The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest is a trivial comedy featuring serious people falling in love trapped in a web full of lies. This is one of Oscar Wilde’s most successful plays and will certainly make you laugh. As we all know ‘earnest’ stands for being honest and truthful whereas this play is completely the opposite.

I have never seen or read anything about The Importance of Being Earnest but I saw that a local theatre group were performing it during April so I decided to get tickets. Going in and not knowing anything about the show let me be open-minded with no expectations.

The Ashby Dramatic Society are based in Ashby with their own little theatre. This gives you that professional feeling and a great evening out. Tickets were £9 each and off the play began.

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Jack pines after and wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen but she has one difficult mother to convince, Lady Bracknell. She by the way was played by a fantastic actress and had me laughing every time she said something. I love sarcasm! As the story unfolds more and more secrets come out. Jack pretends to have brother called Earnest who Cecily thinks she’s in love with. Cecily is looked after by Jack in their swanky house in the country.

Jack proposes to Gwendolen but to her his name is Earnest and she says yes! She’s always wanted to marry an Earnest not a John, not someone else so Jack has to continue to pretend to being Earnest. As the lies continue Jack speaks to Algernon about his fake brother Earnest and Algernon seems curious to meet Cecily.

Jack mentions that Earnest has passed away to members of his country house to cover up his lies. However, Cecily and Algernon (Earnest number 2) are already together on a walk and this is where it all gets messy. I won’t say what happens as it’ll spoil the story if you don’t know it.

I have to say the relationship between Jack and Algernon worked really well. The gentleman that played Algernon really got into character which made it more effective. He was so relaxed and pulled it off, his facial expressions were exactly how posh people portray themselves in films.

All of the cast did so well! There were minor hiccups as it was the first night but no-one fell out of character, it was great. I want to praise everyone in that performance because there were so many lines to learn and they really did pull it off. The set and props were brilliant and you can’t fault what they had put together. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will be keeping an eye out with what the Venture Theatre come up with next! A five-star performance from me.

Scrooge the Musical – The Curve

I have always wanted to see Scrooge live at the theatre because it is one of my favourite films and such a fantastic story. When I saw The Curve were having this production as their Christmas musical I instantly booked.

Scrooge is definitely a family treat for all. It was great to be at a musical with such a vast range of ages watching. Most know that Scrooge is about an old stubborn man who absolutely despises Christmas and everyone in the community that wishes to celebrate it. Until one night, Scrooge is visited by his former partner Jacob Marley (played by Karen Mann – fantastic actress) who informs him that he’ll receive three further visits from ghosts.

As soon as the curtain lifted I felt like I had been taken back to the Charles Dickens era and I was bobbing from left to right to the music. I must say the costumes were brilliant, it felt like I was watching the film.

As you’re first introduced to all of the characters you are not quite sure where to look because the stage is so full. I was looking everywhere, I wanted to take it all in and I was facinated by the designs. Trying to take in all of the different people, the costumes and the best scenery I have ever come across within a theatre production. The colours were bright, the detail on the props were outstanding and I was so happy to be there.

Vocally the performance was perfect. For me, I thought Jasper Britton (Ebenezer Scrooge) portrayed his character exceptionally well. Jasper didn’t make me compare his version of Scrooge to any of the previous films which I think is an added bonus. It was also nice to see Eastenders’ Danny-Boy Hatchard back in action and playing such a fun character. His vocals were also top-notch along with that very good cockney accent!

There were a number of hiccups during the show but the cast dealt with it so well. At first I thought the show was going to be cancelled due to a technical issue which was shortly resolved. However, the actors didn’t let what was happening distract them, they continued with their lines and even made jokes when things went wrong – it had a great reaction from the audience! By the way, Jasper Britton and Anton Stephans are a brilliant comedy act – they are perfect on stage together and bring so much presence.

This musical is one everyone will love. I will just say that the bit with the chains and the dead people did terrify me a little bit but it was worth it! Everything just flowed, I loved the choreography by Stephen Mear it was fun and exciting. The orchestra, the designs and much more. There are too many people to mention about their involvement but I would like to say you all made the show so thank you.

Everyone on that stage deserves a huge round of applause!

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Queen of Bradgate, Leicester

Last night was my first visit to the Queen of Bradgate pub / restaurant in Leicester. My friend and I were looking for somewhere to eat that had cocktails available which this place has – added bonus. As soon as you walk in you are mesmerised by the decor and want to buy everything that’s hanging up on the wall…well I did anyway.

Everybody loves a happy hour don’t they? I tucked into two cocktails (2-4-1) but I can’t remember what they were called but they tasted incredible, it had Collins in the name so look out for that! For my main course I had the Chicken Fillet Burger with the most delicious fries but I was torn between the Wild Mushroom Risotto and the Marinated Chicken so the only way to decide was to eenie meanie, miney mo it. The Chicken Burger won of course and I live life with no regrets because it was exceptionally tasty.

Chicken Fillet Burger and Fries

I had another round of 2-4-1 cocktails before 8pm (cheap date alert) but this time I decided to try something completely different. The French Martini sounded really nice and I loved the art on top of the drink. I think they used a raspberry sauce to draw the pattern and I’d happily have it again. Happy tipsy customer.

Then came dessert! I wasn’t overly mad with the choices on the menu but I went with my favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was a really nice pudding and I know you’ll probably think well it looks a little dry with no custard or ice cream – where is it? I’m not a huge ice cream fan to be honest so I would have preferred to have custard as an option. This wasn’t available so I opted for no ice cream, it was still really enjoyable and very very sticky.
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I would happily visit the Queen of Bradgate again because their menu offers something for everyone and it’s not badly priced either. The atmosphere was great and like I said above the decor is to die for. It’s very well put together and doesn’t look like they’ve purchased everything from a car boot. P.S. I want the stag head light that was on the wall near our table, it was stunning!

IMGE, a Turkish restaurant in Coalville

On Saturday I took a trip to Imge in Coalville for a meal before our show to see comedian Tom Allen. We have previously visited this restaurant but it was some time ago and I couldn’t remember the quality of the food.

When you first walk in you are greeted by various members of staff so it’s a nice welcoming. As soon as you sit down you’re asked for drinks – for me that’s too quick, I’d like to settle in a little first and take a look at the drinks menu. There’s a great selection of drinks both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Unfortunately I had to go with a lemonade as I was designated driver.

My starter was called ‘Martar’ and it was a plate full of mushrooms. You might think why on earth have you just had mushrooms – wait for it! It was a plate coated in a dreamy sauce (I can’t remember what it was called) and it made the mushrooms so soft and I could have eaten another one for my main course. I didn’t take a picture of this dish but when I visit again I certainly will.

For the main course I had ‘Imge Chicken’ which consists of a charcoal chicken breast in a white cheese sauce and vegetables with a small portion of rice. This was to die for. There were so many flavours within the dish, the chicken was extremely tender despite it being chargrilled. No crunchy veg which is always an absolute bonus. The sauce did however give me a little bit of stomach ache but I do have IBS so I put it down to me not being able to handle it.

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The atmosphere in the restaurant was great also due to the many families eating in and enjoying themselves. I would like to return again and maybe try something a little different but lamb will always be out of the question. My only critique would be about the staff, some of their body language came across like they were bored.

Please do take a visit! It’s definitely a must and it’s something different to try.