West Yorkshire Playhouse changes its name to Leeds Playhouse

Artist impression. Leeds Playhouse by Page Park

West Yorkshire Playhouse has today announced that it will officially change its name to Leeds Playhousemarking a major new chapter in the theatre’s 50 year history, embracing its role at the heart of the cultural life in the Leeds City Region, and echoing the original name of the Playhouse which first opened in 1970.

The Playhouse’s renaming comes at a key time for the organisation, as it embarks on a transformative capital redevelopment project resulting in a striking new city-facing entrance; improved access into and around the building; enhanced financial and environmental sustainability; and the opening of the Bramall Rock Void, a new third performance space within the foundations of the theatre.


Artist impression. Leeds Playhouse by Page Park


Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director, James Brining, said:

“The Playhouse has been, and will continue to be, a theatre for everyone, a philosophy which was written into the DNA of the organisation over 50 years ago by the theatre’s founding members. Our audiences, whether they see productions on stage, participate in creative activities, or simply use our café for the free Wi-Fi, all have a sense of ownership over the theatre, and we are genuinely proud to place their stories at the heart of our work.

  We remain as committed as we have always been to the audiences and communities who use this theatre. We love West Yorkshire, and for those familiar with the organisation we’re the same theatre in the same location we have been since moving to Quarry Hill in 1990. Changing our name to Leeds Playhouse is a progressive step forward for the organisation, reflecting and acknowledging our rich and fruitful history.

 Nationally, the name change locates us geographically in Leeds, a contemporary, dynamic and ambitious city striving for excellence and putting culture at the heart of its future growth. We pride ourselves on our pioneering creative engagement work, our Furnace activity of artistic development and a programme which produces world-class theatre of all scales, putting Leeds and Yorkshire on the map. We can’t wait to welcome audiences old and new to the Pop-Up theatre on the existing Playhouse site which we’re creating whilst our main spaces are undergoing refurbishment, as well as back into the main building once it’s ready to receive them.”


Robin Hawkes, Rebecca Bletcher, Terry Bramall, Liz Bramall and James Brining in the Bramall Rock Void. Photo by Anthony Robling


The Executive Board of Leeds City Council will meet on June 27 to approve the £15.8m development project. Of that £15.8m, just under £800k is still needed. To date the project has secured significant financial support from Arts Council England and Leeds City Council alongside major donations from The Liz & Terry Bramall Foundation, Principal Capital Partners Irwin Mitchell, SOYO Leeds and Moda as well as the Garfield Weston and Foyle Foundations, in addition to a contribution from the Playhouse’s own resources. A public fundraising campaign has been launched today to help achieve the final 7% of the target.



From September the Leeds Playhouse will present its 2018/19 Pop-Up season, which will take place in a temporary space built in a workshop on the existing Playhouse site, and in venues across the city and the wider Leeds City Region.

The season will feature a broad range of modern classics, contemporary revivals and new commissions, and will see a new ensemble company of Northern actors join the Leeds Playhouse for the redevelopment year to perform many of the productions in the season.

The ensemble includes Tessa Parr, Robert Pickavance, Jo Mousley, Elexi Walker, Susan Twist, Joseph Alessi, Darren Kuppan, Lladel Bryant, Simona Bitmate and Dan Parr.


Tickets for Leeds Playhouse’s Pop-Up season go on general sale on Monday 25 June.

For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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