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Oldies take over Leeds Playhouse

Household names and local undiscovered talents, all aged over 60, are joining forces with Leeds Playhouse for a ground-breaking celebration of age and ageing, developed by hundreds of older people and partners from across the city.

An original concept by The Performance Ensemble will offer a "takeover" by older people of every space at Leeds Playhouse from April 24–May 6.

New and original theatre pieces will feature from international and national older artists, many of them from Leeds, including Dunstan Bruce, ex-frontman with chart-topping band Chumbawamba; original member of Phoenix Dance Theatre David Hamilton; poet Khadijah Ibrahiim; actor Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake); film director Ken Loach (Kes, I, Daniel Blake), theatre director Alan Lyddiard; choreographer Tamara McLorg and award-winning Hong Kong cultural leader, Augustine Mok Chiu Yu.

At the heart of the programme - which is in partnership with Leeds 2023, Year of Culture - is a new theatre production, Sinfonia. Featuring stories collected from local people, Sinfonia has been created and will be performed by The Performance Ensemble, a theatre company of performers aged over 60. Devised and directed by artistic director Alan Lyddiard, it will be a mix of performance, stories, live music, dance and life, in a celebration of lives lived to the fullest.

Alan Lyddiard said: “These generations are forever associated with the birth of British pop or the rise of punk, fashion firsts, the first man on the moon and the fight for civil, social and political rights; they have lived experience that cannot, and should not, be forgotten.

"There are 161,000 older people over the age of 60 currently living in Leeds, they all have stories to tell but too often they’re isolated, alone and not given the opportunity. We wanted to show that these people matter and more, that they have something to say that everyone can relate to, can learn from.”

Priority booking is now open for Priority Access, Playhouse Pass and Under 30s members with general booking on sale from 28 February.

More info and tickets here


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