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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Sleeping Beauty | Little Theatre, Leicester

Leicester, UK

Christmas feels like it was a lifetime ago and most of us have probably took down the Christmas decorations, waving goodbye to all festivities for another year. If your anything like me then you are probably still attempting to cling onto Christmas with both hands because you don't want to let it go. If this is the case then get yourself to your local theatres because there are still pantomimes playing. Plus, they are the best way to keep that Christmas spirit alive.

The Little Theatre is a small venue nestled away on Dover Street in the Leicester City Centre. It is predominantly a voluntary run organisation which has established itself as the home of Leicester Drama Society (LDS), and has ran now for around 90 years. I haven't personally been to this theatre in a considerable time but it prides itself on producing twelve main-house shows a year and a pantomime which is consistently popular with it's audiences.

They invited me along to sample of those pantomimes, so they whisked me off to their extravaganza production of Sleeping Beauty. They promise that we won't sleep through this 'little beauty of a panto!' and that hopefully I wouldn't get too wet during the performance.

Little Theatre's panto completely blew all expectations of what I expected of a panto which didn't advertise the glitz and glamour of an all star cast production that's become the normal in other theatres. They left very little to what you should expect from the performance, leaving an element of surprise. The standard of work produced was without a doubt some of the best I've seen.

The casting was well skilled, the theatre had definitely thought about enhancing and showcasing the talents of local young people, as well as that of those who are based locally. With students from local education institutions like Leicester College and De Montfort University taking their place on stage, it makes for perfect opportunity in a professional capacity. In particular Meg Slator who undertook the leading lady role as Aurora with confidence and poise, her vocals in particular showcased that she was able to hold her own and I'm excited to see what lies ahead in her professional career.

The Young Heralds characters played by James May and Isaac Hart were great for the younger members of the audience, they knew how to interact not only with one another but with their audience. Their ability to undertake a difficult role that contains a lot of slapstick comedy with ease was really great to see.

Choreographed by local dance artist Alison Bacon, the movement fitted the pantomime bill well. There was a definite relationship between the energy and technique that fitted the structure of the pantomime. Sometimes some of the dances felt slightly flat against the upbeat tempo that the music used which sometimes felt disappointing. The senior dancers really  helped to break up the storyline and give it more layer in between scenes. Modern music worked well within the context and fun required of a pantomime production.

Dame, Petuna Petal played by John Bale was a natural within the role, making it clear that he was not afraid to undertake a role that comes with high expectations. He clearly enjoyed what he was doing and interacted well with the audience, especially the younger audience who came up to join in with the Wiggly Worm audience participation song. John also showcases other talents within his role as Director and Head of Wardrobe too. He clearly demonstrates a great knowledge of what is expected of a pantomime production and fulfils this with Sleeping Beauty.

The panto definitely didn't stray away from the traditional things that I love so much about uni. Their use of the 'If I were not in Pantomime' it was fun, cheeky and great for the older more 'mature' members of the audience, or so you'd like to think because it had me in fits of laughter.

You wouldn't be surprised when you started to dance along to their use of modern music and attempting to hide away from the use of water guns, a lot of fun for the family to enjoy! I am definitely convinced that The Little Theatre in Leicester provides a traditional pantomime that isn't to be missed and I will definitely be auditioning for their production of Dick Whittington next Christmas for sure!

Photos : Sally Evans 
Running until 08 January 2017

*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own.


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