- Venue: Courtyard Theatre
- Duration: 3 hrs 10 mins
- Age Guidance: 14+
Triggers & Advisories:
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Triggers & Advisories
1970s/1980s/2000s: This production includes references to sexual violence and killings, bereavement and grief and living with chronic illness. It has themes of bullying and gaslighting. It also contains strong language.
1990s/2010s/2020s: This production includes references to systemic racism and police brutality, themes of being displaced and enduring conflict and hostility, and living with chronic illness. It also contains strong language, use of drugs, and smoking (herbal cigarettes) on stage.
More Information on Decades: 1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s/2010s/2020s
Decades: Stories from the City
Six characters, six new plays, six directors, six compelling stories from the heart of Yorkshire.
Commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Leeds Playhouse, from writers with strong links to the theatre, these new monologues feature characters firmly rooted in the North telling stories set in each of the decades.
Powerful and insightful with biting Yorkshire wit, these are tales that reflect the spirit of the people, the city and the region, showing us who we are and how our lives have been shaped by the place we call home.
Decades: Stories from the City will be an unmissable event that can be enjoyed live in the Courtyard Theatre at the Playhouse or online At Home.
Decades: Stories from the City
1970s / 1980s / 2000s
by Simon Armitage
directed by James Brining
“We’ve got a new Prime Minister. She’s got big blonde hair that lifts up at the front like a curl of butter on the blade of a knife.”
It’s 1979 and the air is thick with fear. 13 year old Wilf can’t stop listening to the news; it’s filled with reports of murder. He’d rather stay home, but his Dad says he has to go and meet his Mum off the bus. He ties his Docs up really tight so he won’t trip while he’s running down the lane and sings Anarchy in the UK under his breath. So Jack doesn’t hear.
Nicer than Orange Squash
by Alice Nutter
directed by Evie Manning
“Gaz says the government only give people dole to stop ‘em from rioting.”
Loz has just moved to the big city from a small town, she’s trying to find herself, carve out a new identity as a woman, as a punk, as a radical. And her perfect new boyfriend might not be all he seems.
by Leanna Benjamin
directed by Amanda Huxtable
“Majestyk is going to be rammed. Yeah, I know I’m too old for clubbing.”
Since moving to Leeds, Sophia has had to adapt, in more ways than one. Now, as the new millennium arrives, she has to confront what the future holds and find a new way forward with her family.
Decades: Stories from the City
1990s / 2010s / 2020s
Don’t You Know it’s Going to be Alright
by Maxine Peake
directed by Amy Leach
“Spice Girls? Give me a break. I like Mel B though. Mainly cause she’s from Leeds and I reckon she’d be a right laugh.”
What a year it’s been. Princess Diana’s gone and New Labour are riding high. Danny opens a can and remembers club nights, illicit partying and her family loyalties. What a trip.
and after we sailed a thousand skies
by Kamal Kaan
directed by Sameena Hussain
“Is this the city for me?”
In this beautiful, poetic monologue, Layla remembers the motherland she left behind and asks if the city she has adopted will ever truly embrace her. ‘Where is home?’ she asks.
Pie in the Bus Stop
by Stan Owens
directed by Tess Seddon
“What kind of grown adult doesn’t know how to make beans on toast?”
It’s a good place to sit and think. The bus stop. That’s what Jamie says, with his Mum demanding his constant attention. He’s her carer. 22, living at home and holding down two jobs. But the lockdowns have got him questioning when he might have a bit of independence.
Please note – Due to the demolition of the northern bridge on the Regent Street Flyover, the A61, A64(M) and A64 will be closed from 8pm Friday evening to 5.30am Monday morning over the weekends:
• 21-24 May
• 28-31 May
Diversions will be in place. However, the disabled parking bays for blue badge holders at Playhouse Square remain open for use.
If access is required, please talk to the traffic marshal on duty. Please allow extra time for your journey.
Cast & Credits
Set & Costume Designer Amanda Stoodley / Lighting Designer Kieron Johnson / Sound Designer & Composer Charlotte Bickley / Sound Designer & Composer Annie May Fletcher / Director (1970s) James Brining / Director (1980s) Evie Manning / Director (1990s) Amy Leach / Director (2000s) Amanda Huxtable / Director (2010s) Sameena Hussain / Director (2020s) Tess Seddon / Assistant Director (1970s & 2000s) Hassan Khan / Assistant Director (1980s & 2010s) Lladel Bryant / Assistant Director (1990s & 2020s) Mariyah Kayat /
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.
*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.
- - Captioned
- - Signed
- - Audio Description
- - Relaxed Performance
- - Dementia Friendly Performance
- - Post Show Discussion
- - Sing Along
- - Parent & Baby Performance
- - Socially Distanced Performance