Sunday, July 3

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 be working with such a diverse and incredible creative team to bring this much-loved story to a 21st century audience.”

In the meantime the summer season will celebrating co-creation and community spirit as the premiere of The Promise of a Garden. This new work brings together four Leeds partners in an innovative new collaboration across sector, and is co-created by a company of artists from across the city driven by Leeds-based director Alan Lyddiard with artist Delaine Le Bas.

They will transform the Quarry into a horticultural haven blending performance, dance, music, film and photography to create blossoming moments of joy. A company of older performers share their personal stories and reflect on how nature became our faithful companion in lockdown, with parks, pastures, allotments and gardens helping us through the tough times.

Leeds-based Wrongsemble return with a new family-friendly musical, The Not So Ugly Sisters offering the alternative story of Cinderella’s infamous step-family. This two-hander, written and directed by Elvi Piper stars an all-female northern cast and an original score composed by Claire-Marie Seddon and Bay Bryan.  

This production, made in co-production with the Playhouse and Red Ladder Theatre Company, was scheduled to open last year but was brought to a halt when the country was locked down on the very first day of rehearsals.    

Red Ladder also make a welcome return with their critically acclaimed production, The Damned United, which first premiered at the Playhouse in 2016. This powerful piece inspired by David Peace’s best-selling book tells the tragic story of Brian Clough‘s disastrous 44-day period as manager of Leeds United. This time football fans will see it from an entirely different perspective now Leeds are finally back in the Premier League.

Piaf stars West End and Broadway star Jenna Russell and will finally be performed this summer as it previously scheduled in the summer of 2020. Pam Gems’ play tells the extraordinary life story of the sensational, world-renowned singer Edith Piaf, who began her career singing on the streets of Paris, and will include her most famous songs include La Vie en Rose and Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining directs Stephen Sondheim’s exquisitely acerbic musical A Little Night Music, which was yet another production postponed last summer due to the pandemic. This Leeds Playhouse and Opera North co-production brings together operatic veterans, musical theatre talent and Opera North’s gifted Chorus. Dame Josephine Barstow casts a sardonic eye over proceedings as Madam Armfeldt after her standout performance in Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre.

Families can look forward to meeting Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, MakkaPakka and friends for a fun-filled jaunt In the Night Garden…Live when the CBeebies favourites bring their magic to the Quarry.

Leeds Playhouse says it is confident it can welcome audiences safely and efficiently back into its theatres from May as it had the chance to test and perfect its Covid procedures when it temporarily reopened last October. It will continue to abide by national guidelines and will keep audiences informed about its ongoing covid safety measures as it reopens.

Members, Playhouse Pass holders, Supporters, Brooke Club and Directors Club members from Thursday 29th April, with tickets on general sale from Thursday 6th May. https://leedsplayhouse.org.uk/

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