Silence

1996. London. It’s Ewa’s birthday. Her daughter Anna is coming home from university with a secret to share but Maria has some news of her own. As wartime memories of Siberia resurface, old steps are retraced to uncover the secrets of the past and a Polish heritage that unites and divides them.

Nicola Werenowska’s funny and fascinating new play hurtles between Warsaw and London over two decades and three generations of a Polish/British family.

“Catch it if you can: this is a delicate and bold piece of work” (Damian Thompson, The Telegraph, 2013 on Nicola Werenoswka’s TU I TERAZ)

“Thoughtfully crafted, deeply absorbing and sensitively directed by Wiltshire Creative associate director Jo Newman” (The Stage on Hansel at Salisbury Playhouse, 2018)

A Mercury Theatre Colchester, Wiltshire Creative and Unity Theatre Liverpool Production.

Moll Flanders

Respected author Daniel Defoe is writing a new novel. Following the brilliant success of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel decides that his next book should be about a woman. But which woman will he choose?

Enter the notorious Moll Flanders, raised in Colchester as an orphan. Living a life of continu’d variety, Moll is twelve years a whore, five times a wife, twelve years a thief and eight years a felon in Virginia, before growing rich, living honestly and dying repentant. A colourful life to say the least.

A new and unfaithful adaptation by Nick Perry, reimagined by a cast of terrific actor musicians, and full of 18th century bawdiness! Join Moll as she takes Daniel on the ride of a lifetime – her lifetime.

Directed by Ryan McBryde, who also recently directed Pieces Of String:

“Rendered with immense clarity in director Ryan McBryde’s polished, moving production”

Searching for the Heart of Leeds

In a collision of music, movement, and the words of over 200 Leeds residents, two lost Loiners search for the one thing that makes Leeds Leeds.

The Playhouse’s very own Community Company, made up of 60 talented individuals onstage and off, will perform real stories gathered from our brilliant city and share their take on where to find the heart of Leeds.

Searching for the Heart of Leeds is choreographed by the internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre, features a live community band and hosts community groups from across the city. From the award-winning director Alexander Ferris and written by BAFTA-nominated Mark Catley.

Talking Heads

Six of Alan Bennett’s iconic monologues are presented at the Playhouse in a celebration of one of Leeds’ best-loved playwrights. Graham, Peggy & Muriel and Susan, Doris & Irene are standalone events; audiences can enjoy one or both, and in any order. An iconic collection of witty, poignant and insightful reflections,Talking Heads is the uplifting and heart-warming finale to the current season on our Courtyard stage.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk promises all the laughter, sparkle and excitement you’ve come to expect from the seasonal show that just keeps breaking box office records!

When Jack Trott and his family find themselves down on their luck, Jack’s mother sends her poor son to market to sell their beloved cow ‘Daisy’, but when she learns that he’s exchanged the cow for a few measly beans, she’s furious and throws them out into the garden to rot.

Little does she know that those beans are magical, and when the family awake next morning and find a great beanstalk soaring high into the sky, their lives will never be the same again, for the land is ruled over by a terrifying Giant who lives in a castle high up in the clouds and, being an adventurous lad, Jack vows to climb the beanstalk and face their Fi, Fi, Foe.

Will Jack make his fortune? Will he make his Mum proud of him again? And will the family ever be reunited with poor Daisy? Find out when you join Jack and friends for ‘a tale as magic as beans’ in our sky-high Mercury pantomime.

Starring panto favourites Antony Stuart-Hicks, Dale Superville and Carli Norris (Nurse Nellie, Muddles and the Enchantress in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and packed full of music and dancing, Jack and the Beanstalk promises to be a glittering Christmas treat for the whole family to enjoy!

Last year’s Mercury panto was nominated for no less than five Great British Panto Awards, including Best Pantomime, Best Script and Best Dame, so don’t miss out this year!

Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth

England’s green and pleasant land.

St George’s Day. It’s the day of the Flintlock Fair and the day Kennet and Avon Council want to see the back of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron for good. The new estate want the maverick local boy evicted, but Johnny has other plans.

At his ramshackle caravan kingdom, the charismatic hellraiser entertains his band of ‘undesirable’ scallywags with outlandish tales, unbelievable antics and an ample supply of booze and drugs. Infamous for holding the most riotous parties this side of the Wiltshire border, Johnny is a hero to many but a villain to others. Pursued by the authorities, threatened by the local thug and reprimanded by his ex, Johnny is not a man to be beaten down.

Inciting his own special brew of anarchy, Johnny fights against the hypocrisy of modern suburban life and embodies the spirit of England’s legendary giants of myth. A raucous, earthy contemporary classic, Jerusalem paints a rebellious alternative vision of the idyllic English countryside.

Following enormous success in the West End and Broadway, Jez Butterworth’s startling, multi award-winning play is brought to life in its first major revival since its London premiere.

This production contains especially strong language throughout. Age guidance 16 and upwards. Parental discretion advised.

‘A wonderful, rollicking, dark comedy about contemporary life in rural England’ Financial Times

‘Fantastic, shocking and fresh’ Daily Mail
Jerusalem in the West End, 2011.

Miss Littlewood | Sam Kenyon

Joan Littlewood was the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre. Born into poverty, she raged her way to have a lasting influence on British culture. Anti-establishment, communist, visionary, rude and glorious, Joan fired the imagination of a generation. Her unique Theatre Workshop was responsible for a raft of successes including Oh What A Lovely War!, and breathed new life into the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

This new musical of Joan’s life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.

The Duchess of Malfi | John Webster

In an attempt to prevent the fiercely independent Duchess from marrying the man she loves, her corrupt brothers go on a disturbing quest to destroy her.

Remarkable for its inventive and grotesque violence, yet full of dark humour, this violent revenge tragedy asks how anyone can survive in a world where masculinity has become toxic.

In 2016, Director Maria Aberg’s stylish modern dress production of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus received rave reviews and transferred to London’s Barbican in the winter. The Daily Telegraph described it as ‘pacy, eerie and full of trickery’ while The Times called it ‘soul-scouring theatre’. We are excited to welcome Maria back to tackle this gory tale of revenge in her own distinct style.

The Merry Wives of Windsor | William Shakespeare

Down on his luck in the suburbs, John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men. Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and over-inflated egos. For a fat Englishman, a Welshman and a Frenchman, the only way is Windsor…

David Troughton returns to the Company as John Falstaff, following his recent title role in Titus Andronicus and Gloucester in King Lear.

The Merry Wives of Windsor will be broadcast live to cinemas on 12 September 2018.

Romeo and Juliet | William Shakespeare

What if your first true love was someone you’d been told you must hate?

Set in a world very like our own, this Romeo and Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents. The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heartbreaking consequences.

Romeo and Juliet will be broadcast live to cinemas on 18 July 2018.