by Jon Cronshaw
With the appointment of new Artistic Director James Brining last year, the West Yorkshire Playhouse has gone through radical change. Jon Cronshaw went down to the Playhouse to preview James’s first season at the helm of one of Yorkshire’s most important theatres.
The major show of the Autumn/Winter season will be James’s own production of Stephen Sondheim’s spine-chilling musical Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. James will be revisiting his award-winning production that was originally staged in Dundee, 2010. It is a collaboration between the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre, and will run September 26 to October 26.
This year’s Christmas show will see the Quarry Theatre transformed into award-winning director Liam Steelinto’s vision of India with his production of Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel, The Jungle Book. The show will bring together dance, puppetry and physical theatre to tell the coming-of-age story of a feral boy, Mowgli.
Alice Nutter, former member of Leeds-based pop/punk group Chumbawamba, sees the premiere of her new play My Generation, from October 5 to 28. The Leeds-based writer follows one family over four decades – from the 1970s to the present day. It’s a story that encompasses social and political histories, as well as telling the story of family relationships.
Alongside the in-house productions will be the Playhouse’s usual mix of touring theatre productions. Northern Ballet will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Paines Plough bring their production of Jumpers for Goalposts, and Watershed Productions will show Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play – a name that will no doubt seem ironic by the end of its run.
For more information visit: www.wyp.org.uk