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D & D North: Shall we create a European Union of Artists? (2016)

  • Venue: Barber Studio
  • Duration: 450
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More Information on D & D North: Shall we create a European Union of Artists? (2016)

An invitation from James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Tickets: £3. Please join us for the whole day or drop in for an hour. Please book your ticket in advance.

The referendum result was closer in Leeds than in any other city in the UK, with just over 2000 votes between Remain and Leave.

At West Yorkshire Playhouse, we strive to make theatre which is vital. We believe that art is the life-blood of a society; it provokes, enlivens, inspires and nourishes. We create work which reflects and investigates our city – its generous, unpretentious side, its utterly brilliant sense of humour, but also its complexities and challenges.

At this point in our nation’s history, we’re passionately committed to looking outwards, to learning from our counterparts in Europe and beyond, and to providing a stage for artists, regardless of where they come from. We are proud to be the UK’s first Theatre of Sanctuary – a place of safety, hospitality and support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Our building opened in 1990 with one of the biggest theatre foyers in the country. This open, democratic space provides a place for many different people – from local artists on laptops to pensioners in knitting groups, and from slam poets to brass bands. For me, the architecture of our building reflects our desire to support and stimulate our local creative community, to be a forum for debate both in our foyer and on our stages and to provide a safe space for brilliant artists to create work that responds to the rapidly evolving and increasingly polarised world outside the four walls of the Playhouse.

Please join us to continue that debate from 10.30am – 6pm and, to echo Phelim’s final sentiment below, let’s find a way through this together.

(All proceeds are to cover the direct costs of this event, please contact if there are financial barriers to you attending)

An invitation from Phelim McDermott, co-Artistic Director of Improbable:

A couple of days ago as the current crisis unfolded I posted a question on Facebook: ‘Shall We Create a European Union of Artists?’

It was posted on an impulse and got a big response. It was prompted by the feeling that whatever was to happen in the coming months as an artist I did not want to do nothing! I do not want to lose connection with the incredible network of European artists, producers and collaborators I have worked with in Europe over the years. If barriers are to go up then I want to connect now. I was already mourning the work that might be lost in this still unfinished story. I was already worrying about how the artistic community might be impoverished for younger artists and my own children. I also want to reach out to all the Europeans who are working here in the Arts and may be feeling confused or isolated at the moment.

I don’t really know what my initial question means. You might agree or disagree with it but it’s a useful focus and umbrella theme for lots of other questions. It’s a way to bring people together to work on all the concerns, questions and ideas we might be having about what our next steps are. Please bring all your issues whatever your feelings about the outcome of the referendum.

Maybe you are angry. Maybe you have some great ideas about how we proceed. Maybe you need support about your current situation here in the UK. Maybe you think Leave is a good idea. Maybe you are concerned about the rise in racist incidents that are being reported. Maybe you are simply fed up of just interacting on social media and need deeper dialogue. Times are chaotic and our response needs to be collaborative and imaginative.

Please come to this opportunity for artists and those who work and support the arts to do what we do best: Envision, collaborate and take action together about what we can do next. Let’s ask some important questions, share information about how we proceed and make our next steps for what the arts can do post the referendum.

We can find a way through this together.



Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £1.95 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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