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Taxi for Leeds

Poster for Red Ladder's new dance/drama fusion, Taxi

Based on real life experiences, new co-production Taxi from Leeds-based Red Ladder and mad dogs dance theatre, is a beady-eyed journey through the streets of their home city, a mix of drama and physical theatre.

Many of the show's characters are based on the experiences of co-director and one-time taxi driver Douglas Thorpe (Phoenix Dance Company, mad dogs dance theatre), who has created and choreographed the show alongside writer Andrea Heaton (Smile Club, Jack Frost, Football Freddie), and director Rod Dixon (Mother Courage, The Damned United, The Shed Crew).

Taxi the man is a silent observer of the best and worst of humanity, seeing first-hand the major crossroads and milestones of his passengers, from weddings and funerals to high-speed drives to the maternity ward; yet he remains alone.

The ensemble cast (Stefania Pinato, Rose Lewis, John Kendall, John Rwothomack and Gerard Headley) and a community chorus play the taxi's customers over a busy shift.

Taxi is the last production for Red Ladder by Rod Dixon, who has been associated with the company for 17 years: “I want us to blow away all expectations with Taxi," he said. "Audiences may already have experienced previous Red Ladder work, but I want them to be surprised and to be given a spectacle they’ll never forget. It’s visceral; people who don’t like dance or theatre will be intrigued".

Douglas Thorpe added: "I saw all levels of human spirit when I was a taxi driver, from struggling people who would give their all to others and the well-endowed showing unbelievable greed.

"I’ve been in a couple of situations where I wanted to escape, but couldn’t. A taxi driver has to be a politician, a comedian, to dodge or diffuse a situation; they have to think on their feet. Some taxi drivers only last a couple of years – the job can really affect you.”

Taxi is at The Old Woollen, Sunnybank Mills in Farsley, Leeds (August 10-20, suitable for 13 years and above).

More info and tickets here


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