Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Culturemouse Advent Calendar: Day Eight

For Day 8 I thought I'd shine the spotlight on one of my workplaces - The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds - and run through some of the upcoming events in the new season calendar. A comprehensive guide is here, but I'll highlight the ones I'm looking forward to the most. Perhaps a day trip to Leeds may be in order..?


A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens' classic tale of bah humbug (there's a few of those around here...) in the Quarry Theatre upstairs. This is the Christmas musical spectacular of the Playhouse, and always more enchanting and memorable for the ones who don't have to work it for 2 and a half months... (Until January 15th)

Aladdin: my favourite of the Christmas shows, I'm always amazed by how the cast and stagehands manage to construct all the props out of the scenery. Last year's pumpkin coach for Cinderella was breathtaking! This year it's Aladdin, and is sure to be just as delightful. It's for the little 'uns in the cuter Courtyard theatre, but I always make sure I see this (Until January 15th)


Lost and Found: another kids play, but I am so pleased the Playhouse is putting on a production of this as it's such a beautiful story and the TV adaptation made me cry! Looking forward to seeing how they play the penguin, and also create the vast, blue sea. (24th - 27th)


Stewart Lee: Vegetable Stew: definitely highlighting this show, because as well as it being Stewart Lee and guaranteed to be laugh out loud funny (and clever), it's also the show I saw at the Edinburgh Fringe this year so I KNOW it's good! Go for the crisp jokes (14th)

South Pacific: sometimes a full blown musical is just what you need - and this is a classic which I'm actually really looking forward to seeing. The same company put on Fiddler On The Roof earlier this year, and whilst that wasn't really my idea of a night out, I think this is a real escape (26th March to 2nd April)


Goodnight Mr Tom: probably best known for the TV series with David Jason (and less the book!), this is going to make everybody cry. As the characters are so synonymous with the TV actors it will be refreshing to see them brought to life a different way, and on the stage as well. A definite one to go and see, and only for a few days as well! (6th to 9th)


'Tis Pity She's A Whore: one of the most controversial plays in history, and something bold and exciting for the Playhouse in May. This is something I really want to big up - you know what to expect from a lot of shows but this is going to be different. It has a real quality about it, and whether I'm working it or not I'll be securing a ticket. My most eagerly anticipated event of the season. (7th to 28th)

Connections: sorry to be so blunt as to say it but ignoring all the school stuff here, new work from up and coming theatre companies and scriptwriters is always a treat to watch. They're pushing the most innovative ideas, and there could be one that blows us away. Plus there's a company called Duck Egg Theatre involved - I'M THERE! (11th to 14th)

Hugh Hughes: I'm not sure who this guy is, but he's merited having four of his productions playing at the Playhouse over one month including his latest as of yet undeveloped new piece which relies on improvisation and input from the audience - sounds like the Edinburgh Fringe coming to Leeds! But he's won me over as the blurbs for each of his shows sound wonderfully quirky, as does the man himself.
Floating: 17th, 21st
Story Of A Rabbit: 18th, 21st
360: 19th, 21st
Stories From An Invisible Town: 20th

Bronte: bringing some local culture and history to the stage, a new fictional telling of the lives of the Bronte sisters growing up on the Yorkshire moors and putting to paper some of the most recognisable and classic books today. This will be an interesting watch for me as I don't know a great deal about the sisters and this may make my much talked about trip to Haworth a reality. (24th to 28th)


Transform: I have absolutely no idea what this is going to entail, and neither does anyone else (except of course the WYP insiders). It sounds like a premise for a Light Night event: "work inside and outside of the building; pieces that last one hour and others that last two weeks; interactive installations and performances in the dark." I just hope it's not as disappointing as that Night always turns out to be. Still, I like this new throw caution to the wind Playhouse. (3rd to 25th)

The Wiz: I LOVE THE WIZARD OF OZ. Whilst I wish this was more of a straightforward adaptation/musical, I'm open to it being done in the style of Motown. I haven't seen any of the original Broadway production or film so I have no idea what to expect - just hope it's a lot of fun and not too off the course of this fabulous story. (June 24th to July 16th)


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