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The Ultimate Leeds Theatre Guide

· Emma Cooke · Culture

From intriguing plays to show-stopping opera, find out what’s on in Leeds’ theatres this month.

Grease The Musical

Want to know what the Leeds theatre scene has to offer in this month? From family-friendly fun to unique productions, there’s something for everyone.

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

The ones everyone’s talking about

Credit: The Other Richard

Cool, unique and absolutely unmissable – there’s a reason why these productions have people talking.

Grease

Smash-hit musical Grease is taking over Leeds Grand Theatre, starring none other than Peter Andre. The Aussie legend will play Teen Angel in select shows during the iconic ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ scene. It’s a standout part of the show that follows the unlikely romance of Danny and Sandy – a charismatic bad boy and typical girl-next-door. They’ll navigate their way through teenage life during one hot summer, complete with a timeless soundtrack that features hits like ‘Summer Nights’ and ‘Grease Lightnin’. You can get tickets for just £19.78 with our fantastic offer.

Grease comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Wednesday 19th June to Saturday 20th July 2019.

Boxes

Brother and sister Tonia and TJ have always fitted nicely into their stereotypical boxes, but the death of their father turns everything on its head. Based on a true story, Boxes explores race, gender and urban life in post-modern Britain, giving a platform to rarely-heard voices. It’s a unique piece of theatre that sheds light on the complications of family heritage in the UK today.

Boxes comes to Seven Arts on Friday 26th July 2019.

The Lady Vanishes

The acclaimed Alfred Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes will be reimagined as a brand new stage adaption this month. The charismatic Iris is bewildered when her travelling companion Miss Foy vanishes. With musician Max by her side, what will she uncover about her mysterious disappearance? Emmy Award-winning Juliet Mills and Dynasty’s Maxwell Caulfield lead the star-studded cast through this classic murder mystery.

The Lady Vanishes comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 22nd July to Saturday 27th July 2019.

Rock of Ages

If you want to know what’s on for musical lovers, you can’t miss West End smash hit Rock of Ages. Head to Leeds Grand Theatre for an LA love story soundtracked by the very best of 80s rock & roll. It’s sold out theatres around the world and you’ll see why as Strictly’s Kevin Clifton stars as the hopeless Stacee Jaxx. Will he and Constance let the debauchery of the Bourbon Club stand in their way?

Rock of Ages comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 29th July to Saturday 3rd August 2019.

Innovative theatre productions

The Haunting of Blaine

Fancy something a little bit different this month? You’ll find plenty of options in Leeds’ theatres.

The Haunting of Blaine

If you want to watch a thriller that will leave you trembling in your seats, the award-winning The Haunting of Blaine will be right up your street at Carriageworks. Set in the 1950s, you’ll join parapsychologist Doctor Roy Earle as he seeks to disprove all things superstitious at Blaine Manor, a house famous for its haunted history. But what will he discover once he steps inside?

The Haunting of Blaine comes to Carriageworks on Saturday 6th July 2019.

Lullabies For Parents

This awe-inspiring show is made by parents, for parents, and is soundtracked by the album from musician and dad Ric Neale. It’s a show inspired by conversations with mums and dads about the ups and downs of parenthood. Expect moving songs, painfully honest words and emotive visuals to take you through.

Lullabies For Parents comes to Seven Arts on Tuesday 9th July 2019.

Murder Inc.

Murder Inc. is an improv comedy with a difference – it’s an interactive crime story. The cast will ask you for suggestions, then weave a tale before your very eyes. You can even win a prize if you figure out ‘whodunnit’. It has a string of sold-out Manchester shows under its belt, and now’s your chance to catch it right here in Leeds.

Murder Inc. comes to Seven Arts on Wednesday 10th July 2019.

Slung Low Shorts

Slung Low Shorts is back and bigger than ever. You can look forward to another jam-packed show that features seven distinctly different plays. If it’s variety you’re looking for, it’s the best in Leeds, as they delve into everything from cloning to the Windrush generation, troubled teens and the spirit world, in one action-packed evening at The Holbeck.

Slung Low Shorts comes to The Holbeck on Friday 19th July 2019.

Unmissable music and dance

Expressions

Credit: Brian Slater

Dance and opera fans have a quartet of incredible shows to look forward to in Leeds this month.

Future Now

See the result of three years of intensive study in one explosive performance at The Riley Theatre this month. The Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s graduates will perform pieces choreographed by the renowned Antonia Grove, Vinicius Salles and Alleyne Dance, so you can expect a fusion of cultures from across the world as the best up and coming talent in the North take to the stage.

Future Now comes to The Riley Theatre from Wednesday 3rd July to Saturday 6th July 2019.

Expressions 2019

Expressions is back for its sixth year to showcase a number of pieces by the city’s best inclusive dance groups featuring talented disabled dancers. See pieces by the likes of Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet and TIN Arts, each with their own choreography. It’s one of the only shows of its kind in Leeds, so expect something extraordinary.

Expressions 2019 comes to The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on Wednesday 10th July and Thursday 11th July 2019.

A Journey Through Time

For a truly unique piece of theatre, don’t miss A Journey Through Time, an intergenerational performance that explores Kirkstall’s past, present and future. There’ll be actors old and young from groups like Vintage Youth Club and LifeLines, plus music from Leeds’ own Declan Vink in the splendour of Kirkstall Abbey. You can even catch a family-friendly dance workshop at 1pm before the main show.

A Journey Through Time comes to Kirkstall Abbey from Saturday 20th July and Sunday 21st July 2019.

Family-friendly theatre

Great Expectations

Credit: Chapterhouse Theatre Company

Treat the family to a day out at the theatre in Leeds this month, with a duo of must-see shows to choose from.

Beastly Monsters and Monstrous Beasts

The courageous Alice Quatermain is a highly-skilled monster hunter, and she’ll be sharing her experiences from the Edwardian era in a special open-air show. We’re talking ginormous beasts and even deadly dinosaurs brought to life by her jaw-dropping tales. This one-woman show will take place in the incredible setting of Kirkstall Abbey, making it one of the coolest family shows in Leeds.

Beastly Monsters and Monstrous Beasts comes to Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday 6th July 2019.

Die Fledermaus (The Bat)

This bitesize opera will showcase Dr Falke’s revenge on his devilish friend Eisenstein during a night of utter chaos. Expect shenanigans typical of the roaring 1920s, like practical jokes, copious amounts of champagne and impressive dance moves, all rolled up into one eventful evening. The three act operetta will be recreated by the award-winning Leeds Youth Opera.

Die Fledermaus comes to Carriageworks Theatre from Wednesday 10th July to Saturday 13th July 2019.

Pride and Prejudice Outdoor Theatre

Step back in time to see Jane Austen’s novel come to life in a special open air theatre production. It will take place at the fitting location of Harewood House, one of Leeds’ grandest stately homes. Set in the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the tumultuous romantic tale of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, which has its ups and downs. Remember your picnic blankets, folding chairs and blankets.

Pride and Prejudice Outdoor Theatre comes to Harewood House on Saturday 13th July 2019.

Cover image credit: Manuel Harlan