WYP Autumn/Winter 2015 Season Launch – An exciting time for Yorkshire
July 10, 2015
[Images courtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse]
It was a real treat to go along to the Autumn/Winter 2015 season launch at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and get a preview of some of the fantastic shows they have coming up.
Not only were we mesmerised by World-Record-breaking hip-hop artist Testament’s beat-boxing in a sneak-preview of his upcoming show Blake Remixed, but also treated to performance from the Youth Theatre and First Floor. There was a real sense of inclusive and community theatre throughout the evening, which was a joy to watch.
There has been a bit of a change at the West Yorkshire Playhouse – and all great change! The National Theatre’s Robin Hawkes has been appointed as New Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive, and will work alongside Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive James Brining. Both showed great passion and dedication for the upcoming season and the future of the Playhouse, and this will undoubtedly reflect in the shows and work produced in coming months.
The programme will feature a range of shows, aiming to captivate all audiences. Most recent production, Beryl, has kicked off the season with a great start and has received brilliant responses from audiences so far. Shakespeare fans will be particularly excited to see Richard III on the programme. Starring award-winning actor Reece Dinsdale, this new take on Shakespeare will explore the play and its themes in a new light.
The upcoming season also features a range of shows produced in collaboration with fantastic artists and companies, such as The Glass Menagerie being co-produced with Headlong and the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. Starring iconic Greta Scacchi, this really won’t be a production to miss!
The West Yorkshire Playhouse has also unveiled its ambitious touring programme, taking its stunning works across large scale theatres, more rural areas and into communities. Whilst, of course, the focus is on the Leeds-based venue, productions will also be taking place at festivals, Town Hall Chambers in Bradford and even the European Parliament in Brussels! Bringing Yorkshire productions to over 65 venues across the UK and Ireland is a wonderful achievement, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse really is leading the way to putting Northern theatre on the map.
Though Christmas does seem a while away, I’m already excited for some of the shows coming up. The Night Before Christmas is a family friendly show that looks set to warm the hearts of everyone who attends. It was a delight to see Amy Leach talk about the show in such an enthralling, exciting manner and if her passion and enthusiasm is projected on stage I’m sure this will be a fantastic production. For the main Christmas show, James Brining is set to create a brand new version of iconic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Showcasing at the Playhouse, the show will then begin a large-scale UK tour throughout 2016 and into 2017 so no excuses not to go and see it!
Big-scale productions such as Sweeney Todd are, of course, amazing productions that will captivate audiences far and wide, but I’m also pleased to see innovative, community-based productions coming to the fore. West Yorkshire Playhouse is teaming up with Common Wealth to showcase The Deal Versus The People. This brand new, exciting and immersive play will fuse politics and performance – a must see for anyone wanting to experience a new kind of theatre.
For fans of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, you’ll notice a freshly designed programme, new branding and a sparkling new website and booking procedure. Why not take the opportunity to check it all out whilst viewing the upcoming season at the Playhouse? There’s no better time to be proud of Yorkshire – and proud of this fantastic local theatre.