Summer might be behind us but we have a new season of theatre productions to look forward as the nights start to draw in. Here are the pick of the bunch in Leeds that should be well worth going to see.
Greta Scacchi stars in Ellen McDougall’s production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie which comes to the West Yorkshire Playhouse next weekend. This was Williams’s first big play and his first to be performed on Broadway in 1945, and later won him a Pulitzer Prize. It’s the story of a dysfunctional family caught up in a claustrophobic world of nostalgia and regret, where sex and violence lurk beneath the surface. The play, a co-production between the Playhouse, Headlong and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, is on in Leeds from September 12 to October 3.
The Shawshank Redemption
THIS classic tale, based on a Stephen King novella, was made famous by the 1994 film starring Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis ‘Red’ Redding. The film is regularly voted the number one all-time movie and this stage adaptation stays true to the story, which examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum security jail. Today is your last chance to catch the play at Leeds Grand before it continues its UK tour. For tickets go to leedsgrandtheatre.com or call the box office on 0844 848 2700.
With the Rugby World kicking off in just over a couple of weeks, Leeds is gearing up as one of the host cities with two matches being played at Elland Road. To mark the occasion Tangled Feet is using 300 volunteers - one for each of the starting players at the Rugby World Cup - to perform in a one-off theatre piece called Collective Endeavour. The aim of the production is to celebrate the power of teamwork and what can be achieved when people unite. It promises to be an impressive show in Millennium Square on September 25.
WHEN it comes to English kings with grisly reputations perhaps only Henry VIII can rival Richard III. Following the discovery of his bones beneath a supermarket carpark in the Midlands, Richard’s box office pull has soared. Not that Shakespeare was his biggest fan - his bloodthirsty play is a dark, yet at times funny, vision of dirty politics and the terrifying price we are prepared to pay for power - think House of Cards meets Game of Thrones. This production is on at West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre from Sept 25 – Oct 17. For tickets call 0113 213 7700 or go to wyp.org.uk.
A night at the Oscars
IF you’re a fan of song and dance then look no further. A Night at the Oscars is an evening of music, song and dance at the Carriageworks Theatre featuring some of your favourite film musicals including Billy Elliott, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, Mamma Mia, Singing in the Rain and Sister Act. With autumn approaching what better way to wile away an evening than spend it listening to some of the greatest songs ever written. ‘Make ‘em Laugh’ that’s what we say. A Night at the Oscars runs from September 16 - 19. For tickets call 0113 224 3801.
Jonathan Watkins’ production is the first full-length ballet adaptation of George Orwell’s famous novel. This Northern Ballet adaptation follows Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith who lives in a world of absolute conformity, his every action scrutinised by Big Brother. He is secretly disillusioned and when one day he receives a love note from Julia, a colleague he suspected of spying on him for the Thought Police, the pair instead begin an illicit affair that puts their lives at risk. 1984 is on at West Yorkshire Playhouse from today until Sept 12. For tickets got to wyp.org.uk or call the box office on 0113 213 7700.