One of the many creative jewels of Leeds and the North West, the West Yorkshire Playhouse is a beacon for those who want to not only view compelling and imaginative theatre which speaks to today’s society, but are also after a wide range of creative and innovative programmes.
The Playhouse’s aim is to have a “company, artistic programme and audience which reflects the diverse society in which we live.” They boast four spaces in which they house productions: The Courtyard Theatre, Quarry Theatre, the Barber Studio and the ‘Other Space’. If you’re still not convinced you can find their manifesto here: https://www.wyp.org.uk/about/about-us/who-are-we/ Now onto important business for students. Discounts…that magic word all students love and long to hear. Concessions are available Monday to Friday in areas A and B for children under 16, NUS, Breeze and Leeds card holders and anyone receiving unemployment benefits. Discounted tickets can be booked online, and you may be asked for ID when collecting tickets or entering the auditorium. They are subject to availability, so grab them while you can. WYP also offers a group discount so grab some mates, and be inspired by what WYP have to offer.
Want to visit but worried about access? WYP is a fully accessible theatre for everyone and caters to most needs. Find out more at: https://www.wyp.org.uk/about/visiting-the-playhouse/your-visit/accessibility/access-at-west-yorkshire-playhouse/
Fancy a trip down to the theatre? Here’s our best picks of what’s on in semester one:
For Love or Money (26th-30th Sept)
It’s the 1920s. In a small Yorkshire town, the wily-widow, Rose, entertains the advances of two dubious suitors. Fuller (Barrie Rutter) is a fabulously rich and morally corrupt banker who woos Rose by parading his wealth whilst hiding a few secrets. Handsome Arthur is much younger and deceitful through and through. He plays Rose for as much money as she can take from Fuller. A love triangle then; a deliciously wicked tale of rivalry and greed. Adapted from Alain-Rene Lesage’s savage eighteenth century comedy Turcaret, Blake Morrison’s For Love or Money is a story of monstrous wealth and whopping lies.
(The Fall of) The Master Builder (30th Sep-21st Oct)
Halvard Solness has arrived at the pinnacle of his career. He has just been awarded the prestigious Master Builder award, his beautiful wife still loves him, his beautiful secretary still flirts with him and Prince Charles is coming to open his new building tomorrow. Then a knock at the door propels Solness’ past into everyone’s future. The only way is down. (The Fall of) The Master Builder is a thrilling, contemporary new version of Ibsen’s classic, written by celebrated British playwright Zinnie Harris.
Reasons to be Cheerful (10th-14th Oct)
Celebrating the infectious music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Reasons To Be Cheerful is a punk rock musical and gritty coming of age tale, which leaves audiences shouting for more. Featuring greatest hits including Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, Sweet Gene Vincent, Spasticus Autisticus and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, this acclaimed show will fill the Playhouse with raucous glee.
Zoetrope (2nd-4th Nov)
Seven very different young people arrive to take part in group counselling. As a system in crisis struggles to diagnose, treat or support them, they begin to rely on each other to make it through. Specially commissioned for the Playhouse, Zoetrope is a timely exploration of the mental health of our young people and the resources afforded to them. Funny, satirical and deeply moving, Rebecca Manley’s brilliant new play features a dynamic cast of over twenty young people from the Playhouse Youth Theatre and First Floor.
Pink Sari Revolution (7th-11th Nov)
In the ‘Badlands’ of Uttar Pradesh, violence and oppression against women are commonplace, but one woman has raised an army to say “no more”. She is Sampat Pal Devi, the formidable leader of the Gulabi Gang, a movement of over 400,000 women fighting for their rights in a uniform of blazing pink saris. Fusing drama, music and movement, Pink Sari Revolution is an explosive new drama which reveals the real cost of making a stand. This true story is based on the book by internationally renowned journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan and created by an award winning team of Indian and British Asian artists.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (29th Nov-21st Jan)
Step through the wardrobe this winter into the magical kingdom of Narnia … and the Playhouse as you’ve never seen it before. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter for the most mystical of adventures to a faraway land where it’s always winter, but never Christmas … Wave goodbye to wartime Britain and say hello to a talking faun, an unforgettable Lion and the coldest, cruellest white Witch…. Following the magically inventive Peter Pan at the National Theatre and the critically acclaimed sell-out tour of Jane Eyre, Sally Cookson explores this timeless story of magic, mischief and mayhem in a spellbinding new production.
All synopsises are directly from WYP’s website (but may have been edited for succinctness).
(Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse)