Arts Diary: Will Marriott

Red Ladder should probably be prepared for a deluge. The Leeds theatre company has put a call out for new writing and with the theme set as the Government’s spending cuts there’s likely to be many willing to put pen to paper.

Selected pieces will be performed at the next Script Yorkshire event at the Carriageworks on March 19 as part of Theatre Uncut, a national project to highlight the impact of spending cuts on the arts. Original plays should be no more than 10 minutes in length, should feature a cast of no more than four (two male, two female), and require minimal set, lighting and other technical requirements. All submissions need to be emailed to [email protected] by March 11.

With money a little tight in the arts, some good news comes to us from South Square gallery. In tribute to the West Yorkshire painter Joan Day, the Bradford venue is offering an annual £400 painting bursary for emerging artists working with paint. South Square is also offering a £500 month-long residency. During August 2011, the gallery space will be turned into a live studio for artists and at the end of the four week residency the gallery will host a closing public exhibition. For details on how to apply visit

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It seems those behind ITV’s Dancing on Ice are determined to get their money’s worth from the show’s contestants. Chris Moyles’s sidekick, Comedy Dave skated off the show a couple of weeks ago, but he will be spending lunchtime at Meadowhall signing autographs outside Marks and Spencer between 1 & 2pm. It’s not an entirely selfless act, but more to promote the upcoming Dancing on Ice Tour which comes to the Motorpoint Arena on April 9 & 10. Still, as Comedy Dave is rumoured to be picking up a £50,000 cheque to take part in the live shows, we probably shouldn’t feel too sorry for him.

In 1990 a new purpose built theatre was unveiled on Quarry Hill in the centre of Leeds and with its landmark birthday approaching, the venue has some special celebrations planned. During the 21st anniversary year a festival stage will be installed in the Playhouse’s café showcasing live performance during the summer months and 21 new playwrights are taking up the challenge of writing a short drama as part of the So You Want to Be a Writer course. On July 2 the theatre will throw open its doors with backstage tours and costume workshops to give the public a glimpse behind the scenes.

There will be a definite Yorkshire flavour to this year’s South By Southwest music festival in Texas. Thanks in large part to the efforts of the Yorkshire Timeless Music project, county based bands including Pulled Apart By Horses, Dinosaur Pile-Up, David Thomas Broughton, Rolo Tomassi, Threads Orchestra and Asking Alexandria will all be playing at the event which helped Corinne Bailey Rae and the Kaiser Chiefs to break into the big time. SXSW runs from March 11-20. For more details visit