Archive | Arts & Culture

Roll up, roll up…A World Famous Leeds Variety Show in Support of our Carers.




Join local charity Carers Leeds this Saturday for an afternoon of great entertainment held in one of the UK’s oldest music halls. Five incredible acts from across the UK will come together for an afternoon of fun and entertainment.

Opera-lele – George Bartle and Amanda Harkett offer a crossover act specialising in singing music from opera and musical theatre accompanied by the emotionally powerful yet understated twang of the ukulele.

Andy Eastwood – specialist in the ukulele, ukulele-banjo, violin and guitar, in a high-energy, upbeat stage act, he combines his showmanship and personality with remarkable vocal and instrumental artistry.

The Mersey Belles – cousins Nancy and Pearl will take you on a trip down memory lane infusing the ukulele with fabulous renditions of all the old classics from the 20’s right up to the 50’s.

Alan Yates – offers music including George Formby, Melody and old time ‘Sing-alongs’ for those trips down memory lane! 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, Rock & Roll, Beatles, Shadows and Eagles.

Ray and Jonny – Whether it is wartime songs, or cheeky ballads, these boys have something for everyone.

Master of Ceremonies Matthew Ward – returns to the City Varieties to host a splendid afternoon of music and merriment and will ensure that the afternoon runs smoothly and splendiferously.

The Acts appearing are all giving their time and talents to show their support for the 72,000 carers living in Leeds. With your help, together we can support carers to take care of themselves, whilst caring for their loved ones.

For over 20 years Carers Leeds has been committed to improving the lives of the city’s unpaid carers and helping them to continue caring. Based in Leeds city centre, it delivers confidential one-to-one and group support, as well as advice over the phone and online.

Tickets are just £12 each or £10 for carers. To book call Carers Leeds on 0113 246 8338 or book online here.



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Extraordinary Opportunity for Young Musicians with Opera North



Opera North’s popular Orchestra Camp returns this summer with young players being given the opportunity to spend a week of their school holidays perfecting their skills with some of the region’s finest performers.

The camp will run at the University of Leeds School of Music from Monday 21 to Friday 25 August and is open to keen instrumentalists aged 10 to 18 years. It is suitable for orchestral players of all abilities, from Grade 1 to Grade 8, including strings, woodwind, brass, and percussion. Over the course of the week, participants will be appropriately challenged to develop within their own technical ability.

The young people will take part in instrumental activities, vocal sessions, and drama and movement workshops, designed to enhance both their playing skills and general musicianship in an enjoyable, creative and inspiring way. They will also master new pieces with professional musicians, and will be mentored by members of the Orchestra of Opera North, culminating in a side-by-side performance on the final day.

The theme of the Orchestra Camp has been inspired by L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells) which is one of Opera North’s forthcoming productions in The Little Greats season of six shorter operas. Ravel’s bewitching work tells the fantastical tale of a naughty young boy who, having been confined to his room for refusing to do his homework, is rebuked by the animals, furniture and plants that he has mistreated in the past. As well as looking at Ravel’s extraordinary music, the young players will explore a range of other scores written in response to mystery and magic, including pieces by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and John Williams.

Opera North Orchestra Camp is non-residential with sessions running from 9.30am-4pm each day. Parents are welcome to drop off children from 9am and can collect up to 5pm.

Places are limited so early booking is advised.

The cost of the camp is £150 per person, which includes all workshops and the final performance with the Orchestra of Opera North.

Discounts are available for siblings: places for two children cost £270, while the price for three children is £400. Bookings can be made at Orchestra Camp or, for two siblings or more, on 0844 848 2720.

The deadline for booking is the end of July.

The Orchestra Camp is supported by the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund. Opera North’s Education programme is supported by Opera North Future Fund and the Whitaker Charitable Trust.

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Cultural Pioneer James Lavelle Brings Daydreaming Exhibition to Leeds Dock


Leeds Dock will be hosting a very special exhibition from cultural pioneer James Lavelle of UNKLE and Mo’ Wax in spaces across the site June 24th – 25th.

Daydreaming with UNKLE presents… The Road: Leeds Dock is a multi-sensory exhibition in partnership with Canon, Bowers & Wilkins and Leeds BID (Business Improvement District) and curated by the Mo’Wax and UNKLE founder himself.

The Daydreaming with… exhibitions are inspired by the desire to marry music and the visual arts and aim to create a unique and multi-sensory experience, unprecedented by museum exhibitions or music festivals.

James Lavelle whose 25-year career spans and has influenced art, music, graphic design, film, fashion and media will take control of a series of spaces at Leeds Dock to create a unique and interactive exhibition celebrating 25 years of UNKLE by exploring the cultural impact of his work in anticipation of the release of UNKLE’s fifth studio album: The Road: Part I.

“UNKLE has always been a multi-sensory creative project, ranging from genre-defining music to cutting-edge visual art,” said James. “It therefore feels incredibly fitting to celebrate UNKLE’s past, present and future in Leeds, with an immersive show at the cultural hub of Leeds dock. The exhibition is a collaboration between a number of very talented artists, presenting everything from paintings, videos, artefacts and film screenings. I look forward to welcoming visitors to daydream with us.” James Lavelle


Sunday 25th June 2017

  • James Lavelle DJ set- Waterfront Festival Stage at Leeds dock – 5:30pm – 7pm

Saturday 24th– Sunday 25th June 2017
Dock Works at Leeds Dock – 10am – 18:00.
The exhibition will feature:

  • Classic pieces from the Mo’ Wax and UNKLE archives: Music releases, art, fashion and toy collaborations.
  • Ground-breaking UNKLE music videos from the likes of Spike Jonze and Jonathan Glazer.
  • A new Virtual Reality installation captured from ‘Daydreaming With…Stanley Kubrick’
  • A unique opportunity to ‘step inside’ Doug Foster’s mesmerising new installation to experience art at its most immersive and witness four tracks from ‘The Road: Part 1
  • A pop-up store featuring UNKLE artefacts, merchandise, records and toys.
  • An exclusive opportunity to experience songs and videos from the forthcoming UNKLE album.

Artists in the show:
James Lavelle
Ben Drury
3D from Massive Attack
Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones
Doug Foster
Jonathan Glazer
Ty Evans and Spike Jonze
Nathan Coley
John Nolan
John Issacs
Norbert Schoerner

Archive merchandise items being shown: 
Bathing Ape
The Vinyl factory
Mo’Wax arts
UNKLE records
Hysteric glamour



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Dead Rat Orchestra Brings Hanging Back to Leeds



The Dead Rat Orchestra brings its acclaimed live film score to James Holcombe’s film Tyburnia to HEART in Headingley on 14th July.

It will be joined by singer Lisa Knapp, and Holcombe, who will perform the film live. Using multiple projectors and screens, locally sourced footage and stories, he will create a new ‘Directors Cut’ at each location – which will be staged as close to a place of execution as possible.

Shot on 8mm and 16mm film Tyburnia is both visually and thematically engrossing, demonstrating how, despite the gallows having long since vanished, we still stand in the shadow of its punitive ideology.


For over 700 years there was a site of execution at Tyburn in London. Those who fell foul of political, religious and judicial reforms were executed for public entertainment and instruction. These executions chart a history illustrating the twists and turns of monarchical and political whimsy, church and state, and the birth of capitalism. In the current climate of enforced austerity and social reform, Tyburnia explores the parallels between contemporary and historical notions of crime in relation to business and property, the spectacular nature of punishment, and the state’s use of the body as a site for political control.

Dead Rat Orchestra has created an evocative soundtrack using peculiar and rare folk songs. With its gritty, rough hewn interpretations and dextrous multi-instrumentalism, the three-piece performs songs composed by, or for, those condemned to ‘dance the Tyburn jig’. Many of these broadside ballads have become a staple of folk music, but here their power and resonance can be appreciated in a new light. DRO has also crafted contemporary versions of long forgotten songs in the luridly descriptive ‘thieves cant’ (a secret language used by thieves, beggars and hustlers of various disciplines).

Lisa Knapp

“Tyburnia is one of the most challenging and important projects we have undertaken”, said DRO’s Daniel Merrill. “We’ve been working on it for three years, and it keeps getting more intense. The addition of Lisa’s voice opens up new avenues of song, enabling us to really do justice to James’ extraordinary film.”

The band releases a special edition of its score featuring the original album packaged with new text and cuttings of the film stock used in the creation of Tyburnia (Antigen Records) on 13th July.

See a short sample video of Tyburnia from the Spill Festival is available here

Tickets from HEART (£10) on 0113 275 4548,      





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Kirkstall Festival Promises Another Great Event


Kirkstall Festival returns on Saturday 8th July and this year’s theme is ‘All Singing and Dancing’.

From 11am the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey will vibrate with a variety of sounds, dancing, singing, and victorious Vikings. A great day of activities and entertainment aimed at the whole family is planned, with local community groups and organisations joining performers and stallholders.

Returning this year will be the world-famous dog show, fairground attractions, and Leeds Museums’ Battle of the Bands. There will also be the Festival Parade, with a pipe band formed by children from local schools and community groups.



Entry to the Festival is free, but please do buy a programme (£2) as this helps Kirkstall Festival to put on a fabulous event every year. The Festival is entirely organised by volunteers, and has attracted over 27,000 visitors in a day.

Festival organisers ask that people walk or take public transport to the Abbey if possible. Buses 33, 33A, 38, 49, 91, 508, 670, and 727 all pass within a five minute walk of the grounds, and both Kirkstall Forge and Headingley Stations are a short walk from the grounds.

If you are driving, there will be a free car park on the sports fields on Vesper Lane, and parking available at Kirkstall Forge. Please note that there is a time limit for parking at Kirkstall Bridge Retail Park and please don’t park on residential streets.

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Chinwag Welcomes Kevin Rowland to The Sofa


Chinwag, the easy-going, unstructured chat with distinguished cultural icons held at Outlaws Yacht Club will be welcoming Kevin Rowland on Thursday 6th July.

Kevin, a one-off, singer, artist and maverick, is leader of the iconic Dexys Midnight Runners, now Dexys, who staged a critically acclaimed comeback in 2012 after a 25 year hiatus, with the phenomenal long player ‘One Day I’m Going to Soar’.

As ever, Chinwag is supporting MAP (, a Leeds based charity who run arts and music courses for young people at risk of exclusion from mainstream education.

After his Chinwag visit, on Saturday 8th July, Kevin will be heading over to our friends The Golden Lion in Todmorden, where he’ll spend an evening playing one of his legendary DJ sets. There are a very limited number of tickets still available here;


Date: Thursday 6th July 2017

Venue: Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York St, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY, 0113 234 6998


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Mesh: Dance Project With Free Workshops Calls for Participants

Mesh, a dance research project by Vanessa Grasse, is looking for people to take part. The project begins at the end of June and takes place throughout July in Leeds and Wakefield.

In response to our current divisive political climate, Mesh looks at how a choreographic work for a large group can create a ritual of togetherness in different indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Working with a group of professional and non-professional dancers and collaborating with anthropologist Tim Ingold and science writer Philip Ball, Mesh engages people from different background through a series of workshops open to all. It also includes a public talk by Tim Ingold. The process culminates in 2 public performances in Leeds and Wakefield.


Workshops at Yorkshire Dance

Explore collaborative group movement and formations in response to each other, architecture and everyday urban choreographies.
Creating playful rituals of togetherness; mindfully navigating and getting lost through the city; re-imagining new forms of collective
presence in public spaces.

Saturday 24 June, 1 and 8 July Open Workshops 10:30am-2:30pm
Saturday 15 July Rehearsal 10:30am-2:30pm
Friday 21 July Rehearsal + Performance 12pm-5pm (exact times tbc)

Workshops at The Hepworth Wakefield

Explore collaborative movement and sculptural formations inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s artwork at the gallery. Responding to various indoor and outdoor spaces. By creating playful rituals of togetherness, you will question audience responses and pathways in the gallery exploring the figure and body, landscapes and their relationship to one and another.

Sunday 9 and 16 July Open Workshops 10:30am-1:30pm
Monday 17 and Tue 18 July Rehearsal 10am-1pm
Saturday 22 July Rehearsal 12:30pm-2:30pm + Performance 3pm

Open to adults of all ages with a good level of fitness and mobility. No dance experience required.
You can join either the Leeds or Wakefield workshops or both.

By attending two workshops you will be able to join the final rehearsals with the professional dancers
and take part in the final sharings.

(To take part in both the Leeds and Wakefield sharing you need to attend 2 workshops in each locality).

For more info and to sign up please contact

Please state if you would like to attend just the workshops or also take part in the final work in progress performances.

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Gillie Kleiman Presents New Dance Performance: Recreation


Experimental and humourous, Recreation is a new dance performance created by artist Gillie Kleiman exploring ideas around work, leisure, and pleasure. It’s about the things that we do that aren’t work, or that aren’t quite work. It’s a show about caring, about cooking, about sex, about gardening and meditating and singing in the kitchen and playing five-a-side, and, of course, about dancing.

Recreation has a core cast of three – Amanda Drago, Victoria Guy and Kit Haigh – who are joined on stage by two guest performers local to each new location where the show is presented. In addition, the project includes an open workshop in each location, offering the opportunity for local people to join the process.

Performed by professional, not-quite-professional and non-professional dancers, Recreation is a lamentation for leisure, a choreographed question of labour, a danced demand for seeing our value beyond our work.

Preview performance at Yorkshire Dance, 3 St Peter’s Buildings, St Peter’s Square,  LS9 8AH, Fri 9 June, 7.30pm,   £8/6, 0113 243 8765,




@GillieKleiman | #recreationdance |



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Leeds Wool Festival is Back


Leeds Wool Festival is back at Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley, on Saturday 3rd June, and will be celebrating all things woolly!

Returning for a fourth year, the festival will be packed with stalls, where you can buy all your crafting supplies and much more. There will also be a demonstration area where you can see spinning, felting and other techniques in action.

The film ‘Yarn the Movie’ will be screened in the museum’s lovely little 1930’s cinema, the Women’s Institute pop up café will be serving up lovely refreshments, plus you’ll find livestock, performances, workshops and much more.

Booking is essential for this popular event. Follow the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills Facebook page for the latest updates, or visit

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North Yorkshire Open Studios

Alice Clarke, Fellbeck

This year 129 artists across North Yorkshire will be inviting visitors to visit their studios over two weekends – 3rd/4th and 10th/11th June.

William Watson West

Discover art in inspirational locations, from the North Yorkshire coastline to the moors and dales. Take a look inside workspaces of all shapes and sizes, from fisherman’s cottages to Victorian workhouses. This year’s open studios trail offers a tantalising glimpse inside the private world of 129 artists.

Tina Mammoser, Scarborough

You can expect to see a fantastic mix of established and new creative talent, from potters and painters, to jewellery, textile artists and printmakers and lots more. There are many chances to have a go, take part in an inspiring and fun activity, and try something new with friends or family.


To find out more, visit


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