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West Yorkshire Playhouse Autumn/Winter schedule

A world premiere and Shakespeare come to town

Written by . Published on July 5th 2011.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Autumn/Winter schedule

THE West Yorkshire Playhouse has announced its schedule for the second half of the year - and there are some cracking productions in there.

A number of new creative voices have been invited to join artistic conversations with the theatre, which has informed the programming. Sarah Esdaile and Nikolai Foster have been appointed as associate directors and will work closely with artistic director Ian Brown.

New associate producer Amy Letman will work with innovative creative voices - developing and realising ambitious creative projects which challenge conventional notions of regional theatre through the Playhouse’s new FURNACE project.

Unlimited Theatre will take up residence in the building and the Playhouse will work alongside both them and Slung Low this autumn.

This season also offers classic drama with Tim Pigott-Smith in King Lear, directed by Ian Brown; the world premiere of a new British musical by David Wood and Richard Taylor arrives on the Courtyard stage; a Christmas family musical from new associate Nikolai Foster and Mike Kenny and Gail McIntyre continue to develop their unique alternative to Panto.

Alongside this the Playhouse will host some of the most innovative touring work from the likes of Kneehigh, Frantic Assembly, Shared Experience, DV8, Eclipse Theatre, Reckless Sleepers and more.

Here's the full shcedule:


A Co-production by West Yorkshire Playhouse, Derby LIVE!, Royal & Derngate Northampton

Friday 9 Sept – Sat 1 Oct                                                           

L.P. Hartley’s beautifully romantic novel is a story of innocence, hidden memories and self-realisation. The world premiere of the musical adaptation comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse on 9 September, adapted by David Wood and Richard Taylor and conceived for a single piano to be performed by Jonathan Gill.

Directed by Roger Haines this new British musical brings to life the complexities of Hartley’s brilliantly evocative and passionate novel. 


A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

Fri 23 Sept – Sat 22 Oct                                                                        

Award-winning stage and screen actor Tim Pigott-Smith takes command of the Quarry Stage in Ian Brown’s production of this Shakespearian classic, which opens on Friday 23 September. This timeless work is both an examination of the divisive nature of political power and the complexities of familial love.


Produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse

Wed 12 – Sat 15 October                                                                     

Building on the success of the recent Transform season of work, associate producer Amy Letman will oversee the Playhouse’s new vehicle for developing ambitious projects.

Furnace will become a platform for the trialling, testing and realisation of theatre, acting as part of an exploration into how a regional venue might create and produce new work. This season Leeds-based companies Slung Low and Unlimited Theatre will take the first steps in the development of two new projects, and the Playhouse invites audiences to be part of them from the very beginning.


A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

Mon 21 Nov – Sat 21 Jan 2012  

With a billion dollars at your disposal you can have whatever you like for Christmas, perhaps even the family you’ve always wished for.

In an incredible new production of the original Broadway version, the spectacular feel-good musical comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse for families this Christmas. Featuring classic songs such as It’s A Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow, Little Girls and Fully Dressed this is the first new UK production for a decade. 


A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

Fri 9 Dec – Sat 21 Jan

Award-winning playwright Mike Kenny returns to the Playhouse with the fifth of his Big Stories for Little People, rescuing classic fairytale titles from the clutches of ‘pantomime prison’. Mike Kenny, Gail McIntyre and Barney George add more than a little magic to Christmas for the Playhouse’s smallest, but most discerning, audience members. 


West Yorkshire Playhouse will play host to a wide variety of drama from theatre companies who continue to present challenging and thought provoking work across the country. Shared Experience return to the Playhouse to present Polly Teale and Linda Brogan’s SPEECHLESS based on THE SILENT TWINS by Marjorie Wallace. This award-winning production tells the extraordinary story of two girls’ struggle to be heard. Former residents at the Playhouse Eclipse Theatre return with the UK premiere of Don Evans’ hilarious play ONE MONKEY DON’T STOP NO SHOW. The Cosby show meets restoration comedy in this outrageously funny play which explores how hard we try to hide who we really are. Especially for families this October half term Rifco Arts return with their award-winning musical BRITAIN’S GOT BHANGRA. Following Twinkle as he moves his way to the top of the music industry, this show is sure to have audiences dancing in the aisles. Travelling Light and Sixth Sense Theatre companies present BOB THE MAN ON THE MOON for all those smaller Playhouse audience members who fancy a trip into space.

The Playhouse presents some of the best in dance and physical theatre, Leeds’ very own Northern Ballet kicks off the season with its beautiful interpretation of HAMLET set in a Nazi occupied Paris, choreographed and directed by David Nixon. Physical theatre company DV8 present CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS, conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson. This documentary-style dance-theatre production explores how events such as the burning of The Satanic Verses and the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh have influenced multicultural policies, press freedom and artistic censorship. Frantic Assembly returns to the Playhouse with their latest production LOVESONG, by award-winning writer Abi Morgan. It tells the story of one couple whose past and present selves collide in this haunting and beautiful love story. Reckless Sleepers present two pieces of work over five nights: SCHRÖDINGER moves backwards and forwards in time between question and answer, order and chaos, and in THE LAST SUPPER the audience is invited to dinner. Returning with their first show since Don John in 2009 Kneehigh present their newest production THE WILD BRIDE, adapted and directed by Emma Rice this hauntingly beautiful tale tells the story of what happens when your father accidentally sells you to the Devil.

Other performances include the SHAKESPEARE SCHOOLS FESTIVAL, the return of the spectacularly successful SHOWSTOPPER THE MUSICAL, and PAINT IT WHITE - the story of Leeds United’s ultimate fan. Continuing the tradition of stand-up comedy at the Playhouse, THE DONS OF COMEDY visit for one night only and we also have four fantastic new Courtyard Comedy Clubs lined up for next season, under the supervision of resident compere Silky.

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