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Furnace 2017

  • Venue: Other Space
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FURNACE 2017 brochure



More Information on Furnace 2017

Furnace Festival is an eclectic celebration of new theatre, big ideas and audacious artistic voices.
Events will take place in the Courtyard Theatre and Barber Studio.

Over the fortnight, we’ll showcase the best new theatre created by a kaleidoscope of artists from across the North at every stage of development, and we’ll invite artists into the building for a jam-packed programme of skills workshops, conversations and events.

We’ll throw open the doors of the rehearsal room at Scratch nights and sharings of work in development here at the Playhouse, including Olivia Hirst’s smart, searing and funny new play The Annex; LUNG’s provocative, political Trojan Horse; and a collaboration between Rachel Mars and our Theatre of Sanctuary called Joke Translation Service.

Nurturing, supporting and training artists from across Yorkshire is at the heart of our work at the Playhouse. We’re proud to support the development of new work by local artists at every step of the journey and offer one of the most comprehensive Artist Development programmes in the country.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information about Furnace Festival 2018.



Hit Reset

Hit Reset invites people from across the UK to imagine an alternative cultural landscape. Our theatrical heritage has been shaped over centuries, but what would it look like today if our dominant storytellers had been queer? Or disabled? Or asylum seekers? If we could hit reset, would it be possible to defy the deep-rooted conventions ingrained in our culture? Or, centuries from now, will we still be telling the same old story? Hit Reset will bring together speakers and artists from across the kaleidoscope of contemporary British theatre for a programme of inspiring talks and practical workshops to spark new perspectives and new ways of making theatre, presented as part of Furnace Festival.

HIT RESET: Resisting Single Narratives

Giving a platform to the stories of refugee and asylum seekers has never felt more urgent. Every day, we are presented with new versions of the truth from a range of different sources, making it increasingly difficult to hear from the people at the heart of the news story. What is the artist’s responsibility to find innovative ways to present these stories? Can we subvert the received wisdom about refugee and asylum seekers? Do refugees even want their stories told by idealistic theatre makers? Where do we even start? At this Hit Reset discussion, we’ll be joined by Rose McCarthy from the Refugee Council. Tuesday 12 September 8pm – 9.30pm Barber Studio  

HIT RESET: Creating Safer Spaces for Audacity

Audacity is defined as “a willingness to take bold risks” and as “rude or disrespectful behaviour; impudence”. “BOLDNESS” and “RISK” have become buzzwords in the development of new theatre, but are programmers and audiences really ready to embrace the audacious? How do we, as a creative community, encourage and celebrate genuine artistic risk? And, as the dark clouds of reactionary politics continue to gather around the world, are impudence and disrespectful behaviour more important than ever in the arts? With Live Art Bistro, Wharf Chambers and Nic Green. Wednesday 20 September 9.45pm – 10.30pm Congreve Room  

HIT RESET: Reflecting the Times

“An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.” - Nina Simone Drawing from personal experience allows an artist to create powerful autobiographical work exploring identity and interrogating our place in the world. But if Western history is only ever taught from one perspective, can this work ever really be taken into context? Do we have a responsibility to address the gaps in our collective understanding of human history? And, without acknowledging all aspects of British history, how can artists create work that might change the future? Join West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Pauline Mayers, as she addresses these questions through the work of internationally renowned researcher, educator and author, Dr. Joy DeGruy in a practical workshop for artists at all stages of their careers. Please email to sign up.   Date: 21st Sept Time: 2pm – 5pm Room: Rehearsal Room 2

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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors