A two-part theatre production that opens with a celebration of the history of Leeds theatres will take to the stage of the country’s longest running music hall next month.

Two pieces of  Yorkshire history come to the stage at Leeds City Varieties on 9 November.

The first is a piece of Leeds’s theatrical history. It sees two ex-theatricals, now theatre cleaners, Gladys and Ethel narrate the stories of the great and glorious theatres and cinemas that once grace the city centre streets.

Its writer Liz Coggins, who also takes the role of Ethel said “If you walk from Briggate to the central bus station you’ll have passed the sites of where three theatres and four cinemas once stood.”

Today they are department stores, office blocks and car parks but to the citizens of yesteryear Leeds they were palaces of dreams.”

Dialogue is mixed with music to tell the tales of the late great houses of entertainment and the people that graced their screens and stages.

Magnificently built theatres and music halls were on almost every street corner. Leeds has a great history of entertainment and I want to share those stories with audiences young and old – I’m delighted to be able to do this at such a historic venue.”

In the second act the production stays in the past but moves further east to Scarborough. Three Ships Came Sailing is a moving new work by Liz and was first performed at Scarborough Open Air Theatre in August this year.

It tells the story of the Scarborough bombardment, the first attack on civilian soil in the early months of World War One.

Scarborough is a place close to my heart,” says Liz. “I have worked on its newspapers and grew up with my Grandmother telling me about the raid in December 1914. It resulted in 17 deaths and hundreds of casualties which had a huge effect on the sleepy seaside town and indeed on the country as a whole.”

Not many people realise just how horrific this attack was and the devastation is caused. It all happened so suddenly without warning as three German warships entered the bay.”

Three Ships Came Sailing will tell the real stories of the people who lived through this terrible ordeal.

Twice Nightly and Three Ships Came Sailing at City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds. Saturday November 9th at 7pm.

Book online at cityvarieties.co.uk or call 0113 243 08 08.


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