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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REVIEW | My Beautiful Laundrette.

My Beautiful Laundrette 
Curve Theatre, Leicester 

Powders Laundrette has opened for business this Autumn at Curve, launching the theatre's new season of theatre. My Beautiful Laundrette was a product of Film on Four (later becoming the more known Film4) and was not created for movie release. In 1982 Britain's new fourth TV channel launched with a radical vision that rethought the relationship between TV and film in the UK. Their inital plan was to become a platform for filmmakers to create features for TV on a budget of £6 million per year, in the first ten years. More than 130 feature-lengths were completed and half of those achieved a cinema release. My Beautiful Laundrette was the first big hit which changed their plans. 

Hanif Kureishi has successfully adapted the landmark 1985 movie for the stage with the helping hand of music from Tennant and Lowe of the iconic Pet Shop Boys. This powerful production really clinches the impact of Thatcher in power and the values that filtered through into society whilst a gay relationship grows. Kureishi is brave in his choice to heighten the racial and gender politics in the story and in a way that resonates to the audience well. 

At the centre of the outside chaos is Omar (Omar Malik), a young British Pakistani man who turns a good for nothing laundrette into a booming business in the heart of his community. It's all thanks to Johnny (Jonny Fines), his friend who he dotes on. For Johnny there's overwhelming pressure from the fascism "friends" that he is surrounded by. There's clear direction in their spite and hatred towards their changing community - there is even a banner "British jobs for British workers" held during the play. 

Johnny Fines does a spectacular job at portraying this hard faced individual who goes on a journey of self-discovery in how his fascism views can be transformed into something positive. I drew into his character well during the entire play. 

My Beautiful Laundrette displays how different relationships are intertwined into Omar's and Johnny's world. There is a really important presence of how British and Pakistani can come to absolute chaos and traditional Pakistani values. We see how Omar's cousin Tania (Nicole Jebeli) handles a culture where marriages are seen as business mergers and she sees herself away from those traditions that were so accepting of her mother's generation but isn't something she agrees with. It's a fantastic side plotline as we see Tania fight for her freedom from these traditions.

Obviously at the heart of this story is Omar's longing for love from Johnny and amongst the hard-hitting topics within this piece, there was some time stopping moments from them that drew us in for sure. I definitely think we have Ben Cracknell's superb lighting design. 

The play most definitely retains the 80s mindest whilst speaking out loud to today's world too. Collectively it was a fantastic play that I enjoyed every moment of - it took me on such a rollercoaster of emotions.

My Beautiful Laundrette is performing at Curve Theatre, Leicester until Sat 5 Oct. It's also performing at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry between 29 Oct - 2 Nov. 


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