Friday, 18 August 2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream at Curve

I was invited to Curve to see A Midsummer Night's Dream this week - an unexpected pleasure! The production is only on until 20th August, so if you fancy experiencing it for yourself then get in quickly!



It is a Curve Young Company and community production and they have done an absolutely bang up job. Every element of the performance is captivating, leaving you absolutely spellbound the whole way through.


Image by P Raith


I adore A Midsummer Night's Dream anyway, it's such a fantastic, amusing tale and the cast of 70 actors, young and old, really do it justice here in Leicester. I particularly enjoyed the impromptu musical numbers which really delighted in some super choreography and passionate energy from the dancers.


Image by P Raith

Visually, the whole thing looks stunning too - from the intricate set (with real grass!) and a floating fairy bower to the beautifully designed costumes. I loved the mixture of digital effects and physical set dressing, particularly as scene changes were so swift and professional. I think we can all agree that we would like fairy horns and wings on our shoes.

Image by P Raith

There were quite a number of stand out performers. Bottom had us all gasping with laughter, and I enjoyed the performances and the dancing of Puck(s). But it was clear that the whole cast had put in an insane amount of work to making the production perfect and I for one appreciated that effort.

Thanks to Curve for inviting me along to review. A delightful summer's treat indeed!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Pop your cork: 45 St Martin's

We popped along last week to the soft launch of Leicester's latest wine bar. 45 St Martin's, on St Martin's Square, is a sleek, airy space, beautifully refurbished in the unit formerly occupied by the lovely Futurecycles (who are still around, just on Market Street now).



They are a wine bottle shop and bar, dealing in fine wines and champagnes and offering a high level of customer service in refined surroundings. There is a little bit of outdoor seating available for you to enjoy when the weather is fine, and it is an altogether pleasant place to sit and while away an evening.



The staff, although a new team, have clearly been well picked and well trained as they are all universally polite and welcoming and extremely attentive. The menu is extensive, there are many wines for you to take away, but equally the wine list for drinking at the bar is carefully chosen with a range of palates catered for.



I opted for the Californian Zinfandel on the list, because I am a sucker for that grape and always looking for one that is as good as those that I tried in Cali. I can confirm that this is probably the best I have had in the UK - it was full and rounded in the mouth and full of that fabled jamminess that for some reason doesn't seem to be often present in the Zins that are exported to this country. There certainly was a little hint of that West Coast sunshine which I find to be so elusive in imported wines from my favourite American state. Two thumbs up from me.



If you fancy something a little different, there is of course a range of fine champagnes, but also a very exotic looking list of champagne cocktails, to add a dash of refinement to your evening. I haven't tried those, but I have seen some pictures on their social media and they certainly look very beautiful! As you would expect, there is also a modest selection of beers, soft drinks and more - we found that these were very reasonably priced, so for the quality of both the wines and the other drinks over all the value for money is very good as the wines on offer are definitely worth the £5+ you will pay for a glass and the beers and soft drinks are much less.


As it was the soft launch, we were also able to enjoy a range of nibbles, which matched well with my wine and added to the experience. I don't know how often they will be doing that on a regular week but I'm pretty sure if it becomes a regular thing then that will coax me in to becoming a regular!

Initial impressions are therefore very good! Let's just hope they don't start employing bizarre dress policies like the 'no trainers' rule which suddenly appeared at their sister bar, 45 West. After all, the unpretentious and honest enjoyment of a quality wine doesn't come with a dress code.
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