Post Covid 19 Lockdown – 2022 Recovery & Round Up of Selected Highlights for Carol Leeming MBE FRSA Director & Lead Artist Dare to Diva Company

Photo: Carol Leeming & Others In Rehearsal with Director Ruth Mariner at The Royal Albert Hall for the 2022 Prom 60 The Dream Prom

Carol Leeming MBE FRSA, Director Lead Artist of Dare to Diva company, often gets asked what is it exactly that she actually does?  As she is described by academics as a polymath…NB Phased project activities are done as freelancer i.e. not all at the same time lol!!  Carol remains hopeful to continue to work her own lane…as well as champion Leicester and East Midlands Black, and other excluded and /marginalised artists/creatives. See below a selection of Carol’s 2022 key highlights/successful achievements she is proud of. With thanks for all those who have commissioned, booked and/ or collaborated with Carol she is looking forward to further exciting projects in 2023!!!

  • Director/Performer: The Dreadful Dance of Ms. Iniquity play by Carol Leeming Dare to Diva Theatre Co. & Chair Audience Q&A Curve Theatre Leicester
  • Director: Sankofa play Aquah Theatre Co. Omnibus & Bread & Roses Theatre London, Curve Theatre Leicester
  • Speaker East Midlands Awards Shine Network Event Leicestershire
  • Panel Speaker: Common Threads Conference Black British Women’s Writing Brighton Subject East Midlands Black Women Writers 
  • Performer: Role of Gospel Singer: Art Film Congregation by Artist Alberta Whittle, Screened part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games programme & Stephen Lawrence Centre Screening at the Venue De Montfort University Leicester
  • Workshop Leader: Apples & Snakes Video Comission Health & Well-Being for Poets Nottingham Poetry Festival Online 
  • Co-Host: Mi Duck Event Tributes to Leicester Writers Sue Townsend Graham Hancock & Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze Literary Leicester Festival Leicester University & Renaissance One 
  • Writer: Article African American Rhythm & Blues – How Black Music Changed the World for Souvenir Programme Beautiful – The Carol King Musical Curve Theatre Leicester
  • Curator & Musician: Festival 2 Funky Headliners Carol Leeming & The Random Acts of Senseless Beauty (Afrofuturism Nu Soul/Jazzl) Festival 2Funky Music Cafe Leicester
  • Panel Speaker: Taking the Mic Conference Royal School Speech & Drama London Subject East Midlands Black Poets
  • Writer: Article On Leicester Journeys Festival Newspaper The Gazette & Poetry Performance Jubilee Square Writing East Midlands ArtReach 10,000+ copies printed
  • Speaker/Lecture BHS History of African & African Caribbean Games New Walk Museum Leicester City Council 
  • Host/Chair Audience Q&A Discussion for play Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock Black Plays of Excellence Curve Theatre
  • Poet: BHS Rhymes & Vibes Poetry Event Curator Farhana Shaikh De Montfort University Curve Theatre 
  • Literary Mentor: Writer Emma Matthews Northampton Online Sessions
  • Host T’yrone Haughton Hoods Poetry Book Launch Leicester Central Library
  • Performer: Carol Leeming & Guinep Tree Band Caribbean Folk Leicester City Council Windrush Elders Gala Dinner EventAfrican Caribbean Centre Leicester
  • Guest Speaker: Confucius Inst. Launch Chinese Film Festival Electric Shadows Showcase Deluxe Leicester
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In Her Strength Theatre Company London- Leicester R&D Monologues Women & Homelessness

Carol Leeming was commissioned thy in Her Strength Company, to produce sound design for recorded filmed monologues and for live sound design for R&D Scratch performance of Monologues on the theme of Women & Homelessness to a specially invited audience with Q& A afterwards at the Y Theatre Leicester.

Visit here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pzQTFGwx9w&t=18s

East Midlands Women Awards Shine Network

Carol Leeming MBE FRSA lead an East Midlands Women’s Award Shine Network Session talking about leadership, self care health and well being. As well as highlighting key milestones in her own creative business journey and the lessons learned, and shared valuable insights with members gathered. It was also an opportunity for her to talk about the East Midlands Women’s Awards and how it can benefit women, as Carol was a previous winner of the Outstanding Women in Arts Media & Music Award. Just how this benefits a woman’s self esteem , confidence and your business overall

Prestigous Writers Mosiac Writers Event 29th March 2022 in Leicester Attenborough Arts Centre Leicester

‘Writers Mosaic an initiative of the Royal Literary Fund, is an excellent, prestigious online platform for new writing from a mosaic of literary voices, cultures across the UK that aims to be surprising, moving an magical. The platform showcases writer profiles through authored talks, creative exchanges and interviews. using images illustrations, commissioned by an editorial team of writers who bring their own blend of curiosity, excitement, and cultural and critical engagement’ (Writers Mosaic Website)

Writers Mosaic organised an event in Leicester, hosted by Director of Writers Mosaic, author Colin Grant. The Event was very well attended and featured the highly celebrated and accomplished poet author, Anthony Joseph with his musicians, alongside Leicester/shire based Carol Leeming poet/playwright, Kerry Young author and Farhana Shaikh author and publisher.

Writers Mosaic Leicester Flyer
Carol Leeming Poet

Literary Leicester M’Duck Writers Changing Leicester Finale Event 26th March 2022

Carol Leeming was co -host with Melanie Abrahams Renaissance One, for the Literary Leicester finale Event titled M’Duck Writers Changing Leicester, Leicester University Peter Williams Lecture theatre which commemorated, the lives of Leicester based Writers Jean Binta Breeze, Sue Townsend and Graham Joyce. In particular Carol gave her own personal recollections, memories, as well outlining the overall impact and inspiration, of both Sue Townsend and Jean Binta Breeze regarding herself and many other writers. Poets and Musician performed warm heartfelt tributes for poet and author, Jean Binta Breeze who sadly passed last year. They were Carol Leeming, Bobba Cass with Paulo Carnoth, Marcus Joseph, Mellow Baku, Showcase Smoothie and Lydia Towsey..

Bobba Cass & Paulo Carnoth

Carol Leeming MBE features in acclaimed artist film by Alberta Whittle titled Congregation launch Screening Aug 1st 2022 Birmingham Cathedral

March 8th, 2022 Carol Leeming MBE took on the role of Gospel Singer, for celebrated artist Alberta Whittle’s new film Congregation, filmed in the lovely Birmingham Cathedral. A beautiful powerful film that looks at the ‘hostile environment’ of racism in the UK and its impact. Along with healing and self care strategies that are available and employed by communities e.g. community gardening and growing food. The launch film screening commissioned and hosted by Grand Union Arts, was well attended by leading members from the community along with a host of Birmingham artists and creatives.

Carol Leeming MBE Launch Film Screening

SANKOFA new play by Aquah & Company directed by Carol Leeming MBE Curve Theatre New Writing Festival Leicester

Carol Leeming directed the wonderful new play by Acquah Company both for its successful five night run in London Bread & Roses theatre. As well as its debut at Curve theatre Leicester Sat March 12th . The play featured live women musicians and music, along with African pottery clay making on stage. The Leicester diverse audience included many local Ghanians including royalty, the Queen Mother Nana, of the Ghanians in Leicester. As well as Twi language as part of the narrative text – which was particularly enjoyed by the those Ghanians in the audience.

The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity New Choreopoem Monologue Play written produced & performed by Carol Leeming MBE FRSA Stunning Triumph & Stimulating Director Q& A New Writing Festival Curve Theatre Leicester

Curve Theatre New Writing Centre photo from The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity

After the Carol’s success with The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity chroeopoem play, at the Time to Breathe Festival London Stockwell Playhouse, last October 2021. Carol Leeming multi-disciplinary artist, performed her new choreopoem play The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity, written during the Covid 19 Lockdown written, as a response to Black Lives Matter. With themes of racism, chattel slavery and reparations .The play completely transfixed, a culturally diverse audience, in Leicester, as part of the Curve New Writing Festival 2022. the applause was overwhelming, and there followed a very lively and thought provoking Director Q & A

Director Q & A with Carol Leeming MBE Curve Theatre Cafe

Carol Leeming MBE Making Plans to Return to Perform at Curve Theatre With a Brand New Choreopoem Play

Carol Leeming is in discussion to bring her new choreopoem play and perform, The Dreadful Dance of Ms. Iniquity to Curve Leicester soon, as part of the New Works Festival 2022. The play received standing ovations, when it was performed twice in London, last year at the A Time to Breathe Festival Curated by Greta Mendez MBE at the Stockwell Playhouse Theatre London. This very unique festival featured many of the most excellent Black artists across, Theatre, Dance Music and Caribbean Carnival Arts

Carol explains she was commissioned by Greta Mendez MBE, to take part in the festival. The inspiration to write this new choreopoem, came during the Covid 19 Lockdown 2021, and importantly in the wake of the #Black Lives Movement, that swept across the world. Carol says as an artist, the idea for this play had been having around at the back of her mind for sometime, but the #Black Lives Movement and its aftermath, brought it to the forefront. The A Time to Breathe Festival provided an important platform to share the work.

Watch this space to find out more information, and details also in the meantime check out the website of the A Time to Breathe Festival 2021 https://www.atimetobreathe.co.uk

Carol Leeming MBE Speaker & Poetry for Black Lives in Music & Women In Jazz Media at EFG London Jazz Festival 2021

Carol Leeming gave a well received talk about her journey, the highs and lows, as a Black woman in the music industry, in particular the Jazz Music sector. Carol’s talk, introduced by Roger Wilson BliM, was well received, by a packed venue at Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club on Nov 17th 2021, who enjoyed the humorous and at times more sombre delivery of the talk. Carol highlighted the barriers Black woman face in the music industry, along with incidents of racism and sexism she personally encountered. As well as peak moments of achievement and success, in England Europe and USA, in performance and hit records success and international touring. Carol concluded her fascinating and informative talk, with with a tribute poem for legendary Jazz Singer titled When Ella Split the Scene. during the performance Carol was painted by renknowned Visual Artist Gina Southgate.

The rousing applause after Carol’s Talk, from the audiences demonstrate their full appreciation of her contribution. It also set the scene, for a scintillating night of Jazz music sets from Jay Phelps, (Carol sang some vocals when he offered the mic by Jay Phelps – making new fans in the process), Daniel Higham and Jaz Kayser – Jazz FM rising Star Award Winner 2021.Overall, everyone felt it was a wonderful night well organised by Fiona Ross and her team fromf Women in Jazz Media-with funds generated from tickets sales being donated to the Mental Health Foundation,