Leeds Playhouse to celebrate 50th anniversary


Decades: (l-r) writers Simon Armitage, Alice Nutter, Maxine Peake, Leanna Benjamin, Kamal Kaan and Stan Owens
Decades: (l-r) writers Simon Armitage, Alice Nutter, Maxine Peake, Leanna Benjamin, Kamal Kaan and Stan Owens

Leeds Playhouse has announced an exciting season of productions and exhibitions to celebrate its 50th anniversary ahead of the theatre’s physical reopening in May

Among the highlights are six specially-commissioned monologues by northern writers with strong Playhouse connections; a new open-air family show that will do a community tour; an exhibition of photographs, stories and memories about the 50 years of the theatre, and a collaboration with people from across our city, telling stories about the Leeds they love.

The Playhouse will welcome audiences back into the building for the first time since November, safely reintroducing them to live theatre with six new monologues written by six writers with a strong connection to the Playhouse under the title Decades: Stories From The City.

Simon Armitage, Leanna Benjamin, Kamal Kaan, Alice Nutter, Maxine Peake and Stan Owens have each taken a specific decade of the theatre’s life as their inspiration. The productions will be staged in the Courtyard Theatre and will also be available online via Playhouse: At Home (May 19-29, and online May 24-Jun 5). All performances will include audio description.

The season also features community show Fairy Poppins and the Naughty Winter Ghost, a family event commissioned for the anniversary. This will open in Playhouse Square in late spring, before a community tour into neighbourhoods and non-traditional venues around the city.

One of the special anniversary events will be the exhibition 50 Years Of Leeds Playhouse. Also available to view online, the exhibition will turn the spotlight on the theatre’s history and work and will highlight memorable and ground-breaking Playhouse shows.

Find out more about the full anniversary season here

“Our 50th anniversary celebrations are a welcome-back gift for us to share with the city,” said artistic director James Brining. “After everything we’ve been through in the last year, it feels more important than ever to take a moment to reflect on what has made – and continues to make – our city and our theatre so special.”