Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

What’s On This Weekend in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Here is everything that's going on in Leeds this weekend.

Mother Courage and All Her Children

If the weekend has caught you by surprise and you still don’t have plans, fear not, because we’ve rounded up what’s going on this weekend in Leeds.

There’s always something to do in Leeds, so if you find yourself at a loose end this weekend, or any other for that matter, just whack Leeds-List in your search bar and find our guide to what’s on. From the latest shows to club nights and one-off events, we’ve got it covered.

Friday 19th October 2018

Why not kick off your weekend with a trip to the theatre? You can check out the incredible life and career of Cilla Black in Cilla The Musical at Leeds Grand Theatre or visit Leeds Playhouse for Europe, a powerful show adapted from David Grieg’s story, set in the empty railway station of a nameless border town during the Balkan War. This is the last weekend of Red Ladder Theatre’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, which they’re marking with their own spin on Brecht’s timeless work, Mother Courage and Her Children at the Albion Electric Warehouse.

Elsewhere, you can enjoy a trio of innovative dance performances from Sandrine Monin, Michael Marquez and Robert North in Phoenix at Home at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, or take in an evening of light-hearted comedy as Neil Simon’s classic show The Sunshine Boys makes its way to Carriageworks Theatre. There are more laughs to be had at The HiFi Club, which hosts the Comedymania Mega Tour with Will E, Kevin J and Aurie Styla, and at City Varieties where Pete Firman shows off his hilarious magic. You can also head to Scratch Night, an evening of new performances at Open Source Arts, or visit Instituto Cervantes for a double-header – their Poetry Evening is back and they’re also hosting a free cinema screening of Sicixia.

The Lovely Eggs

For something a little different, go to First Direct Arena where renowned Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick brings his ‘Welcome to My World’ tour or you can visit The HiFi Club for the first Funzing Talks to take place in Leeds – this one focusses on Exploring World Conspiracy Theories. Fancy a less intense start to the weekend? Make a beeline for Drink and Draw at The Bowery for their Automatic Drawing class or head to Workshop Press Gallery to check out Garry Barker’s new exhibition False Starts.

There’s loads of live music too. Choose from two shows at the Brudenell – Lancaster lo-fi rockers The Lovely Eggs and Welsh multi-instrumentalist Novo Amor are both playing. Over at Belgrave Music Hall, Boston indie band Speedy Ortiz will show off new album ‘Twerp Verse’ as Liverpool rockers Red Rum Club headline Headrow House. There’s more indie tunes at The Library where Adore//Repel will put on a show, while Birmingham upstarts Riscas come to Hyde Park Book Club and Dutch rockers The Homesick make their way to Mabgate Bleach.


If you’re into heavier tunes, Reading alt-rockers InAir play Santiago, Wigan hard rock group Bigfoot take over The Key Club and legendary space rockers Hawkwind raise the roof at Leeds Town Hall. Goth City Festival’s centrepiece weekender Season of the Witch is a feast of dark tunes at Wharf Chambers, while the Lewis Hamilton Band brings the blues to The Duck and Drake. The ever-changing, eclectic Nine Beats Collective will make lush sounds in The Barn in Meanwood or you can enjoy a dose of classical music – the Opera North String Quartet are performing in Howard Assembly Room and Metropolis Live sees composer and pianist Dmytro Morykit perform the soundtrack to Fritz Lang’s pioneering 1927 film at Leeds College of Music.

Clubbers are in for a treat this weekend too. The HiFi Club is running a night dedicated to the music of The Beatles or you can enjoy exotic sounds at the Manteca Salsa Vinyl Party at The Wardrobe. Make a beeline for O2 Academy Leeds for the Tracksuit and Trance 90s Rave as Ultrabeat headline. Or head to Wire to check out Aussie house producer Mall Grab. Sticky Feet are celebrating seven years of parties with My Nu Leng and Canal Mills as Fractal marks five years with Peter Kurten & Sinecore at Beaver Works. Alternatively, get a dose of drum & bass at Fragmented as Hyoglifics, Objectiv and Sl8r come to The Old Red Bus Station or step into an Amazonian world as the Enchanted Forest takes over Church with Jaguar Skills on the decks.

Saturday 20th October 2018

Assembly House

Saturday is the perfect time to catch an exhibition and there are five new ones to check out. Art at Roundhay Park returns to The Mansion for their autumn showcase of local artists and Moving Here documents the stories of the Windrush Generation at Leeds City Museum. Want more? Head to Basement Arts Project to check out Desire and Alchemy, a collaborative exhibition between Michael Borkowsky and Emilia Telese, or you can visit Assembly House as they present Corn Starch Inside a Leather Pouch Makes The Sound of Snow, a solo showcase from Jack Otway. There’s a new exhibition at Village too – Northern Rivers is a photography show by Lola Paprocka & Pani Paul that documents their travels through Australia.

Want to get creative? You can learn How to Knit at Baa Ram Ewe, make Knitted Macrame Shoppers at The Bowery and try Autumn Wreath Making at Harewood House. There are two workshops taking place at Swarthmore Educational Centre – one on Needlework of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the other a Pottery Throw Down. Elsewhere, Leeds Print Workshop is hosting a Letterpress Taster Day and CarolAnn J Allan invites you to join them for an English Paper Piecing Workshop in her Rawdon studio.

The Tetley Art Workshops

The youngsters can get involved too – The Tetley’s Family Art Workshop will see you making Mystic Magic Cards or you can join the Young Masters Visual Arts School at Sunny Bank Mills. There’s loads of fun at HEART for their Apple Day, from community juicing to a family-friendly ceilidh, or you can enjoy an action-packed afternoon as Classic UK Pro Wrestling presents the Halloween Bash at St Chad’s Parish Church Centre.

If you’re looking for a more grown-up Saturday, you can go on a Leeds Tapestry Tour starting at Leeds Central Library, test your wits on a Haunted Evenings Ghost Tour around Thackray Medical Museum or practice your drive on An Afternoon with Nick Dougherty at Moor Allerton Golf Club. Prefer a few laughs? The Comedy Sessions returns to The HiFi Club with Chris Washington, Justin Moorhouse and Micky P Kerr, while Comedy at The Constitutional brings Daliso Chaponda, James Sherwood and Harriet Dyer to the Pudsey venue. Serial pun-slinger Gary Delaney is also in Leeds, as he takes his ‘Gagster’s Paradise’ tour to City Varieties.


Credit: Matt Spalding

There’s plenty of live music on Saturday too, including a huge show at O2 Academy Leeds as post-punk legends Editors show off sixth album ‘Violence’. The Brudenell is busy too as it hosts The Posies on their 30th-anniversary tour and HERFest, Britain’s first all-female music festival, featuring bands like Stealing Sheap, The Tuts and Dead Naked Hippies. Barnsley indie favourites The Sherlocks will play through debut album ‘Live For the Moment’ at Leeds University as folk group and Leeds College of Music alumni Huw Eddy & The Carnival make their way to Hyde Park Book Club.

Elsewhere, fast-rising Irish singer-songwriter Bry headlines Church and Brighton alt-rock group Hollow Hand takeover Headrow House. Fans of heavy rock can take in San Francisco punks Culture Abuse at The Key Club and Scottish metallers Neshiima at Temple of Boom. Prefer folk music? There’s a double-header from Ireland – Button and Bows make their way to Inkwell Arts and Slow Moving Chords take over Howard Assembly Room.

Orchestra of Opera North

Credit: Richard Moran

Bluegrass favourites Ragged Union are playing Seven Arts as The Petty Heartbreakers run through the classics at The Duck and Drake and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band take to the stage at Morley Town Hall. For classical music, the Concert for the Crypt takes place at St George’s Church to raise money for the homeless charity.

The city’s clubs are absolutely jam-packed too – Back to Basics returns to Church with the legendary Sasha on the decks, as Bondax takes over Canal Mills for the Recur all-nighter. There’s drum & bass aplenty at Mint Warehouse as Hospitality presents Danny Byrd, S.P.Y. and Logistics or you can delve into techno with Joy at Distrikt featuring Joey Beltram, Mike Humphries and Blue Amazon. Secret Maze returns to The Old Red Bus Station with Billy Nasty spinning tunes or you can check out ADMNTi and Laidlaw for Fifty Fifty’s latest Wire night. Finally, dance to classic funk, soul and disco at Panda Riot’s Zombieland party at The HiFi Club or re-live the best days of Britpop with Brighton Beach’s Anniversary Special at The Wardrobe.

Sunday 21st October 2018

Himalayan Fashions

How will you end your weekend in Leeds? There are two workshops to try – Open Source Arts is hosting the Intro to Aerial Day: Hoops and Silks and The Maven welcomes Pop-up Painting for Paint Like Picasso. There are two exhibitions closing up at Lotherton Hall as Mining Memories and Himalayan Fashion open for the final few days, and this is also your last chance to check out a bunch of exhibitions from this year’s Love Arts Festival, from Nigel Wood’s Touchpoints in St John’s Centre to Sandy Holden’s Stitch & Stuff at Crowd of Favours.

Fancy a Sunday with the family? Take the little ones along to Anything Could Happen, an immersive storytelling show at Seven Arts, or Monster Mess, a messy play morning with Boomchikkaboom at Revolución de Cuba. For a more grown-up day out, make a beeline for the Royal Armouries and the Leeds Pre-loved Vintage Kilo Sale or to Hyde Park Picture House for the screening of new film Salute followed by a panel discussion. LS6 Cafe are hosting their Retro Games Afternoon or you can spend a few hours in Le Chalet and enjoy a Tea Tasting.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Credit: Warwick Baker

To end your weekend with a few laughs, head to The Pit Comedy Club where the Super Trooper Improv Show is taking over. There’s a duo of drama to choose from too – Lands looks at a relationship on the brink of collapse using two performers, a mini trampoline and a 1,000 piece puzzle at The HUB, while Live Art Bistro are taking over the New Wortley Community Centre for the Big Sunday Gathering, a day of performances and discussion.

Meanwhile, musos can enjoy a gig. Aussie indie faves Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever take over Leeds University Union and Talking Heads icon David Byrne brings his ‘American Utopia’ tour to First Direct Arena. Popular Irish folk rockers Villagers return to Leeds at The Wardrobe while drone rock legends Suuns headline Brudenell Social Club, the same venue where pop singer Girli will continue to make waves. Goth City Festival finishes up with Aftermath at Santiago, local rock group Silver Wilson play Oporto and Aussie post-hardcore group Hands Like Houses make their way to The Key Club. There’s also grime tunes courtesy of Afrikan Boy at The HiFi Club and classical music from the Airedale Symphony Orchestra with the Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra at Leeds Town Hall.

Find out what’s on this weekend in Yorkshire…

Cover image copyright: Anthony Robling