Social cricket venue Sixes set to open in Leicester

By Jayden Whitworth

Leicester is set to welcome a new ‘immersive cricket social entertainment venue’, with Sixes Social Cricket opening in the Cultural Quarter.

Sixes is set to open in December, with customers able to test their batting skills, as well as offering food and drink, including burgers and stone-baked pizzas.

Leicester will become the fourth city in the UK to open up a Sixes, with other locations in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

After England’s success in winning the T20 World Cup in Australia, more people have taken an interest in the sport, with Sixes now providing the perfect opportunity to test your skills.

Sixes opens in Leicester on December 14, with adult tickets available at £13.50 and children at £9.50. For more information and ticketing details, visit: www.sixescricket.com.

‘A real pinch-me moment’: Leicester actor Daniel Cornish returns to his roots at Curve on a National Theatre 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/

Come as you were: Nirvana UK bring back the grunge age

By Sof Clarke

It’s been a ghost town on the live music scene the last few years due to covid, but Nirvana UK are resurrecting the spirit of a true grunge icon.

The tribute band have announced their 2023 tour dates, and Leicester is on the map.

“We are really looking forward to coming back to Leicester after last year’s great show!” said frontman Jez, who performs as Kurt Cobain. “You can expect more of the same from us, but more of a set themed around the ‘In Utero’ tour shows of 1993/94.”

After almost 10 years together, the band know everything about the trio they emulate. They even include genuine 1990s equipment and outfits to amplify the authenticity of an original Nirvana show.

“From vintage Tama drums, preamps, power amps, effect pedals, cabinets, speakers all the way down to microphones. We use all the same equipment as Nirvana would have used,” he said.

The tragic death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 denied a new generation of Nirvana fans the chance of ever seeing the band play live. “We really do all we can to provide the audience with the best possible representation of Nirvana live,” said Jez.

When asked about the type of people we can expect to see at the show, Jez said: “We see an entire spectrum. From nine-year-olds with their parents to the older generation who would have been into Nirvana when they were around.”

When questioned on the work-to-life ratio in the band, Jez replied, “It’s been very hard work at times but also very rewarding. I mean, not many people get to pretend they are Nirvana, right?”

Nirvana UK play the O2 Academy, Leicester on April 8, 2023. Click here for tickets.

Parking fines on the up despite cost-of-living crisis

By Ben Stevens

The number of parking fines and bus lane penalty notices being issued is on the increase despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, data suggests.

Information from Open Leicester confirms that 2022 is set to be the year with the third most penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued, behind 2018 and 2019 only.

The data also shows that the number of PCNs distributed has steadily increased month-by-month over the course of this year, with 5,883 fines issued out in January and 7,399 in September.

The amount of penalty notices sent out for driving in a bus lane, where prohibited to do so, is also on the rise and is currently at its highest level for 12 months.

3,302 bus lane penalty charge notices were issued in October 2022, the highest since October 2021, which itself was the highest since the Covid lockdowns of 2020.

Wigston resident Lydia Whitehead, 37, who regularly commutes into the city centre said: “Driving through the bus lanes during the rush hour when you are not supposed to is easily done, especially if you are new to the area, so I’m not surprised to hear that the number of fines is going up.

“There are more people using the roads now that people are going back to offices after Covid, so that could help to explain it.

“I just hope nobody uses that as an excuse to tighten the regulations or up the fines.”

Although September was the month where the most parking fines were distributed, it was also the month that generated the least income from these fines, data from Open Leicester suggests.

Despite the fact that nearly 7,400 PCNs were handed out, Leicester City Council generated only £143,385 from the fines, having made nearly £40,000 more from significantly less fines in January.

This suggests that more people are chancing parking their cars, not paying for a ticket and subsequently getting caught, or perhaps that people simply aren’t paying the fines that are sent out to them.

Leicester set for worst funding crisis ever

By Jayden Whitworth

Leicester is facing the worst funding crisis the city has ever experienced, with the chancellor not announcing any support in his Autumn Statement last week.

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is under increasing pressure to intervene and help people, businesses, and local councils, as the cost-of-living crisis rumbles on.

The Autumn Statement was announced on Thursday, November 17, with the chancellor pledging to ‘tackle the cost-of-living crisis’ and ‘rebuild the UK economy.’

In his statement, Jeremy Hunt announced that the national living wage for over-23s will be increased from £9.50 to £10.42 an hour from April next year. 

There was also more support for households on means-tested benefits, who will get £900 support payments next year.

But with no financial support for local councils, there has to be huge cuts to keep basic services going.

Leicester City Council will announce and set their budget for 2023 on February 22, 2023.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Like other councils across the country we expect to be facing even greater budget pressures over the next few years, and the Chancellor said nothing yesterday (NOV 17) that will change this.

“At our current level of spending we will be short of up to £50m a year by 2024 and are having to make huge cuts just to keep basic services going. 

“This is on top of the £90m of savings we have already had to make to services other than social care.

“This will put at risk the services people value – including our parks, museums, street cleaning services, and leisure centres. After yesterday’s statement, the bad news is that the years to come look like being even worse.”

With Christmas edging closer, some households are gearing up for a smaller Christmas this year, with the cost-of-living crisis forcing them to limit spending over the festive period.

Tracy Walker, mum of three, who lives in Thurmaston, said: “This year’s Christmas is going to be very different to previous years.

“We are going to have to strip it back a bit, with the kids not getting as many things.

“They would usually get a laptop or an XBOX, but this year that isn’t going to be possible, I don’t think.”