The Secret Agent @ West Yorkshire Playhouse, September 24–28. From £12.
After a hiatus of five years, Theatre O return to the stage in partnership with the Young Vic. Together they adapt Joseph Conrad’s timeless novel of terrorism and passion. Published in 1906, Conrad’s portrayal of anarchist groups preempted many of the social uprisings of the 20th century. In similar fashion, Theatre O maintains this unique standpoint with their vaudeville-cum-cinematic style, influenced by the physical theatre of Jacques Lecoq. With only four performances in Leeds, you might have to keep this a secret to get a seat.
Light Night Leeds @ citywide, October 4, 5pm till late. Free, but booking advised.
For one night only, the city of Leeds transforms itself into a beacon of light for the arts, showcasing over 50 events across 30 venues citywide. With free kinetic installations, dance performances, literature recitals and countless others, there’s guaranteed to be something to lighten up your night and not your wallet. Don’t miss out on Civic Hall coated with an interactive projection of a mechanical clock!
Bill Bailey: Qualmpeddler @ Leeds Grand Theatre, October 28–29. £26.
Everyone’s favourite spacey man-troll Bill Bailey follows up the fantastic Dandelion Mind tour with a new show: Qualmpeddler. Exploring his worries about the modern world, the show promises a mix of comedy, dubstep, Downton Abbey and dentists. His inimitable mix of dry observation with an astounding musical talent always makes for a uniquely entertaining show. Don’t let the price put you off – this is definitely not to be missed, and when it airs endlessly on TV you’ll wish that you’d been there in person!
The opening of The Tetley, Autumn 2013.
The minds behind Project Space Leeds are responsible for this refurbishment and repurposing of the old Tetley’s factory beyond the river. A landmark heritage Art-Deco building much like our beloved Brotherton Library, the factory will now serve as a centre for contemporary art and learning, as well as boasting the biggest green space in Leeds. There will be a kitchen and bar offering locally sourced and no doubt morally superior food and drink. It’s all very hush-hush for now but we expect big things from the team, who have already proven themselves influential on the Leeds arts scene. Watch this space.
Roger Hiorns: Untitled @ The Calder, the Hepworth Wakefield, November 3. Free.
Too young for the YBA bubble but a Goldsmiths graduate nonetheless, Roger Hiorns is an internationally acclaimed British artist who was nominated for the Turner Prize back in 2009. Hiorns’ new exhibition, Untitled, has been a work in progress over the past ten years and comprises found objects, naked men and lots of fire. Untitled marks the inauguration of the Hepworth gallery’s new contemporary art space, The Calder, and is totally free to all visitors.
Leeds International Film Festival @ citywide, November 6–21. Prices vary.
Want to familiarise yourself with Leeds’ cinemas while catching some truly groundbreaking films? Then the city’s annual film festival, often abbreviated to LIFF, is the thing for you. Last year’s festival premiered Michael Haneke’s Amour and the Oscar winning Argo, and re-released Carl Dreyer’s masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc. Keep an eye out out for this year’s programme, which launches on October 4 as part of Light Night. A single pass is £90 and gives you access to every screening at every venue.
Northern Ballet’s Cleopatra @ Leeds Grand Theatre, March 6–15. From £10.
A revival of the acclaimed 2011 production, Northern Ballet’s Cleopatra returns to Leeds for one week this Easter. The show brings together the talents of Les Misérables composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, Olivier Award nominee choreographer David Nixon OBE and the Northern Ballet corps. Charting the rise and fall of one of history’s most influential women, the ballet explores Cleopatra’s refusal to accept the patriarchy of her age and her ultimate tragic flaws. A spectacle, a romance and an indulgence, if you see one piece of dance this year it should probably be this.