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


Review Coelacanth

A funny and moving monologue at The Carriageworks

Ben Moor’s Coelacanthis a love story set against the (imagined) world of competitive tree climbing. A monologue which details a love story between Moor’s character and an unnamed American woman, the play dips in and out of the surreal, but the essence of this tenderly told story keeps both its feet on the ground throughout.

Both funny and moving, the story unfurls into a strange and hypnotic exploration of the human condition, charting a young man’s journey into love and grief, loyalty and loss. The monologue is dreamlike without being tedious and intelligent without being pompous or chilly.

Moor’s masterful…

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Review Paint it White

A play about the trials and tribulations of following Leeds United comes to the West Yorkshire Playhouse

In the unlikely event that anyone found themselves in the Courtyard Theatre at West Yorkshire Playhouse last night not knowing what to expect, this was comprehensively summarised within the first five minutes of Paint it White, the Les Rowley adaptation of Leeds Superfan Gary Edwards book. Before anyone had got comfortable in their seats Edwards, played with passion and vigour by Leeds-born Gary Dunnington, had offered us the ‘Leeds Salute’, serenaded us with a ‘Leeds, Leeds, Leeds’ chant and denounced “…that lot over the Pennine’s…” as ‘Scum’, and that was pretty much the theme of the evening.

Of course…

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Feature Leeds Art Gallery Introduces New 'Artineraries'

The gallery is trying to show art lovers that no matter how short on time you are, you can still soak up some culture

There aren’t enough hours in the day, so the old saying goes, but according to the people behind the Leeds Art Gallery‘s new ‘Artineraries’ project you don’t need an hour to appreciate great art, in fact sometimes you only need five minutes.

Aware that with people retuning to school and work following the summer holidays, the gallery have come up with a series of ways to enjoy the art on offer, tailored to fit a time frame of five minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 50 minutes. Each time frame covers a variety of work, including sculptures, interactive art,…

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Interview The Leeds Savage Club - Amy Taylor and Greg Webster

We find out about a little Leeds hub of creativity

Amy: The name of our club, the ‘savages’, comes from a Victorian, literary concept of the ‘noble savage’. It claimed that the only way to be free, was to be a savage who had no connection to structured society. Only then could one achieve true inspiration.

Greg: At the Leeds Savage Club, our mission is to help those who are interested in writing and drawing to overcome their attitude of ‘I can’t do it’, and to actually enjoy exhibiting their creativity.

Amy: Our meetings force members to spend their time drawing and writing. We set them a task for the…

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Shop Profile New Selling Gallery in Leeds City Centre

Whitewall Galleries open in Victoria Quarter

One of the country’s leading galleries, Whitewall, opened in Leeds’ premier shopping destination, Victoria Quarter on Tuesday 23rd August.

Beautifully designed and with a definite aura of luxury about it, the gallery is the perfect environment in which to select artworks, whether buying collectable Limited Editions or expanding an existing collection of original paintings.

The gallery brings another dimension to the centre’s mix of stores, and offers a phenomenal portfolio of fine artists, ranging from top international names and award winners such as Rolf Harris CBE, Sherree Valentine Daines and Rebecca Lardner to the most exceptional new talents…

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Feature Junction Project

Look out for specially commissioned works of art on the junction boxes of Leeds city centre

If you want your art to stop the traffic, literally, look out for a Leeds-based project doing just that. A quirky project, Junction, aims to provide eye-catching diversions for people in the city centre.

Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre commissioned artists and groups to transform the normally dull, grey and unobtrusive controller boxes in Leeds city centre into temporary works of art.

“Everyday we walk by these neglected metal boxes without a second thought,” say the artists behind the project. “Junction gave artists and designers the chance to transform these tired boxes into vibrant, intriguing and humorous interventions…

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Review Four Seasons Summer Concert at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Opera North bring the second of four seasonal concerts to the YSP

In what threatened to be a rain soaked Yorkshire Sculpture Park on an otherwise agreeable Friday evening, Opera North’s second Four Seasons concert, Summer, began in James Turrell’s Skyspace. This magnificent venue is situated within the park’s 18th century grade II listed deer shelter.

South Indian-inspired Yorkshire art organisation Manasamitra presented Venkatesh Chandirasekharan on mridangam, Kamaljeet Ajimal on santoor and Supriya Nagarajan on vocals, bringing to life the Skyspace with a selection of Indian music. This intimate performance benefited from the panorama of the sky through the cut out window in the…

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Interview Adrian McNally, The Unthanks

The songwriter and pianist from the North Eastern folk 10-piece tells us about their collaboration with Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band that's coming to Leeds Town Hall on 15th September

"I think that in some respects we are one of the most traditional acts in folk music," says Adrian McNally, "and in other respects we’re one of the most sonically adventurous." It’s hard to argue with his claim.

The Unthanks – based up in the North East and previously known as Rachel Unthanks & The Winterset – have over the course of four albums expanded from a five-piece traditional folk act into a 10-piece mini orchestra, included clog dancing as percussion on their records, covered acts as diverse as Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons and Nick Drake and rooted…

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Feature Leeds Underground Art

Sophie Haydock looks at some of the best visual art going on just beneath the surface in Leeds

To slip between the cracks in an urban environment is always revealing. What can be found when you veer sharply away from a city’s mainstream? It is undeniably those autonomous spaces, collective energies and unofficial languages that jumpstart real culture.

Leeds’ underground visual arts scene is nothing short of vibrant. Without funding, endorsement or corporate sponsorship, there are dozens of artistically minded individuals, groups and organisations in the city, helping to create a more creative and happier Leeds. You don’t have to have a degree in fine art to appreciate what’s on offer. You don’t have to live in the…

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Review Bound

Bear Trap Theatre Company bring a strong maritime piece to The Carriageworks

Written and directed by Jesse Briton, Bound takes us aboard The Violet, a Devon fishing trawler embarking upon a perilous but necessary voyage. The ship’s crew – a veritable mishmash of youth, experience, innocence and roguery – each follow their skipper in a last ditch attempt to conquer their otherwise certain bankruptcy.

Each performance is delivered with such confidence that within seconds of the frosty, sparse opening we are engaged and endeared to the six men. It’s clear that each member of this young company are aware just how strong the piece they are presenting is – a fact that…

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