It’s been a busy old time for the Playhouse. It’s been undergoing a £15.8million capital redevelopment so the theatre can be fully accessible to everyone.
The redevelopment includes two rejuvenated spaces and one new performance space. All of it’s happened within a whirlwind 15 months too!
LUNG Theatre kick off the national tour of Trojan Horse from 3rd-5th October in the newly refurbished Courtyard theatre. Seems a little strange to do this before the Open Weekend, but hey ho! The story is taken from real life testimonies of people from communities torn apart by racial division.
The Open Weekend from 11th-13th October will give everyone a chance to have a good old nosey, including a bite to eat and a pint to drink in the venue’s new restaurants and bars! Families can bring their kids along to take part in events and pop-up performances too so it should be a fantastic weekend.
The next big thing will be There are No Beginnings by Charley Miles and directed by Amy Leach. The show’s happening from 11th October – 2nd November, the first show to be put on in the Bramall Rock Void. The empowering story follows four Leeds women across the five years when Peter Sutcliffe dominated the news.
The start of a new partnership between the Playhouse and Leeds City College kicks off with a performance of Influence on 31st October – 2nd November, written by Andy McGregor. There are a number of other smaller performances such as Lemn Sissay: My Name Is Why on 7th October, then the Furnace Festival from 13th-16th November showcasing two major projects in development (Jim Cartwright’s new play!! How exciting!!)
There’s ANOTHER first for Leeds Playhouse as they put on Northern Ballet’s Dracula from 29th October to 2nd November – only this time they’re broadcasting it from the Playhouse to cinemas around the world.
Festive fun at the Playhouse includes The Night Before Christmas by Robert Alan Evans (30th November – 28th December) directed by Amy Leach – sure to be a hit after a fantastic run in 2015. The ‘big’ show though is The Wizard of Oz directed by James Brining, coming to the theatre from 20th November – 25th January. There’ll also be Snow Mouse playing in the Bramall Rock Void from 10th-21st December for little ones!
Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “The transformed Leeds Playhouse marks the most exciting new chapter in our history for decades and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to enjoy and explore. The new building will allow us to offer the magic of theatre to everyone, all under one roof. I’m so excited for all three of our venues to function together and it’s our hope that the Autumn/Winter programme will give a taste of what we’re about: a theatre that is rooted in its local community, producing work of national and international significance and supporting and developing artists at all stages of their career.
“By designing a re-opening programme which is a rich mix of varied productions and activities, we hope to encourage both existing and new audiences to discover this incredible building. Whether that be through a workshop at the Open Weekend, a cup of tea and a cake in the new café or a family trip to The Wizard of Oz, we look forward to seeing the theatre alive and thriving again at the heart of the community with a theatre experience open to all.”
Visit the Leeds Playhouse website for further information about each show.