Leeds Playhouse has been hard at work to make sure that they can safely put on a season of events over the coming months – but you probably guessed that from the title of the post! As a wonderful gesture, admission to the traditional Yuletide favourite A Christmas Carol, is free for 1,000 NHS workers as part of the #LeedsSaysThanks scheme.

I have already told you about the Connecting Voices productions which run from 2nd – 17th October, and Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show on 7th and 8th October and I hope to be posting reviews of these over the next week or so.

21st – 31st October sees a series of works by Northern Ballet – it is always good to keep well in with the neighbours – including a restaging of Dangerous Liaisons.

Imelda Staunton – A Lady of Letters. Photograph by Zac Nicholson
Maxine Peake – Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet. Photograph by Zac Nicholson

November sees what promises to be a very popular double bill of monologues from the Alan Bennett Talking Heads series; Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet and A Lady of Letters. The artists are Imelda Staunton and Maxine Peake who, on 12th – 14th, are reprising their roles from the BBC TV performances. They are now joined by Rochenda Sandall who will perform her monologue from Talking Heads, The Outside Dog, on 7th.

Rochenda Sandall – The Outside Dog. Photograph by Zac Nicholson

Another single hander, Zodwa Nyoni’s Nine Lives, returns to the Playhouse after premiering here in 2014. It will be performed by Lladel Bryant, a member of the Pop-Up Season Ensemble. Directed by Alex Chisholm it is at the Courtyard Theatre on 5th and 6th November.

Zodwa Nioni – Nine Lives. Photograph provided by Leeds Playhouse

The co-productions between Leeds Playhouse and Opera North under the umbrella title of Connecting Voices continue at the Quarry Theatre on 11th – 21st November with a double bill of Handel’s pastoral opera, Acis And Galatea, and Weill’s ‘sung ballet’ Seven Deadly Sins.

Courtyard Theatre hosts the alternative Cinderella story, The Not So Ugly Sisters, a family-friendly musical written by Elvi Piper and designed by Anthony Jones. It is a two-hander with an original score composed by Claire-Marie Seddon and Bay Bryan and can be seen on 18th – 21st November.

Image provided by Leeds Playhouse

Red Ladder Theatre Company presents a play from new playwright Nana-Kofi Kufour on 26th – 28th November called My Voice Was Heard But I was Ignored. A powerful piece concerning the complexities of black identity. The director is Dermot Daly

A Christmas Carol. Photograph provided by Leeds Playhouse

Finally we get to the ‘C’ word! Christmas. As already mentioned Quarry Theatre will be staging an adaptation by Deborah McAndrew of Charles Dickens’ favourite, A Christmas Carol. It runs from 3rd December, 2020 until 9th January, 2021. It is directed by Playhouse Associate Director, Amy Leach and will have integrated British Sign Language. In addition to the 1,000 free tickets to NHS workers for this production there will be offers for other frontline workers announced in the near future.

Should you be uncertain about returning to the Playhouse building during these uncertain times, Robert Alan Evans has been commissioned to create a new family-friendly production which will be performed on the back of a truck driving through the neighbourhoods of Leeds. Keep your eyes out for dates and times for this. You might also want to keep your eyes open whilst crossing the road!

For further details and to book tickets, please go to:

https://leedsplayhouse.org.uk/whats-on/

Feature Photograph by Anthony Robling

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