Dare to Diva New Show Rehearsals at Curve Kick Off 2018


Dare to Diva company and its artistic director Carol Leeming are dighted they have been awarded an Arts council England Grant for the Arts. To produce a staged preview production for further development to a full production at a later stage at Curve theatre January 29th 7.30pm ,of Carol’s (Siobhan Logan) Award winning choreopoem Love the life you live Live the life you love, with live text, movement, live music and digital visuals. the event will feature a first half of a performative introduction by Carol of  her original Diva songs, poetry and introduction to the character of Maz aka Martin in the Love the life you live Live the life you love which will follow afterwards.

This Dare to Diva project is part of a supported development of Carol’s as an artist and Dare to Diva company by Curve Artist Development.  As part of this support to date, Carol has also shadowed Nikolai  Foster Artistic Director Curve and Julia Thomas Resident Director and attended rehearsals for the Curve productions of  Scrooge and George’s Marvelous Medicine. All of which has proved in valuable to Carol’s further development as a Director. In addition as a result Carol has been able to speak with and observe other theatre professionals at work at Curve e.g. Tasha Taylor Johnson Composer and Jack Weir Lighting Designer for George’s Marvellous Medicine and watch first hand Music Supervisor & Orchestrator Sarah Travis and Music Director Neil Mc Donald at work on Scrooge a large scale work.  This unique opportunity has proved to be invaluable to Carol at this sage in her development at as theatre maker.

A project team has been  recruited  lead by Carol (see photo Creative Team members above) as follows: Michaela Waldram-Jones is producer, with Emile Clark performer, Kwesi Johnson choreographer, Neil Hunter Music Arranger and Gopi Degala Digital Visuals. Carol is Writer/Director and Composer of the music for the work. In addition a local ensemble of musicians have also been recruited to play live onstage alongside a  local community chorus. These two latter elements of live musicians and live chorus on stage, is an exciting and more ambitious addition to this monologue drama.  Sydnee Thompson, a De Montfort University Performing Arts Mgt. undergraduate is on board to assist the Director and Producer and get first hand experience working in on a production to be performed at Curve.





Carol Leeming awarded the Ena Young Award for Poetry by Leicester Writers Club November 2017


Carol once again was celebrating, this time for receiving another award for the excellence of her work. On this  time Carol received the Ena Young Poetry Award 2017 from the Leicester Writers Club. This award  follows a previous award last year for her film poem Enchanter and the Ena young Award specifically was for the  Dare to Diva self publication of Carol’s debut poetry chapbook The Declamations of Cool Eye which sold out its first edition.

The award  would normally be made at the prestigious and eagerly anticipated Leicester Writers’ Club Annual award Dinner. Due to another engagement Carol was unable to attend the dinner. as is usual. However the award was made by the President Emma Lee to Carol to her delight and surprise, at a Literary Leicester Event, at Leicester University the occasion being the visit and talk of the esteemed British Historian David Olusoga.


Carol Leeming Wins Prestigious East Midlands Women’s Award for Outstanding Woman In Arts Media & Music 2017 sponsored by DLuxe Magazine


Carol Leeming has won the  East Midlands Women’s award 2017 for Outstanding Woman in Arts Media & Music. This is such a great achievement, given the high calibre of the women nominated in this category from across the region. The Award was sponsored by Dluxe Magazine regional. The event took place a a luxurious setting of a hotel in Uppingham Leicestershire/Rutland. It was also a huge networking event with women and men in attendance from all sectors of business and the community.

The East Midlands Women’s Awards is in its first year, as founded by leading light and successful Life Coaching business woman Sandra Pollock, who attends similar events in the West Midlands and realized the need for an organization, to celebrate the wonderful women from various fields from business to community in the East Midlands region.



2Funky Arts Project Live 2017


Working as the 2Funky Arts Project Live Music Director, Carol Leeming worked with 8 young Urban music artists, along with 6 x  professional session band musicians., Tara Munroe as Coordinator and Vijay Mistry as Project Manager.  The Project also included Master Class Session for the young artists on Generating Income & Intellectual Copyright, Songwriting and Stagecraft with music industry professionals. Carol’s role also involved mentoring with all the artists, following up on the above mentioned topics, but also re: performance e.g. vocal skills. The main role  however was overseeing the music arrangements of the young artists’ material, with the session band musicians, to prepare for both a promotion only CD Record and also for a Music Industry Showcase performance held at 2Funky Music Cafe in December 2017. Carol was based  doing sessions at HQ Music Recording Studios, overseeing the recording of individual artist songs, in addition to a collective group  track. Both the CD Rise Up is now available and the Artist Showcase proved to be a an exciting evening of first rate Urban performances.



Carol Leeming Wows with Cosmocular Ensemble World Music Fusion Band. At Cosmopolitan Festival & Welford Road HM Prison

IMG_1363.jpgCarol Leeming in the role of singer/song writer performed, to an appreciative July  2017 Cosmopolitan Festival audience  two scintillating new songs composition, with the 10 piece World Music fusion ensemble Cosmocular Ensemble. The songs River People and Sundance were commissioned by Cosmopolitan Arts Director Amanda Leandro and festival audience were both thrilled and excited and broke out into spontaneous dancing.

Carol also featured with the Cosmocular Ensemble for a very special performance that was held at HM Prison. The Ensemble headlined a week of music arts activities that had been held at the prison with the inmates and art workshop leaders. The initiative is part of a national program which aimed to improve morale overall in prisons and reduce violence and self harm.

In attendance at the Cosmocular performance, along with Prison Officer s and inmates was the Warden, who congratulated the Cosmocular Ensemble on an excellent performance. It was most appreciated by the inmates and Staff alike with a possible invitation to return next year.

A Scholar & A Statesman Staged Rehearsed Play Reading – A Dramaturge/ Directing Triumph for Dare to Diva

A Scholar & Stateman E flyer S-and-S-A4-Poster-LayoutOn Sunday June 18th 2017 at the Attenborough Centre, the staged rehearsed reading of A Scholar & A Statesman, an important  play written and produced by Pamela Roberts FRSA, with myself as Dramaturge/ Director took place. The play had seven professional actors and it features the story of a local Leicestershire hero. Arthur James Harley, who was born in Antigua, he lived at the turn of the century and settled in Shepshed Leicester, after a number of Academic Achievements at Harvard USA, and Oxford England, before becoming a Reverend of the Church of England.  At the Attenborough Centre there was a good attendance, of a diverse audience made up, various locals, prominent members of the Antiguan community, along with with her Excellency  Karen Hill, the High Commissioner of Antigua & Barbuda also present.

The event was ably introduced by Host Makeda and throughout the reading the actors gave very strong performances, that captivated the audience throughout. After a warm round of applause, Makeda then briefly interviewed Pamela Roberts, Carol Leeming and three of the Actors, to comment on their thoughts and experiences with regard to the play. There then followed a lively Q&A with the audience, e.g questions around the writing of the text, staging the reading, or specific characters of the play.  Many audience members expressed not only their enjoyment of the piece overall, but their connection to  the themes highlighted in the narrative text. There were many favorable comments from the audience members, as to specifically the acting, directing lighting etc. along  with their wish to see the final production.  In addition , for this production to be widely shown, as performance and also with audio, printed background materials, to be shared across England, and in Antigua itself as part of important Black History,



Going South! – Success At Surrey Poetry Festival 2017


In early April 2017, after receiving a request for my email address via private message on twitter from Hix Eros. The name prompted me find out more about the person wanting to get in contact. It turns out that Hix Eros on twitter, proved to be a certain Dr. Joseph Walton aka Jo Lindsay Walton, Poet Novelist Ph.d Creative Writing Lecturer, Leicester University and Poet-In Residence at Surrey University. Joseph Walton is the Editor of Hix Eros the title of an online poetry review magazine, published jointly with Sad Press. Hix Eros Reviews and Sad Press (set up in 2009) publishes experimental poetry chapbooks –of up to five a year. Joseph Walton is also one of the organisers of regular poetry events in Bristol.

I mention all this, to show the steps I’d taken to establish who this person was. After I had done so, I forwarded via private message on twitter my email address to Hix Eros. After which I received an email, inviting me to read my poetry, at the forthcoming Surrey Poetry Festival May 6th2017. I was at once delighted and edgy with anticipation. Later on after receiving some event information from Joseph and researching the festival. I understood the festival was known for hosting many published British and International experimental poets, many of them also editors of poetry publications or academics.

After a pleasant relatively trouble free drive south to Surrey, with my driver and travel companion Adam. We arrived at G Live –a brand new very large Arts Venue in Guildford. There was a series of different literary events taking place across the building. We were guided to the Rock Room, a large room with rows of chairs. There was already audience members in attendance. We then met Joseph, who greeted us warmly and went over the running order. I was on in the first section of the programme. We then set up my books on the poets book table and Festival Staff took over the sales role.

By now I was clear on the poems I was to read from my chapbook The Declamation of Cool Eye given the time slot, but I had one poem not part of that collection. I was not sure if I should include it. I decided I would see how things went with the first couple of poets and the mood of the audience.

Needless to say, I was somewhat nervous in this new environment, with many English Literature and Creative Writing academics in attendance. I was a world away from Leicester Poetry Open Mic nights like Shindig (Nine Arches Press/Leicester University) WORD or Pingggk! Here, no one knew me, or my poetry at all apart from the programmer.

When I asked Joseph how he had come to book me for the festival he said, that I had been recommended, by Tom Kew a colleague and fellow lecturer at Leicester University. Tom Kew was familiar with my work, he teaches English Literature & Creative Writing Undergraduates, and uses my poems Valley Dreamers and Highfields Fantasia in is lectures, included in a Bloodaxe Anthology and Welcome to Leicester Dahlia Press.

Before I went on to read, there was a couple, poets from Ireland with their young son of three years. They read a poem as a duet, parallel voices alluding to their life and relationship. The woman’s poem was clipped and chaotic and the man’s measured and reflective. At various points, their son distributed pieces of papers, to members of the audience with short poetry quotes from other poets. The woman at one point used a slang word for masturbation. It was then I realised I could do my poem, the one I was initially unsure of. Due to it also having a slang word for semen. My Breaking the Silence poem is about sexual violence written as a letter to the perpetrators shirt.

When it was my turn to read it felt like the first time I’d read poetry to an audience. There was much paper shaking in my hands, but I proceeded to relax as time went on. Certainly by the time I read Breaking the Silence I was in the swing of things. I also read or rather sang my poem Autumn Rage, which and allowed me to use my voice in a different way. Joseph’s comment was ‘that was fantastic’. audibly immediately after I had finished reading to the audience,

There then followed warm prolonged audience applause, my relief papable, my face mirrored the audiences’ smiles all round. Later Joseph shared with me, how pleased he was I had sang Autumn Rage Plainsong. As he knew I was a singer, but he did not feel he could ask me to do so. Other audiences members, took time to tell me how much they enjoyed my poetry. I made new contacts and colleagues, mingling with the other poets and sold some books! All together it was very successful enjoyable experience.