EXCITING NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED FOR SENSATIONAL SPRING/SUMMER 24 SEASON AT LEEDS PLAYHOUSE

6 Dec 2023

News

Leeds Playhouse today announced a thrilling new Spring/Summer 24 Season, offering an exhilarating programme of entertainment for all ages, packed with gripping classic drama, inspiring new work, electrifying must-see premieres, sensational musicals and imaginative family shows.

Artistic Director and Chief Executive James Brining said: “The programme of work for Spring/Summer 24 is packed with exhilarating entertainment for all the family to enjoy and showcases pieces of theatre that will challenge and inspire you. Our theatre, our spaces, and our work is here for you and for our community. This theatre is filled with many different voices – each with a story to share. We invite you to experience these stories – these collective moments – with us.”

Executive Director of Leeds Playhouse Shawab Iqbal said: “This season is a great reflection of the diverse work that happens at Leeds Playhouse each and every day. The partnerships we continue to make are helping us to grow and develop, to continue to listen to our audiences and to provide a platform for artists to share their creativity. We pride ourselves on connecting with people on their own doorstep through our Community Tour and year-round engagement work; with artists across our region through our renowned Furnace development programme; and with our friends, neighbours, groups and organisations from across the Leeds City Region as we happily share our spaces with them for meetings, events, and social get-togethers.

“We are particularly proud to be celebrating our 10th anniversary as a Theatre of Sanctuary in 2024. It’s also a decade since we staged the first Dementia Friendly performance as part of our pioneering programme of Dementia Friendly projects for people living with the condition and their families and supporters. This industry-leading work, together with our myriad of other long-standing relationships across the city and beyond, are invaluable in helping us to hold our doors open and welcome more and more people into the world of Leeds Playhouse.”

In July, the Playhouse will present the world premiere of Paranormal Activity: A New Haunting Live on Stage, written by Levi Holloway and directed by Felix Barrett, Artistic Director of Punchdrunk. Unfolding on stage for the first time will be a theatrical experience that will haunt you long after the lights go out. A co-production with Simon Friend Entertainment.
Courtyard Theatre, Thu 4 July  – Sat 3 Aug

For the first time ever, all of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits can be experienced together in a rollicking and joyous new musical comedy Here You Come Again. Packed with the iconic songs ‘Jolene, ‘9 to 5’, ‘Islands in the Stream’, ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘Here You Come Again’ and many more, this lively and touching new musical tells the story of a diehard fan whose fantasy version of international icon Dolly Parton gets him through trying times. With her wit, humour and charm, Dolly teaches him a whole lot about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps… even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones! This is one musical that is sure to make you smile. After success across the United States, Here You Come Again  – originally written by two-time Emmy award-winning comedy and songwriter Bruce Vilanch with Gabriel Barre (who also directs) and Tricia Paoluccio (who also plays Dolly), and has now been adapted for the UK by acclaimed British playwright Jonathan Harvey (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and Coronation Street). A co-production with Simon Friend Entertainment.
Courtyard theatre, Sat 11 May – Sat 8 June.
See it first in Leeds prior to a major UK tour and West End.

Director Gabriel Barre said: “We are so excited to bring this gem of a show to the UK, following its successful regional tour in America, and to also set it in the UK with a brilliant new British actor playing the lead role of Kevin, along with a creative UK design team and fresh approach to the storytelling that features all of Dolly’s biggest hits, along with her wit and wisdom which the world needs today, more than ever. And, she will be gloriously brought to life by the American actress, Tricia Paoluccio, who has been stunning audiences everywhere embodying the spirit, humour, and heart that have made Dolly an enduring icon.”

The Playhouse will once more join forces with Opera North to revive the award-winning musical My Fair Lady. This strong on-going partnership between two Leeds cultural giants will see the Playhouse’s Artistic Director James Brining direct this much-loved musical adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion. Featuring Frederick Loewe’s ravishing score and wonderfully witty book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, the musical follows Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”. But who is really being transformed? The production features members of the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North with additional guest artists performing a beautiful score including the classic songs “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “Get Me to the Church on Time” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”.
Quarry theatre, Fri 31 May – Sat 29 Jun

Artistic Director James Brining said: I am thrilled to be directing My Fair Lady and continuing our long-standing partnership with Opera North as we come together to create this iconic show. My Fair Lady is a show bursting with heart and energy featuring the most emotionally charged songs that always ignite powerful emotions, particularly when performed by the orchestra of and the -chorus of Opera North. This will be a production not to be missed.”

Leeds Playhouse is reuniting with imitating the dog to co-produce a thrilling and moving new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic tale, Frankenstein, premiering at the Playhouse from 15-24 February ahead of a UK tour. This new multimedia exploration of the classic novel is a psychological thriller which dares to ask the question – what is it to be human? Created by imitating the dog’s co-artistic directors Pete Brooks, Andrew Quick and Simon Wainwright, this is the latest adaptation in a series of dark tales the team has successfully reimagined in partnership with the Playhouse. Previous hits include the highly acclaimed unique shot-for-shot stage recreation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 zombie film Night of The Living Dead™ Remix and the award-winning adaptation Dracula – The Untold Story. 
Courtyard theatre, Thu 15 – Sat 24 Feb

Originally part of 1001 Stories, a groundbreaking collaboration between The Performance Ensemble, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Museums & Galleries and Leeds Older People’s Forum for LEEDS 2023, Sinfonia returns to the Playhouse ahead of a UK tour. Combining moments of joy, humour and true stories from Leeds’ rich talent pool of older people, it is an uplifting and unique celebration of lives lived to the fullest.
Courtyard theatre, Fri 26 & Sat 27 Apr

Leeds-based Fidget Theatre return to the Playhouse with Robyn Hood, an imaginative and entertaining show for all the family. Written and directed by Fidget Co-Artistic Directors Ruth Cooper and Andrea Heaton and following the success of their family show Football Freddie, which the Playhouse took out on a Community Tour this summer, the show tells the story of 8-year-old Robyn Hood, a little girl in a big city. Blending folklore with immersive set design and live music, this magical new piece of theatre for young people explores the question: should we break the rules to do the right thing? Bramall Rock Void, 29 May – 30 May
Community Tour dates to be announced.

In March, the Playhouse will restage Director Amy Leach and Designer Hayley Grindle’s critically acclaimed Macbeth. It premiered to great success in 2022, with more than 5,000 students experiencing Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy in the Quarry theatre. With this in mind, the Playhouse has created a new timetable of performances to enable even more schools to see the play this time around. The production will once again feature a diverse cast of multi-talented performers to tell the story of the ambitious northern warrior who does whatever it takes to gain power and, ultimately, the throne. All performances will feature creatively integrated audio description.
Quarry theatre, Tue 5 – Sat 23 March

The Playhouse is welcoming a host of incredible touring shows across its Spring/Summer 24 Season, including:

  • The premiere of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s latest triple bill Belonging: Loss. Legacy. Love. ahead of a UK Tour (Quarry, 21-23 Feb).
  • The Book of Darkness & Light in Association with LittleMighty presentsUnhomely: Three Tales of Terror, combining chilling storytelling, an original score and fully integrated BSL to create an unforgettably thrilling theatrical experience (Courtyard, 21-23 Mar).
  • Blackeyed Theatre Ltd’s major revival of Oh! What a Lovely War to mark the 60th anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s epic anti-war musical (Courtyard, 26-27 Mar).
  • The Time Machine – A Comedy, a hilarious, fast-paced, wise-cracking retelling of the epic and world-famous novel by H G Wells by Original Theatre (Courtyard, 2-6 Apr).
  • Black is the Color of My Voice by Apphia Campbell and inspired by the life of Nina Simone, and featuring many of her most iconic songs performed live. (Courtyard 24 & 25 April)
  • VERVE, from Northern School of Contemporary Dance, presents a bold programme of dance work, including new commissions by Artistic Director Matteo Marfoglia and choreographer Joy Alpuerto Ritter, alongside a restaging of ‘People used to die’ by the acclaimed international collective (LA)HORDE. (Quarry 30 April)
  • An Evening with Jacqui Dankworth: In Concert. This very special and intimate concert, audiences will be treated to a sparkling collection of songs drawn from her highly praised studio albums – including music from her much anticipated new Album, due for release in Spring 2024. (Courtyard 2 May) Jazz Singer

Families are at the heart of the theatre experience at Leeds Playhouse and Spring/Summer 24 is no exception with a bumper pack of theatrical delights that will have kids belly laughing in their seats as their imaginations run wild. The theatre also has a range of child-friendly facilities, including a free creative play area, baby change and family toilets, highchairs and special catering options.

Among the family-friendly highlights are:

  • Zog and the Flying Doctors, which returns to the Courtyard stage following its world premiere at the Playhouse in 2022. This roar-some show, brought to the stage by Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre, has Zog as a super keen student turned air-ambulance landing at the Playhouse with a crash-bang-thump (Quarry, 15-17 Feb).
  • Spot’s Birthday Party – Live Tour, based on the beloved Eric Hill classics Where is Spot and Happy Birthday Spot, brings everyone’s favourite pup and his friends to life in an interactive and accessible new show suitable for ages 2+ years and their grown-ups (Courtyard, 5-6 Mar).
  • Stefan Gates: Rude Science is an explosive new show for curious children revealing everything you always wanted to know about the revolting (but vital) science that no one ever talks about (Courtyard, 30 Mar).
  • There’s a Monster in Your Show takes a leap from page to stage in a brand-new musical show from the best-selling Who’s in Your Book? series created by the multi-talented McFly musician Tom Fletcher (Courtyard 9-12 Apr).
  • The Olivier Award nominated production of The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live On Stage brings Judith Kerr OBE’s beloved tale to life with sing-along songs, oodles of magic and interactive fun (Quarry, 17-20 Apr).
  • Rubbish Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet, features clowning, slapstick and knowingly mischievous storytelling in an anarchic and joyous family-friendly show (Bramall Rock Void 13-16 Mar).

New work from a diverse range of exciting artists and companies will be bringing inspiration and exploration to the Playhouse’s Bramall Rock Void studio space. Watch out for:

  • It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure, from multi-award winning, disability-led theatre company FlawBored, is a smart, scathing satire on the monetisation of identity politics (Bramall Rock Void 7-9 Mar).
  • Self-raising is a blisteringly honest, reflective and often laugh-out-loud one-woman show by Jenny Sealey, the award-winning Artistic Director of disabled-led theatre company Graeae (Bramall Rock Void 22-23 Mar).
  • Fat Chance by writer/performer Rachel Stockdale is a powerful and celebratory one-woman play about a 20-something actress exploring her true-life experience of weight gain (Bramall Rock Void 5-6 Apr).
  • Nicki Davy and Rachael Halliwell present Eva, the true story of one woman’s extraordinary journey from childhood in the shadow of Hitler’s rise to power to a new life as a refugee in Britain. Directed by Leanne Rowley this combines original poetry with storytelling, puppetry and movement to tell the true story (Bramall Rock Void 19-20 Apr).
  • FADE introduces us to Cassie and Rubin as they are reunited in their family home after their mother’s death. Intertwining creative access with live music, loop pedals, integrated audio description and creative captioning, the production was written by Alice Christina-Corrigan with support from ACE England, The Lowry, Leeds Playhouse & Theatre Deli Sheffield (Bramall Rock Void 25-27 Apr).

As an added bonus for Leeds audiences, the Playhouse will also be welcoming renowned actor David Suchet for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go beyond the TV screen and theatre curtain with a legend. David Suchet: Poirot and More, A Retrospective explores his career and casts his most beloved performances in a new and intimate light. Courtyard theatre, Thursday 7 & Friday 8 March.

 

Local artist Omari-Swanston Jeffers teams up with Leeds Playhouse and Renaissance One to present Rise Up. This jam-packed day of performance, music, dance, words and film will mark Windrush and other journeys and featuring globally recognised Caribbeans and trailblazers from Leeds’ Caribbean Community including John Agard, Malika Booker, Adam Lowe and more. Courtyard 13 April

 

Created for people aged 11+ with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities and staged in Interplay Theatre’s unique illuminated dome, My Life with the Wave is inspired by a poem by Mexican Poet Laureate Octavio Paz. Taking place off-site in MODA next door to the Playhouse, this multi-sensory piece uses movement, sound, digital technology, and physical interaction to create a fully immersive sensory experience. Interplay and Leeds Playhouse will also be collaborating on the ever-popular Beautiful Octopus Club Festival for a week of interactive experiences, a club night, and creative sessions. Alongside the show will be a week of activity including a Sensory Symposium in which Interplay Theatre and Leeds Playhouse will be joined by theatre makers from across the country to share and develop best practice in making work for audiences with PMLD. MODA, Wed 31 Jan & Thu 1 Feb.

All tickets are on sale to Leeds Playhouse’s Priority Access, Playhouse Pass Members and Under 30 Scheme from 1pm Wed 6 Dec with tickets on general sale from 1pm Wed 13 Dec.

 

  • MAJOR FUNDERS

    Arts Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • LTB Foundation
  • PRINCIPAL CAPITAL AND FAMILIES PARTNER

    Caddick Group
  • PRINCIPAL CAPITAL AND ACCESS PARTNER

    Irwin Mitchell