Back To Top Icon
< Back

Ode To Leeds (2017)

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 2 hours 10 mins including an interval
  • Age Guidance: 14+
  • Other: Post Show Discussion Fri 16 June
  • Share:

More Information on Ode To Leeds (2017)

Five young poets from Leeds are selected to compete at the world’s most prestigious international poetry slam competition in New York City.

Fuelled by love, pride and passionate protest their words light fires to show the world who they are and what they can be. But the determination to be crowned International Slam Champions threatens to overwhelm everything. As the competition draws closer, the poets are forced to discover not just their voices, but what they must find the courage to say.

Writer Zodwa Nyoni returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse following her debut play, Boi Boi is Dead, with this funny and moving coming of age story; a celebration of Leeds, language and an ode to the art that changed her own life as part of the acclaimed spoken word group Leeds Young Authors.

Directed by Artistic Director, James Brining, Ode to Leeds will feature a blend of music, words, heart and soul to provide a poignant and uplifting portrait of our city.

Ode To Leeds: The Movement 
There’s lots of special events going on as part of Ode to Leeds: The Movement, including our 24 hour Takeover Weekend, Sunday Practise on Tour and Voices of a New Generation, and we want you to be involved! Check out all information on the Movement tab under the image above.

BSL and Captioned Performance Information

Ode To Leeds production sponsor

Cast & Credits

Writer Zodwa Nyoni / Director James Brining /

A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

  • Genesis Lynea
    as Queenie
  • Chance Perdomo
    as Theo
  • Aryana Ramkhalawon
    as Devika
  • Archie Rush
    as Mack
  • Leah Walker
    as Darcy


“ An urgent, spirited and compelling play.”

- What's On Stage

“ From the moment the five launch into their first poem, there's an air of electricity and vibrancy to James Brining’s production that never dims over the course of two hours.”

- The Stage

“ Zodwa Nyoni’s outstanding, true to life story of love, loss and aspiration shows the struggle of the young people of Leeds to show the whole world what they’re made of.”

- Theatre Full Stop

“ Ode to Leeds is a brilliant and occasionally heartbreaking portrait of our city; a fantastically fitting finale to the West Yorkshire Playhouse season. This is an absolute must see for a wide and diverse audience.”

- The Reviews Hub

“ political, heartfelt and at times heart-breaking”

- Yorkshire Post

“ Verbal poetry resonates through the physical patterning of the staging - movement, lights, images, sounds and music - under James Brining’s direction.”

- The Observer

“ (Nyoni’s) political vehemence and her relish for language have a thrilling urgency”

- The Times

“ A love song to Leeds and a hopeful testament to the city’s youth”

- British Theatre Guide

“ Ode to Leeds is a powerful, highly fitting homage to the real stories it draws upon, and makes for a vital, enjoyable, character-driven evening.”

- Exeunt

“ A very moving watch”

- The State of the Arts

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.

Socially Distanced

A guaranteed socially distanced performance provides seating with additional space between bubbles to allow appropriate social distancing.

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
  • Socially Distanced - Socially Distanced
< Back

Latest Shows

Download BrochureAutumn / Winter 22
Download BrochureAutumn / Winter 22
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