HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW SEASON
History Boys to return to region Ross Noble joins Producers cast
windows. I think once you start doing that, you realise that they are looking at some really big themes. In Uncle Vanya there is a real sense of being in the country and life passing you by, so you don’t tell the person you love that you love them and how you live like that. It’s full of these big emotional arcs.”
A new play represents a lot of the other things Brining is determined to tackle at his theatre. Little Sure Shot is a telling of the story of Annie Oakley, the woman whose story inspired Annie Get Your Gun. The play, once it has been at the theatre, will tour out to communities across Leeds, including Armley, Gipton, Seacroft and Middleton. “We did that with the Talking Heads this year and it’s really important to build those relationships all around the city. It’s important for us to go to into the city where we don’t traditionally draw an audience from. To be a theatre that is truly for the people, you have to be frontfooted and actually go to these places.”
There is a second, important theme that has emerged from Brining’s latest season, but it’s one that he is actually reluctant to shine a light on too brightly. “I don’t want to make it a big thing, but we have committed to rebalancing the work we stage in terms of gender,” says Brining. “Through a theatre programme called Tonic, which is about trying to address the gender imbalance in theatre, we’ve committed to employing more creators who are women. When you have two men running the theatre, it means we have to actively look at having women involved creatively in most of the other shows and it’s too easy to say well there aren’t enough good parts for women or there are not enough good stories with women as the protagonists, but that means we have to do something about it.”
To that end the season includes a number of womenwritten or directed shows, including an adaptation of Anna Karenina (there’s that global theme again) by a transgender writer called Jo Clifford and a new play by Eve Ensler, the woman behind the phenomenon of The Vagina Monologues.
He said he hoped to keep building on early success. Brining is definitely a man of his word.
For more details visit www.wyp.org.uk
See tomorrow’s Yorkshire Post Magazine for a backstage glimpse at West Yorkshire Playhouse’s current production, White Christmas. THE nation’s favourite play is to be performed in the region.
The multi award-winning History Boys by Leeds playwright and author Alan Bennett involves a maverick English teacher who is at odds with the much younger and shrewder supply teacher.
The play premiered at the National Theatre back in 2004 and has won over 30 awards including Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Play.
As part of a major tour it will come to the Grand Opera House in York from June 8 to13.
For ticket information call the box office on 01904 678700. AWARD-WINNING comedian Ross Noble is to make his musical theatre debut in 2015.
Noble will be performing in Mel Brooks’ smash hit musical The Producers at Leeds Grand Theatre next June playing Franz Liebkind, the short-fused, carrier pigeon-keeping former Nazi brought on board by Max Bialystok and Leo Bloom (played by comedian Jason Manford), to help them make the worst musical of all time.
The show will come be at Leeds Grand Theatre from June 8 to 13. For tickets call the box office on 0844 848 2700.