Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

The Ultimate Leeds Theatre Guide

· Andrew Emery · Culture

Find out what’s on in the city’s theatres this month.

Dracula The Untold Story

Want to know what the Leeds theatre scene has to offer in October? From comedy improv to classic opera, there’s something for everyone.

Deciding which Leeds theatre to go to in October won’t be easy, because this month is packed to bursting with opera, musicals and family-friendly performances. So before you buy your tickets, let us tell you what’s on at Leeds’ most legendary and little-known theatres. Don’t forget to come back regularly for even more ideas, because we’ll be updating this guide every month.

Dracula The Untold Story

Dracula: The Untold Story. Imitating the Dog are presenting Dracula like you’ve never seen it before at Leeds Playhouse until Saturday 9th October 2021. Performed as a live graphic novel with a thrilling use of technology, it’s centred around the book’s heroine, Mina Harker, who admits to murder and then reveals the ‘untold true story’ of Dracula.

Carmen. Opera North bring their stirring, steamy and seductive production of Carmen to Leeds Grand Theatre from Saturday 2nd to Thursday 28th October 2021. Georges Bizet’s flamenco-inspired music is used to emotional effect in this tale of a woman doing what she can to do survive in harsh times. Passionate and poignant.

Look At Me Don’t Look At Me. A muse for many Pre-Raphaelite artists, including her husband Rossetti, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Siddall was an important painter and poet herself. RashDash’s two-hander uses cabaret to explore her life, the prejudice she faced and the extraordinary power of art. Catch it at The Holbeck on Saturday 2nd October 2021.

Austentatious. You won’t know quite what to expect from Austentatious, where a handful of comedians improvise a play based on a ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel that you, the audience, get to name. A huge hit in Edinburgh, this promises to be fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants gold at City Varieties on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October 2021.

Catch 22. Katie O’Brian’s one-woman show is a tour-de-force that may well leave you laughing, gasping or even crying. Head to The Holbeck on Saturday 9th October 2021 and prepare yourself for an unflinchingly honest approach to drinking, addiction, recovery and self-discovery.

Bernstein Double Bill. Immerse yourself in the musical wonder of Leonard Bernstein when Opera North present a double bill of his works from Saturday 16th to Saturday 30th October 2021 at Leeds Grand Theatre. Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Trouble in Tahiti bring together classic tunes, dance and drama that blows Strictly out of the water.

Jitney. Written by August Wilson, whose works have been turned into films such as Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Jitney is a modern classic that looks at race, gender and war in 1970’s Pittsburgh. Catch it at Leeds Playhouse’s Courtyard Theatre from Saturday 16th October to Saturday 6th November 2021.

The Princess and the Pea. The perfect family day out, Tutti Frutti Productions’ fun take on the classic children’s story The Princess and the Pea is a fun hour-long show in Leeds Playhouse’s Bramall Rock Void. Vivid costumes, songs and lots of silly humour make this one the kids won’t want to miss on Saturday 16th October 2021.

My White Best Friend – North. A concept created by Rachel De-Lahay, this evening will see personal letters written by people from the north read live by actors. Race is the key issue here, but there are also important insights into friendship and honesty. It takes place on Friday 22nd October 2021 at The Holbeck.

Northern Ballet Pinocchio

12 Last Songs. A true one-off event, 12 Last Songs is a piece of durational theatre that will last for 12 hours on Saturday 23rd October 2021 at Leeds Playhouse. It’s presented by Quarantine, and is a thought-provoking take on modern life and the patterns of work. Audiences can drop in as and when they please on a ‘pay what you can’ basis.

Pinocchio. Northern Ballet’s kid-friendly shows are a fantastic way to introduce your children to theatre and live ballet. They’re presenting the timeless classic Pinocchio at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre – grab a ticket from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th October 2021 for a short performance about the puppet who wants to be a real boy.

Planet Lol. Step into The Holbeck’s Concert Room on Saturday 30th October 2021 for an environmental tale with a real difference. This female-led sci-fi story explores ecological catastrophe on a planet made of gold, with two actors taking on multiple parts. A truly refreshing and original take on the climate crisis.

Cover image credit: Ed Waring.