Archive | Arts & Culture

Free Film Programme Offers an Alternative View of India


Between now and October, Pavilion and Hyde Park Picture House are presenting Notes from Another India, a free programme of artists’ film and video in search of alternative representations of India.

Notes from Another India looks at representations of the city of Kolkata and Indian life in Britain in the 1980s, and asks questions about where we are and where we come from – both culturally and geographically.

The programme concludes with the work of leading contemporary Indian artist-filmmaker Shambhavi Kaul. Daughter of filmmaker Mani Kaul, her performative work is informed by a lifelong engagement with cinema in India, influenced by the rich history of western experimental films that have addressed ideas of place and landscape.

Wednesday 16 August, 6.30–8.30pm

Notes from Another India: Mark Lapore & Ruchir Joshi

Hyde Park Picture House

The first screening in the Notes From Another India series presents three perspectives on Kolkata. Ruchir Joshi’s film Tales From Planet Kolkata mocks the ways in which the city has been depicted by the western gaze of foreign filmmakers, whilst simultaneously paying homage to their work. Mark Lapore’s 16 mm films The Glass System and Kolkata confront the tangled relationship between ethnography and individual subjectivity as he observes the ebb and flow of humanity on the streets of Kolkata.

Tickets: Free (suggested donation £5). Book online at:


Tuesday 26 September, 6.30–8.30pm

Notes from Another India: Sutapa Biswas & Pratibha Palmer

Hyde Park Picture House

(+ Sutapa Biswas & Griselda Pollock in conversation)

This screening brings together the work of Pratibha Palmer and Sutapa Biswas to reflect on the experiences and perceptions of Indian diaspora in the Britain in the 1980s. With a rare screening of Biswas’ 1984 work, Kali alongside Palmer’s films Memory Pictures,  a profile of the gay Indian photographer Sunil Gupta, and Sari Red, her visual poem made in memory of Kalbinder Kaur Hayre, a young Indian woman killed in 1985 in a racist attack in Britain. Followed by Sutapa Biswas in conversation with art historian Griselda Pollock.

Tickets: Free (suggested donation £5). Book online at:

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Gracefool Collective to Perform at Northern Connections at NSCD



Dance company Gracefool Collective returns to Riley Theatre at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance on 28th September for Northern Connections – a triple bill profiling up-and-coming choreographers.

Describing themselves as makers of ‘post-intellectual-pseudo-spiritual-feminist-comedy-dance for the modern day’ the four-woman company has been making waves on the Yorkshire dance scene and across the UK ever since they graduated from NSCD in 2013.

The group performed its original work ‘This Really Is Too Much’ recently at the Edinburgh Fringe, where they as part of the ‘Underbelly Untapped‘ season – a raucous, provocative and funny performance exploring the absurd realities of life as a young woman today.

Northern Connections, a professional development scheme for emerging dance artists, presents an opportunity for the Gracefools to create a new work that wrestles with the idea of ‘twosomeness’ or ‘coupling up’.

In addition, the Northern Connections showcase will feature the creative duo 70:30 Split, and choreographer Joseph Reay-Reid. Each will have just three weeks to create a new work. Audiences can expect playful physicality, sharp writing and arresting characters.

Northern Connections is at the Riley Theatre at NSCD on 28th September, 7pm. Tickets are available from 0113 219 3018 or online at



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Leeds College of Art Leads the Way in Student Satisfaction


Leeds College of Art is the highest ranked independent higher education arts institution in the Nation Student Survey for the second year running.

The National Student Survey (NSS), measures student satisfaction based on teaching, tutor support, feedback, and learning of final year students at education intuitions across the UK.

The survey results confirmed that 91% of final year students at Leeds College of Art reported overall satisfaction with the quality of their course, ranking higher than all UK specialist arts universities and all universities in Yorkshire. This NSS result is the highest student satisfaction rating Leeds College of Art has ever achieved.

The industry standard facilities at the College were also ranked highly, with 92% reporting satisfaction with the learning resources, including workshops, IT resources and the College library.

The NSS is a nationally recognised annual survey commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, giving final year undergraduate students an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on what it has been like to study on their course.

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Chamber Concerts at Howard Assembly Room

Summer may only just be upon us but the Howard Assembly has already announced some outstanding chamber concerts on sale for its Autumn season. The treats on offer include modern and contemporary experimentation, emerging and world-renowned artists, Romantic and Classical masterpieces, the return of Leeds Lieder, and festive choral music for Christmas.


Gavin Bryars’ commission for Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nothing Like the Sun, comes ‘home’ to Leeds for the first time on 25 October. Influenced by early music but unmistakably modern, this haunting, dramatic piece for chamber ensemble and voices weaves Bryars’ music through eight of Shakespeare’s most meditative sonnets. The composer himself leads an ensemble featuring tenor John Potter and cult Dublin singer-songwriter Gavin Friday.

Leila Josefowicz

Celebrated Canadian-American violinist Leila Josefowicz makes her Howard Assembly Room debut with her long-term musical partner John Novacek on 30 September, and a programme reflecting her reputation for insightful performances of canonical works coupled with passionate championing of new music. Marked by dark introspection and powerful emotion, the concert takes in Sibelius’ reflective Valse Triste, Prokofiev’s wildly beautiful Sonata in F minor and the mystical Calices by contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

One of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, pianist Imogen Cooper makes another long-awaited venue debut (30 November) with a programme ranging from the classical poise of early Beethoven and the authority of Haydn’s C minor Piano Sonata, to the remarkable invention and emotional quality of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31. The concert also includes Darknesse Visible, Thomas Adès’ stunning “explosion” of a John Dowland lute song.

Imogen Cooper

Exotic, erotic and technically demanding, Olivier Messiaen’s Harawi takes the Tristan and Isolde myth, Andean love songs and the music of Debussy and Wagner among its inspirations. One of the most experienced Messiaen singers of her generation, Gweneth-Ann Rand will be joined by pianist Simon Lepper on 26 October for a rare performance of the 12-song cycle, with projections and surtitles. The award-winning British soprano has previously sung Harawi at the Messiaen centenary and the BBC Proms, and last year received outstanding reviews for her performance in 4.48 Psychosis for the Royal Opera House. Simon Lepper returns to the Howard Assembly Room following a rapturous reception for his concert with Christopher Purves earlier in the year.

Leeds Lieder’s partnership with Opera North continues with a debut from one of today’s foremost young song recitalists, Gramophone Young Artist of the Year 2016 Benjamin Appl. Having received the RPS Young Artist Award 2017, exceptional pianist and Director of Leeds Lieder Joseph Middleton returns to accompany the German baritone on the best-known of Schumann’s song cycles, Dichterliebe. Written during the composer’s separation from his beloved wife Clara, his settings of Heine’s poems chronicle a musical journey, from the most delicate descriptions of nature to heart-breaking cries of longing; from a joyful wedding dance to twelve giants casting a coffin into the sea. The programme also includes Beethoven’s only song cycle and three settings of Yeats.

As the year draws to a close, The Choir of Clare College Cambridge pay their first visit to the venue with a radiant festive concert. Plainsong chants sit alongside Renaissance masterpieces including Palestrina’s Surge, illuminare and Tallis’ sublime Videte miraculum, with motets and carols by Howells, Britten, Tavener, and John Rutter’s much-loved What sweeter music? The Howard Assembly Room’s Christmas chamber concerts have become something of a Leeds institution, with the venue’s atmospheric, neo-gothic interior decked with decorations, and early booking is recommended.

Tickets for all events at the Howard Assembly Room are available from the Box Office on 0844 848 2727 or online at



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Local Young Violinist Competes in Regional Championships

The eighth biennial Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Regional Festivals Championships takes place at Carleton Community High School, Pontefract on Saturday 9th September from 10.30am – 4pm.

Performers from throughout the Region will be taking part in a bid to win the Championship titles and prizes for Speech and Drama, Dance and Music, both Vocal and Instrumental.  Each performer has already been a winner at their respective festival and has been nominated by that festival committee or an adjudicator.

Representing Rothwell Music Festival is Hannah Wakefield (17) from Roundhay who attends The Grammar School at Leeds. She will be playing the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto in A Major.

Hannah has been playing the violin from a young age and gained her ABRSM Diploma in violin performance in 2015. She also has a Grade 8 distinction in singing and clarinet, has played in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and sung in the National Youth Choir. She currently plays in the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra

The Competition will be run as a talent variety show. Tickets (£5) are available on the door, or can be reserved by phone on 01226 752576. Refreshments, including lunch, will be available throughout the day.


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Dom Pipkin Brings The Big Easy Back to Leeds


Keyboard wizard Dom Pipkin returns to Leeds with his band ‘The Ikos’ this weekend to bring the blues, soul, funk and jazz of piano-driven New Orleans grooves. The group perform at The Domino Club, The Grand Arcade on Saturday 12 August.

The all-star combo, with playing credits ranging from Dr John, Laura Mvula, Paul Weller, Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Ray Davies and David Byrne create a party wherever they go with their deep funky sound, with original material and vintage classics they conjure the spirit of the greats –  Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, The Meters, and many many more.

Among thier accolades is a ringing endorsement from no less an authority than Meters drummer and acknowledged godfather of New Orleans funk, Zigaboo Modeliste: “Dom brings the whole New Orleans thing to the UK.  So good!”










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Open Air Theatre Company Heartbreak Productions Returns to Roundhay Park

Heartbreak Productions return to Roundhay Park this summer with a ten-day festival of open air theatre throughout August. Shows include the all-time classic family favourite The Secret Garden, and an original murder-mystery spoof, Murder on the Terrace. Renowned for their unique style, Heartbreak Productions tour each production with a small but multi-talented cast of actors drawn from across the country. They are joined this year by a talented team of directors too, including award-winning Dominic Waldron, Paul Chesterton, Kristoffer Huball and Adam Morley.


The Secret Garden: Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 August Adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this classic promises entertainment for all the family.

Murder on the Terrace: Fri 11 – Sun 13 August Original murder mystery described as “… part Downton, part Agatha Christie. Lots of innuendo and stacks of fun”

 Northanger Abbey: Sat 19 – Sun 20 August A newly-commissioned adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic by Dani Carbery.

The Taming of the Shrew: Fri 25 – Sun 22 August. Heartbreak  stamp their imitable style on this Shakespeare classic about a controversial yet tender tale of love.

Further details about these can be found on their website –

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Yorkshire’s Learning Disability Theatre Company, Mind the Gap, Heads to Edinburgh Fringe


For artists and performers all over the world, the countdown is on to the opening of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the world’s largest arts festival that welcomes thousands of performances every summer – and for Bradford-based Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning disability theatre company, it is a particularly exciting time.

“The last time Mind the Gap took a production to The Fringe was 12 years ago,” says Joyce Nga Yu Lee, the creator and director of Mia which opens on August 10th at Edinburgh’s Summerhall. “I am thrilled that the piece we have all worked so hard on is to reach a larger and international audience.”

Performed by four learning disabled artists Mia explores the truths and myths about learning disability and parenthood in today’s society; it is a piece about humanity that aims to resonate with everybody with or without a disability.

I want to see an audience that isn’t made up of just people with a vested interest in those with learning disabilities,” says cast member JoAnne Haines. “I want to see people in the audience that might never have considered this issue.”

We have six performances a week,” says fellow cast member Alison Short. “It will be quite gruelling, not just because of the energy used in performing but also we have to get the show on and off the stage in just 15 minutes to make way for others. We’ll be doing all this and promoting ourselves with the festival; I’m both excited and nervous!

Mia originally toured studio venues around the UK in autumn last year receiving outstanding reviews but it has since been updated and has changed considerably in places.

“We use music, dance, live film, pre-recorded film and symbols to create an episodic piece of theatre,” concludes Joyce. “It is fast moving and raw, funny and bold – in short Mia is wild ride!

Mind the Gap present Mia at Edinburgh’s Summerhall Old Lab

from Tuesday 8th to Sunday 27th August

Performances are at 2.45pm from Tuesday to Sunday inclusive

Tickets are available from

Mia will tour in autumn 2017 and spring 2018 with performances confirmed at Hull Truck Theatre, Hull, The Gulbenkian, Canterbury, and Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax

For more information on Mind the Gap visit


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Charlotte Brontë’s Classic Jane Eyre at The Grand


 Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre, is on at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 31st July for one week only.

 In the year that marks the 170th anniversary of the novel’s first publication, this highly acclaimed production features Nadia Clifford as Jane Eyre and Tim Delap as Rochester.

Telling the story of one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment, Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

“Adapting a novel for the stage is a challenging prospect – especially when that novel is cited as many people’s favourite of all time,” said Director Sally Cookson. “It is always daunting when you’re working on a story which everyone knows so well because you want to surprise and maybe challenge people’s expectations without losing any of the things which make them like the story in the first place.

“I didn’t actually read the novel until I was in my early twenties and I remember thinking while I read it: ‘this is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss.’ I was struck by how modern Jane seemed – her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself. She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.”


Jane Eyre is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 31st July to Saturday 5th August 2017

 Tickets are priced from £17.50 (restricted viewing) to £35

Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

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‘Twelfth Night’ Transported to Rural Setting in Adel


Front Room Productions transport Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy ‘Twelfth Night’ to Dunstarn Farm, a new open air arts venue in Adel from 24th – 27th  August .

This abridged and approachable version of Twelfth Night is set to please both Shakespearean purists and newcomers. The promenade production takes Shakespeare’s original text and places it into a fun farmyard setting, using modern dress and featuring original musical arrangements of familiar pop hits.

Taking inspiration from its location, the show leads audiences around its rural setting. Viola and Sebastian are framed as city-slicker siblings, Orsino as a local farming tycoon, Olivia an ill-suited country girl, and Sir Andrew Auguecheek a try-hard hipster. One of the first performances to be staged at Dunstarn Farm, the show unearths the modern day idiosyncrasies in Shakespeare’s language, creating a contemporary yet faithful production intended to make the Bard’s brilliance accessible to modern-day audiences.


Dunstarn Farm, Dunstarn Lane, Adel, LS16 8EL

Dates: 24th-27th August

Performances: 7pm (24th-27th), 2:30pm (26th & 27th)

Running time: 1h30

Ticket prices: Standard £12 / Concessions £10

Book online:

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