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Theatres of dreams: June’s best acts to catch

Theatres of dreams: June’s best acts to catch

Words by
Stan Graham

Theatres of Dreams is back and bursting with HUGE show previews for the month of June, all written by our theatre man in the know, Stan Graham. 

In the words of the song from the musical Carousel, June is bustin’ out all over, and here are the blockbustin’ shows in Leeds this month.

Beginning at Leeds Playhouse we have three productions which began in May but are crossing the calendar. I find it really inconsiderate of entertainment establishments who don’t have the courtesy to start their shows on the first of the month and end them on the final day, the Grand is just as big a culprit.

Having said that, I will forgive A Passionate Woman anything, probably the cause of my downfall, as it is by the late Kay Mellor and runs until 10th June. The Beekeeper of Aleppo continues at The Quarry until 3rd. Football Freddie ends on the same day, but fear not, should you be unable to get to the Playhouse, as it then goes on a tour of community venues from 5th  – 17th. The stops are: 5th Holbeck, 6th Seacroft, 7th Harehills, 8th Kirkstall, 9th Gipton, 13th Armley, 14th Beeston, 15th Temple Newsam, 16th Burmantofts and Richmond Hill and 17th Middleton. Makes Elton’s farewell tour look like a one-nighter.

For details of the above shows, please see my May Preview.

Speaking of one-nighters, there is one on 6th June which will appeal to all tv binge watchers as it is a performance by Spike (Brendan Murphy) of the entire 144 (gross!) episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You won’t need your sleeping bag and food basket as the running time is just under two hours. It is called Buffy Revamped, clever.

Another single performance occurs on 10th June with Rush, a celebration of all things Jamaican, through the medium of reggae. You will have to rely on returns, however, as it has already sold out.

There is another party lasting from 13th – 17th June, but this time of the family variety, albeit one with pent up feelings and emotions which surface when they are gathered together to say Happy Birthday Sunita. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of laughs as well.

The June programme ends on 17th (they have taken my opening comment to heart already – thanks!) with a glimpse into the future called Astray. It is a one-off performance by over 70 young actors who have also created the piece which tells the tale of a school where all of the teachers have suddenly disappeared and the students are left to run the place themselves. A sort of Lord of the Flies meets Waterloo Road.

With one giant leap we arrive at Leeds Grand Theatre where Opera North have two overlapping productions, both of which began last month and so, once again, please refer back to the May preview for details. They are The Pearl Fishers, which runs until 2nd June and Requiem, ending on 4th.

The old lady of Briggate is full of music this month because after the opera we have a full house of musicals beginning with Dirty Dancing from 6th – 10th. It is the stage version of the hugely successful film, so get along and have The Time of Your Life.

Next up, 12th – 17th, is another movie-inspired show, The Bodyguard starring Pussycat Doll, Melody Thornton (evening performances only) and Ayden Callaghan. With such stellar talent on stage I am sure that they will not require any assistance from the audience in the performance of the songs, so kindly keep it buttoned.

19th – 24th sees Nigel Pivaro star in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments. You won’t leave the theatre Uptight, you can take that as a promise from Mr Pitiful.

There’s always one who makes a liar out of me, and this month it is Frankie Boyle, who will be staging a one-night stand of his comedy tour Lap of Shame on 25th. Cheers, mate!

Finally, from 27th June – 1st July (they just had to do it, didn’t they) it is the iconic Rocky Horror Show which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Expect the costumes worn by the audience to outshine those on stage, I have already put my Basque in the laundry and will be stocking up on, well, stockings!

Whatever you decide to see this month, enjoy, and should you go to the final show on the list I am sure that you will find June really is bustin’ out all over.



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