Archive | Arts & Culture

New Yorkshire Murder Mystery Series

A fascinating and atmospheric crime mystery begins when a body is discovered deep in a cave system in the Yorkshire Dales. There are numerous suspects in the local village, but how did the body get there? And why did it apparently disappear for a while? The solution involves unusual historical research, a dramatic exploration of the caves and a hectic pursuit of the killers.

This is the first of a series of Yorkshire Murder Mysteries by J.R. Ellis, featuring DCI Oldroyd. For further information, visit www.theyorkshirewriter.com

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The Pinball Wizard Comes to The Playhouse

 

A spectacular new production of The Who’s celebrated cult classic Tommy arrives at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Thursday 4 – Saturday 13 May.

Kerry Michael directs this energetic production which sees traumatised young Tommy cease to communicate with the outside world, before finding his salvation and becoming a national sensation through playing pinball.

This bold reinterpretation includes two new songs written exclusively by Pete Townshend who composed The Who’s original 1969 concept album, and is presented by New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Ramps on the Moon, a consortium of seven major theatre companies including West Yorkshire Playhouse, committed to putting Deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work.

Pete Townshend expressed excitement about the inclusive cast, saying “This is a totally new adventure, and really does refer back to my original story in which a young man, disabled by extreme trauma, finds his way to some kind of spiritual place because he can FEEL music.”

A blue plaque at Leeds University’s Refectory building commemorates the recording of The Who’s Live at Leeds in 1970, widely regarded as one of the greatest ever live albums, which originally contained 6 tracks released on LP, but also included a live recording of Tommy, later released on CD in 2001.

One of the new numbers is a new song for the Acid Queen, played by Peter Straker (Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show, Hair).

 

Tommy

Quarry Theatre

Thur 4 – Sat 13 May

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online wyp.org.uk

 

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Interview with Andrew Lancel, Star of A Judgement in Stone

 

Ruth Rendell’s thrilling mystery A Judgement in Stone is at The Grand Theatre from Monday, 24th – Saturday 29th April. Actor Andrew Lancel took time out to talk about his role in the production.

 

Q: How did you get involved with the play and what attracted you to it?

A: Working with Roy Marsden and Bill Kenwright again. Also, it’s a whole new genre for me and the first time I have played a copper since The Bill.

Q: You’ve worked with Bill Kenwright before on a couple of shows, nice to be part of one of his productions again?

A: Very. It’s my fourth in 3 years. I love the company and they put on things people want to see.

Q: A Judgement in Stone is widely considered to be Ruth Rendell’s greatest work – why do you think that is?

A: It’s a real statement on our class system. A fascinating story, sad, shocking and real.

Had you read the book before you were cast in the show – what did you love about the story?

A: No. The horror at the centre of the crime in such a class divide.

Q: How different is it being on stage as opposed to in front of the cameras?

A: Huge difference, it’s chalk and cheese. The discipline is hugely different. I just want to get on with it, I know my lines now. So come on – let’s get the curtain up!

But I’m learning more and more that its a process which I’m growing to love and when you’ve got someone like Roy Marsden up front, it makes a huge difference. His experience is so vast, you have to listen and take it on board. You don’t always have to agree but having a captain like that at the helm makes it enjoyable. It’s all about the part for me. I’ve had a nice long run with really good, usually intense characters, none more so than Epstein and Juror 3 in Twelve Angry Men. I’m very fortunate, whether it’s stage or telly or radio or singing, or whatever it is, as long as it’s interesting.

Q: Did you know or have you worked with any of your cast mates before?

A: Roy Marsden and Bill Kenwright. Also Ben Nealon as I did Soldier Soldier in 1996.

Q: This production has been on the road since January – what are the nicest things about being on the road?

A: Keeping it fresh. Great venues and seeing the country.

Q: Are there any dates on this tour you’ve not played, any cities you’re looking forward to visiting?

A: I haven’t been to Tunbridge Wells and Weston-super-Mare. Looking forward to returning to Newcastle, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Malvern and Cheltenham.

Q: Finally, without giving too much away, why should audiences come and see A Judgement in Stone?

A: It’s a ‘Why Done It?’ and ‘Who Done It?’.

 

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Rosie Kay Dance Co at Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre

 

 

Award-winning Rosie Kay Dance Company comes to Leeds this May with a thrilling new work, MK ULTRA. Performing at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on 9 May for one night only, this is an exploration of the bizarre realm of mind control conspiracies from the choreographer of the five star 5 SOLDIERS and hit film Sunshine on Leith.

Rosie Kay is one of the UK’s leading choreographers and is renowned for her athletic movement and intelligent theatricality. Inspired by pop culture, mind control and Illuminati imagery MK ULTRA brings a hypnotic, high energy, supercharged mash-up of dance and music to the stage. With a typically fearless eye, Kay delves deep into this world and conjures up something entirely new, subverting the subversive.

MK ULTRA features music composed by Annie Mahtani, set and video design by Louis Price, lighting design by Mike Gunning, and costume design by Gary Card. One of London’s most talked about talents, Card has previously worked with pop stars such as Lady Gaga, and MK ULTRA exhibits his first designs for contemporary dance.

“At a time when everything is fake, or at least we don’t trust what’s real any more, MK ULTRA looks at what this world really feels like and what affect it is having on us, whether we know it or not,” says Rosie Kay. “Be prepared for high-energy, high-octane dance, a mash up of dance styles, subliminal and secret messages, incredible video, light and costume visuals, music that wraps around your senses and a deeper, darker political edge”.

Tickets for MK ULTRA by Rosie Kay Dance Company at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds are on sale now and can be booked online at theatreleeds.com or by calling the box office on 0113 220 8008. Tickets are priced at £12.50.

 

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Bubble Schmeisis: An Exploration of Jewish Identity

 

Nick Cassenbaum’s folk history of a once vibrant culture and insight into a fading community comes to Slung Low’s HUB in Leeds on 7 May and Huddersfield’s Laurence Batley Theatre on 8 May.

Bubbemeises is Yiddish for a grandmother’s story, a tall story, an old wives’ tale. A schvitz is a Jewish Steam Bath where old Jewish men go to wash, relax, complain and rejuvenate, to exchange jokes and gossip and to swap bubbemeisis.

Writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum has been trying to make sense of his Jewish identity ever since he was a young boy. He tried everything – going to Spurs, summer camps, religion even. All to no avail.

It wasn’t until his blind grandfather took him to the Schvitz in Canning Town, East London that he found what he was looking for. Here they enact the ancient washing ritual of schmeissing, and, as he lay naked being schmeissed by his grandfather, he knew he had found what he was looking for, but above all, he knew he had to make a show about it.

In Bubble Schmeisis Nick and his klezmer musicians invite you to join them in the enveloping warmth of this last remaining authentic bath house in East London. Amongst the steam and ritual Nick will take you with him as he embarks on a journey schlepping through summer camps, barbershops and Spurs games to find the place where he belongs. It’s about Nick finding his identity and wanting to keep the spirit of the steam baths alive.

A hit with critics and audiences at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, Bubble Schmeisis is full of intimate and personal true stories about identity, home and getting washed by old men. Although set within a Jewish ritual the show will strike a chord with anyone who has investigated their past to understand their present.

‘It’s just a place that’s all about sitting together,” said Nick of the schvitz. ‘It’s a place where men talk freely and frankly. I tell stories about trying to forge my identity’ he continued. ‘This is the only place where I really felt some kind of identity – it felt like home. Now I’m really excited to be taking it out to new audiences. I invite them onto the stage with me and interact so the show changes depending on how those people respond, leaving no two performances the same.’

Watch the trailer:  http://www.nickcassenbaum.com/bubble-schmeisis

7 May, 7pm

Leeds Slung Low’s HUB, Holbeck Underground Ballroom 67-71 Bath Rd Holbeck LS11 9UA 

£pay what you can www.slunglow.org

 

8 May, 7.45pm

Huddersfield Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen’s Square, Queen Street, HD1 2SP

£pay what you can 01484 430528 www.thelbt.org

 

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Play to Raise Awareness of Dementia at Leeds Trinity

 

A play focusing on family care issues before and after a diagnosis of dementia will be performed at Leeds Trinity University for Dementia Awareness Week on Friday 19 May.

Don’t Leave Me Now, written by award-winning Leeds playwright Brian Daniels and directed by Jeni Draper, will be presented as a dramatised play reading by five professional actors from New End Theatre Beyond.

It explores the impact of early onset dementia on two very different family units and is inspired by the journals of Professor Rachael Dixey from Leeds, who nursed her long-term partner Irene through early onset dementia. The play also focuses on Cindy Toulman from Harrogate, who visited her husband in a care home, each day, for the last seven years of his life.

“Dementia is a life-limiting illness with a debilitating impact on family life; the devastating effects on memory and behaviour, and the vulnerability of the person diagnosed,” said Brian Daniels. “But there’s also love, acceptance and humour, and I wanted to incorporate and balance the two in this play.”

Hosted by Horsforth Town Council, Don’t Leave Me Now concludes a week of activities across Horsforth for Dementia Awareness Week, including talks, presentations and coffee mornings.

The play has had more than 120 performances throughout the UK and is seen as a valuable educational tool for families, health authorities, GPs, universities, colleges and NHS Trusts. It is endorsed by dementia charities The Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, Dementia Pathfinders and Care England, and the performance at Leeds Trinity University is supported by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.

Don’t Leave Me Now takes place at 6.30pm on Friday 19 May at Leeds Trinity University, with refreshments available from 6pm.

The play is free and is open to all members of the public. Tickets can be secured online through Eventbrite or in person from the reception desk at Leeds Trinity University and Horsforth Community Hub Library.

 

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Leeds Flamenco Festival

 

The Leeds Flamenco Festival, an annual event organised by Arts@Trinity and Instituto Cervantes, is taking place at Holy Trinity Church Leeds (LS1 6HW) on 26th -27th May.

For the past four years, the Leeds Flamenco Festival has brought the world’s best flamenco artists to the city and this year is no exception. The concert program will feature the internationally acclaimed flamenco guitarist Juan Martín and his dance trio on Friday 26th May, as well as community performances and flamenco workshops on Saturday 27th.

There are still Standard and Economy tickets available, but they are selling fast! You can book by calling Jumbo Records on 0113 245 5570, or by following the link below which has further information.

Link to Festival Information  

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Japanese Fabric Stencils with Stories to Tell

 

A exhibition featuring beautiful, delicate paper stencils from Japan  recently opened at University of Leeds textiles museum and runs until 7th December.

‘Katagami – the Craft of the Japanese Stencil’ is at ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles, and celebrates one of the archive’s major collections featuring Japanese textile dyeing stencils.

“Through drilling, punching and cutting, a variety of astonishingly detailed and intricate designs were cut into mulberry paper”, said Jill Winder, ULITA’s Curator. “These stencils were used for dyeing designs onto clothing ranging from everyday workers’ clothing to the finest silk kimonos.”

Guest curator Dr Alice Humphrey, who wrote and curated the new show with Jill Winder, added: “This exhibition introduces the techniques of making and using the katagami and explores its imagery. It is drawn from two of the largest public collections of katagami in Britain.”

Although produced simply as tools, the katagami themselves have come to be appreciated as beautiful objects in their own right.  The designs amount to more that decoration. Whether evoking a season, carrying wishes for longevity and good fortune, or containing an entire folk story, every katagami has a story to tell about the fashion and culture of Japan at the time.

Katagami – the Craft of the Japanese Stencil features 40 katagami, including stencils lent by the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA), and stencil-dyed clothing lent by Leeds Museums and Galleries.

ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles, St Wilfred’s Chapel, Maurice Keyworth Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT (next to Leeds University Business School). Open Tues – Thurs 9.30am – 4.30pm & Fridays by appointment.

For further information, visit ulita.leeds.ac.uk, or contact 0113 343 3919, ulita@leeds.ac.uk

 

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Japanese Fabric Stencils with Stories to Tell

A exhibition featuring beautiful, delicate paper stencils from Japan recently opened at University of Leeds textiles museum and runs until 7th December.

‘Katagami – the Craft of the Japanese Stencil’ is at ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles, and celebrates one of the archive’s major collections featuring Japanese textile dyeing stencils.

“Through drilling, punching and cutting, a variety of astonishingly detailed and intricate designs were cut into mulberry paper”, said Jill Winder, ULITA’s Curator. “These stencils were used for dyeing designs onto clothing ranging from everyday workers’ clothing to the finest silk kimonos.”

Guest curator Dr Alice Humphrey, who wrote and curated the new show with Jill Winder, added: “This exhibition introduces the techniques of making and using the katagami and explores its imagery. It is drawn from two of the largest public collections of katagami in Britain.”

Although produced simply as tools, the katagami themselves have come to be appreciated as beautiful objects in their own right.  The designs amount to more that decoration. Whether evoking a season, carrying wishes for longevity and good fortune, or containing an entire folk story, every katagami has a story to tell about the fashion and culture of Japan at the time.

Katagami – the Craft of the Japanese Stencil features 40 katagami, including stencils lent by the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA), and stencil-dyed clothing lent by Leeds Museums and Galleries.

ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles, St Wilfred’s Chapel, Maurice Keyworth Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT (next to Leeds University Business School). Open Tues – Thurs 9.30am – 4.30pm & Fridays by appointment.

For further information, visit ulita.leeds.ac.uk, or contact 0113 343 3919, ulita@leeds.ac.uk

 

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A Double Bill from Leeds Arts Centre at The Carriageworks

Leeds Arts Centre presents a double bill of plays  at the Carriageworks Theatre from Wednesday April 26th to Saturday 29th April.

Both plays share a theme in that they both concern people in the shadow of death, and how they respond to their looming fate. The drama arises from the reactions of the characters to the challenges that they face, and their efforts to survive.

After Midnight – Before Dawn by David Campton

In the early 17th Century, six women are confined in a prison cell. They are awaiting the dawn, when they are to be hanged for witchcraft. They all bemoan their fate, and the injustice of what has happened to them. Some pray, some recall what happened to bring them here, some recall the tortures they have undergone. They all fear the dawn and the hangman’s noose. All except one. She is calm and composed, and when they question her she assures them that she will not share their fate. She is a real witch, and has the promise of the Devil that he will look after his own. They desperately ask her how they can be protected too. After much persuasion, she agrees to help them. They must give up their souls to the devil if they want to be his disciples. The result is not one that they expect.

 

The Rose & Crown by J.B. Priestley.

In the snug of a London pub, in 1946, a group of locals are moaning about the misery of their lives. The war has been over for a year, but shortages and rationing continue to bite. While they are discussing their miserable existence, a stranger enters and watches and listens to what is happening. The stranger interrupts them to announce that he is an assistant to the Angel of Death, and he is one short of his daily quota. He would like them to choose one of their number to go with him to make it up. If they don’t choose, he will select somebody. They find that the snug is closed off from the rest of the world, and they must make a choice, or be chosen.

The Carriageworks Theatre

7.30pm.

Tickets: £12/£9 concessions.

http://www.leeds.gov.uk/carriageworks/Pages/Event.aspx?s=5895

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