From unmissable shows to gigs and comedy, make March one to remember with these amazing events.
March is here and there are loads of fantastic events to enjoy in Leeds. You’ve got incredible drama, food and drink pairings and a host of must-try festivals. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – so go ahead and find out what’s on in Leeds this March.
Picks of the Month
From a powerful ballet to an innovative music festival – these are the events you won’t want to miss this March.
Cocktails in the City
Cocktails in the City returns to Leeds Town Hall this March with two days of delicious tipples. Sixteen of the city’s best bars will join forces to serve one-off cocktails, including Below Stairs, Smokestack and The Lost and Found. But that’s not all, because they’ve lined up a series of unmissable experiences, so you can learn how to make Instagram-worthy cocktails, try a choose your own adventure tipple or turn herbs from their living wall into an alcoholic experiment. Plus, save £3.50 on tickets with our exclusive offer.
Cocktails in the City takes over Leeds Town Hall on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd March 2019.
You can see Hamlet as never before this month as Leeds Playhouse present a brand new interpretation of the Shakespeare classic. Here, Hamlet is played by a woman as Tessa Parr takes on the lead role, and it completely changes your perspective. In the blink of an eye, this young naive university student is thrown into a world of murder, betrayal and revenge – expect sword fights, plots and even a lesbian love affair.
Hamlet comes to Leeds Playhouse from Friday 1st to Saturday 30th March 2019.
Queen Victoria is one of the most famous monarch’s in history, and this month, Northern Ballet will tell her story. They’ve teamed up with acclaimed choreographer Cathy Marston to reveal the real Victoria, a woman who loved as fiercely as she ruled. In this new production, you’ll see her life through the eyes of her daughter, Beatrice, as she remembers her mother, rediscovers her father and finally sees who they were before he was stolen away.
Victoria comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Saturday 9th to Saturday 16th March 2019.
Ever been to a surround sound concert? This is your chance! Ramsey Ronalds will transport you to the moment Orpheus turns and Eurydice fades through an immersive musical performance that uses seven speakers to bring the world around you to life. He’ll be accompanied by three other electroacoustic acts at this one-off event as part of Sounds Like THIS Festival. But it’s not just music. For £15, you can see the show, enjoy a pint of craft beer and scoff a bowl of fresh pasta from Luigi Street Food Italiano. Book your tickets now…
Eurydice takes place in The Chapter Hall at Northern Monk from 6pm on Tuesday 19th March 2019.
Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters
Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters is a brand new exhibition that will challenge preconceptions of the role craft plays in our world at Harewood House. Curator and design critic Hugo MacDonald has chosen 25 diverse British makers whose work will feature in 25 different rooms, placing modern creations that span mediums like fashion, metalwork and furniture, against the historic backdrop of Harewood’s extravagant Georgian show-house.
Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters comes to Harewood House from Saturday 23rd March to Sunday 1st September 2019.
Food and Drink
Check out March’s top foodie events, with pop-up restaurants, cocktail festivals and a night of Japanese food and spirits.
Leeds Gin and Prosecco Festival
The Leeds Gin and Prosecco Festival is back for one day at their new venue in Yeadon Town Hall. You’ll get a gin glass on arrival, as well as a free cocktail or glass of fizz. From there, you can work your way through eight different gin and prosecco brands and take part in mini masterclasses, with your trusty tasting booklet to help you choose what to do. There’s live acoustic music and street food will be served too.
Leeds Gin and Prosecco Festival takes over Yeadon Town Hall on Saturday 9th March 2019.
Wine and Cheese Yes Please!
Bread and Boar Kitchen is taking over the reins at Sheaf Street Cafeteria for one night only this March. They’re hosting a fun, informal wine and cheese pairing that will see you work your way through six different meats and cheeses. Each one will be paired with a glass of wine, sourced from Latitude, and you can pick their brains as they go around the room sharing their expertise.
Wine and Cheese Yes Please! takes over Sheaf Street Cafeteria on Saturday 9th March 2019.
An Evening of Yakitori and Japanese Spirits
The Vanguard will launch their monthly food and drink pairings with An Evening of Yakitori and Japanese Spirits this March. You’ll get two bespoke cocktails made with Nikka spirits to go alongside tempura, wasabi and pickled ginger. Then you can tuck into a sharing plate of yakitori, with five different skewers for you to try, including duck hearts with sichimi togarashi and fresh orange. Wash it down with three Nikka whiskies, followed by a matcha cookie and a specially imported Japanese coffee.
An Evening of Yakitori and Japanese Spirits takes over The Vanguard on Wednesday 13th March 2019.
A Bite of the World Bistro
Intercultural Ambassadors are teaming up with the Rainbow Junktion Cafe to mark the World Unite Festival with a night of global eats. The food will be served on a pay-as-you-feel basis and made using produce that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s served buffet-style, so grab a plate and try different cuisines from around the world. You can also take part in a quiz, watch live drummers and even bring your own booze.
A Bite of the World Bistro takes over All Hallows Church on Friday 15th March 2019.
A Moveable Feast
Renowned pop-up A Moveable Feast is coming to Leeds for a one-off night at Taste. They specialise in nose-to-tail dining, using unusual ingredients to create tasty innovative dishes, like braised pig’s cheeks with smokey black bean cassoulet and winter slaw. You can expect an eclectic line-up of five unique courses and each one is paired with a hand-picked wine.
A Moveable Feast takes over Taste on Saturday 16th March 2019.
Head to the city’s best music venues to see indie favourites, r&b newcomers and acoustic songwriters.
Sleaford Mods are one of the most culturally important bands of the 21st century. The Nottingham duo are a lo-fi, but in-your-face outfit, that merge the Jason Williamson’s punk soliloquies with Andrew Fearn’s raw electronic beats. Check them out at Leeds University Union as they show off their 11th album, ‘Eton Alive’, as well as cuts from other efforts like ‘English Tapas’, ‘Key Markets’ and ‘Austerity Dogs’.
Sleaford Mods take over Leeds University Union on Saturday 9th March 2019.
This will be your last chance to see Woman’s Hour play live in Leeds. The London trio first came to national attention with their accomplished inward-looking post-punk electronica album ‘Conversations’. They’ve since been hard at work with their follow-up ‘Ephyra’, which came out in February, but they announced their split at the end of 2018, so you can see them play it live for the first and last time.
Woman’s Hour play Headrow House on Friday 15th March 2019.
Out of the ashes of Slow Club, the wonderfully twee indie poppers who split in 2017, comes Self Esteem, the solo project of the incredibly talented Rebecca Taylor. It’s a break from the past, as Taylor effortlessly delves into the world of pop while drawing on all kinds of influences, from modern culture to her own vulnerability in the male-dominated world she finds herself in.
Self Esteem plays Belgrave Music Hall on Friday 22nd March 2019.
Nick Ellis is one of Britain’s finest songwriters – you just haven’t heard him yet. He was once of seminal Liverpool group The Maybes? but he now flies his own flag, so his atmospheric kitchen-sink dramas are whipped up into classic English acoustic folk music. He’ll be playing through his fourth album in four years, ‘Speakers’ Corner’, and you can hear it alongside the poetry of Toria Garbutt and Roy.
Nick Ellis plays The Fox and Newt on Friday 29th March 2019.
Children of Zeus
Children of Zeus are one of the most exciting new groups to come out of Manchester this decade. Konny Kon, a DJ, MC and beatmaker, and Tyler Daley, an MC-turned-singer, have perfected their unique blend of soul and r&b. Think early-90s East Coast neo-soul and hip-hop, along the lines of Talib Kweli, A Tribe Called Quest and Common.
Children of Zeus play Belgrave Music Hall on Saturday 30th March 2019.
Need a laugh? There’s a stellar line-up of stand-up comedians coming to Leeds this month.
Ed Gamble is right on the edge of stardom. He’s spent recent years becoming a familiar face on shows like Mock the Week, while releasing hugely popular podcasts with Ray Peacock and James Acaster. Now, he’s heading out on his ‘Blizzard’ tour, full of more tales of idiocy from everyday life, and this could be the last time you see him in a venue the size of City Varieties.
Ed Gamble comes to City Varieties on Sunday 3rd March 2019.
As one of the stars of satirical BBC news sketch show The Mash Report, Rachel Parris has become a household name. And now she’s bringing her popular show, ‘It’s Fun to Pretend’, back to Leeds. You can expect another night of stand-up, sketch, song, improv and undoubtedly a few swipes at modern society, as well as brand new material based on the latest, craziest events.
Rachel Parris comes to City Varieties on Friday 8th March 2019.
The last time Jason Manford toured the UK was back in 2016 and he was selling out arenas. But after a few years away from the stage, he’s returned with an intimate run of dates for his new show ‘Muddle Class’. Manford will take you through his working class childhood, and into his adult life, when he realised he’d actually become a bit middle class, causing much internal confusion.
Jason Manford comes to City Varieties on Tuesday 26th March 2019.
The title of this tour is certainly tongue-in-cheek – Lefty Scum brings two of Britain’s best political comedians to Leeds for a night of rabble-rousing laughs, with the great new voice in protest music. Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and telly fave Josie Long returns as headliner with support from the ridiculously silly Jonny & the Baptists. They’re joined by Grace Petrie, a politically-charged folk songwriter.
Lefty Scum comes to The Wardrobe on Wednesday 27th March 2019.
It’s been six years since Rhod Gilbert last toured a stand-up show, but he’s been chocker with other things, from hosting The Apprentice: You’re Fired to making his own documentaries. There have been other things too, and a lot of it not very good – including meeting a guy called John. And that’s where this new show, ‘The Book of John’ starts, before Gilbert takes you through his barmy life, as raw and funny as ever.
Rhod Gilbert comes to Leeds Grand Theatre on Sunday 31st March 2019.
From West End hits to incredible ballets, there’s plenty on at the city’s theatres.
Yukiko Masui & Léa Tirabasso Double Bill
You can see two interconnected works from a pair of acclaimed female choreographers in Leeds this month. Yukiko Masui and Léa Tirabasso will showcase their own personal stories of illness, love and loss as part of a moving double bill. From family conflicts to bodily ailments, dance allows them to communicate moments that speech couldn’t. There will be a post-show discussion with the pair too.
Yukiko Masui & Léa Tirabasso Double Bill comes to The Riley Theatre on Saturday 9th March 2019.
Drip is a one-man musical comedy from Script Club and Boundless Theatre that sees award-winning duo, actor Tom Wells and musician Matthew Robbins, show off their latest work. Wells takes the role of Liam, a 15-year-old kid who’s signed up for Bev Road Baths’ first ever synchronised swimming team to help out his friend Caz who needs to get a team together to win the annual Project Prize at school. There’s just one problem – Liam can’t swim.
Drip comes to The Holbeck on Sunday 10th March 2019.
There’s a theatrical first in Leeds this month, as the Grand Theatre hosts the world premiere of Benidorm Live! The new stage version of ITV’s hit comedy promises a dose of the Costa Blanca sun as loads of the show’s most popular stars, including Sherrie Hewson, Tony Maudsley and Jake Canuso, hit the boards for a whole new set of Alicante escapades.
Benidorm Live! comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd March 2019.
The Full Monty
It was a smash-hit film, and now, The Full Monty is a must-see stage show. Six down-on-their-luck steelworkers in Sheffield with nothing to lose bite the bullet and bare all. It’s a funny, heart-warming show that features an all-star cast including Gary Lucy in the lead role of Gaz, alongside Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick and Joe Gill. You can watch them get their kit off to tunes from Hot Chocolate and more.
The Full Monty comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th March 2019.
Enter the world of Bengali opera this March as the RadhaRaman Society presents The Class-Conflict. It brings together traditional Bengali folk music and incredible choreography, as you’re taken into a yard under the Banyan tree to learn about the story of the snake charmer, his daughter, a prince and a poisonous snake – will love prevail over class conflict?
The Class-Conflict comes to Seven Arts on Sunday 31st March 2019.
Another month, another batch of intriguing exhibitions for you to see in Leeds’ galleries.
50 Years of Lotherton
2019 sees Lotherton Hall celebrate 50 years as a museum and they’re marking the occasion with three joint exhibitions. End of an Era looks at the family who donated the estate to the city, while Fifty Years in the Making dives into the Hall’s incredible collection to show how its changed over the last half-century. The final one is Fashion Forward, an exhibition that showcases the work of emerging Yorkshire designers as part of their extensive couture collections.
50 Years of Lotherton comes to Lotherton Hall from Friday 1st March to 20th October 2019.
Tim Hales Art Exhibition
Tim Hales’ acrylic paintings are a sight to behold. He graduated from Leeds College of Art in the 1960s, but has recently picked up the paintbrush once again in retirement. The result is a series of distinctive abstract works that use angular shapes, bold colours and ambiguous references to landscapes and figures.
Tim Hales Art Exhibition comes to Tandem from Friday 1st March to 3rd April 2019.
Glen Baxter: Unhinged in Hunslet
This March, surrealist Glen Baxter will return to Leeds for his first ever exhibition in his hometown. Now based in London with work showcased in Paris and New York, he’s loved for his witty narrative pieces, inspired by pulp fiction. They explore the nonsensical, so expect an eclectic showcase that features everything from vegan catering to scout camps.
Glen Baxter: Unhinged in Hunslet comes to Leeds Arts University, Vernon Street from Friday 1st March to 11th April 2019.
Celebrating 100 Years of Women in Engineering and Science
Feminist Archive North are celebrating women in science, engineering and technology with a two-day exhibition at Treasures of the Brotherton for International Women’s Day. 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Engineering Society and this collection celebrates its pioneers, as well as displaying the archive of Bradford’s UKRC, which was founded in 2004 to encourage female participation in STEM industries.
Celebrating 100 Years of Women in Engineering and Science comes to Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery in Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March 2019.
Fantastical Beasts Exhibition
Mythical creatures rule the roost at Temple Newsam in Fantastical Beasts. You can go on a ready-made trail around the estate and in the house to find their weird and wonderful monsters. Try to spot the gargoyles on the building, the gryphons in the furniture and the wyverns in the artwork, as well as a newly commissioned piece by award-winning sculptor Kate McGwire.
Fantastical Beasts Exhibition comes to Temple Newsam from Saturday 30th March to 3rd November 2019.
Club nights & DJs
From house favourites to funk & soul legends, get yourself down to Leeds’ clubs this March.
Wah x Metropolis
Head to Canal Mills for a night of bass music’s biggest DJs as Wah and Metropolis team up. They’ve bagged Darkzy to headline, best known for his chart hit ‘Gun Fingers VIP’, and he’ll be joined by a stellar line-up of supporting acts. Window Kid, DJ Gub and Bassboy are on the bill, as well as a special back-to-back set from Serum, Voltage and Bou & Inja.
Wah x Metropolis comes to Canal Mills on Saturday 2nd March 2019.
Hectik: A Decade On
Hectik has been one of Leeds’ most popular club nights for a decade now, and to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they’ve pulled out all the stops for a massive party. Ill Phil will headline, but that’s just the start, because Phil White, Audiodamage, Alex Davies, DJ Jordz and Scorpz will make this a memorable night too.
Hectik: A Decade On comes to Mint Warehouse on Saturday 9th March 2019.
Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club
The Wardrobe is the place to be for a night of groovy anthems this month. Craig Charles is bringing his legendary Funk & Soul Club back to Leeds for another all-nighter. Expect tunes that span the 60s to the 90s, as Charles dives deep into his box of records for a night of hip-shaking, foot-moving, toe-tapping classics.
Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club takes over The Wardrobe on Saturday 16th March 2019.
Dutch duo Detroit Swindle have been packing clubs across the world for 8 years now, but you can see them in the intimate surroundings of The HiFi Club in Leeds this month. Expect to hear the pair’s greatest tunes, from ‘The Wrap Around’ to ‘The Break Up’ and ‘Tamarindus Hollandicus’, as well as new cuts from themselves and their favourite artists.
Detroit Swindle take over The HiFi Club on Saturday 23rd March 2019.
Vocal 3rd Birthday
If you want to revel in the sound of club classics, March sees Vocal celebrate their third birthday with a huge shindig at The HiFi Club. They’re putting together a who’s who of local DJs to showcase the different styles of dance music that have made Leeds’ clubs a must-visit. Expect tunes from Graham Dixon, Mark Wilson and Phil White.
Vocal 3rd Birthday comes to The HiFi Club on Saturday 30th March 2019.
Families have plenty to look forward to this March, with theatre, workshops and a chance to see your favourite Disney characters.
After the huge worldwide success of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s next big hit with the kids is Zog. He’s a gigantic, eager-to-learn dragon who’s trying to win a gold star at Madam Dragon’s school. Luckily, he has Princess Pearl to help him as he prepares for a dual with Sir Gadabout the Great. This fantastical world will be brought to life on stage with a magical score from Johnny Flynn.
Zog comes to Leeds Town Hall on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March 2019.
The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant is one of Oscar Wilde’s most famous short stories and you can see it on the stage this March at Otley Courthouse. It follows a young boy called Connor who isn’t fazed by the host of ‘Keep Out’ signs that surround the giant’s estate. It was once a place where children could play before the giant became selfish and damned the whole town into an eternal winter – but Connor is determined to make a change.
The Selfish Giant comes to Otley Courthouse on Wednesday 20th March 2019.
Billy Shakes: Wonderboy! Workshop
This March, you can get hands on with drama at Leeds Central Library and introduce the little ones to the world of William Shakespeare. Theatre company Wrongsemble will be performing bits from their show Billy Shakes: Wonderboy!, before they hand out the ruffs and quills to explore the wonderful world of the Bard through a host of fun activities that both kids and adults can take part in.
Billy Shakes: Wonderboy! Workshop comes to Leeds Central Library on Sunday 24th March 2019.
Hansel and Gretel
Marge Miller’s adaptation of classic fairytale Hansel and Gretel is coming to Carriageworks Theatre this month. You can join the brother and sister duo as they’re sent into the forest to gather berries. When they get lost, they follow the fairy music to a gingerbread house full of sweet treats – but all is not as it seems. Can they escape the clutches of the evil witch?
Hansel and Gretel comes to Carriageworks Theatre from Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th March 2019.
The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice
You can see all your favourite Disney characters skating on ice in a colourful celebration of their magical lives at First Direct Arena. The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice welcomes everyone from Buzz and Woody to Anna and Elsa, as well as all the Disney Princesses. You can even learn the Mouse Bounce in the Fit to Dance pre-show.
The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice comes to First Direct Arena from Wednesday 27th to Sunday 31st March 2019.
There are loads of festivals to make the most of in March, whether you want art, films or political activism.
22nd International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair
The International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair returns to The Tetley for its annual weekender this March. You can check out a host of stalls chock full of books from renowned and up and coming artists. But that’s not all – there will be spotlight presentations and workshops on both days, including a keynote talk from Sumi Perera, an interdisciplinary artist who draws on her experience as a doctor and scientist.
22nd International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair comes to The Tetley on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd March 2019.
Yorkshire Dance presents its third Encounters Festival this March to celebrate women in dance. It will look at how dance contributes to cultural change, how feminist awareness impacts on dance-making and what it means to be a feminist dance maker in 2019. Check out their diverse programme of events, which ranges from Hannah Buckley’s performance of The Mountain and Other Tales of She Transformed to the kid-friendly Superheroes movement workshop.
Encounters Festival takes over Yorkshire Dance from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th March 2019.
Summat 2019: A Community Festival of Resistance
If you want to make a change in your local community, make a beeline for Summat 2019. It’s a triennial event that invites local people to discuss important issues. There will be the Footprint Co-Op Zine Fair, an art exhibition by dissident local artists and over 21 creative workshops. Not to mention a host of panel discussions that cover everything from Leeds Radical History to Decolonize Now.
Summat 2019: A Community Festival of Resistance comes to Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College on Saturday 9th March 2019.
Leeds Queer Film Festival 2019
The Leeds Queer Film Festival is back with its biggest programme to date. You can check out a packed line-up of feature length screenings, like Dirty Sexy Comics: The Uncensored Story of Gay Erotic Comix and pioneering Kenyan film Rafiki. There will also be a host of short films and a series of workshops that tackle topics like ASMR, Queer Love 2K19 and Hear Trans Voices.
Leeds Queer Film Festival 2019 takes over Live Art Bistro from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th March 2019.
Leeds Lit Fest 2019
The first ever Leeds Lit Fest takes place across the city over five days this month. It will showcase local writers, performers and artists as part of an eclectic programme that covers everything from talks to workshops. You can see a rare performance of Tony Harrison’s epic poem ‘V’ by Jonny Magnanti, hear from local author Anthony Clavane and join Ben Fogle for his Tales from the Wilderness.
Leeds Lit Fest 2019 takes over multiple venues across the city from Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th March 2019.
Best of the Rest
From markets and fairs to a popular TV show brought to life on stage, this is the best of the rest this March.
Sex Positive Arts Market
Sex doesn’t have to be a taboo, as you’ll find out with a trip to the Sex Positive Arts Market at Leeds University Union this month. Local sex positive artists will be setting up stalls in the Pyramid Canteen selling everything from jewellery to cushions and zines. Uni Boob Team and OnBeat will also be there hosting a series of workshops throughout the day.
Sex Positive Arts Market comes to Leeds University Union on Saturday 9th March 2019.
Northern Book Fair
Head to Hyde Park Book Club to discover the work of small press publications from across Northern England. It’s set up by Leeds Big Bookend who have curated a cracking line-up that will include the latest books from publishers like Peepal Tree Press, Half Moon Books and Wild Pressed Books.
Northern Book Fair takes over Hyde Park Book Club on Sunday 10th March 2019.
St Gemma’s Spring Fair
Help St Gemma’s Hospice continue their incredible work at the annual Spring Fair. It’s a fun day out for all the family, where you can check out 30 stalls with everything from jewellery and cosmetics to handmade gifts, homeware and local produce. Bringing the kids? They can have their faces painted, play games or try out the magical fairy door trail.
St Gemma’s Spring Fair comes to St Gemma’s Hospice on Saturday 16th March 2019.
Blue Planet II
Head to First Direct Arena to see Blue Planet II come to life on stage. Sir David Attenborough’s BAFTA Award-winning documentary is one of the most successful BBC TV shows of the 21st century and you can discover the mysteries of the earth’s oceans like never before. You’ll see a series of stunning video sequences from the show on a 200 square metre 4K Ultra HD LED screen, as a symphony orchestra perform the score live.
Blue Planet II takes over First Direct Arena on Tuesday 19th March 2019.
Armley Print Fest
The first ever Armley Print Fest takes over Leeds Industrial Museum to celebrate a little slice of local heritage. You can look forward to a host of activities throughout the day, from live printing demonstrations to a print fair, kid-friendly workshops and a screening of Pressing On: the Letterpress Film.
Armley Print Fest comes to Leeds Industrial Museum on Saturday 30th March 2019.