

    1. I know what you mean about Wicked for sure, it's not everyone's cup of tea and I think it's because of the direct influence from the Wizard of Oz which is a pretty iconic story! I do enjoy the music and the plot but it's kind of quite predictable if you ask me! Oh Chicago is a very good choice, I love the era that's in and it has some crackers in the soundtrack too! x


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