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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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Theatre at Home in May and June.

Leicester, UK
How have we managed to survive 4 months without the theatre, like over 100 days?! I'm really missing all of the little elements of a theatre visit that we took for granted under our noses. It's a really tough time for theatres right now and it's vital that we all get behind them over the next few months. For the past two months I have been really been getting to grips with theatre content being streamed online for the past 2 months and some of it is incredible! I wanted to share some quick thoughts on the shows I've seen over the last two months with you. 

The Midnight Gang
Chichester Festival Theatre

The Chichester Festival Theatre's 2018 production of The Midnight Gang was exactly the warmth of a show that I'm really missing. Taking on David Walliams' best-selling children's book is brought to life, resulting in a energetic and heartwarming story of fun, friendship and the importance of kindness. It definitely gave me the same level of production from another production of a Walliams' book, The Boy in the Dress which I saw at the start of the year. I loved how the characters on the children's ward of the spooky Lord Funt Hospital came to life, it definitely deserves a return to the stage in the future. 


Romeo and Juliet,
Matthew Bourne.

Matthew Bourne delivers some of the most striking dance productions and it's no different when it comes to re-imagining Shakespeare's classic love story, Romeo and Juliet. The contemporary style bursts with energy and Bourne's trademark storytelling is what sets his work apart from everyone else. This re-imagining is set in the white-tiled Verona Institute, where groups of young people are drilled and drugged into conformist submission. The familiar sounds of Prokofiev's score is given a re configuring by Terry Davies, but it aligns perfectly with the storytelling and the energy throughout the piece. I felt really fortunate to be able to see this on my TV screen and it still gave me goosebumps! 

Wise Children

Emma Rice does a fantastic job in this joyous production of Angela Carter's Wise Children which I really enjoyed watching. The show is set in Brixton and around twin chorus girls, Nora and Dora Chance who were both born and bred south of the river. They are celebrating their 75th birthday and this story follows their story in show business, family, forgiveness and hope. There's show girls, Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity. I love how many different elements are intertwined into this production and I enjoyed the staging of it too. 

Cats the Musical,
Andrew Lloyd Webber

I don't actually remember when I last sat and watched Cats, so having it streamed as part of The Show Must Go On was the perfect opportunity. I believe Cats is a musical that very much divides the theatre community but I actually quite like the 1998 film. Gillian Lynne's choreography in this show is sublime and timeless, aligned with the unforgettable score too. It was nice to enjoy more of a "classic" musical during this time. 

A Piece of String
Mercury Theatre

This show was perfectly released aligned with VE Day back in May. A Piece of String is a new musical set simultaneously in the 1940s and in the present day. It is centred around Jane's father,  Edward who comes back from the Second World War with a secret that would change his life forever. A Piece of String really does have the most beautiful score and a heart-rending human story at the heart of it. It was a show that gave me lots of goosebumps..and tears!

EXO,
Motionhouse

I'm no stranger to the exhilarating work from  Dance-Circus company, Motionhouse so I was delighted to see they had made some of their previous works available through a dedicated YouTube channel. Oxo is a stunning outdoor spectacle that features two amazing performers, a JCB digger and a driver. This 20 minute display of strength and beauty literally takes your breath away in this performance.  It's really worth watching for yourself! 

Small Island
National Theatre

Probably one of the most important pieces of theatre I'm going to lay my hands on is Andrea Levy's epic novel, Small Island. Thanks to the National Theatre we've revisited the 2019 production and it definitely has struck a cord with me as a viewer. Small Island tells the stark realities interwoven and troubled histories between Jamaica and the UK, from World War 2 through to 1948, taking on the perspectives of two heroines, across two countries. Parts of this show were really emotional and raw for me, the adventure really sucks you in and the set design does an effective job in transporting you through the twists and turns in the story too. 

Alegria,
Cirque du Soleil

News has recently been released that this wonderful company have cut '3,500 jobs to avoid bankruptcy' so it's more important than ever to get behind them. I love Cirque du Soleil's work, I've seen two productions of theirs in the past and they're incredible. Alegria is one I haven't seen but thanks to their 60-minute specials on YouTube, you can get a glimpse of what these guys do! It's one of the most iconic shows from the company, watch the incredible acrobats transport you into a world like no other in this production. 

Reasons To Be Cheerful,
Graeae Theatre Company

Graeae Theatre  are an inclusive company whose diversity and forward thinking presents a joyous production with Reasons To Be Cheerful. I have admired this style of work for years so being able to enjoy it from my home is really quite something. This 2017 production has music by Ian Dury and the Blockheads. It's a coming of age story whose music really helps keep the energy pumping through this production, with some fantastic snippets of humour too. It does have a nod to highlighting the welfare system and the brutal cuts that has happened in recent years. I had a feel-good experience from this production.

The Last Five Years

A production filmed in isolation? That's exactly what I saw recently with Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. It's really like this show is made for a lockdown situation. Lauren Samuels and Danny Becker did a superb job in bringing the story of doomed lovers Cathy and Jamie to life, with Samuels making a directorial debut. I see her TikTok's are paying off ;)! Lauren Samuels' vocals in I'm Still Hurting are really gorgeous and the transition through the story is swift but easy to follow. This show made me really intrigued and curious by how we can shift theatre through new mediums moving forward. 

The Grinning Man
Bristol Old Vic 

The Grinning Man is hands down becoming one of my favourite shows of 2020 and I experienced it during lockdown. The Grinning Man, based on the novel by Victor Hugo entitled The Man Who Laughs is this haunting but heartwarming tale that will stay with you forever. It tells the story of a horribly disfigured boy whose mouth is sliced at the edges by an unknown perpetrator into a huge, bloody gash. He meets a lost baby, a lone wolf, and the man who adopted them. His life is haunted by a terrible secret, he is a person desperate to hide whilst his love, a sightless girl longs to be discovered. The Grinning Man has epic staging, fantastic snippets of breaking the fourth wall and beautiful lyrics. It's really a show I won't be forgetting in a hurry! 











Have you been watching some great theatre at home recently? 



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Comments

  1. A Piece of String sounds like a fantastic musical and really moving too. It's amazing that theatres have been able to put on online shows over this period. I can't wait until it's safe to go to the theatre again!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it's been really good for the community to feel a part of the industry in some kind of capacity, I'm just really missing it! xx

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