AUTUMN CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS
Say so long to summer and get ready for an exciting new season. Here’s the start of our Autumn round-up to wet your whistle…
THEATRE AND MUSICALS
Lots going on at Curve as always – some show stopping musicals as well as some fab Made at Curve productions including Cabaret (15 Oct – 19 Oct) which has been directed by National Theatre Artistic Director Rufus Norris. It’s 1931, Berlin is a haven of divine decadence and the legendary Sally Bowles (played by Kara Lily Hayworth following her performance in Cilla The Musical) is about to take the stage at the infamous Kit Kat Klub. It features show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes and iconic songs Money Makes The World Go Round, Maybe This Time, Cabaret and more. Starring as Emcee is John Partridge, winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2018, well known to TV audiences as EastEnders’ charismatic Christian Clarke.
Meanwhile, the iconic musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert is riding into town (28 Oct – Sat 2 Nov) and starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, Priscilla is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance. With more glitter than ever before, this smash-hit show features a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife and Finally!
I cannot wait for West Side Story, The Musical (23 Nov — 11 Jan). I’ve grown up watching this and I know every song off by heart and have lost count how many times I imagined myself as Maria singing ‘I feel pretty’ in the bridal shop. Set in New York in 1957, it’s love at first sight strikes between Tony, a founding member of the White-American Jets and Maria, the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. In the face of danger, the two young lovers continue to meet in secret – but the Jets and the Sharks have one last rumble to fight out. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s been inspired by Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet.
Grease – The Musical. Who doesn’t know the story of Danny and cute girl-next-door Sandy who are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to his school for senior year? But can they survive the trials and tribulations of teenage life in an American high school? You know the songs – Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want. This new version is bought to life by a fresh young cast who bring energy, vitality and passion to this ultimate musical classic. Directed by Curves’ Nikolai Foster and starring very special guest artist –Peter Andre (10 -14 Sept only) as Teen Angel so pick up your Pink Ladies and re-discover why Grease really is the word! Watch out for my review.
Produced by the ESNA Players, The Addams Family (8-12 Oct) focuses on Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness who is all grown up but has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She’s fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. With his cherished wife, Morticia in the dark, will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret? Find out in this spooky but funny family show.
Based on the Oscar-winning film, Little Miss Sunshine (3-7 Sept) is a new musical comedy featuring Mark Moraghan (Coronation Street, Holby City), Lucy O’Byrne (Evita, Les Misérables, The Sound of Music), two-time Olivier-award nominee Paul Keating. The Hoover family has more than a few troubles, but young Olive has her heart set on winning the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. When an invitation to compete arrives, the Hoovers pile in to their rickety yellow camper van but can it survive the 800-mile trip from New Mexico to California – and more importantly, can they? Catch it at Haymarket Theatre.
You can also watch the 30th Anniversary tour of Fame the Musical (21 – 26 Oct) starring Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing On Ice). Featuring the Oscar-winning title song and a cast of outstanding dancers, singers, musicians and actors as they transform from star struck pupils to superstars. Also on at Haymarket Theatre.
The annual Diwali light switch-on this year is on 13 Oct from 5pm. Expect light, colour, music, dance and more with the annual event. Watch as The Golden Mile is swathed in light which celebrates the Hindu New Year. Take a ride on Leicester’s Wheel of Light – a 110-foot illuminated ferris wheel, providing a birds-eye view of the spectacular lights along Leicester city’s Golden Mile, also known as Belgrave Road.
Belgrave Food and Garden Festival is back from 14 -15 Sept. If you consider yourself a foodie, head to this popular event which showcases products from local suppliers in the beautiful setting of Belgrave Hall and Gardens and there’s plenty for kids too.
The Edible Forest returns from 7-15 Sept to the ancient woodland of Charnwood Forest. Tonnes of fun foodie events from a vintage Midland Red bus and dine tour around the forest to a forest inspired menu created by Michelin star holder, Chef John Duffin in a secret undisclosed location. There’s the return of the Dining Pods, Scones on the Lawn, Tea in the Tower and more.
Black History Month, 1- 31 Oct
Having been awarded the tenure by Leicester City Council, Serendipity has overseen BHM in Leicester for the past few years and the theme for 2019 is Archiving the Past, Reflecting the Future. This year the event will focus on Black British history and the contribution of the African and African Caribbean community to the artistic and cultural heritage of the East Midlands over the last 80 years. Lots of film, shows, events, poetry, workshops, exhibitions and more.
Like your music humorous and heartbreaking? A Country Night In Nashville (19 Sept) will take you from Johnny Cash to Alan Jackson, Dolly to the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson to Little Big Townas it recreates the scene of a buzzing Honky Tonk in downtown Nashville, perfectly capturing the energy and atmosphere of an evening in the home of country music. Kilworth Theatre.
Faith, The George Michael Legacy (12 Sept) is brand new production remembering one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. This energetic, vibrant musical journey brings to life 35 years of hits from George’s glittering career. Think everything from ‘Freedom! 90’ to ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘Outside’ to ‘Careless Whisper’, the beautiful ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’ and the show stopping ‘Somebody To Love’, all brought to life by a fantastic cast and sensational live band. On at Kilworth Theatre.
Consider yourself a jazz lover? Then book to see Tony Kofi’s Portrait of Cannonball (9 Nov) at the Y Theatre, which celebrates the music of the jazz giant Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley from his first session as a leader in 1955 through work with Miles Davis to the Soul Jazz of the 1960’s.
Leicester International Music Festival this year runs from 19 – 21 Sept at the New Walk Museum’s Victorian Gallery and before you think that’s a little too dull or high-brow for your liking – thing again! The combination of live music, played by the world’s best in an intimate setting can actually prove to be quite an amazing experience! The theme this year is ‘Finding Your Soul’, inspired by Oprah Winfrey, who once wrote that your 20s were all about ‘finding your soul’. So the music for the festival features gorgeous pieces, evening concerts (7.30pm) on all three days and lunchtime concerts (1- 2pm) on Thursday and Friday, as well as a free ‘Family Fun Event’ on Saturday from 12 -1pm.
You may remember him from Britain’s Got Talent and now you can see Daliso Chaponda (4 Oct) live at the Sue Townsend Theatre. He’ll be bringing his fun, daring new show to Leicester and looks at disgraced, blacklisted celebrities and historical figures that we’re all ashamed we once admired. There’s also the small matter of family member arrests, exploding buildings in his home country and more which he rolls into one hilarious comedy show.
Anyone still remember Jack Dee? Well he’s on at Melton Theatre on 17 Oct for one night only but only the last few remaining tickets are avail so get them quick!
Margaret Atwood, highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments is revealed on 20 Sept. The event will be celebrated with an exclusive live cinema broadcast live from the London stage, where Atwood will be interviewed and will look into Atwood’s remarkable career, her diverse range of works, and why she has returned to her seminal handmaid story, 34 years later. It’s on at the Phoenix Cinema.
Meanwhile also on 26 Sept watch Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden, in NT Live / One Man, Two Guvnors in this hilarious West End and Broadway hit returns to cinemas to mark NT Live’s 10th birthday.