West Yorkshire Playhouse searches for Leeds’ heart in epic community celebration ahead of redevelopment
In a celebration of the people of Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse will present Searching for the Heart of Leeds as the final production in the Quarry Theatre ahead of the capital redevelopment.
Over 70 talented individuals from the community will take part in the production performing in roles both offstage and on, alongside six community choirs and a band of eight talented musicians recruited from across the city.
Written by BAFTA-nominated writer Mark Catley, Searching for the Heart of Leeds is inspired by over 200 different stories of our brilliant city as told by Leeds residents. The production follows the journey of lost Loiner Ben as she searches the landmarks, communities and histories of the city to find what makes Leeds Leeds.
Searching for the Heart of Leeds is directed by Playhouse Director of Creative Engagement Alexander Ferris, with Musical Direction and Composition by Caution Collective’s Christella Litras, and Movement Direction by Leeds based and internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Director Alexander Ferris said: “The Playhouse has always been a theatre for the people. The fact that it exists is down to the people of Leeds rallying round and calling it into being. This project is the next exciting stage in the development of that central idea and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been doing with the city. We’ve got a brilliant cast and company that represents Leeds in all its diversity and it makes sense that our most democratic space of all, the Quarry Theatre, will be full of those voices immediately prior to our redevelopment. We’re expecting every performance to feel like a big Leeds-themed party!”
Writer Mark Catley said: “Searching for the Heart of Leeds is a collection of short stories, some nostalgic, some contemporary, which, when knitted together, give a very real and emotional reflection of what it means to live in Leeds. Listening to my fellow Loiners has been a pleasure, and I hope audiences enjoy their stories as much as I have.”
Searching for the Heart of Leeds is a joyous celebration rooted in community, 50 years since the birth of the Playhouse which came out of a public campaign calling for a theatre for the people of Leeds. Marking a key moment in the Playhouse’s history ahead of the capital redevelopment, Searching for the Heart of Leeds is a true celebration of people, theatre and our city.