Theatre audiences have been spoilt throughout 2017 with a diverse range of programming from West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Grand, City Varieties, The Carriageworks, Stage@Leeds and more.
From dance to drama, musical to monologue, here are just some of the shows you shouldn't have missed throughout the year.
James Brining has been Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse since 2012. In addition to driving forward a bold new vision for the producing theatre, including a forthcoming £13m redevelopment of the building, James has directed several flagship productions, including The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Crucible, Enjoy, Talking Heads, Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Into the Woods and Ode to Leeds.
This season, James directs Reece Dinsdale in a contemporary adaptation of Ibsen's The Master Builder. We spoke to James amidst rehearsals prior to the show's premiere later this month.
Peter Straker is a legend of musical theatre, originating roles in Hair and Tommy, in addition to forging a vibrant career as an actor and musician. His collaborations include albums with Freddie Mercury, Roy Thomas Baker and The Alan Parsons Project.
Peter Straker’s Brel was a sellout sensation at last year’s Edinburgh fringe and this season he’s touring in a bold new version of The Who’s Tommy, produced by Ramps on the Moon and New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich.
I caught up with Peter between performances at West Yorkshire Playhouse to find out more about the show and his fascinating portrayal of the Acid Queen
JB Priestley’s classic runabout comedy When We Are Married is at West Yorkshire Playhouse this month. Produced by Northern Broadsides and directed by Barrie Rutter, this colourful revival of a celebrated farce sings with Yorkshire warmth and bawdy cheekiness.
The story is a simple one. The year is 1908 and three well-to-do couples are celebrating their joint 25th wedding anniversaries. Over-indulgence is the order of the evening until the chapel organ player drops a shattering bombshell. Due to a ecumenical technicality, the couples were never officially certified as married; they have essentially been living in sin for twenty five years...
In the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, West Yorkshire Playhouse presents a season of contemporary adaptations celebrating the Brontës' work. One of these reimaginings is Villette, an unusual science-fiction fable by Linda Marshall-Griffiths.
Lucy Snowe is a clone, a "descendant", who joins a scientific excavation to recover the remains of a woman who was once immune to a plague which is again threatening the world. As the scientific crew becomes a surrogate family, Lucy visualises her twin sisters as a fractured version of herself and begins to consolidates her identity through a romance.
Sleuth is the first show to hit the Quarry stage this season. A co-production between West Yorkshire Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse, Anthony Shaffer's classic cloak-and-dagger thriller is re-imagined under the direction of Giles Croft.
Miles Richardson stars as Andrew Wyke, a scheming writer who stages a crime to ensnare his ex-wife's lover. James Alexanrous plays Milo Tindle, the cad tempted into an insurance swindle which becomes a devious game of cat and mouse - and murder.
The Performance Ensemble and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-present Anniversary this month on the Courtyard stage. A collection of recollections expressed through movement, monologue and music, the play is performed by a cast aged 55 to 80 with a Dementia-friendly awareness for audiences.
The cast is composed of a collection of artists whose background in theatre ranges between several decades and several months, providing a vast scale of experience. What some of the performers may lack in formal training they make up for in charisma with a tender and tangible onstage honesty. Anniversaries of travel, separation, denial and death punctuate a showcase of ideas performed with a rare naturalism and pride. There is no set to speak of, the characters are real people, the memories true and painful, the laughter real.
Improbable bring Opening Skinner's Box to West Yorkshire Playhouse this month. Adapted from the 2005 book by Lauren Slater, the play recalls the bold and bizarre history of some of the most extraordinary psychological experiments of the 20th Century.
From the makers of Britain’s Got Bhangra comes a new musical based on the 7th century romantic tale of Laila. Set against a Persian landscape with contemporary song and dance, it is a show which charts the tragic story of star-crossed lovers, 700 years before Romeo and Juliet.
West Yorkshire Playhouse presents Great Expectations in the Quarry Theatre, in a new adaptation by Michael Eaton. A tale of fortune, favour, identity and destiny, the play follows the story of a blacksmith’s apprentice as he is funded by a mysterious donor to become a wealthy gentleman.
Charles Dickens' celebrated novel has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times with variable success. Michael Eaton's new imagining for West Yorkshire Playhouse attempts to capture the gothic intensity of the novel and is directed with an equally dark intent by Lucy Bailey. One of the draws of Dickens is the detail in his writing, be it character or place, and Bailey's production embraces a love of stage business and detailed dressing to bring that world to life.
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