Archive | Theatre

CONTAINED at WYP: Rethinking Disability

 

Mind the Gap's production of Container at the Mind the Gap Studios at Lister's Mill in Bradford.

 

Mind the Gap, England’s largest learning disability theatre company, begins the tour of new show CONTAINED at West Yorkshire Playhouse Friday 10 – Saturday 11 March.

Starring nine learning-disabled performers, including Liam Bairstow (Coronation Street, ITV) and Jez Colborne (Irresistible, London 2012 Olympic Games), who’s original score and lyrics feature in the show, CONTAINED presents nine interwoven true stories about family and friendships, love and loss, the everyday and the extraordinary.

Liam Bairstow in CONTAINED. Photo by Tim Smith

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, CONTAINED explores those small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful: moments that teach us about ourselves and the world that we live in.

 

Mind the Gap's production of Container at the Mind the Gap Studios at Lister's Mill in Bradford.

Directed by Alan Lyddiard (Anniversary, West Yorkshire Playhouse 2016) in collaboration with award winning photographer Denis Darzacq and Mind the Gap, this gritty, honest and thought-provoking show reflects the lives of people with learning disabilities in today’s society.

A series of free events for anyone who has purchased a ticket to CONTAINED will run alongside the show, including workshops, discussion events and an exhibition.

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

 

 

 

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Murder, Margaret and Me at York Theatre Royal

 

 

Nichola McAuliffe

Nichola McAuliffe

 

Nichola McAuliffe, Susie Blake and Andrina Carroll star in the premiere production of comedy thriller Murder, Margaret and Me by Philip Meeks at York Theatre Royal from 18th February to 4th March.

 

Susie Blake

Susie Blake

Margaret and Me explores the relationship between Queen of Crime Agatha Christie and the acting legend known as ‘the funniest woman alive’ Margaret Rutherford, who played Miss Marple in a series of British movies in the early 1960s. These two powerful national treasures were the creative force behind one of British cinema’s most successful franchises but the Miss Marple films were almost never made. Christie didn’t want Rutherford to bring her fabled spinster to life and Rutherford was mortified at the prospect of sullying her reputation with something as sordid as murder.

The pair form an unlikely friendship filled with afternoon tea and gossip. Meanwhile Agatha turns detective herself as she becomes determined to unearth Rutherford’s tragic and shocking family secret.

For more info and tickets click here.

 

 

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Babe, The Sheep Pig Visits Temple Newsam

Babe

Babe, The Sheep Pig had his first taste of Yorkshire farm-life in preparation for a visit to West Yorkshire Playhouse.

 

Visiting Temple Newsham’s Home Farm, the plucky piglet with a talent for herding sheep put his skills into practice, rounding up the farm’s rare-breed flock and putting them safely away in their pens.

 

The loveable Babe then went on to rub noses with one of Home Farm’s Middle White piglets, getting well acquainted with his real-life counterparts in preparation for opening night.

 

Adapted from Dick King Smith’s 1983 novel which inspired the 1995 Oscar-winning film, Babe, the little pig with big dreams, features amazing puppets designed by Max Humphries (Chief Puppet Designer, Cirque de Soleil) and Dik Downey, with puppetry direction by Matthew Forbes (Associate Director in Puppetry & Movement, War Horse). Babe’s heart-warming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery is the perfect half-term treat.

 

Wed 15 – Sat 18 Feb

Quarry Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Suitable for all ages.

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

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

 

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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.

https://www.cityvarieties.co.uk/

 

 

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Yorkshire in West End Spotlight

 

Tim Firth, Gary Barlow & the original Calendar Girls credit Matt Crocket...

Welcome to Yorkshire has been unveiled as the official destination partner of the musical The Girls in the West End.

Based on the true story of Yorkshire’s Calendar Girls, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical will be at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End from Saturday, January 28.

The partnership will see Welcome to Yorkshire supporting the show while showcasing the county to London theatre audiences.

“We had a great time showcasing The Girls to Yorkshire’s fantastic audiences and we’re hoping for equally great crowds in the West End,” said Gary Barlow. “This is a real life story of a group of extraordinary Yorkshire women and we are thrilled to be bringing a slice of their home county to London.’’

The Girls brings to life the true story of the members of Rylstone and District Women’s Institute who stripped off to raise money for charity.

Their story first prompted the 2003 film Calendar Girls and then in 2015 The Girls musical opened at The Grand Theatre in Leeds where it received standing ovations at every performance.

For more information, go to www.thegirlsmusical.com

 

 

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Phoenix Dance Revives Nightlife at the Flamingo at WYP

 

Nightlife at the Flamingo. Photography by Brian Slater (1)

Phoenix Dance Theatre will open their Spring 2017 tour with a four-night run at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The thrilling programme which marks the end of the company’s 35th year anniversary celebrations features a new commission and a revival of one of the company’s earliest and most iconic works; Nightlife at the Flamingo.

Choreographed by Edward Lynch, who also danced in the original production, Nightlife at the Flamingo premiered in Leeds in 1983, under the Company’s first Artistic Director David Hamilton.

Originally set in an American nightclub, Nightlife at the Flamingo integrated popular culture and modern dance and was performed by five dancers. For this revived anniversary performance it has been re-imagined by Edward Lynch for an intergenerational cast which features ex-Phoenix dancers and current company dancers along with the company’s Youth Academy. Fusing Jazz, Soul and Lindy Hop this dazzling piece captures the atmosphere of a 1940’s American Dance Hall.

Nightlife at the Flamingo. Photography by Brian Slater

Alongside Nightlife at the Flamingo Phoenix present the premier of Calyx the company’s very first internal commission under the directorship of Sharon Watson. Calyx is choreographed by Company Dancer Sandrine Monin who was awarded the commission following the company’s inaugural Choreographers and Composers Lab in 2015. Sandrine’s appointment comes at a time when female choreographers are in the minority, often expressing difficulties in developing their careers as choreographers. Calyx is inspired by and based on the book of poems ‘The Flowers of Evil’ by Charles Baudelaire. The work explores the themes of beauty, desire and decadence.

Beast. Photography by Brian Slater (1)

To complete the programme the company present Beast by Leeds based choreographer and ex company dancer Douglas Thorpe. Beast immerses the audience into the darkest reaches of the mind, using six dancers in a performance that is as powerful and brutal as it is beautiful. Exploring the darker side of the human psyche, Beast’s broken choreography requires extreme strength and articulation, giving the piece an often disjointed and fragmented look. Intimidating and uncompromising, this challenging piece is an unforgettable, captivating piece of theatre.

Beast. Photography by Brian Slater

 

“In 1989 I was one of the first female dancers to join the Company and it is a privilege to lead the Company in these challenging but artistically vibrant times.” said Sharon Watson. “Recommissioning NightLife at the Flamingo is a nod to the company spirit, and affirms the Phoenix Dance Theatre’s deserved place as prominent agents for change in the arts. It is right that we recognise just how revolutionary the Phoenix phenomenon is and the ground-breaking work the Company’s early members achieved. The commissioning of a new piece by a current Company Dancer is a continuation of this spirit. Many female choreographers have expressed difficulties and frustration as they find it more and more challenging to secure any form of investment to support their careers as choreographers. This is a significant commission, sending a clear message to the dance world that Phoenix is committed to driving diversity in the sector”.

Book online www.wyp.org.uk

Box office 0113 213 7700

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Pygmalion at WYP

press-images-ss17-season-pygmalion-withtitle

 

‘The science of speech. That’s my profession. I can place any man within six miles. I can place him within two miles in London. Sometimes within two streets.’

How far do accents define us? Is status still dictated by our mother tongue?

Sam Pritchard directs a radical new staging of Bernard Shaw’s acute comedy Pygmalion, a hilarious and poignant tale of two opposites, Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, trying to find a common language.

Shaw’s celebrated play was first staged over 100 years ago and is recognised as one of the most enduring and perceptive of comedies. In this audacious new staging, Sam Pritchard playfully carves a contemporary world on stage using sound and video technology which examines class identity and questions how far accents and speech can define us in Britain today.

Pygmalion is a co-production between West Yorkshire Playhouse, Headlong and Nuffield Southampton Theatres. This is the third year that West Yorkshire Playhouse has partnered with Headlong, following their acclaimed co-productions of Spring Awakening in 2014 and The Glass Menagerie in 2015.

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Courtyard Theatre

Saturday 4 – Saturday 25 February 

https://www.wyp.org.uk/events/pygmalion/

 

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‘Dare Devil Rides to Jarama’ at The Carriageworks

David Heywood plays Clem 'Dare Devil' Beckett in a new play called 'Dare Devil rides to Jarama' Pic - Richard Marsham

Townsend Productions, well known for their vivid, politically committed theatre bring their newest show Dare Devil Rides to Jarama by Neil Gore to The Carriageworks on Thursday 26th January.

It is 80 years since the Spanish rose up to resist General Franco’s military rebellion. This compelling and humorous play contrasts the lives of International Brigaders Clem Beckett and Christopher Caudwell who were killed together at Jarama in February 1937, having become friends as members of the British Battalion’s machinegun company.

It’s a strange world in which a speedway star forges a friendship with a literary critic, poet and aeronautical expert miles from home. This unlikely friendship is celebrated in Dare Devil Rides to Jarma, a moving account of why so many ordinary people made the extraordinary choice to leave family and livelihoods and fight in the Spanish Civil War.

The play, a critical success, captures the humour, passion and emotion produced by the idealism of these men through immersive storytelling, stirring song and poetry. A cast of two play multiple roles in a grand theatrical style with music of the period arranged by folk musician John Kirkpatrick.

“The play is an exciting and evocative piece about the incredible contribution made by the volunteers of the International Brigades to fight the forces of fascism and to uphold the power of democracy”, said Neil Gore. “It is also an important examination of the fascinating life of Clem Beckett who achieved so much in such a short time as a top speedway rider and a rider in the Wall of Death around Europe. His life touched on so many of the major happenings in the 1930s, from involvement in campaigns such as better conditions in his sport and the Mass Trespass in Derbyshire, to participation in anti-fascist demonstrations in Manchester; visits to the Soviet Union with a contingent of sportsmen and women; and ultimately to his involvement in Spanish Civil War.”

Dare Devil Rides To Jarama

Thursday 26 January, 7:30pm

Tickets: £12.50 (£10.50 concession, £5 unwaged)

www.leeds.gov.uk/carriageworks/

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Brighten your Winter with a Bit of Magic for the Whole Family

 

morgan-west-by-steve-ullathorne-2

Imagine a world where Penn and Teller are Victorian Brits and you are on your way to conjuring the magical duo of Morgan & West.  Following smash hit Edinburgh seasons in 2015 and 2016 and sell-out runs on London’s Southbank and around the country, Morgan & West bring their Empire inspired, thoroughly entertaining illusions to Leeds. Morgan & West’s Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show – For Kids (and Childish Grownups) arrives at Carriageworks Theatre on Sat 28 January 2017.

Witness a mountain of mysterious magic, a hatful of hyper-reality, and of course a truck full of tricks and tea (Mr Morgan is very sad to say there are no actual mountains or trucks on stage during the show, Mr West simply would not have them.) Mixing brain-busting illusion and good old fashioned tomfoolery, Morgan & West present a show for all the family, where magic and silliness abound!

Morgan & West have been performing their unique magic shows across the UK and around the world, including sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Fringe World in Perth, Adelaide Fringe where they were nominated for Best Family Show, and Buxton Fringe where they were awarded Best Comedy Show.

Morgan & West’s Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show – For Kids (and Childish Grownups)

Saturday 28 January, 2pm

Tickets: £8.50 (£9.50 adults)

Family Ticket: £34

Age 5+

Tickets for all Carriageworks Theatre productions can be booked on 0113 376 0318, online through the website at www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk or in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall

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Strictly Ballroom – Another Superb Hit for West Yorkshire Playhouse

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

The totally fabulous ‘Strictly Ballroom The Musical’ is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse until Saturday 21st January and, if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you get a ticket! The show is so funny, colourful, and with great music and dancing. Everyone left smiling from ear to ear after a prolonged standing ovation.

This is the first time that Baz Luhrmann’s musical (which followed on from his play and worldwide best selling film), has been performed outside Australia. A co-production by Global Creatures – the team behind Walking With Dinosaurs, How To Train Your Dragon, and King Kong – and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Strictly Ballroom is captivating for all ages.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

 

The show is all about finding the right partner in life. It is the inspiring story of star-crossed lovers from different ethnicities, one a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. It features numbers such as ‘Love is in the Air’, ‘Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps’ and ‘Time After Time’, as well as several new songs by internationally acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

Like millions of dancers across the world, director and choreographer Drew McOnie was inspired by the movie as a young dancer – and recently his dazzling choreography for ‘In The Heights’ earned him the 2016 Olivier Award.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

“I am incredibly excited about the dynamic and diverse company we have put together to create Strictly Ballroom”, said Drew. “It literally comes from all over the world. There was no compromising on casting, and it was very difficult as there had to be a level of authenticity.”

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

The role of Fran is played by Gemma Sutton, who starred in ‘Gypsy’ and ‘The Go-Between’ in the West End. Sam Lips, as Scott, recently starred on Broadway and is making his UK debut. And, two familiar faces from The Playhouse’s 2015 hit musical ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ are Tamsin Carroll and Stephen Matthews who will play Shirley and Doug, Scott’s parents, the ambitious mother who runs the local dance school and her henpecked husband whose past achievements are finally revealed.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

Fran’s father and grandmother are of Spanish origin – a great opportunity to introduce a little flamenco from Fernando Mira, Australia’s foremost flamenco dancer. One of the most touching scenes is with Fran and her grandmother, played by Eve Polycarpou, when they sing ‘Love is a Leap of Faith’.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

Julius D’Silva’s Barry Fife, with his particularly mobile hair-piece, was quite hilarious; Richard Grieve as co-owner of the dance school, was excellent; and Charlotte Gooch as Tina Sparkle….sparkled! The whole cast was superb and the show delighted everyone in the audience.

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

“I want people to walk away knowing that they have seen a brilliant story, not solely a dance show”, said Drew. “I would like people to feel inspired and leave with a revised sense of ambition.”

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

I think they certainly did that! Don’t miss this chance to see another great show at The Playhouse. It’s touching, very funny, and you just won’t want it to end!

 

'Strictly Ballroom' Touring Production

“We’re thrilled to have such talented and experienced performers at the Playhouse”, said James Brining, Artistic Director, West Yorkshire Playhouse. “We pride ourselves on producing exceptional musical theatre and we are building a reputation for showcasing world-class musicals here in Leeds. Strictly Ballroom follows on from the huge success of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is still touring nationally.”

 

 

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