AT THE GRAND THEATRE AND THE FAMOUS CITY VARIETIES
On the one-year anniversary since Leeds Heritage Theatres’ three venues were forced to close their doors because of the pandemic, the company announces an exciting programme of new shows and screenings, and looks back on its most challenging year to date.
Both Leeds Grand Theatre and City Varieties Music Hall hope to raise their curtains and welcome audiences back from May 2021 – as highlighted in the government’s roadmap as being safe to open with Covid-safety measures in place (plus any new rules). It is hoped that by Monday 21 June, the theatres will be able to operate as ‘close to normal as possible’. Hyde Park Picture House remains closed as work begins on the much-anticipated Picture House Project – a major development that will see the cinema undergo essential conservation work, alongside the creation of new, accessible facilities, sister venues,
Resident company, Northern Ballet, will launch The Grand’s new season with David Nixon’s reimagining of the classic Swan Lake – they will follow this in November with Merlin, originally set to run over Christmas 2020 as part of their 50th year anniversary celebrations. Fellow residents, Opera North, will also return in the autumn with a season of work yet to be announced. And whilst some of the blockbuster musicals from this year, including The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables, have had to be moved to 2022, West End hits SIX and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will run alongside newly announced Priscilla Queen of the Desert and My Best Friend’s Wedding (starring Alexandre Burke) to name a few.
Ian Sime, General Manager of Heritage Theatres told Leeds Guide: “We are currently liaising with producers and promoters to reschedule performances at both The Grand and Varieties – if this is not possible, we are sadly having to cancel them. Obviously, we are just a small cog in a big wheel when it comes to touring shows. The logistics of moving even just one artist, let alone a West End blockbuster like The Book of Mormon, is colossal; I liken it to having a missing piece in a jigsaw – without it, there is no product. But we have such trusted relationships with the producers and promoters that we are managing to still build an impressive programme for 2021-22.”
At The Varieties, the usual stellar line-up of live comedy, music and variety will run alongside an exciting new film programme presented in collaboration with the Picture House as part of its On The Road line-up.
For the full programme of shows and performances at Leeds Grand Theatre and City Varieties Music Hall go to www.leedsheritagetheatres.com