New Artistic Director at U.K.'s West Yorkshire Playhouse Announces Debut Season; Sweeney Todd Among Lineup

News   New Artistic Director at U.K.'s West Yorkshire Playhouse Announces Debut Season; Sweeney Todd Among Lineup
James Brining, the new artistic director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, has announced his debut season that will include him revisiting his award-winning 2010 production of Sondheim and Wheeler's Sweeney Todd that he staged at his previous home at Dundee Rep.

The production will begin performances Sept. 26 for a run through Oct. 26, and then transfer to Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, who are co-producing it. According to press materials, in this contemporary version of the musical Brining explores obsession and revenge set against the backdrop of a world where the poor and powerless are increasingly disenfranchised by the power-wielding rich. 

Alongside telling classic stories in new ways, Brining wants to find voices he believes should be heard, providing a creative space for developing writers, emerging companies and individual theatre makers to grapple with important stories. My Generation, a new play by Leeds-based award-winning television writer Alice Nutter, will begin performances Oct. 5 for a run through Oct. 28 in the theatre's other space. The work explores the lives of one family across four decades from the 70s to the present day, it examines political tensions, family relationships and social responsibility against a backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper, the miners' strike, music festivals and radical feminism. Nutter was a founding member of the political and socially radical band Chumbawamba. Since leaving a music career behind Nutter has been writing for television, working closely with Jimmy McGovern and also for radio and the stage. Her first play Foxes premiered at the Playhouse in 2006.  

For the Christmas season, director/choreographer Liam Steel will make his Playhouse debut to stage Rosanna Lowe's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, using dance, physical theatre, puppetry, song and theatrical magic to tell Mowgli’s coming-of-age story.

Other initiatives being introduced by Brining include bringing A Play, A Pie & A Pint to Leeds, in which both established and new writers' short original plays will be produced in various spaces throughout the theatre.  The Playground season will see a series of scratch nights performed in the Playhouse foyer, in which individual artists, companies, writers, performers, directors, musicians are encouraged to try out their work in front of a Playhouse audience. Furnace, the Playhouse's vehicle for developing new work, continues to provide a platform for the testing and realization of new ideas, in which artists are given the freedom to challenge themselves and their theatre practice.

Alongside the program produced by the Playhouse, a curated selection of touring work will be presented as part of the autumn season that will include visits from Northern Ballet, Paines Plouugh, Theatre O, Headlong and Watershed Productions. 

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0113 213 7700 or visit for more details.

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