Archive | Sound & Vision

Gamers in 24-hour Charity Challenge



William Merritt Centre Gamers, are gearing up for a charity challenge on 24th – 25th February, to raise money for people with disabilities. They will be playing video games continuously for 24 hours as part of GameBlast17, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend, and are aiming to raise £1,000 for the charity SpecialEffect, which uses technology to help people with disabilities benefit from the fun and inclusion of video games.

The William Merritt Centre, was established 35 years ago to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible. It is the only such centre in Leeds and is the largest in the region. It provides impartial information, advice and assessment on equipment and practical aspects of daily living for people with a disability.

The William Merritt Disabled Living Centre also adapts toys so people with a disability can use them. They also adapt controllers so that everyone can play computer games, and regularly host sessions where people play games.

Anyone can go along and take part in the event. More information regarding GameBlast17 can be found at To sponsor the team, visit


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Camille O’Sullivan’s ‘Carny Dream’ at City Varieties




Award winning singer and actress Camille O’Sullivan brings her new show The Carny Dream to Leeds City Varieties on March 12th.

The French-Irish songstress is one of the country’s most celebrated artists and is taking her unique and enchanting performances on tour in the spring of 2017.

Camille O’Sullivan is one of Ireland’s most exciting performers who enjoys a formidable international reputation for her dramatic interpretations of the narrative songs of Nick Cave, Brel, Waits, Bowie, Radiohead and more. As much a storyteller as a singer, chameleon-like on stage, her performances are sometimes heartrending, occasionally mischievous but always a spine-tingling, exhilarating carousel ride. With her voice ranging from emotive rock to vulnerable whisper, Camille is fierce, playful and totally mesmerizing, transforming each song she interprets into a gripping theatrical experience. In this new show she has been inspired by the strange, magical, dark and light world of Circus and dreams, asking herself ‘where are you now and what did you dream?’

Camille has performed to audiences at London’s O2, Sydney Opera House and Royal Festival Hall. She returned to London’s  Roundhouse Theatre last year performing her show to a sold out crowd.

She has won numerous awards and garnered attention with a scene stealing performance on BBC Two’s Later…with Jools Holland (which lead her to support him at Royal Albert Hall). Camille was also chosen by Yoko One to perform John Lennon’s Double Fantasy alongside Patti Smith and Siouxsie Sioux at Meltdown 2014.



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Hilarious Musical Satirist Mitch Benn Comes to Leeds


Mitch Benn DFTR Image 2017 smaller

One of the best writer/performers of comic songs in the country, Mitch Benn arrives at Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds on Saturday 25 February.

A regular on BBC1’s “The One Show” as the writer and arranger of “The Complaints Choir” and composer for two satirical topical ditties a week for “The Now Show” for BBC Radio 4 as well as BBC Radio 2’s “It’s Been a Bad Week”.  It’s safe to say Mitch is one of the country’s leading satirical song writers.

It’s been a morbid time for ‘the country’s leading musical satirist’ (The Times); he’s turned 46, his personal life is in turmoil and his childhood heroes are dropping like flies. At times like these, a man feels the Reaper creeping up on him… But is death anything to fear? Join Mitch to confront his (and your) mortality with hilarious and tuneful consequences.

Mitch Benn: Don’t Fear The Reaper

Saturday 25 February, 7:45pm

Tickets: £13 (£12 concession)

Tickets for all Carriageworks Theatre productions can be booked on 0113 376 0318, online through the website at or in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD. Tickets on the night can be picked up or purchased, subject to availability, at Carriageworks Theatre from one hour prior to the show.

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Refu-Jazz: Benefit Concert All-Dayer at Headingley HEART



On Saturday February 11th, Headingley HEART is hosting a day of live jazz performances and workshops in aid of several refugee charites with some of Yorkshire’s finest jazz musicians are coming together to help raise desperately needed funds for people fleeing war. This is a great opportunity to support this worthy cause and enjoy some incredible music.

The line up for the day is listed below. Tickets can be bought for individual shows (£5) or a full day pass (£20). Events in the cafe are free entry but a donation would be gratefully appreciated.

12-12.45pm – Al Morrison Trio (Cafe)
1-1.45pm – Joe Boyes Trio (Main Hall)
2.15-3pm – Bassa Bassa (Main Hall)
3-3.30pm – Inside Out Duo (Cafe)
3.30-4.30pm – George Macdonald Trio (Main Hall)
4.30-5pm – The Irrelevance (Cafe)
5-6pm – Louie Mcdonald (Main Hall)
6-6.30pm – Sam Dunn (Cafe)
6.30-7.30pm – York Youth Jazz Orchestra (Main Hall)
7.30-8pm – Aleks Podraza Trio (Cafe)
8-9pm – Leeds Jazz Orchestra (Main Hall)
9-9.30pm – Phil Green’s Sky High Jazz Trio (Cafe)
9.30-11pm – Kate Peters Quartet + Jam (Main Hall)

Workshops –
John Marley – Jazz Bass Time -1pm
Sam Dunn – Jazz Guitar Time – 4.30pm
Aleks Podraza – Jazz Piano Time TBC

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Calling All Poets, Beatboxers, Spoken Word Artists and Performers: Open Auditions at WYP

WYP Auditions


West Yorkshire Playhouse is holding open auditions to meet poets, spoken word artists, performers, beatboxers and other exciting young artists from West Yorkshire, to act in its new production of Zodwa Nyoni’s Ode to Leeds.

Directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director James Brining, Ode to Leeds tells the story of five young poets from Leeds selected to compete at the world’s most prestigious international poetry slam competition in New York City. Fuelled by love, pride and passionate protest their words light fires to show the world who they are and what they can be.

West Yorkshire Playhouse is keen to hear from people from all backgrounds and levels of experience; both from those with acting experience and those without. Whether you’re taking part in open mic nights, competing in hip hop battles, busking on corners or just writing poetry in your bedroom, we want to hear from you.


Saturday 4 February: 10am – 6pm, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Monday 6 February: 6pm – 9pm, West Yorkshire Playhouse

To find out more about the characters and request an application form please email or visit

This opportunity is open to those aged 16+ who are no longer in full time education. The Playhouse is looking to cast characters between 14 and 18 years old; those auditioning need to look like they could be in that age bracket. Rehearsals will take place at the Playhouse between the 8 May and 10 June, with performances between 10 June and the 1 July 2017. All rehearsals and performances will take place at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

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Music and Cinema at Howard Assembly Room

umbrellas 2

The Howard Assembly Room continues to mash up music and cinema in exciting and innovative ways with its ongoing FILMusic series.

A bittersweet cinematic treat for Valentine’s Day is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (£5) with a live musical prelude. Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of colour and told through the lilting songs of the great Michel Legrand, this is one of the most revered and unorthodox movie musicals of all time.

On 17th February Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart returns with another David Lynch collaboration. HEXA, his duo with Australian composer and artist Lawrence English, is an uncompromising sonic response to the legendary director’s dark, atmospheric Factory Photographs, taken amidst the ruins of industry in the USA, Poland, Germany and the UK. Tickets: £10
Menschen am Sonntag - Stulkur

Icelandic experimentalists múm present the UK premiere of their improvised live score to People on Sunday (Menschen an Sonntag) (3 March) a vivid portrait of pre-war Berlin and its young inhabitants considered a masterpiece of silent film by Directors Billy Wilder, Edgar G. Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann, Robert and Curt Siodmak, Rochus Gliese. Tickets: £15
Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (8 April) is a swooning love letter to the decadence of Rome. This extraordinary tragicomedy is a must-see on the big screen. The screening is followed on 13th April by The Great Beauty: A Concert with the string section of the Orchestra of Opera North performing a concert of music inspired by the film’s soundtrack. The programme includes John Tavener’s superlative ‘The Protecting Veil’; Summa, ‘Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten’; ‘Festina Lente’ by Arvo Pärt; and William Byrd’s ‘Fantasia a 6’.
For more information visit:

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SingMeanwood is Looking for a New Choir Leader/Musical Director


SingMeanwood is a 50-strong mixed community choir with big ambitions and a lust for life. It loves having a varied, vibrant and sometimes alternative repertoire, and loves performing – especially a capella.

Whilst relatively self-sufficient, in that it has an active, committed steering group, the choir is currently looking for a new Musical Director who will be a safe pair of hands to help it learn and grow.

You will need to be a strong, thoughtful MD who enjoys laughing but who is serious, experienced and clever when it comes to music. You would need to be available on term time Sunday nights from September 2017 and to attend an audition session sometime in Spring 2017.

If you are interested, please email

Closing date for applications is 20th February.


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Open Mic Night for Leeds Recovery Community


Paul Gibbon & Justin Loach who will perform as ‘Euphoric Recall’

Leeds Recovery Academy will host its first free Open Mic Night TONIGHT Friday 27th  January, at The Academy at 43 Westfield Road, LS3 1NQ, just off Burley Road.

It will bring together a number of performers in recovery to mark their success and that of others who attend the Recovery Academy, as well as the achievements of everyone who has taken many positive steps on their road to recovery.

“Our Open Mic Night will be an evening of creativity embracing the spirit of recovery, that is free from substances, but overflowing with inspiration, talent and entertainment”, said Adam Montgomery, a Dual Diagnosis worker from Leeds MIND.

“As well as a great night out, it will be a celebration of the many accomplishments those in the recovery community”.

A number of performers are already scheduled to appear, and creative activities will run alongside the events on the main stage.

“This event is to celebrate recovery in Leeds and will give people in recovery a platform to have a go under the spotlight”, said Jo Byrden, Recovery Academy Manager.

If you would be interested in performing as a musician, comedian, performance poet, etc. contact them on 0113 887 2749. The only stipulation is you must be in recovery.

It will be a dry night with food and soft drinks available, 18+ only. Book your free ticket at

Forward Leeds provides support for adults, young people and families needing help with alcohol and drug use in Leeds.  It is Britain’s biggest multi-agency project tackling alcohol and drug problems. Since it began in July 2015, over 7,000 adults and 400 young people have been seen by the service and its Contact Centre handles over 12,000 calls a month. 


Forward Leeds helps adults and young people to make healthy choices about alcohol and drugs and aims to reduce risk taking behaviours through dedicated prevention, early intervention and tailored programmes. Their ultimate goal is to help people to achieve and sustain recovery.





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Magic, Music and Movement With Opera North


Opera North Little Singers. Photo credit Tom Arber

Singing, storytelling and sharing music are on the cards for Leeds’ youngest residents over the coming weeks as Opera North announces a series of family friendly performances and workshops.

Fairy tales take centre stage on Saturday 21st January, 10.30am and 11.45am, at Howard Assembly Room (£5/£3) and Leeds Central Library on 11th February, 10.30am, 11.45am and 1.30pm, (£4/£3) as Opera North’s magical indoor tent returns for a series of enchanting Happily Ever After performances. Storyteller, Ursula Holden-Gill, accompanied by cellist Polly Virr, will take audiences on a spellbinding journey through an assortment of traditional folk stories, with some surprising twists and turns along the way.

On Monday 6th  February at 11.00am, the Orchestra of Opera North will entertain with an interactive Little Listeners concert in the Howard Assembly Room. This is an opportunity for pre-schoolers, parents and carers to enjoy some classical music while finding out more about the different musical instruments in an orchestra. The children attending will be encouraged to move around to the music and join in with the songs.


Gold, Gods and Giants. Photo credit Amy Charles

Little Singers is held every Monday during term-time for children from 0-4 years. These fun-filled workshops are run by professional vocal delivery artists with the aim of encouraging adults and young children to explore music and movement together. Additional weekly sessions are going to be held at Colton Primary School Children’s Centre in East Leeds and CAST in Doncaster, with more planned at The Deep in Hull in the Easter holidays.

“We’re passionate about introducing children to high quality music and live performance at an early age but also recognise the importance of making it an enjoyable experience for everyone who comes along”, said Jacqui Cameron, Opera North Education Director. “This year, we’re inviting families to join us in a variety of settings to experience the pleasure of making music, dancing, singing and telling stories. All of our programmes are designed to help families find new ways to play, learn, understand and express themselves, while having fun together.”

To book, call 0844 848 2727 or visit  



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‘Spellbinding’ Singer to Perform for a Great Cause





Folksinger Tom Bliss toured the UK to much acclaim during the noughties but retired from music in 2009 to study sustainability. Now he’s returning to the stage to campaign for Multiple Sclerosis.

Tom has devoted his years away from performing and recording to climate change related roles at both Leeds universities. Last year his daughter was diagnosed with MS, a devastating neurological condition that affects the brain and spinal cord.

“It’s terrible to see your own laid low by a currently incurable disease”, said Tom. “But it seems a breakthrough is tantalising close, and the MS Society has been both a godsend and lifeline. My son-in-law raised thousands by undertaking mammoth walk – which gave me the idea of performing some benefit gigs.”

Appearing under the name ‘Tom Bliss and the Burning Bridges’ (which gently mocks his retirement), he’s back for a handful of concerts and sounding better than ever, thanks to Dave Bowie’s inventive double bass and Ross Bennett’s delightful guitar and vocals.

Tom will be performing at Inkwell, Chapel Allerton, on 7th January, The Black Swan York, on 14th January, and the New Headingley Club on 11th February. All gigs are ‘pay as you feel’ for the MS Society. Further details at



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