Preview: Transform ’16 – ‘Sure to reinvent the way audiences experience theatre’

By April 21, 2016



Image taken from the Transform Facebook page

Transform 16 has a lot to prove in its first run as an independent company. Over the weekend, it aims to offer more of the avant-garde theatre that made it popular in its five previous runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Seemingly already assured of its success, on Friday 22nd April the festival opens with the Opening Night Party at the Live Art Bistro, where early plans for next year’s Transform Festival will be revealed.

Transform Creative Director, Amy Letman, says: “We are passionate about creating bold theatre works that are rooted within our home city of Leeds, whilst connecting to the wider world and inviting international artists and perspective to what we do.”

Wanted looks set to be a bold piece of theatre work, as Chris Goode & Company give audiences the chance to see their ideas being brought to life. A previous production of theirs, 9, involved nine ordinary people with very little experience of performing putting on solo performances within three months of joining the company. Wanted has a similar theme of getting ‘the people’ involved; a plethora of individuals from families, communities, and local organisations across Leeds have been asked: “what do you most want to see on stage?” There’s no predicting what may happen on the night but it is sure to be entertaining.

Schönheitsabend has its UK premiere on Saturday 23rd April at Northern Ballet’s Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, and promises to be a blend of many things as Transform continues to expand its international content. Never ones to shy away, Florentina Holzinger and Vincent Riebeek bring to the fore the stars of queer, pioneering dance tradition. It’s no surprise that Schönheitsabend has a strictly 18+ age limit, as explicit eroticism will play a major part in bringing to life a love story in which reality and dreams merge into one.

Transform Trailblazer on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd April is a chance to get a tease of next year’s range of proposed themes, from the reclaim the night movement and contemporary gender politics, to cultural divisions and global threats. Slung Low’s HUB, under the five railway arches, provides an intimate venue for exclusive sneak previews of new projects by RashDash, Javaad Alipoor, and Tim Etchells. There is also a pay-as-you-feel lunch provided.

In an age when arts funding is continually being cut by the government, opportunities for aspiring graduate artists are becoming scarcer. Born from a partnership between Transform and Leeds Beckett University, The Lift Off & Transform Award aims to provide a platform for the next generation. The first receivers of this award – recent graduates Martyna Kozanecka and James Rowling – will perform their debut show Rise to Vertex with their company Stitch Theatre on Friday 22nd April at Live Art Bistro.

To round off a weekend of innovative productions, Live Art Bistro in collaboration with &/or Emporium will host the Transform Party on Saturday 23rd April. Expect more music, performances, and revelry.

Transform 16 seems sure to reinvent the way audiences experience theatre whilst providing a great platform for radical productions and newcomers to the arts scene.

Follow @Transform_Leeds and use the hashtag #Transform16 to keep up with the latest news and events. For more information about the Transform 16 programme, tickets, and venues, visit: