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Artwork for I Wanna Be Yours Community Tour. A graded blue image shows an underground train with a woman and a man at the left and right. At the centre is the title of the production.

A journey of love – Leeds Playhouse to tour Zia Ahmed’s I WANNA BE YOURS to venues across the city

Leeds Playhouse is touring award-winning slam poet Zia Ahmed’s play I WANNA BE YOURS to a host of community settings across the Leeds City Region heartland in May following its run at the Playhouse.

Over the past 9 years, the Playhouse has shared productions such as Alan Bennett’s Talking HeadsDavid Peace’s The Damned United and a new commission for families by Robert Alan Evans of Fairy Poppins and the Naughty Winter Ghost, playing in a multitude of non-traditional community settings. I Wanna Be Yours will join this plethora of community tour productions, continuing the theatre’s commitment to sharing the joy of live theatre with people in their familiar community settings. Venues for this 2022 tour include places such as Gipton Fire Station, Leeds Anglers Club in Burmantofts, Hamara Centre in Beeston and Chapel FM in Seacroft.

I Wanna Be Yours is directed by Leeds Playhouse’s Associate Director Sameena Hussain and stars Eva Scott and Usman Nawaz as young couple Ella and Haseeb as they work on sustaining a relationship across contemporary cultural divides. This is the first time Sameena, from Halifax, has toured a piece of theatre to communities with the Playhouse and it’s a prospect she finds very exciting.

“I can’t wait to share this beautiful piece of theatre with audiences across the city. The play is about the journeys we make and the way two people move together in the world. I have definitely had the community tour in mind when working with the company as that is exactly what we will be doing – journeying to different spaces and engaging with communities in a meaningful way.”

Over the years, audiences have welcomed the Playhouse with open arms to the spaces that mean the most to them. Head of Creative Communities at Leeds Playhouse Fiona McCulloch-Exley, said: “Every year, the tour is greeted with such generosity and warmth across the city. It’s an integral feature of our work within the Leeds communities. It’s a privilege to see the impact of bringing these stories to people’s doorsteps; whether it be families discovering theatre together for the first time or a passer by taking a chance and grabbing a ticket on the door – really special moments made, it magic!”

Bradford-based Warda Abbasi, Leeds Playhouse’s Resident Designer, has worked with Sameena to create the world of Ella and Haseeb, alongside Lighting Designer, Jane Laljee; Sound Designer & Composer Eilon Morris; Assistant Director Kirsty Taylor; and Casting Director Lucy Casson.

Tickets for the community tour can be booked for just £3. Communities can also take part in a free 2-hour workshop around the themes of the play, packed full of fun, drama, movement, and creative arts activities.

Tour schedule currently includes:
Tuesday 17 May: St Aidan’s Church Community Hall, Harehills
Wednesday 18 May: HOPS, Hawksworth Wood Village Hall
Friday 20 May: Middleton Parochial Hall
Saturday 21 May: Gipton Fire Station
Monday 23 May: RJC Mandela Centre, Chapeltown
Tuesday 24 May: Leeds Anglers Club, Burmantofts
Wednesday 25 May: Hamara Centre, Beeston
Friday 27 May: New Wortley Community Centre
Saturday 28 May: Chapel FM, Seacroft

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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