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Arts - theatre, art, classical, opera and dance in Leeds

  1. Feature SLEEPING BEAUTY

  2. Feature SNOW WHITE IS A GRAND FESTIVAL TREAT

  3. Feature The Premier Pantomime of the East Coast is well worth travelling to see.

Liz Coggins reviews a pantomime that’s a must to see this Christmas. (Read more...)

Review Fiddler on the Roof

John Burland reviews one of his favourite musical at Yeadon Town Hall

I have to admit at the outset that Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favourite musicals with such a moving storyline and I was certainly not disappointed with Brass Neck Theatre’s production of this show this week at Yeadon Town Hall.

Royston Bayfield, the producer, has honed this production to perfection and every single member of the cast gives 110 percent. Royston has also taken the bold step of twisting the ending of the story by placing it in the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow in 1943 which gives it a very dramatic final ending.

The story centres on…

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Review Beauty and the Beast

Liz takes a look at Northern Ballet's adaptation of a tale that is, well, as old as time

The story of a prince transformed into a beast and a beautiful girl with a heart pure enough to see through his frightful exterior first appeared as early as 1740.

Since then there have been literally hundreds of different adaptations of the story. It has been a film, play, pantomime, cartoon and most recently a musical with a score by Tim Rice, which still continues to tour today.

The transfer of the story of Beauty and the Beast to the stage as a ballet is not an easy one but Northern Ballet’s production of this work can only be described…

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Feature Calendar Girls

What happens when ordinary women persuades one another to pose for charity calendar with a difference?

It is now nine years since Nigel Cole’s warm-hearted movie about ladies “of a certain age” stripping for charity hit the large screen. Playwright Tim Firth adapted his own script (co-written with Juliette Towhidi) for the large stage in 2008 and now for the first time it has been released for amateur groups to perform. This week theatregoers in Leeds can be thrilled by the antics of these “more mature” ladies in the Cosmopolitan Players performances of this production. This version is excellently staged and directed by Bryan Craven in a most sensitive…

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Feature Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

John catches one of Tennessee Williams’ great works at the WYP

It was rainy and wet in Leeds but hot and sultry in the West Yorkshire Playhouse Quarry Theatre as a talented group of actors performed Cat on Hot Tin Roof. The imaginative set designed by Frances O’Connor took the audience from autumnal Leeds to the Mississippi delta with its hanging moss and beige coloured waters.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of Tennessee Williams’ best-known works and was his personal favourite; the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. Set in "the bed-sitting room of a plantation home in the…

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Review 42nd Street

Come and meet those dancing feet at the Alhambra Theatre

Starting life as a novel in the 1920’s, 42nd Street went on to become the film that revitalised the American musical and lifted the nations spirits during the dark days of the 30’s depression in the USA.

Although its rags to riches story of a chorus girl who steps into a leading role and becomes a star is predictable, over half a century later 42nd Street with its glitz, glamour and wall to wall toe-tapping still delivers a wonderful feel good factor to its audience.

Mark Brambles production is a nostalgically creative and exciting piece of vintage theatre. From the…

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Review Ondine

Northern Ballet returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse with the UK Première of Ondine

One of the highlights for me of watching the Olympics during August was the gymnastics in the Excel Arena and the grace of both the male and female gymnastics on their various items of apparatus and particularly the floor routines.

When I attended the Northern Ballet’s latest production of Ondine it brought back many of these memories as both the principal dancers and also those in various groups such as the Sea Maidens, Water Men, Chevalier’s Warriors and the Water Sprites were so gymnastic in their movement.

Ondine is the story of a Water Sprite and her relationship with a…

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Review Up ‘n Under

Tiny House Productions present Up ‘n’ Under

Up ‘n’ Under is a superb comedy by the playwright John Godber, first staged at the Hull Truck Theatre back in 1984. It is, however, a classic comedy that hasn’t dated at all over the last 28 years.

For non-Rugby League followers amongst the readership an “Up and under” is a tactical kick in rugby league in which the ball is kicked high and short onto or behind the defending team. This type of kick is usually made close to the opposition’s try line as an attacking play. It is a phrase made popular in the 1970’s by the late…

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News Canal Mills

Historic Leeds' venue Canal Mills to reopen as cutting-edge creative space

Canal Mills, the imposing 19th century, textile mill will reopen as Leeds’ most innovative new multi-arts and music venue this Autumn. Masterminded by Leeds-based events company Sound Channel, Canal Mills will showcase an array of electronic music events, live gigs, art exhibitions, theatrical projects and film screenings.

Situated adjacent to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, the venue sits on the outskirts of the city centre and was originally one of the cities leading textile mills during the industrial boom of the 19th century.

In celebration of the venue’s illustrious history, Sound Channel are exploring an eclectic roster of music, visual arts, theatre…

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News Loserville Gets Ticket into West End

If you missed it at WYP, you can now catch Loserville at the West End in October

Following its success at West Yorkshire Playhouse this summer, new pop-rock musical LOSERVILLE is transferring to London’s West End. Written by Elliot Davis and James Bourne, former member of Busted and Son of Dork, the vibrant musical about staying true to your dreams will be at the Garrick Theatre from 1 October. Developed at the Playhouse with an acclaimed creative team including Tony Award winner Martin Lowe and ANNIE choreographer Nick Winston, LOSERVILLE’s talented ensemble of 30 performers rock into London’s world-renowned theatre district. The West End production reunites the original Leeds cast including Aaron Sidwell, Eliza Hope Bennett and…

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Theatre Review Phantom of the Opera

John finds the Phantom of the Opera is more than just a West End musical

For too long the theatregoers of West Yorkshire have been starved of what I would class as the “blockbuster” musicals from the West End and Broadway.

Yes, we have had the likes of Whistle down the Wind and Starlight Express in Leeds and Bradford but it is now fourteen years since Les Miserables was last performed in Bradford.

However, this starvation is now over and for the next two months the West Yorkshire public can enjoy the veritable feast being offered by Lord Lloyd Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh in their fabulous new production of Phantom of the Opera running…

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