West Yorkshire Playhouse Autumn / Winter 2016 Season Preview
TSOTA was delighted to attend the launch night for an exciting new season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Mixing established crowd pleasers with new writing and niche productions, this promises to be the widest ranging programme yet.
The centrepiece is undoubtedly Bronte Season, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth. In true WYP style this not just a regurgitation of the classic novels in stage form, this is Bronte for a new generation. The celebration of all things Bronte opens with Northern Ballet’s interpretation of ‘Wuthering Heights’ in early September. Hot on its heels is ‘Villette’, a new stage adaptation of Charlotte’s most personal work by Yorkshire writer, Linda Marshall-Griffiths. This is classic Bronte with a futuristic twist. A must for established Bronte fans and new admirers alike.
Bronte season is rounded off with ‘Wasted’, a new musical drama about four young people from Yorkshire with huge passions and amazing dreams. Along the way they find fame beyond their wildest hopes only to die tragically young. This is the Brontes as you have never seen them before. This ‘demo tape’ workshop, giving audiences a chance to see a full staging of a work in progress, reiterating the WYP’s reputation as innovative and boundary pushing.
All the stops have been pulled out this season for the large scale productions on the Quarry stage. Theatre purists can enjoy Anthony Shaffer’s classic thriller, ‘Sleuth’ from late September following which Northern Broadsides return to the WYP with their production of JB Priestly’s comedy, ‘When We Were Married’. A stellar hat trick is completed with West End chiller, ‘The Woman In Black’.
In case all of that isn’t enough, there will be added focus on new work from the Furnace Festival 2016 featuring scratch nights, workshops, talks and events as well as a staging of Yorkshire writer Charley Miles’s debut play, ‘Blackthorn’, in the Barber Studio – a new space that is sure to become pivotal to new theatre production in Leeds.
As the weather turns colder there will be plenty on-stage action to keep us warm and some famous faces will be treading the WYP boards. Including ‘Sherlock’ and ‘League Of Gentlemen’ star, Mark Gatiss, appearing in the comedy, ‘The Boys In The Band’ and some special ‘One Nighters’ featuring talks and discussion with film aficionados Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo and best-selling author, Jon Ronson, discussing his most famous work, ‘The Psychopath Test’.
The younger members of the family will be kept entertained well into the festive season with , ‘Rudolph’, the story of the only reindeer with a red nose as he tries to fulfil his dream of pulling Santa’s sleigh and for older children, a production of Roald Dahl’s, ‘Witches’.
The season ends in true WYP Christmas extravaganza style with the UK premiere of ‘Strictly Ballroom: The Musical’. Created by Hollywood writer/director, Baz Luhrman, the man behind hits such as ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’, it promises to be a festive musical spectacular.
For further details of all the above productions and more, or to book tickets please visit www.wyp.org.uk. Or call the box office on 0113 213 7700.