Activism & the future of Europe spark a creative response as Transform gets set to present major citywide, international festival

Activism & the future of Europe spark a creative response as Transform gets set to present major citywide, international festival

Activism & the future of Europe spark a creative response as Transform gets set to present major citywide, international festival

Transform 17
Wed 19 – Sat 22 April 2017

Transform 17, a bold and adventurous programme that celebrates and explores new theatre, comes to Leeds from Wed 19- Sat 22 April. This citywide, international edition is Transform’s most ambitious festival to date.

Mixing pop-culture and performance art, interactive adventures, outdoor activist theatre and large-scale visceral shows created with local people, the programme presents ground-breaking international companies and cutting-edge artists from across the North of England. Bold new works have been inspired by a diverse range of current themes and ideas including activism, community collaboration, the digital age, gender politics, and the future of Europe.

Commissioned and produced by Transform, in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse, lead production The Darkest Corners is a world premiere created by acclaimed physical theatre duo RashDash. Three-time winners of the Fringe First Award in Edinburgh, RashDash – artists Abbi Greenland and Helen Goalen – confront violence against women in their most ambitious work to date. Performed outdoors at a secret Holbeck location, this cabaret rally is inspired by Leeds’s radical activist history and its role as the birthplace of the Reclaim the Night movement 40 years ago, and celebrates stories of resistance from around the world. Featuring live music, vivid physicality and inter-generational community companies, this powerful performance encourages audiences to reclaim the night once again.

At a moment of uncertainty for the UK and its relationship to the European Union, Transform 17 pauses to reflect on Europe itself and its future. During the festival, works by two forward-thinking international companies will be presented at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. machina Ex, a group of Berlin-based media and theatre artists renowned for merging computer gaming, theatre and interactive installation, make their UK debut in Leeds with Lessons of Leaking. Set in 2021, days before the people of Germany vote on leaving an estranged European Union, Lessons of Leaking is an interactive show which asks the audience to make choices between the conflicting priorities of democracy, transparency, freedom of speech and manipulation.

El Conde de Torrefiel, one of the most exciting and provocative theatre companies to emerge from Spain in recent years, brings internationally acclaimed show Guerrilla, to England for the first time. A dark comedy about the awakening of awareness, Guerrilla examines the current generation’s thoughts about Europe and how their underlying anxieties about the future preoccupy their daily lives. This epic, visceral performance will feature over 50 local people on stage, as the action unfolds in a dystopian future in three different cities including Leeds.

The diverse programme also includes the world premiere of The Believers are but Brothers from Bradford-based writer and theatre-maker Javaad Alipoor, ambitious new work The Missy Elliott Project by artist and performer Selina Thompson, Mother Load performed by Yorkshire-based Grace Surman with her daughter at Yorkshire Dance, plus introducing new Leeds-based artists Sasha Foyster & Grace Hargreaves, winners of last year’s Lift Off and Transform Award.

Transform 17 is produced by Transform, in partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse and citywide organisations. The programme is supported using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The festival is also supported by Leeds 2023, the city’s bid for the European Capital of Culture.

The official Box Office provider is West Yorkshire Playhouse.

For more information on Transform 17 click below to download the brochure


Click here to book tickets

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Download BrochureThe Pop-Up Season
Autumn 18 / Spring 19
Download BrochureThe Pop-Up Season
Autumn 18 / Spring 19
Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital Partners
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors