Friday, June 18

Tag: Leeds Playhouse

The Damned United – Leeds Playhouse
Yorkshire & Humber

The Damned United – Leeds Playhouse

The last time I saw this Leeds United were in the midst of one of their regular comedic play offs collapse, but now they are riding high in the Premier League this punchy tale of hubris at Elland Road has extra resonance. It’s nominally the tale of Brian Howard Clough’s disastrous 44 day reign at Yorkshire’s biggest club after taking unfancied Derby County to the First Division title, but it is a story about obsession and  madness that will reach non football fans too. The Damned United is based on David Peace’s semi-fictional novel tracing Clough’s descent into a personal hell. Anders Lustgarten’s tight adaptation captures all the psychological demons swirling round Ol’ Big Head’s fractured psyche as he takes on a team of seasoned pros loyal who he hates as ‘cheats’, but they ...
Casting announced for Dracula: The Untold Story
NEWS

Casting announced for Dracula: The Untold Story

Leeds Playhouse and imitating the dog have announced the casting for their premiere of Dracula: The Untold Story. It’s a typically radical new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic gothic horror novel told from the perspective of Mina Harker, the novel’s heroine. Leona Allen will play Mina Harker joined by Matt Prendergast and Adela Rajnović who play all the other roles. Just before midnight on New Year's Eve in 1965, as revellers in London celebrate the beginning of another year, a young woman enters Marylebone Police Station and confesses to a brutal murder. She claims to be Mina Harker, the last living survivor of the intrepid group that brought about Count Dracula’s destruction some 70 years before. But Mina Harker has not been seen since 1901. And if she were alive, she wou...
The Not So Ugly Sisters – Leeds Playhouse
Yorkshire & Humber

The Not So Ugly Sisters – Leeds Playhouse

The producers of Wicked have made a fortune retelling a classic story and now Wrongsemble are subverting a much loved children’s tale for younger theatre goers. They have great fun through song, dance, some corny gags and lots of physical comedy challenging what we think we know about Cinderella’s so called ugly sisters. Dolly and Barb are rattling round their hairdressing salon watching their baby sister getting married to Prince Smarming, and they’ve not been invited due to endless tabloid battering portraying them as the panto villains of this royal love story. Sound familiar? The demonising has left them with a phone that only rings for blow dry cancellations, so they take the time to tell their version of the classic story. The energy and inventiveness of this pacey two hand...
Strong cast announced for Piaf at Leeds Playhouse
NEWS

Strong cast announced for Piaf at Leeds Playhouse

A year later than originally intended Leeds Playhouse has announced a strong cast for Piaf telling the extraordinary life story of the world-renowned chanteuse. Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell will play the troubled French singing legend, with Sally Ann Triplett now confirmed alongside her in the role of Toine, who was Piaf’s close friend and trusted confidante. Russell and Triplett are friends themselves but have not performed together since the original West End production of Sondheim’s Follies 30 years ago. Olivier Award-nominated actress Laura Pitt-Pulford will play Marlene Dietrich and Garry Robson takes the role of Louis Leplee, the nightclub owner who discovered Piaf.  Louis Gaunt will play ...
Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters have their say at Leeds Playhouse
NEWS

Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters have their say at Leeds Playhouse

Fairy tales are always ripe for retellings of the original story and this time it is Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters who get to tell their side of the story at Leeds Playhouse. The Not So Ugly Sisters, created by Leeds-based theatre company Wrongsemble in co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Red Ladder Theatre Company, is a family friendly show where there are always two sides to every story.    Dolly is resting on her broom counting the passers-by outside the salon window, while her sister Barb watches the phone that never rings. It’s the morning of Cindy and Prince Smarming’s big royal wedding – but Dolly and Barb are not invited – and Hell hath no fury like a hairdresser scorned. Photography by Anthony Jones Leeds actors Daisy Ann Fletcher and Lucy Rafton star as the ...
Decades: 1970s/1980s/2000s – Leeds Playhouse
Yorkshire & Humber

Decades: 1970s/1980s/2000s – Leeds Playhouse

To kick off their delayed 50th birthday celebrations the Playhouse team commissioned both experienced and newer creatives to create short monologues boldly trying to meld the history of Leeds and events across the north over six decades since they opened their doors.. They are offering all six as the King Lear of monologues, or two lots of three like tonight’s offering spanning three decades.  There may be some obscure artistic reasoning behind this but it seems odd to run them out of sequence as doing so might have added to their power. As a veteran of the eighties Leeds anarchist and squat scene it must have tempting for Alice Nutter to offer a sugar-coated version of that scene, but typically in Nicer Than Orange Squash she offers an often funny indictment of the hypocrisy a...
Decades: Stories From The City 1990s/2010s/2020s – Leeds Playhouse
Yorkshire & Humber

Decades: Stories From The City 1990s/2010s/2020s – Leeds Playhouse

There is always a hum in any theatre before the lights go down, but tonight as creatives and an audience make that unique communion after months apart it feels like the air of expectation is off the scale as we uncomfortably sit in our masks. Typically, the Playhouse have not made it easy for themselves by offering returning theatre lovers six monologues that attempt to meld events from the seventies right through to lockdown with a potted social history of Leeds For me monologues are biggest of all challenge for the writers, performers and this audience who are just relived to be sat in a dark space at last.  It is like stand up with a script as there is no place to go if goes wrong, no-one to bounce off and if the writing is even marginally off it can be torture for all conce...
Amanda Huxtable talks about directing Decades which reopens Leeds Playhouse
Interviews

Amanda Huxtable talks about directing Decades which reopens Leeds Playhouse

Leeds Playhouse kick off their 50th anniversary celebrations and reopen the doors with six short monologues written by a mix of new and experienced writers. Decades: Stories From The City takes a particular decade from across the Playhouse’s lifespan covering the 1970s to the 2020s, tracing how their home city has changed over that time.  As this is their first set of shows after lockdown the Playhouse have also recruited a strong cast of directors, including Leeds Playhouse’s Artistic Director James Brining who is joined in the rehearsal spaces by Associate Director Amy Leach and RTYDS Resident Assistant Director Sameena Hussain, Evie Manning of Common Wealth Theatre and Theatre State’s Tess Seddon. The hugely experienced Amanda Huxtable directs Leanna Benjamin’s The Unknow...
Casting announced for Decades: Stories from the city at Leeds Playhouse
NEWS

Casting announced for Decades: Stories from the city at Leeds Playhouse

Leeds Playhouse has announced the six actors who will perform in their Decades: Stories from the city season as they reopen their doors for their 50th anniversary celebrations.    They will perform short monologues by a heavyweight group of writers including Poet Laureate Simon Armitage who will be joined by Leanna Benjamin, Kamal Kaan, Alice Nutter, Maxine Peake and Stan Owens.  All the writers have strong connections to the Playhouse, so have each taken a particular decade from across the Playhouse’s lifespan covering the 1970s to the 2020s tracing the city’s changes over that time.  Isobel Coward will star in Alice Nutter’s Nicer Than Orange Squash, Eva Scott is in Maxine Peake’s Don’t You Know It’s Going To Be Alright and Cassie Layton performs Kamal ...
Leeds Playhouse announce summer season and their big festive show
NEWS

Leeds Playhouse announce summer season and their big festive show

As part of its 50th anniversary year Leeds Playhouse has announced a bold summer season and Wendy & Peter Pan will be the theatre’s now traditional festive blockbuster. The festive are now part of the city’s winter theatrical experience and this year family audiences are off to Neverland with Ella Hickson’s Wendy & Peter Pan. This adaptation of the J M Barrie classic uniquely retells the story from the viewpoint of Wendy Darling, with plenty of flying, laughs and even some Japanese video anime artistry blended with a reinvigorated classic British story. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Wendy & Peter Pan,” said co-director Jonathan Munby. “The new version will be created by an international team of artists including those from the UK and Japan. I’m overjoyed to...