Leeds Playhouse announces its next season of shows

Leeds Playhouse are bringing live entertainment back this summer. The venue is a really lovely, special place in Leeds so I’m sure audiences will be ready and waiting to take their seats.

Leeds-based Wrongsemble bring their new family-friendly musical, The Not So Ugly Sisters to the Courtyard Theatre from 2nd – 5th June. It’s set to be a the fascinating alternative story of Cinderella’s infamous step-family. This two-hander, written and directed by Elvi Piper stars an all-female northern cast and an original score composed by Claire-Marie Seddon and Bay Bryan.

Elvi Piper, Artistic Director of Wrongsemble, said: “We’re so delighted to be finally able to fully realise this production of The Not So Ugly Sisters and share it with the families of Leeds as part of Leeds Playhouse’s incredible season of work to welcome back audiences. We hope you’ll be dancing in your seats – at a safe distance!”

Leeds Playhouse and Red Ladder’s critically acclaimed production The Damned United returns to Leeds Playhouse this summer, on 10th and 11th June. The production, which first premiered at the Playhouse in 2016 is inspired by David Peace’s best-selling book – adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Anders Lustgarten and directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon. The play brings to life Peace’s gripping story about Brian Clough‘s disastrous 44-day period as manager of Leeds United. I’m not a huge football fan, but there is something uniquely special about this production and it’s one many Yorkshire-based theatre fans absolutely love.

Piaf, starring West End and Broadway star Jenna Russell, will finally be performed this summer from 23rd July – 7th August. Nottingham Playhouse and Leeds Playhouse are co-producing the Pam Gems play which tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational singer Edith Piaf, whose most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien.

James Brining will direct Stephen Sondheim’s acerbic musical A Little Night Music, which was postponed last summer thanks to COVID-19. This Leeds Playhouse and Opera North co-production brings together operatic veterans, musical theatre talent and Opera North’s gifted Chorus, while also starring legendary Dame Josephine Barstow. Don’t miss it when it arrives at the Quarry Theatre from 26th June – 17th July.

The Promise of a Garden, coming to the Quarry Theatre from 18th – 21st August, is an innovative new collaboration across sectors driven by Leeds-based director Alan Lyddiard with artist Delaine Le Bas. The lovely Quarry theatre will be transformed into a horticultural haven, blending performance, dance, music, film and photography to share how nature has become our faithful companion during lockdown.

A radical new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic gothic horror novel, Dracula: The Untold Story will bring audiences this enduring tale from the perspective of Mina Harker, the novel’s troubled heroine. The show is a co-production from Leeds Playhouse and imitating the dog, coming to the stage from 25th September – 9th October.

In another exciting piece of news, Leeds Playhouse will take audiences on an unforgettable trip to Neverland this Christmas! It will stage Ella Hickson’s Wendy and Peter Pan from 18th November – 22nd January. Co-directed by Jonathan Munby and Katie Henry, this adaptation of the J M Barrie classic retells the story from the unique viewpoint of Wendy Darling. Packed with theatrical magic, beautiful designs, flying and plenty of laughs, it promises to be an unforgettable journey for all the family. I really can’t wait for this one!

This unique production will include an international shared vision blending Japanese video anime artistry with a reinvigorated classic British story.

Co-director Jonathan Munby says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Wendy and Peter Pan. It’s a piece that’s very close to my heart and I’m thrilled to be creating a new version of the show in collaboration with Leeds Playhouse. 

“The new version will be created by an international team of artists including those from the UK and Japan. I’m overjoyed to be working with such a diverse and incredible creative team to bring this much-loved story to a 21st century audience. I’m also thrilled to be returning to Leeds Playhouse, a theatre and a city I’ve always loved working in.”

Leeds Playhouse is confident it can welcome audiences safely and efficiently back into its theatres from May as it had the chance to test and perfect its covid procedures when it temporarily reopened last October. The delightful venue will continue to abide by national guidelines and I’m certain sure they’ll do everything they can to keep audiences, cast and crew safe.

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