It’s just over a year since Leeds Heritage Theatres’ three venues were forced to close their doors because of the pandemic, the company announces an exciting programme of new shows and screenings for May - and looks back on its most challenging year to date.
Both Leeds Grand Theatre and City Varieties Music Hall hope to raise their curtains and welcome audiences back on the date highlighted by the government’s roadmap as being safe to open with Covid-safety measures in place (plus any new rules). It is hoped that by Monday 21 June, the theatres will be able to operate as ‘close to normal as possible’. Hyde Park Picture House remains closed as work begins on the much-anticipated Picture House Project - a major development that will see the cinema undergo essential conservation work, alongside the creation of new, accessible facilities.
Chris Blythe, CEO said; “Whilst programming continues to be a challenge and our reopening plans remain in the hands of the government and the four key ‘tests’ that must be met before easing the societal pressures of lockdown, we are positively working towards mid-May, when we will do everything in our power to raise the curtains, raise the roofs and raise the mood of the people of Leeds and wider region.”
Resident company, Northern Ballet, will launch The Grand’s new season with David Nixon’s reimagining of the classic Swan Lake - they will follow this in November with Merlin, originally set to run over Christmas 2020 as part of their 50th year anniversary celebrations. Fellow residents, Opera North, will also return in the autumn with a season of work yet to be announced. And whilst some of the blockbuster musicals from this year, including The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables, have had to be moved to 2022, West End hits SIX and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will run alongside newly announced Priscilla Queen of the Desert and My Best Friend’s Wedding (starring Alexandre Burke) to name a few. The full listing can be found at www.leedsheritagetheatres.com.
At The Varieties, the usual stellar line-up of live comedy, music and variety will run alongside an exciting new film programme presented in collaboration with the Picture House as part of its On The Road line-up.