11/13/2019 0 Comments
Leeds Playhouse in partnership with City of Sanctuary will host the inaugural networking meeting for theatres from across the country working to support Refugees and Asylum Seekers, this week in West Yorkshire.
The network is an opportunity for organisations to work together sharing best practice and responding to different political or world situations. The Refugee Council will be in attendance to offer support and context for participants. Venues attending include Sheffield Theatres, Oxford Playhouse and Sherman Theatre.
Head of Creative Engagement Ruth Hannant said: “Leeds Playhouse has led the way in becoming the first Theatre of Sanctuary in the UK, following our commitment to supporting and working with Refugee and Asylum Seekers. It is fantastic to be partnering with City of Sanctuary to share ideas and opportunities on a national scale with other organisations.
“Here in Leeds we have seen first-hand the benefits to those who are accessing the various Theatre of Sanctuary programmes at the Playhouseand it has been fantastic to see those individuals grow and develop skills that are benefiting them in all areas of their life
“This network aims to look at how theatres and theatre companies can work together on a national scale to join up best practice, share resources and jointly respond to different political or world situations.
“We are incredibly proud of the work we have done and continue to do as a Theatre of Sanctuary, and look forward to sharing this learning with our colleagues from other venues, as well as learning about the excellent work being delivered around the country.”
Leeds Playhouse became the first Theatre of Sanctuary in 2014, offering support and a welcoming environment to refugees and asylum seekers through a range of creative and practical projects. This dedicated programme of work includes; a weekly women’s singing group Asmarina Voices including a creative play session for pre-school children; and Hearts a young person’s group in partnership with the Children’s Society; Conversation Cafe run with volunteers from our Older People’s programme Heydays, using creative activities to enable people to practice their conversational English.
11/9/2019 0 Comments
By Sophie Mei Lan
It’s easy to hibernate at home as the cold weather and dark nights loom in, but I was glad we ventured out into the rain to find a stylish yet cosy pub, an Oasis on a main road in West Yorkshire.
The warm outdoor lighting of The Castle pub on Barnsley Road in Wakefield glowed in the dark, immediately drawing us in.
Not only has the pub, now my new local, received a stunning refurbishment, but there’s a full Vegan menu as well as the normal pub menu to choose from. There’s also an array of drinks, cocktails and hot drinks to select. Better still, you can drink and/or dine now in the comfort of a modern and welcoming establishment.
On arrival, the manager Mat gave us a warm welcome and showed us around the pub-cum-restaurant. The venue’s interior is an instagrammer’s dream with touches of gold, feature walls, pictures and different themed areas. It has been done up stylishly and you could tell the staff were proud to show us around. This gave us the perfect sense of a ‘homely’ pub feel with splashes of grandeur.
To start with we ordered drinks at the bar. I couldn’t resist an orange infused gin cocktail and my friend ordered a Peroni. We then took our seats at one of the tables in the dining area. It was nice that the tables were spaced out, rather than being too close together, they were nicely set out so you have adequate space to enjoy your food and drink with your friends and family.
Food and Drink
I was excited to see a full Vegan menu with a good range of exciting dishes. Whilst my friend scoured the standard menu.
I’m not used to having so much choice as a Vegetarian and it was great to see such a variety of dishes from a Superfood Salad to Spiced coconut Curry, Mezze Platter and Moroccan-Inspired Cauliflower Tart.
The desserts looked dreamy too with a Salted Caramel Billionaires Bar and Blackcurrant mousse just a couple of things on the Vegan menu alone.
The seasonal main menu has a huge range of steaks and rotisserie chicken from the grill to freshly made pizza and gourmet sandwiches.
My friend chose the SMOKED SALMON & KING PRAWN POT topped with Devon crab crème fraîche, served with ciabatta.
I had the Vegan Mezze platter to start which was as tasty as it is colourful with Tzatziki, Aubergines, Lebanese Salad, beetroot hummus and falafal with flatbread.
For mains, I opted for the Vegan Coconut Curry which was lightly spiced with some delicious aubergines and rice to accompany it. I couldn’t finish it as the starters were so filling but it was delicious. My friend had the 10 oz Rib-Eye Steak which is served with twice-cooked chunky chips, a roasted mushroom, confit tomato and parsley butter.
We both enjoyed the freshly made food which was tasty and filling… pub grub portions but at a quality restaurant standard.
There’s also a wide range of sides available to order from Halloumi Fries to Dauphinoise potatoes.
For desserts we had the THE HOUSE SHARER which is Vegetarian friendly. This included Home-baked chocolate brownie, white chocolate & blackcurrant cheesecake tower, Belgian chocolate & hazelnut mousse (which I could have eaten all night long) and a Bourbon vanilla ice cream cookie sandwich. It was a lovely way to finish off a decadent meal and a good way to try a few desserts. We definitely want to return to try THE AMBASSADOR'S MELTING CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT BOMB: Rich chocolate ganache, hazelnut, crisp wafer and vanilla ice cream, encased in a dark chocolate sphere, melted with hot white chocolate sauce. And the Vegan WARM BLUEBERRY & ALMOND POLENTA CAKE with Herefordshire blackcurrants and soya vanilla custard or vegan vanilla ice cream.
The Castle in Wakefield is the perfect setting for business lunches, romantic meals out and an evening with friends. It’s stylish yet cosy, the perfect place to hibernate and be treated over Winter. Whilst the decor and food was brilliant, what really stood out for me, was the staff. From the moment we entered we were warmly greeted and shown around. The team couldn’t do enough for us from helping us select food and drink (with a good knowledge of all the menu) to making sure we were happy with everything. You could sense their true pride of the pub as if they were welcoming us into their own home.
This public house is definitely going to be our new local… and before now I would have said that I wasn’t really a “pub-goer” but if pubs are like this… I’m a convert.
The official lowdown:
The Castle in Wakefield has received a stunning refurbishment, re-opening to guests with a new look on Saturday 9th November.
The Castle, located on Barnsley Road, has undergone a significant makeover that has given the much-loved eating and drinking spot a modernised, stylish and contemporary feel.
Serving a top-quality, seasonal menu, guests can enjoy a broad range of premium grill dishes, including three premium steaks cuts from selected British & Irish farms – hand-cut by skilled butchers and expertly aged for superb tenderness and flavour – four-bone lamb rack with chorizo, chimi churri and butternut squash, or maple glazed pork belly with pig cheek. With fresh fish delivered daily, there's seared wild Atlantic scallops with cauliflower two ways, king prawn gratin in a creamy garlic, white wine & leek sauce and sea bass fillets in a vermouth velouté.
Still offering fantastic value, the fixed price Monday-Friday lunch menu includes a broad range of dishes under 650 calories, freshly made pizzas and gourmet sandwiches.
General Manager, Mat, who has 15 years’ hospitality experience, said: “The Castle is a hugely popular pub and provides a hub for the local community so we’re really excited to be part of the team as it begins its next chapter.
“We have made some stunning changes that have allowed us to create a modern, open and stylish look and feel to the pub – making it the ideal spot for friends and family to get together. We have loved unveiling the brand-new pub to guests!”
Its team has also grown with several new people hired to fill various roles. Head Chef Jodie Reed is leading the team, and has over 10 years industry experience.
As part of the refurbishment, the pub has received a full makeover, opening up the restaurant area and bringing new energy to The Castle. The pub also boasts a private beer garden, where guests can watch the local bowls club play during the season. A private dining area is also available for reservations, perfect for celebrations and private parties.
Its new improved décor is a top to tail transformation, taking inspiration from the UK’s most luxurious dining and drinking hotspots. The sophisticated décor combines dark purples, creams and greys with bold patterned wallpaper and sophisticated lighting throughout. The smooth leather finishes create an authentic and cosy feel to the historic pub, named after nearby Sandal Castle.
Go to: www.facebook.com/thecastlewakefield/ and: https://www.thecastlewakefield.co.uk/ for more details.
DISCLAIMER: We received this experience free of charge for the purpose of this review.
11/2/2019 0 Comments
I’d never seen The King and I let alone read the book Anna and The King of Siam but thankfully I rode the waves of this musical masterpiece at Leeds Grand Theatre.
Following its critically acclaimed Broadway smash hit run and a sold-out record-breaking season at the London Palladium, the multi Tony Award-winning production of The King and I has landed at Leeds Grand Theatre and is playing until Saturday 9 November 2019.
The King and I at Leeds Grand Theatre - Review
We are immediately transported to Thailand with Anna Leonowens and her son who arrive on a ship to teach the King of Siam’s many wives and children.
There were echoes of my own grandmother’s journey when she arrived in the Far East after a three week journey to live with my grandfather in Malaysia.
Anna and her son’s accents and attire immediately stand out in stark contrast to those living inside the kings Bangkok based palace.
Anna is in many ways a strong feminist who takes us all under her wing as she challenges the treatment of women as subservients.
Anna, played by Annalene Beechey, seamlessly embodies a feisty but loveable character who conforms just enough to win the king over and yet she still manages to stand her ground between what she believes to be right and wrong.
The King, played brilliantly by Jose Llana, who first appears ruthless but throughout the show he draws us in with his comical facial expressions and his willingness to take on Anna’s “guesses” i.e, advice about what he should do to woo the West who had dubbed him a “barbarian.”
Interestingly, the King had actually employed Anna to help modernise his kingdom. Whilst he's a polygamist, he is not necessarily barbaric.
Anna and the king begin to bond as they prepare to put on a western style greeting for a British envoy who come to assess the situation in Siam. Part of this is dressing the King's wives in large circle skirts which shows a clash of cultures as the women struggle to move in such clothing.
At times you feel uncomfortable as westernising everything about the East isn’t necessarily making it more “civilised” just more western.
But this contrast evolves into a fusion of two cultures. Anna and the King's relationship starts to blossom as they work together to impress the envoy.
Part of the visit is a show by servant Tuptim who is involved in her own secret love story. She manages to put on a play called the Small House of Uncle Thomas. It's a brilliantly choreographed piece of narrated dance with stunning costumes.
Whilst the show impresses the guests, the king is furious at Tuptim as the show tells the story of a servant fleeing a King and Buddha saves them but melts the river so the King drowns.
Tuptim then flees to be with her own lover.
Anna and the King continue to bond but refuse to admit their love, even as the King requests Anna to show him how to dance.
But the pair then dramatically clash as Tuptim is captured and brought back to the palace to be whipped whilst her lover is found to be dead.
Anna vows to leave Siam and prepares to board a ship leaving Siam with her son. But she is stopped in her tracks as she receives a letter from the King who is dying.
The pair reconcile in a touching yet comical way as the King communicates with Anna from his death bed. His last wishes are for his son to take the role of King and Anna to stay to help him.
The ending offers hope for the future and shows the kingdom's willingness to change.
The show is beautifully choreographed and the live Orchestra adds to the richness of this endearing show. Make sure you head to Leeds Grand Theatre before it departs.
The official lowdown
Directed by Bartlett Sher and produced by the celebrated creative team that brought the production to the Palladium.
Performing as Anna, fresh from her West End success, is Annalene Beechey, and reprising his critically acclaimed Broadway performance as The King is Jose Llana. The two stars have been wowing audiences since the musical embarked on its international tour earlier this year. Annalene said: “I absolutely love playing Anna, she is a dream role for any actress. I’m delighted to bring this wonderful production and our glorious King to Yorkshire!”
Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical boasts one of the finest scores ever written, including Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, and features a company of over 50 world-class performers with full-scale orchestra; The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre.
The King and I is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 29 October to Saturday 9 November 2019
Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700
10/29/2019 0 Comments
Maggie May, a new play by Frances Poet, is to be staged in Spring 2020 in a co-production by Leeds Playhouse and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. This inspiring, incisive and uplifting play signifies a strong commitment by each of the venues to creating new, positive work about people living with dementia.
Directed by Jemima Levick, Maggie May is an extraordinary play about an ordinary Leeds family learning to cope with a life-changing dementia diagnosis. Written with heart-wrenching honesty, beautifully balanced with humour and music, it is, ultimately, an uplifting story of love in all its guises.
The play was originally commissioned in 2018 as part of Leeds Playhouse’s award-winning Every Third Minute Festival, an innovative seven-week collaborative festival of theatre, dementia and hope curated by people living with dementia and their supporters. Written by award-winning playwright Frances Poet (Fibres, Stellar Quines & Glasgow Citizens Theatre; Gut, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; Adam, National Theatre of Scotland at the Traverse Theatre), who is originally from Yorkshire, with valuable input from members of Leeds Playhouse’s pioneering creative programme for people living with dementia, the play will head on a national tour, including a run at Leeds Playhouse from 31 March – 18 April 2020.
Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining welcomes Maggie May as a key example of the theatre’s collaborative process and inclusive ethos.
‘We are committed to telling stories that resonate on a meaningful level, reflecting the lives of people across our city and the wider region. With this in mind, we’re particularly thrilled to be staging Maggie May, a play centred on a seemingly ordinary Leeds family who show incredible resilience and strength at a point of crisis. This inspiring work, rooted in our community and featuring recognisable characters who could easily be our own families, friends and neighbours, will play a pivotal role in our Spring 2020 season, highlighting our deeply embedded commitment to engaging with artists, communities and partners to bring relevant, significant work to the stage.’
When commissioned to write the play, it struck something of a personal chord with Frances as her father, who died in 2012, had been diagnosed with dementia.
‘I was interested to explore a story that showed a positive side post-diagnosis. That did not reflect the experience we had with my dad. Writing Maggie May has been, at times, a bitter-sweet process. It made me think how wonderful it would have been if Dad had been able to connect with the amazing work that goes on at the Playhouse.
‘Talking to people at the Playhouse made me realise the joy and resilience people have in their lives. I wouldn’t have picked up on that just reading about dementia. The people who contributed throughout the process were very generous with their responses and feedback. Their notes helped me to change aspects of the script. They helped me to make it more truthful; to really speak to people’s experiences.’
Lyn and Mick Haith, members of Leeds Playhouse’s Peer Support Group for people living with dementia, were invited to the read-through and provided valuable feedback that helped Frances shape and hone the finer details of her play.
‘Consulting on the play was such a surprise. For someone to listen to our thoughts and opinions, to take notice, was wonderful. Everybody in the group has a different type of dementia, so there were lots of different opinions and ideas and stories. We’ll have a real sense of pride when the play comes to the Playhouse because, for us, it’s life, it’s real.’
Leeds Playhouse runs regular activities for people living with dementia, including Our Time sessions for people living with dementia and their partners, Peer Support sessions in partnership with other cultural organisations throughout the city, and its pioneering Dementia Friendly performances. The Playhouse’s innovative approach has been recognised with national awards from the Alzheimer’s Society and the National Dementia Care Awards. Maggie May is a further development of the Playhouse’s commitment to producing professional work on the theme of dementia; work that is rooted in lived experience, embedded in and accessible to the communities in which it works.
Maggie May plays in Leeds Playhouse’s Courtyard theatre from Tue 31 March – Sat 18 April 2020 as part of a UK tour. During the Leeds Playhouse run, all performances will adhere to the Playhouse’s dementia-friendly approach, ensuring that people living with dementia will feel welcome at any performance. Partner venues will be offering a range of dementia friendly performances to build on their own commitment to welcoming audiences affected by dementia. Each venue will host a free interactive installation front of house named The Listening Booth amplifying the voices of people living with dementia.
Tickets are on sale to Leeds Playhouse’s patrons and Playhouse Pass holders from Thursday 24 October, with tickets on general sale from Monday 28 October.
Full cast and creative team to be announced.
Maggie May, Courtyard Theatre, Leeds Playhouse
Tue 31 March – Sat 18 April 2020, Press Night Wed 1 April 2020
Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online leedsplayhouse.org.uk
10/29/2019 0 Comments
The smash hit Queen and Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You returns to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 11 to Saturday 23 November 2019.
Following the triumphant 2010 and 2011 UK theatre tours, and 2013’s 10th anniversary world arena tour, We Will Rock You has been reimagined for 2019. With 24 of Queen’s biggest hits - including We Are The Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust and, of course, We Will Rock You - and Ben Elton’s hilarious futuristic comedy writing, We Will Rock You is a show that boasts the scale and spectacle that marked the band’s legendary live performances.
The musical tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown.
Taking on the role of Galileo is Olivier Award nominee Ian McIntosh (Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, The Commitments), he will be joined by Elena Skye (Les Misérables, Kinky Boots) in the role of Scaramouche. Playing Killer Queen is Jenny O’Leary (Heathers The Musical, Rent), with Michael McKell (Macbeth, Blood Brothers) as
Buddy, Adam Strong (Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock of Ages) as Khashoggi, David-Michael Johnson (We Will Rock You, Germany, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Brit and Amy Di Bartolomeo (Bat Out of Hell, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Oz.
Since 2002 over 15 million theatregoers in 17 countries have been thrilled by We Will Rock You’s awe-inspiring production. Before closing its 12 year run at London’s Dominion Theatre in 2014, the show was performed 4600 times.
We Will Rock You is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 11 to Saturday 23 November
Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700
9/9/2019 0 Comments
A fashion show which challenges women of all shapes and sizes to embrace their differences, regardless of shape, size or culture, takes place at Royal Armouries in Leeds later this month.
Based on the resounding success of their first fashion show in November last year. Simply ladies is back by popular demand, hosting their;fashion show, which will take place on Saturday 21st of September at New Dock, Armouries D.
The event will shine a spotlight on local fashion designers, with their latest collections modelled by the real women of Leeds.
Brands featured in the event will include WAKE and MYNE London, Thanks Suzanne and El.obsession and Pugata Jewellery.
Guests will enjoy live entertainment throughout the evening. The doors open at 6pm which gives guests an opportunity to network and be entertained with a few surprise elements and tickets are available on Eventbrite, starting at £25. There will be opportunities to win amazing prizes such as a diamond worth £1,500 from Pugata jewellery.
Carron Cummings set up Simply Ladies last year following the sudden death of her partner in 2014. Previously training as a paralegal, Carron had to leave her studies to take care of her two young children, but wanted to set up a business that supported and empowered women from all walks of life.
Simply Ladies is a lifestyle membership clubs which gives women in Yorkshire access to local discounts and offers for fashion, health and wellbeing, leisure, and food and drink brands. It also has a thriving online community where Simply Ladies members can seek support and advice from other women in the city.
Carron said: “As women, we’re often very good at taking care of other people but neglect ourselves. After going through a difficult time in my own life, I wanted to create something that had the potential to make women feel great about themselves. Alongside the local offers and discounts Simply Ladies members can access, they also have the support of the wider community, through events like the fashion show.
“The fashion show is all about revolutionising the way that we see fashion, bringing awareness to brands that is for everyone! Which is empowering women, regardless of their situation, age or size. There will be women from all walks of life on our catwalk and we’ll be sharing their stories as they strut their stuff in some stunning outfits from our local designers. The event will be a real celebration of all women and I hope our guest leave feeling supported and inspired by each other.”
All the details of the Simply Ladies Fashion Show:
Highlighting designs by designers of high quality skill level and their collections. This year her fundraiser will raise money for Azité Love a charity is to help provide books and schools for children in Africa.
When: Saturday, September 21. Doors open at 6 for networking event and for the guests.
Where: New Dock Hall Amouries Dr LS10
Costs: £25 general admission
After Party at Dollshouse New Nightclub from Dj/producer Tom Zanetti and Kane Towning
Howard Events, Cleenbees, Pugata Jewellery, Violet Studios and The Flowershop, Howsegroup, Kween Makeup Accademy, letterbox lashes, enhance nail salon, Azité Hair, Island Sunset cocktails, Home Foam and HBD Builders
What is Simply Ladies?
Simply Ladies is a women’s lifestyle club, which is a one stop for all women’s needs. Empowering women to be the best regardless of their situation, shape size or culture. Their networking provides support, advice empowerment and community for the women of Leeds. The simply ladies members card that provides a range of offers and discounts to members for a range of hotels, spas, restaurants, bars and fashion brands. Membership costs £10 per month and current partners include Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, Oulton Hall Hotel, Park Plaza Hotel, Malmaison, Banyan, The Pit, Salute, Arc and The Box to name a few.
9/8/2019 0 Comments
TV favourite, Sherrie Hewson, and magician, Pete Firman, top the bill this September in The Good Old Days at City Varieties Music Hall.
Actor, presenter, broadcaster, television personality and novelist, Hewson is best known for her roles in the ITV soap operas Coronation Street, Crossroads and Emmerdale. More recently she starred as Joyce Temple-Savage in the ITV sitcom Benidorm and in the stage adaptation Benidorm Live. She is also a panellist on lunchtime chat show Loose Women.
Pete Firman is an English magician, comedian and television presenter. He has appeared in magic shows across all TV channels, including BBC One’s The Magicians. Pete also presents CBBC’s game shows Stake Out and Wait for It..!
The Autumn season is as follows:
When: Friday 20 and Saturday 21 September 2019
Who: Sherrie Hewson headlines the opening weekend alongside guest ChairmanRichard Gauntlett. Joining them will be vocalist Andrew Robley, multi-instrumentalist Leo Shavers, vocalist Linda Watts, and Diablo Virtuoso Donald Grant.
When: Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September 2019
Who: Magician and TV personality, Pete Firman tops the bill. The show will be presented by special guest ChairmanMark Walsh. Also appearing are juggler/plate-spinner Andrew Van Buren, vocalists Peter John and Julia Sutton, and Leeds’ own aerialist Madam Langoustine.
Each show features the City Varieties Orchestraunder the masterful direction of Mr David Smith.
The Good Old Days was a BBC television light entertainment programme produced by Barney Colehan which ran from 1953 to 1983. Filmed at The Varieties, the show recreated an authentic atmosphere of the Victorian–Edwardian music hall with songs and sketches of the era performed by present-day performers in the style of the original artistes. Compered by Leonard Sachs, the show featured more than 2,000 performers over the course of its run, includingLes Dawson, Barbara Windsor, Bruce Forsyth, Eartha Kitt, John Inman, Ken Dodd and Barry Cryer. The original series has recently enjoyed a re-run on BBC4.
Book online at cityvarietiesmusichall.co.uk or call box office on 0113 243 0808
9/8/2019 0 Comments
See (and hear) your favourite podcasters in the flesh as they take to the stage live in the world-famous music hall City Varieties, Leeds.
Sunday 22 September 2019
HAPPY MUM, HAPPY BABY
Author, podcaster, presenter, YouTuber, mother and wife, Giovanna Fletcher, has announced her first ever Happy Mum, Happy Baby UK tour for September 2019.
In Happy Mum, Happy Baby Giovanna shares her own journey through parenthood, and in doing so, she looks at what it is to be a mother today, encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can really make for a happy baby.
Sunday 29 September 2019
ALL KILLA NO FILLA
Join comedians Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard-McLean as they explore a shared passion - serial killers.
In this live version of the hugely popular podcast the pair will talk all things murder and macabre while having a right laugh doing it. You weirdos.
Saturday 12 October 2019
THE SCUMMY MUMMIES SHOW
Join comedians Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn as they celebrate the scummier side of parenting, from drinking wine at teatime to hiding from the PTA. Expect stand-up, sketches, songs, and some very scummy stories. Guaranteed to make parents laugh and non-parents happy about their life choices.
Based on the hit Scummy Mummies podcast and best-selling book. As seen in The Sunday Times and heard on Radio 4.
Iâm a Rocky Horror virgin and had no idea what I was letting myself in for. It was an experience. I had been informed I needed to dress up but I hadnât considered the difficulty of making my way to the Grand via public transport in questionable attire, writes our reviewer Mel Neale...
Walking to Wakefield Kirkgate station was like running a gauntlet, but eventually I made it to Northgate and on approaching the theatre I was with âmy ownâ, if anything my outfit was tame.
There were characters and creatures in all shapes and sizes mostly wearing suspenders and of note; someone wearing a huge pair of home made lips.
The colourful, joyful deviant audience was like a strange family reunion.
This feeling continued into the theatre with nearly as many shout outs and in jokes as there was script. The cast received and volleyed beautifully. The cast without exception were brilliant. Duncan James makes a fabulous Frank-N-Furter. The set design was great, it was incredibly effective and enveloped us in to the world without distracting from the impact of the stunning characters. The show flew by in a whirlwind before I knew it I was up on my feet dancing to the Time-warp for the final time and applauding the cast, then tumbling out of the theatre in to the real world.
Rocky Horror aficionados will not be disappointed. New comers may find themselves a little confused and overwhelmed but will enjoy the ride and like me I hope will enjoy the initiation in to this family of misfits.
About Rocky Horror Show Live
Dammit Janet, Richard OâBrienâs legendary musical, The Rocky Horror Show, is on at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 August 2019.
Since first opening in London in June 1973, The Rocky Horror Show has become the worldâs favourite rock ânâ roll musical, having been performed worldwide for 45 years in more than 30 countries and translated into over 20 languages.
Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the musical extravaganza will star Blue singer and Hollyoaks actor Duncan James as Frank, Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton as Janet, James Darch (Maggie May) as Brad, and writer, comedian and actor Steve Punt as The Narrator. Musical numbers include Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature, Dammit Janet and, of course, the timeless floor-filler, The Time Warp.
On the press night, we attended The Narrator was played by a fabulous and funny Kristian Lavercombe.Riff Raff was played by Reece Budin and Maddie Coelho covered Reeceâs track.
The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancÃ©e Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank-n-Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. Itâs an adventure theyâll never forget.
Duncan James said: âFrank is such an iconic role, itâs an honour to be able to play him and a role that I have always wanted to do. Iâm so excited to be touring with such a fun and vibrant show, and to be working with this fantastic cast.â
Joanne Clifton added: âI've always loved Rocky Horror. I learnt the Time Warp in my dance classes in Grimsby when I was 4 years old ... 30 years later and Iâll be jumping to the left on the actual Rocky Horrorstage, I can't quite believe it!â
Be warned, this show has rude parts!
The Rocky Horror Show is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 August 2019
Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700â
Leeds audiences are invited to put on their Boogie Shoes and strut on down to Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 27 toSaturday 31 August 2019 when Bill Kenwright’s Saturday Night Fever will ignite a Disco Inferno.
Based on the 70s classic movie starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero and his reckless, yet thrilling, road to dancing success. The show features the greatest hits of the Bee Gees, including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman; the original album remains the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time.
Returning to the iconic role of Tony Manero is Richard Winsor. Winsor previously performed worldwide as the principle dancer with Matthew Bourne for 10 years before landing the lead role in the cult dance film StreetDance 3D and going on to play Caleb Knight in the BBC’s Casualty.
Whilst paying homage to the movie, this new stage version promises more drama, more music and new choreography. It is directed and produced by Bill Kenwright with choreography by Olivier award-winning Bill Deamer.
Saturday Night Fever is at Leeds Grand Theatre fromTuesday 27 to Saturday 31 August 2019
Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700
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