It's the most wonderful time of the year...student loan time! If you're looking for ways to spend your new-found wealth, then theatre is here to help. Are you looking to inject a little pizzazz into your life? It’s the beginning of a new year, and a great time to take up new hobbies. Maybe you’re looking to start 2015 in a sophisticated, culturally informed manner? Or maybe you just want an excuse to belt along to massive show tunes and throw some wild jazz hands. Whatever your theatrical cravings may entail, you can be sure to find everything worth seeing this season on the Leeds theatre scene in this short, comprehensive summary. And theaters in Leeds are pretty kind to students when it comes to deals and cheap tickets!
The Marriage of Figaro, 24/01/2015 - 27/02/2015 - To kick-start the theatrical happenings in 2015, we have this classical caper chronicling the wedding day of Figaro. Suffice to say, it doesn’t run smoothly. Directed by Jo Davies, who was recently credited for Opera North’s brilliant rendering of Carousel, this version of Mozart’s comedic masterpiece promises to be a superb viewing for all in attendance. And if you’re a student or under 30, you can get your hands on cheap tickets for only £10 a pop. Visit their website for more details.
La Vida Breve/Gianni Schicchi, 18/02/2015 - 28/02/2015 - Next up, we have a double-bill of epic proportions. Consecutively, these Spanish and Italian operas with English subtitles are perfect for the satire seeker and the tragedy aficionado. Christopher Alden’s production of La Vida Breve has been praised immensely by critics, and his rendering of Gianna Schicchi promises to be just as breathtaking. These performances are also covered under the Opera North under 30s/student deal, so grab those cheap tickets while you can!!
Romeo and Juliet, 04-03-2015 - 12/03/2015 - Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy arguably needs no introduction, but the Northern Ballet’s breath-taking rendition promises to leave us all lost for words. Everything from the costumes to the choreography is beautiful; this is a performance unequivocally worth seeing, even if you aren’t the bard’s biggest fan. Set to a soundtrack by Prokofiev and played by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, it promises to be the ballet triumph of the year.
Hairspray, 17/03/2015 - 21/03/2015 - Here’s one I’m especially excited for, Leeds Amateur Operatic Society’s 125th Anniversary Performance of cult film director John Waters’ melodic tour de force. Let me tell you, seeing the musical on-stage in all its glory sure does beat John Travolta dithering around in a fat suit. If you want a boost of happiness and an evening of first-class cheese, I totally recommend this one.
Sweeney Todd, 11/02/2015 - 14/02/2015 - Okay, so it may not feature Johnny Depp in the title role, but Leeds Youth Opera’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s harrowing jewel promises to be thrillingly terrifying, and full of amazing talent to boot. Cheap student and concessions tickets are available! Maybe take your date to see it for Valentines. I’m sure they’d love that.
A production named Blue Remembered Hills, written by Dennis Potter and presented by the Cosmopolitan Players, is also running on these same dates. Although it is primarily about a bunch of kids playing in the hills, it is actually pretty dark and gruesome. Well worth a watch if you’re into twisted plot lines. Tickets are £10, pretty good.
The Charity, 27/02/2015 - 28/02/2015 - Presented by Carriageworks Young Theatre Makers, this play promises a dark, unsettling, surreal story based around the themes of identity and mass control.
Patience, 07/03/2015 - 14/03/2015 - This drama presents the tale of the Castle Studio actresses and their struggles with love, betrayal, and the aftermath of WWII. Multi-award winning Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society promises to rally us all with the razzle-dazzle of the 1940s, and bring its vibrant characters to undeniable life.
Broke, 04/02/2015 - 06/02/2015 - Performed by multi-award winning theatre troupe The Paper Birds, this play is an exploration and critical satire of what it means to be broke in Britain, with focus on main character Sally and her hardships, based on real experiences of poverty. Although it sounds incredibly bleak, it does have its strikingly funny moments, and overall the piece is thoroughly honest and charming.
Boi Boi Is Dead, 14/02/2015 - 07/03/2015 - This stunning feat is the first full length play by Zodwa Nyoni, the Zimbabwe-born poet and playwright. At the core of this incredible story is the widowed Miriam, who has been left heartbroken after the death of her jazz star husband, Boi Boi. Her world is turned upside down when Boi Boi’s brash ex-wife Stella makes and entrance into her already rattled life.
Uncle Vanya, 28/02/2015 - 21/03/2015 - I am incredibly excited about Samuel Adamson’s adaptation of this Chekhovian treasure. For one thing, it has an incredible director behind it, Mark Rosenblatt. For another, it looks to be as dark, absurd, and dysfunctional as it ever was, with a contemporary twist. Watch the struggles of Uncle Vanya as he tries in vain to win the heart of his dream woman and deal with his fucked-up, countrified relatives.
Dreaming in Code, 24/02/2015 - if you want to experience some magnificent ballet, but don’t want to spend a fortune, this double-bill extravaganza is the event for you, with cheap student discounts available. Along with music by Tony-Nominated composer Alex Baranowski, all-male dance company 2Faced Dance offers this dynamic marriage of dance and theatre in an all-out bodacious performance.