Leeds leads the way for other cities with an­nual light night

The an­nual Light Night ex­trav­a­ganza is back in Leeds city cen­tre for one evening only, as Chris Bond re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - ART -

AN en­chanted maze, a tun­nel tak­ing peo­ple through the jour­ney of life and a gi­ant game of Don­key Kong.

These are just some of the un­usual cre­ations you might stum­ble across if you ven­ture out into Leeds city cen­tre tonight. Some of the city’s most recog­nis­able build­ings and venues will come alive for the an­nual Light Night.

The event, or­gan­ised by Leeds City Coun­cil, con­sists of more than 70 events tak­ing place at over 40 lo­ca­tions in and around the city cen­tre from 5pm.

Now in its sev­enth year, Light Night al­lows res­i­dents and vis­i­tors the chance to see the city in a dif­fer­ent light, quite lit­er­ally, through a range of pub­lic per­for­mances, light shows and dis­plays, for free.

Among this year’s high­lights are per­for­mances of Othello at Leeds Univer­sity and Ti­ta­nia’s Dream by Opera North at the Howard Assem­bly Rooms in the Leeds Grand, com­plete with an en­chanted mag­i­cal maze, echo­ing im­ages and beau­ti­ful mu­sic.

A fur­ther chal­lenge to the senses can be found at West Rid­ing House, where The Tun­nel al­lows vis­i­tors to take an in­ter­ac­tive jour­ney through life, while The Car­riage­works is fea­tur­ing a dis­play of il­lu­mi­nated um­brel­las.

James Hill, se­nior arts and re­gen­er­a­tion of­fi­cer with Leeds Coun­cil, is ex­pect­ing an­other bumper crowd in the city.

“We know that 8,500 peo­ple vis­ited the town hall on the night last year, which is more than Queen Vic­to­ria got when she opened the build­ing,” he says. “Even if peo­ple see some­thing that’s not to their taste, if they go 20 yards down the street they will hope­fully find some­thing that is.

“Peo­ple can go from one place to an­other and we’re pretty con­fi­dent that there will be some­thing for ev­ery­one. There is a light pro­jec­tion at the civic hall and on the site of the Leeds arena there’s a gar­gan­tuan ver­sion of the 80s com­puter game Don­key Kong that peo­ple can play them­selves.”

Hill says Light Night is more than just a gim­mick.

“It’s a chance for artists and or­gan­i­sa­tions that are per­haps a bit on the pe­riph­ery to take cen­tre stage and shine, and if peo­ple like what they see they can go and find out more.”

He also be­lieves the city’s cul­tural scene has never been bet­ter. “Ev­ery sin­gle night in Leeds there is some­thing amaz­ing go­ing on. You just have to be pre­pared to go out and find it.”

Leeds was the first Bri­tish city to hold its own light night and now oth­ers are fol­low­ing suit.

“We ini­ti­ated this and now more than 20 cities across the UK have done their own ver­sion.

“It’s great be­cause it means Lon­don is fol­low­ing where Leeds leads.”

To find out more, go to www.light­nightleeds.co.uk

LIGHT FAN­TAS­TIC: Leeds Light Night of­fers vis­i­tors and res­i­dents the op­por­tu­nity to see the city in a dif­fer­ent light.

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