‘A real pinch-me moment’: Leicester actor Daniel Cornish returns to Curve Theatre for The Ocean at the End of the Lane tour

Practice makes perfect: Domonic Ramsden, Ronnie Lee, Daniel Cornish, Paolo Guidi in rehearsals for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. ⒸCameron Slater

Talented Leicester actor Daniel Cornish is set to return to Curve for the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Daniel is no stranger to Curve. In 2012 he starred in the production of ‘The King and I’ and regularly performed in several of the theatre’s productions before training at the Guildford School of Acting.

He said: “I think it’s safe to say Curve has a special place in my heart and being able to perform on that stage again, as an adult, with the National Theatre, is a real pinch-me moment.”

Daniel has performed in productions such as A Certain Term at White Bea; The Good Scout for Above the Stag; The Little Prince at Vienna’s English Theatre; and Maggie and Ted at the Garrick Theatre.

“I am super excited to be back in Leicester for two weeks and to be able to see my family and friends, but most importantly it means I get to stay at my nan’s,” said Daniel.

Adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, the imagination of Neil Gaiman, the best-selling author of Coraline and The Sandman, is brought to the stage and explores his magical world of fantasy and thrills.

The show follows a man as he returns to his childhood home, where he finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. 

The audience is then transported to his 12th birthday where his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible…

Plunged into an extraordinary world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Daniel said: “Expect to see the best of storytelling on stage, with puppetry, movement, illusions and much more. Expect to laugh, expect to cry, and expect to leave uplifted by a truly heart-warming story” 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane first premiered in the Dorfman Theatre in 2019, followed by a hugely successful and celebrated six-month stint at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End in 2021.

Daniel said: “The success of the show so far speaks volumes about what a gem of a story this is..

In the production, Daniel plays the role of ‘Alternate Boy’ which is shared with the “wonderful” Keir Ogilvy who plays ‘Boy’.

He said: “We have been able to discover this character together. We’ve been able to bring our own experiences and opinions into the space and offered the opportunity to bounce off each other’s energy.”

He adds that playing the role of a character that has a genuine intrigue for life, a desire to learn and a wild imagination “has been lovely to access as we often lose that child-like intrigue, and drive to play as we grow up.”

Daniel is joined on tour by EastEnders star and I’m a Celebrity 2012 winner, Charlie Brooks (Ursula), Jasmeen James (understudy) Trevor Fox (Dad), Emma-Jane Goodwin (understudy), Paolo Guidi (ensemble), Millie Hikasa (Lettie Hempstock), Lewis Howard (understudy), Kemi-Bo Jacobs (Ginnie Hempstock), Ronnie Lee (ensemble), Aimee McGoldrick (ensemble), Laurie Ogden (Sis), Keir Ogilvy (Boy), Domonic Ramsden (ensemble), Joe Rawlinson-Hunt (understudy), Risha Silvera (understudy) and Finty Williams (Old Mrs Hempstock).

The current production is the National Theatre’s largest tour since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The adaptation is set to travel around 29 major towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is at Leicester’s Curve Theatre from January 31 until February 11, for tickets see https://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane/

Leicester’s Curve Theatre set for Midlands premiere of popular Sticky Door play

By Jayden Whitworth

Leicester
Award-winning: Katie Arnstein pictured above in ‘Sticky Door’. Image: Katie Arnstein

Leicester’s Curve Theatre hosted the first Midlands showing of Sticky Door, a play which has been branded as ‘genius’ by A Young Theatre.

Katie Arnstein brought her new play to Leicester on Saturday(MAR12) as part of the City’s New Work Festival.

Katie, writer of the It’s a girl! trilogy, including her two other shows Sexy Lamp and Bicycles and Fish, said: “I was so excited. 

“There were over 30 artists/art groups sharing work in one of the most brilliant venues in the country. 

“It’s incredible and to have Sticky Door’s Midland premier at Curve is an absolute dream.”

Sticky Door is a storytelling show about sex, cystitis, and stigma, told by Katie herself. 

She said: “The show is primarily about my journey to taking up space and telling my story. 

“The message I hope audiences leave with is about how valuable stories are and how they can shape who we are. 

“It’s a comedy with sweets and songs but I hope audience members leave feeling empowered and also more supported than when they arrived. 

“Ideally sweets in their mouth, tears in their eyes and a fire in their belly.”

Covid-19 battered the theatre industry with all in-person events cancelled and some events being shown across online platforms.

Katie said: “I am so thrilled to be able to perform in front of a live audience again, and as a Midlands artist, performing at Curve is really special. 

“The arts industry was really affected by Covid, and I think we will feel the results of it for a really long time. 

“What it does mean, however, is that I remember that what I do is a real privilege. 

“I’ll never take it for granted that I get to do this for a job. 

“Sharing my stories and hearing those of the audiences after the show is such a joy.

“I feel really lucky.”

Katie Arnstein’s Sticky Door has already won multiple awards and has been heavily lauded, with five-ratings from Upper Circle, Broadway World and The Reviewers Hub among others.

Leicester’s New Work Festival returns to Curve this weekend

By Jayden Whitworth

RETRO: Teddy Hinde (left) and Barry O’Reilly pictured performing in ‘Is He Musical’. Photo credit: Ana Webb-Sanchez

Emerging actors, dancers, musicians and the cream of the Midlands’ creative artists will be converging on Leicester’s annual New Work Festival at the Curve Theatre this weekend. 

The festival begins on Thursday(MARCH10) with Carol Leeming’s The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity and closes on Sunday with Dance Dhamaka returning after a two-year absence. 

More than 25 artists and arts organisations are set to showcase their talents over the course of the four-day festival.

The line-up will bring a variety of different performances, including plays, music, dance, and readings. 

The festival will bring the Notnow Collective’s Pepper and Honey (March 10) to the Curve alongside Nicole Acquah’s Sankofa (March 12) and Katie Arnstein’s highly acclaimed Sticky Door (March 12), among others.

‘Is He Musical?’ is a new musical comedy that is loosely inspired by real stories of LGBTQ+ people from 1930s London and is set to hit the Curve this Friday.

Jude Taylor, composer, lyricist, and writer of ‘Is He Musical?’, said: “We’ve had three exciting opportunities to present the show in different forms over the past month – digitally as a live-stream, in person in a full production and then in person again in London as a semi-staged concert. 

“It’s been great to bring this story to a range of audiences both locally and in London, and to highlight this often-neglected era of LGBTQ+ history. 

“Despite a few challenges (including Storm Eunice, of course), we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, and the team have been fantastic to work with.”

With COVID restrictions in place for most of the last two years, Curve has been unable to present Leicester’s annual New Work Festival. 

Jude said: “It’s been fantastic to be back in front of live audiences once more.

“After the uncertainty, anxiety and many overwhelming challenges presented to us all in the last few years, there’s something wonderful about the magical way in which the experience of live theatre can unite us and bring so much joy to people.”

For ticket details visit: https://www.curveonline.co.uk

Curtains set to open in Leicester with Jason Manford

Preview by Kyran Kennedy

Macbeth meets Live at the Apollo as comedian Jason Manford returns to Leicester this March as part of the murder mystery themed musical Curtains.

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Versatile: Jason Manford is heading to Leicester (University of Salford Press Office / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0))

The production will run from Monday 16 March to Saturday 21 March at the Haymarket Theatre, with tickets available now to see Manford in the lead role.

Marking 20 years since Manford won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award, he will be looking to prove to Leicester that he still has the same comedic spark that made the city laugh all those years ago.

Since then, Manford has been notably present on various TV shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats and been part of famous stage productions across the UK, including Chitty Chitty Bang.

Manford will be playing the role of Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, a detective from Boston who has an interest in theatre. Whether his skills as a comedian will help unravel the musical mystery remain to be seen, but the man from Manchester is expected to put on a great show in front of more than a thousand people across the week.

Manford will not be the only name starring in the Tony Award-winning musical. The casting team have added a number of British talents who can help bring a sense of familiarity to the Brits watching what is otherwise an all-American affair.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba and former Hollyoaks actress Carley Stenson will be supporting on stage.

The show has been on Broadway and touring since 2006, but now, with Manford front and centre on stage, it’s sure to create even more intrigue for a British audience. It looks as though those in attendance will have their work cut out trying to figure out the culprit in this whodunnit-comedy.

To book tickets, call the Box Office on 0116 296 1236 or look online at https://www.haytheatre.com/whats-on/curtains

DMU Theatre Society performs spectaculathon to packed audience

By Isobel Rix

De Montfort University’s Theatre Society performed a Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon to a packed Y Theatre audience on Sunday (MAR17).

The show delivered traditional fairy tales in the way they were intended to be performed, including the original grisly details and endings.

Imogen Show

Image by Rebekah Whelan

Imogen Fitzgerald, 18, is the society’s secretary and performed as Cinderella.

“The show was an absolute success, everybody did so well and I’m beyond proud of the hard work that both the cast and committee put into it.

“It was interesting to tell the fairy tales in a different light as it relates more to a young adult audience humour which was our target as we are a university society.

“We wanted to do something that ourselves as the cast would enjoy as well.”

The performance began at 7pm and was the last of only two shows.

For further information about the society and future shows find them on social media.

Twitter: @demon_theatre

Facebook: Demon Theatre