We often talk about professional theatre being hit hard by the pandemic, but community groups have also been out of action for a long time now. So it’s great to see the Leeds Community Arts Network have worked so hard to bring together a digital festival of 5 different productions.
Theatre for a New World consists of two musicals and three plays:
- Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown (a contemporary song cycle weaving characters and history together, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery)
- Stake Out by Simon Brett (join Detective Sergeant Craig Downs on a stake-out to catch the Kilburn Killer)
- The End by Neil Rathmell (James, an influential social historian, finds himself at a bed and breakfast with no memory of how he got there)
- Skylight by David Hare (charting three characters’ efforts to come to terms with where they are now in relation to each other)
- The Last 5 Years by Jason Robert Brown (an emotional snap shot of a couple’s relationship as they fall in and out of love over five years)
The idea was first conceived back in October 2020, but the group haven’t been able to film on stage until more recently. Each show has been professionally shot and edited, filmed at the Carriageworks in Leeds (without an audience). Interestingly, all rehearsals happened over Zoom and garden rehearsals apart from indoor rehearsals for the final week of production. It must have been such a thrill for the cast to take part in theatre after so long apart.
The musicals are led by professionals, Anita Adams as Director and Robert Sanders as the MD leading a professional band of musicians. Stake Out and The End is directed by Camilla Asher and Skylight directed by Ken Taylor. They’re all incredibly experienced and talented directors so the shows are sure to be fantastic. Get your LCAN fix while community theatre groups are still out of action (not for too long, though, hopefully).
Each production will be available to stream for a week each during June, beginning with Songs for a New World from 7th June – 13th June. You can buy your tickets from the Carriageworks website.