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🗞️ March Best Shows To See in Leeds

🗞️ March Best Shows To See in Leeds

Words by
Stan Graham

March comes in like a lion but goes out like a lamb. That is a saying which pertains to the weather, but could easily apply to this month’s theatrical offerings.

At the Grand Theatre, we have a selection of lionesses with Kick Ass Theatre Productions continuing their Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World which started on 28th February. It tells the stories of Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, Mary Seacole and Emmeline Pankhurst, among others. It is suitable for audiences of six-years and upwards so the fantastically great women of the future can learn from the pioneers. It continues until 3rd March.

Should bears be more your thing then 1st to 3rd March sees We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. This is for patrons of three and up and is based on the picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Ear defenders might be in order for those of a sensitive disposition, i.e. adults! It is performed at various times during the mornings and afternoons.

We begin to move into lamb mode on 8th March when Northern Ballet Perform Romeo and Juliet. It has been adapted by Christopher Gable and Massimo Moricone, with the beautiful score by Prokofiev played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia. It runs until 16th March with a couple of supplementary events on 14th; an Over 55s Workshop and Northern Ballet Revealed.

Should the weather buck up beyond our wildest dreams from 19th to 23rd March, we can go Under The Boardwalk with the smash musical The Drifters Girl. It tells the story of the Drifters and the woman who made them, no, not a groupie – behave! Don’t forget to Save The Last Dance For Me.

Finally, between 26th and 30th March we really get into lamb country with Legally Blonde, The Musical, presented by Leeds Amateur Operatic Society, The Musical Theatre Group. It deals with stereotypes, snobbery and scandal, so a few black sheep thrown into the mix, or even ginger ones like some I saw in Scotland where they had been dyed by the farmer for identification purposes should they be rustled!

Romeo and Juliet at Northern Ballet Romeo and Juliet at Northern Ballet
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at Grand Theatre Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at Grand Theatre
The Drifter Girl at Grand Theatre The Drifter Girl at Grand Theatre

Leeds Playhouse sees the return of their production of Macbeth, or The Scottish Play as the more superstitious luvvies call it. And you can stop whistling in the corridors and wishing each other good luck as well. It runs from 5th to 23rd March at The Quarry.

For something a little less gory, hopefully, but you never know with kids’ parties, Spot’s Birthday Party is being held during the day on 5th and 6th March for those over 2 years-old. I thought it was only the reigning monarch who had two birthdays.

On 7th and 8th March, the legend that is David Suchet presents Poirot and More: A Retrospective. He will reveal stories of his career which has spanned five decades. There are matinees and evening shows on both days, so no excuses to miss this insight into the life of one of our best-loved actors.

7th to 9th March sees FlawBored (love it!) present It’s A Mother**king Pleasure. The company is a disability-led theatre company who examine what would happen if they were out to make as much money as possible from the guilt of non-disabled, anxious people (like us)? They could have started by charging more than the fifteen quid for a ticket and thrown in a couple of matinees – you’re welcome. Still can’t work out what the asterisks are masking.

Macbeth at Leeds Playhouse Macbeth at Leeds Playhouse
Spots Birthday at Leeds Playhouse Spots Birthday at Leeds Playhouse
Poirot and More: A Retrospective at Leeds Playhouse Poirot and More: A Retrospective at Leeds Playhouse

12th March is the date for the first in the Leeds Trinity University Social Justice Lectures, which is delivered by their Head of Access, Participation and Outcomes, Andi Brierley. He will explore the science behind toxic stress and explain how he found love for self and others whilst in custody, enabling him to bounce back from social exclusion, childhood addiction and youth incarceration. Admission is free but pre-booking is required.

For those who are too young for Macbeth but want to find out more about the Bard of Stratford, The Rubbish Shakespeare Company present Romeo and Juliet, no ballet dancing this time, and rather than being for over 55s this is ‘three idiots’ performing the eponymous play using only a box of tatty wigs, a worn floral dress and a burst airbed found near the bins, for the over 6s! It runs at various times of the day between 13th and 16th March.

If you like your entertainment to be more on the gruesome side, and Macbeth didn’t sate your appetite, then you need to try Unhomely: Three Tales of Terror, from 21st to 23rd March. There are stories of murder, witchcraft and childhood monsters, each set in a different house. As well as storytelling there is an original score and fully integrated British Sign Language so no one misses out on the scares.

Speaking of British Sign Language, Self-Raising, Jenny Sealey, the Artistic Director of Graeae, who has spent a lifetime championing stories by deaf and disabled artists, tells the tale of her own past growing up in a family with secrets. As you would expect, the shows, on 22nd and 23rd March, are BSL interpreted.

On 26th and 27th March we have a musical, a little too close for comfort at the moment, in Oh! What A lovely War. It satirises the futility of armed conflict being set in the First World War where hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in the repeated capture and recapture of a few hundred yards of territory. Its musical base is the music hall songs and hymns of the day, given alternative lyrics by the soldiers on the front line. A classic.

The month ends on 30th March with Rude Science presented by CBBC’s Stefan Gates who introduces people, aged six and over, to the wonders of science. Expect the world’s loudest f*rt machine, I understand that one, pee-powered fireworks and snot cocktails, amongst other refined delights. There are two performances; one at 12.30pm and the other at 3.30pm.

Oh! What a Lovely War at Leeds Playhouse Oh! What a Lovely War at Leeds Playhouse
Self-Raising at Leeds Playhouse Self-Raising at Leeds Playhouse
Unhomely: Three Tales of Terror at Leeds Playhouse Unhomely: Three Tales of Terror at Leeds Playhouse

March sees a couple of Theatre and Drama events at Carriageworks: Wild Visions, Untamed Myth, on 8th and Welcome to Thebes from 27th to 29th.

The first is a double helping of ancient mythology in celebration of International Women’s Day 2024. It has been created and will be performed by Katy Cawkwell and Lucy Lill, telling the stories of the goddess Artemis and the seer Kassandra who was cursed with never being believed. Welcome to my world!

Sticking with mythology, the second is presented by students of Leeds Conservatoire and is a modern-day setting by Moria Buffini, of the story of Eurydice, a newly-elected president who promises peace and stability even though faced with political unrest and a struggle for power.

I would place a bet on March going out like a lamb but I have given up gambolling!

Wild Visions: Untamed Myth at Carriageworks Wild Visions: Untamed Myth at Carriageworks
Welcome to Thebes at Carriageworks Welcome to Thebes at Carriageworks


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