November 29th, 2012 | Tags: artistic Leicester,

Explore your artistic side in Leicester

Few would think a city as small as Leicester would have such an active and exciting entertainment scene. With the recent development of its Cultural Quarter, film and theatre fiends have much to explore.

For theatre lovers, a highlight is The Curve, a development costing a claimed £35 million which opened in 2008 and is visited by residents of the East Midlands and beyond. At the moment, theatre goers are spoilt for choice with a plethora of shows to pick from. These include the West End success story, The Lady Killers and Hello, Dolly!, the latter described as providing “an evening of maximum pleasure” by The Times. This new build allows its visitors to enjoy a great space and is surrounded by a number of quaint bars where you can grab an after-show drink.

If a more intimate setting and a showcase of home-grown talent is your preference, there are a variety of smaller local theatres to go and discover. The Y Theatre on East Street in the city centre is a fantastic place to check out Leicester’s performing arts. Built in 1900, The Y is Leicester’s oldest surviving theatre. There is a large variety of entertainment to choose from, whether it is poetry performances like the Y’s current Word! – With Maria Taylor, or drama with this season’s hit, How to make it in Brit Pop!

The Little Theatre on Dover Street similarly has a lot to offer, with many of its performances and its Youth Theatre Programme being known for providing a platform for younger talent in the area. Housing just under 350 seats, this independent theatre has this year shown hits like the powerful modern drama, Equus, and farcical comedy Body Language. Named the ‘Best Venue’ in the Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival awards this year, theatre enthusiasts are in for a treat here.

However, for those who wish to get a taste of the diversity and rich cultural make-up of Leicester, the Peepul Centre is a great stop to make, specialising in showcasing Asian arts, from dance to dramatics. The venue is located in the city’s infamous Belgrave area, where visitors can do some pre-show sari shopping and have a taste of authentic Indian cuisine.

Film lovers can also flock to venues like Piccadilly Cinema on Green Lane Road, which has much to offer to those who are fans of Bollywood. At great affordable prices, viewers can choose from these and what Hollywood has to offer also. For more of the latter, head over to The Odeon in Freeman’s Park or the newly built Showcase Cinema De Lux in the heart of the city centre for plush seats and modern facilities.

If independent arts cinema is more your thing, the £21.5 million development, The Phoenix Square is testament to the true sophistication of Leicester’s entertainment scene. Opened in 2009, the venue is a great place to see the latest independent arts cinema, review those classic Hollywood Blockbusters and to attend discussions about film.

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