A MULTI-CULTURAL FAMILY: A new Yorkshire theatre production explores cross-cultural families

A MULTI-CULTURAL FAMILY: A new Yorkshire theatre production explores cross-cultural families

At Yorkshire Families we want to represent ALL families who live or want to experience the region regardless of background and any barriers whether it cultural or financial etc. Our founder Sophie Mei Lan aka Mama Mei comes from her own unique background which has been/is full of lots of challenges but with a passion for the county! So we’re excited to see that there’s a new theatre production exploring cross-cultural families coming to Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Missing People by Pinter Prize-winning playwright Brad Birch explores the similarities and mistranslations of a Japanese and British family thrown together by a cross-cultural marriage. This is the first co-production between Leeds Playhouse and Kani Public Arts Center Japan, opening in Leeds from 12-21 March, following its Japanese debut at the New National Theatre in Tokyo and at Kani Public Arts Center. 

Missing People is co-directed by Leeds PlayhouseAssociate Artist Mark Rosenblatt and Kani Public Arts Center Associate Director Nobuhiro Nishikawa. The production is the centrepiece of a creative relationship shaped over two decades, sharing working practices for staff and artists across cultures and offering an insight into each other’s sector-leading organisations.

Rehearsal images show British actors Ishia Bennison (Romeo And Juliet, Royal Shakespeare Company) and Simon Darwen (Skellig, Nottingham Playhouse) alongside Japanese actors Susan Hingley, Hiroki Tanaka, Yutaka Oda, Yuri Eikawa and Natsumi Nanase.

This new play focuses on a multi-cultural family who are not as serene as they first appear. Sakiko, a Japanese woman, and her English fiancé Dan have returned to her hometown of Kani, a commuter town near Nagoya, to introduce Dan and his mother Linda to her parents so they can plan their wedding. However, under the calm surface is a family in crisis, struggling with the loss of Sakiko’s brother. As she seeks the truth about her brother, Sakiko is forced to confront her own past, her own ‘disappearance’ to live in the UK, and where her own choices have led her.

The Missing People creative team includes Rumi Matsui, a Tokyo-based set designer and scenographer; Japanese artist Rie Nishihara, who has designed the costumes; lighting designer Elliot Griggs; sound designer Matt Padden; movement by Sachi Kimura; script translator Keiko Tsuneda;and translator in the room Mikiyo Usui.    

The production is part of a series of official public events that make up the Japan Season of Culture, which aims to build public support ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Tokyo 2020 Cultural Olympiad was originally launched in 2017 with a ceremony in the city’s Nihonbashi district featuring performances fusing traditional arts with modern technology.  

Missing People is supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Missing People, Courtyard Theatre, Leeds Playhouse

12 – 21 March, Press Night Mon 16 March, 7.45pm

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online leedsplayhouse.org.uk

FREE FAMILY DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: What’s on this Half-term School Holidays for families?

FREE FAMILY DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE: What’s on this Half-term School Holidays for families?

School Holidays can be a daunting time for families throughout Yorkshire when it comes to finding out what’s on for the family on a budget. You suddenly have lots more meals to make, activities to pay for and time you want to enjoy.

So we at Yorkshire Families wanted to do a round-up of some of the best free days out in Yorkshire to keep the school holidays as cheap and affordable as possible.

And most of all we want your whole family to enjoy half-term as much as possible (sorry we can’t promise no tantrums or grumpy moments, but we’re only human and as Yorkshire folk we like to do things on a shoe string!).

 

The best free family days out in Yorkshire:

 

  1. National Science and Media Museum in Bradford: “Situated right in the centre of Bradford is the National Science and Media Museum. This museum is devoted to the fascinating history and technology behind TV, film and video games. From the basics of how lenses work to displays of old sets and favourites from the past, there is something here for all the family.”
    Here’s what we got up to:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SR7-SFZi-/
  2. Weston Park Museum in Sheffield will have 2 NEW galleries opening at the start of half term, plus activities on every day. Half Term: Discovery Days are free drop in events, and include Incredible Egypt crafts. 
  3. Clifton Park & Museum is a “fantastic free day out in Rotherham with adventure playgrounds, big slides, sandpit and park. There is a good free museum with hands on stuff for kids. Plus there is a funfair – not free but worth mentioning,” says Naomi from Trips with a Tot blog.
  4. Grimm & Co is a magical Apothecary in the heart of Rotherham Town Centre (right next to Clifton Park). They have a range of free activities on, some you need to book in advance. There’s Portals from 18-22nd Feb:
    Explore the textures of the apothecary to create your very own portal. Once your portal is in full form, where does it lead? What’s on the other side? Complete a description of your imagined land and see if anyone would like to go through…
    This is an independent activity that you can do by yourself or with grown ups in their apothecary. Just ask the Shop Elves behind the counter for more details.
    Puzzle Poetry also 18-22nd: As spring brings new life and growth to the natural world, our apothecary begins to sprout new words! Use the leaves all around to uncover the lines of a poem. Place them in any order you want, change it, add to it, make it your own!
    This is an independent activity that you can do by yourself or with grown ups in their apothecary. Just ask the Shop Elves behind the counter for more details.
    And Bewitched Botanicals on 18th and 19th Feb 10-2.30pm,
    20th Feb 10-1pm: Join Professor G. Greenfinger as they identify the magical and mystical plants hidden within the mortal realm. Craft your newly discovered enchanted plant andrecord its features to be kept in the Bewitched Botanical Archive forever.  Call the apothecary on 01709 8296750 to book your free slot.
  5. National Coal Mining Museum of England in Overton (near Wakefield, West Yorkshire) has so much to offer from indoor galleries and a free play area and space to dress up as well as a range of outdoor play areas and places to explore England’s mining history. There’s also pit ponies you can meet and don’t miss the underground tour which goes 140m underground and is led by friendly former miners. There’s also a woodland trail and a chance to meet real life Blacksmiths creating works of art out of metal. There’s lots of extra activities this February half-term too. For more of what’s on at NCMME for families, head to our post here.

    ptr
    The underground tour at the National Coal Mining Museum is perfect for over 5s
  6. East Park in HullEast Park fully opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. This Grade II listed park recently benefited from a council assisted lottery grant totaling £10 million and has been transformed into a vibrant green space where you can enjoy modern attractions and discover historic treasures.
    East Park Bridge

    There’s something for everyone – you can take a stroll around 130 acres of parkland, brave a ride on our Wicksteed splash boat, visit the Animal Education Centre, try the new library at the Pavillion and enjoy a picnic.

  7. Aysgarth Falls in North Yorkshire: Aysgarth Falls are in Leyburn, North Yorkshire and are a set of three magnificent waterfalls on the River Ure. The falls cascade over the series of broad limestone steps which are divided into three stages; Upper Force, Middle Force and Lower Force.
    “We decided that we would walk down and see the middle and lower falls. We weren’t sure how long it would take, but we were in no rush. Following the footpath, we passed the visitors centre, crossed a road and entered the woodland through a gate. The walk through the woods is well signposted, with a nice path which is suitable for buggies. Wheelchair users will find accessing some areas a bit tricky though as there are some steps,” explains Hodge Podge Days blog.
  8. Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre is dedicated to the history and people of the borough.  It is an interesting place for all the family to visit.  There is lots of fun to be had in the interactive galleries and the Discovery Centre holds priceless treasures. We stumbled upon it in the town centre after getting a bus to the bus station to buy some food from Barnsley Market. It’s great for little ones as it is compact and has lots to to as well as a lovely gift shop.
  9. Rhubarb Festival – Wakefield’s Food and Drink Festival:If you don’t know what the Rhubarb Festival is, then where the ‘eck have you been? It’s Wakefield’s love-letter to the divisive vegetable, the first date in the Merry City’s festival calendar, and it starts the year off with a bang.In 2020 it’s a festival of Miracle-Gro proportions, running for a whole week from Monday 17 February until Sunday 23 February (the traditional food and drink market runs 21-23 February), and truly taking over the city centre. There’s lots on for families too, so head to Wakefield’s former Market Hall which is right next to Wakefield Bus Station (the festival of the Moon took place here too).

    Open Monday to Sunday, this is a real family space, with a cosy reading corner, kids’ Activity Zone (including an awesome rhubarb video game which has to be played to be believed) and storytelling workshops.

    There’s plenty for grown-ups too. Highlights include a community-led rhubarb recipe exchange, the photographic Heritage of Rhubarb exhibition, exclusive photographs from Martin Parr’s Rhubarb Triangle, and – prepare to be intrigued – the Rhubarb Shed, an immersive experience where visitors learn about the cultivation of the plucky pink vegetable, and watch (and hear!) it grow before their eyes.

    Like an enormous rhubarb crumble, Rhubarb Festival 2020 has plenty to get your teeth into. So get your pink on, and get set to eat, drink… and be merry.

  10.  National Railway Museum in York not only has it’s normal exhibition offering but also Decoded themed activities this half-term. So this February school holidays, let the NRM show you how we needn’t be scared of words like “data” and “coding” with fun hands-on activities that break down these concepts and build confidence:

    TECH ON THE TRACKS

    Get to grips with high-tech toys in this introduction to the basics of tangible coding on the train tracks, run by Technology in Play.

    FLUX DANCE

    Create code through movement in this dance workshop which teaches you the 10 key words of coding.

    ROBOT RAILWAYS

    Take charge of a small robot to find out how technology can be used to change and improve our railways.

    HOW TO BEAT THE SYSTEM

    Enjoy a screening of a Royal Institute lecture exploring how algorithms relate to our lives. More info and tickets.

    STORYTELLING

    Technology in Play are taking over story time with their Code-a-pillar. Use code to tell this clever critter where it needs to go, bringing a new twist on well-known early-years stories.

    PASSENGER GO

    Think like a train in this interactive game, where a roll of the dice throws up problems to solve.

    MORE FUN—AND FOOD, TOO

    Head out to South Yard for a Steam Ride or a rumble along our Miniature Railway. There’s also the super-speedy Mallard Experience and the Road Train to take you to and from York Minster.

    You’re bound to work up an appetite exploring our big museum. Pop over to our family-friendly cafés in Station Hall and Great Hall to refuel, where you’ll also find irresistible coffee and cakes.

  11. Leeds Galleries and Museums: There are so many free things to do across West Yorkshire this half-term and in the Easter Holidays, go to our full post here.
    Leeds art gallery art space

 

More free ideas for family days out in Yorkshire wherever you are:

 

  • Canals and River Walks: Check out Canal and River Trust for nice walks near you. We loved a charity walk with Leeds Cares along the Leeds and Liverpool canal. It was great for picnics and lovely paths for buggies and bikes too. We caught the train to Kirkstall Forge Station and walked along the path to Leeds Dock.
  • Museums, Galleries and Libraries near you: Check out your local council website for a list of venues that are open near you and many of them will also have free activities on during the half-term holidays.
  • Local Parks and outdoor spaces:  From woodland to playgrounds and community allotments. Why not wrap up warm (sorry I am assuming the weather will be bad!) and get outside even if it is just for a short walk or a bit of fresh air.
    FAMILY WALKS TOP 10: Where to go Walking in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and win a spa day
  • Organise a meet-up or playdate either outdoors or in your own home: We often have playdates at our house which gives the kids chance to play and us adults chance to chat.

 

What’s your favourite free day out in Yorkshire?

 

Happy Exploring God’s Own County!

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

We understand that children need physical education and but what about helping a child’s mental health such as how to deal with worries and anxiety? 

As someone who has had mental health problems since I was at school and now being a mum myself and running Yorkshire Families (which aims to get all families exploring Yorkshire regardless of barriers such as mental health problems), I understand the importance of supporting young people and preventing more mental health issues in the future and enabling them to have the ‘best’ start possible. 

I recently went to a workshop on “How to help your child overcome worries and anxiety” by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust. 

Here are the tips on helping a child with worries and anxiety… 

 

  • Ask your child what they are worried about when you notice they are worried or soon after. Don’t assume you know what is worrying them. Use open questions such as what, when and why?
  • Try to encourage the child to think of solutions to their worry. Ask things like ‘Has that ever happened before?’ Has it happened to someone else? How likely is it that this will happen? If this does happen could there be other reasons for it? Ask if (event) happened to a friend what do they think the friend would do?
  • For children who find it difficult to verbalise their worries encourage them to write or draw their worry. Make a worry box or monster to put the worries in. Go through the worries with the child at a set time each day, not too near to bed time. This limits the amount of time a child worries each day as they know they will have set time to talk and think about their worries.
  • If children find it difficult to recognise anxiety draw a body outline and encourage them to draw physical feelings i.e. butterflies in stomach, shaky legs, you can draw your own physical feelings on a body outline.
  • Some younger children like to draw their worries and tear them up or make them into comical characters. For older children encourage them to write feelings and emotions down in a journal.
  • Encourage children to ‘have a go’ at something they are worried about, give praise if they achieve even a small part of their worry. Set child doable goals using visual pictures, make small steps they can achieve to reach their goals, expect setbacks.
  • Make sure your child can identify activities, places and people they can talk to which help to make them feel relaxed.
  • Teach them simple breathing and distraction techniques e.g. counting rectangles in a room, use a rectangle to slow breathing down i.e. breath in for a count of 2, pause, breath out for 3, pause and repeat.
  • Make sure child can identify someone at home and at school who they can talk to.  
  • Use positive self- talk, children learn from example, encourage them to use phrases like ‘I can do this, I am good at…, I like myself because….

 

To recap: 

ASK open questions (don’t assume)

ENCOURAGE THEM TO SPEAK, WRITE OR DRAW their worries 

CREATE a worry box or monster to put their worries in 

SET SMALL GOALS to overcome their worry 

BREATHE mindfulness and distraction techniques 

USE POSITIVE SELF-TALK Children learn from example 

SUPPORT Make sure a child has someone at home and/or school to talk to 

 

 

Some useful books and resources on helping a Child with worries or anxiety:

‘What to do when you worry too much’ by Dawn Huebner

‘Little Miss Shy’ Roger Hargreaves

Overcoming Your Child’s Fear and Worries, Cathy Creswell and Lucy Willetts.

Websites:

Childline

Anxiety-Young Minds http://www.youngminds.org.uk

Anxiety in Children NHS.UK

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/…/anxiety-and-panic-attacks

Older children and young people:

Moodjuice self- help resources http://www.moodjuice

Kooth online counselling http://www.kooth.com

Young minds

There are many apps and meditation websites that help children build up a ‘tool box’ of coping strategies to help then deal with situations they find stressful.

e.g. Headspace

 

THE BEAR: Half-term family show at Leeds Playhouse for children

THE BEAR: Half-term family show at Leeds Playhouse for children

Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on a polar bear‘s lap? Or ride on its back? Have you ever tried to give a bear a bath?

 

Probably not. But now you can spend some quality time with an enormous snowy white bear at Leeds Playhouse when Raymond Briggs’ magical story The Bear is brought to life on the Courtyard stage.

 

One night when Tilly is fast asleep, a huge bearclimbs into her bedroom. It has a long black tongue and a yawn as big as her head. But, still, she’s not scared.

 

The Bear is a heart-warming, humorous tale from the team that brought young theatregoers the hugely successful Father Christmas. Pins and Needles Productions are delighted to be sharing another of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybooks, including dazzling puppetry, unforgettable music, dreamy storytelling, and more laughs than there are penguins in Antarctica (i.e. a lot).

The cast of The Bear includes: 

Abby Wain (Tilly) – All that’s solid Melts into air (Tangled Feet, National Theatre), Alice’s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles, The Vaults), A Tale of Two Cities (Red Shift Theatre Company, Hong Kong), Fried chicken (Bounce Theatre, Kingston Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (Derby Theatre)

Elena Stephenson (Mum / Puppeteer) – Wendla in Spring Awakening, Hecuba in Trojan Women. Noted portrayals include Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Trickster Theatre) and Desdemona in Othello (Trickster Theatre), Elaine in Breathing Corpses (Sweet Venues, Edinburgh Fringe), Netflix US, in the role of Claire Morris in Nurses Who Kill and in the upcoming film Redcoat, which will be available to view on Amazon Prime.

John Winchester (Dad / Puppeteer) – Oi Frog & Friends (Kenny Wax Productions/ Pins and Needles Productions); The Scarlet Pimpernel (Pimpernel Productions); Cinderella (Imagine Theatre); A Christmas Carol and Lovers (Cumbernauld Theatre); Dick McWhittington (Perth Theatre), The Demon Headmaster (CBBC); Anna and The Apocalypse (Blazing Griffin Films); A Long Long Crime Ago (CBBC); Grandpa in my Pocket, The Ha Ha Hairies (Adastra Creative/CBeebies).

 

The Bear is a not-to-be-missed experience for the whole family and a perfect introduction to theatre for little people with big imaginations.

So, why not bring your very best bear to Leeds Playhouse and join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure?

The Bear, Courtyard, Leeds Playhouse

18 – 22 Feb. 

Box office: 0113 213 7700; leedsplayhouse.org.uk

 

NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM OF ENGLAND: Spend a night shift down the pit to help local families

NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM OF ENGLAND: Spend a night shift down the pit to help local families

Pop on a hard hat, a lamp and go an adventure 140 m underground into England’s last deep coalmine. Chat to charismatic former-miners as they tell the tales of their mining careers and the men, women, children, animals and equipment that worked the coal mines for centuries before them. Hear how mining lingo, hardships and dangers shape how we live our lives today…

PLUS FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY… You can experience a night shift down the pit in to raise funds to go directly to provide emergency winter fuel grants for local families suffering the harsh effects of the cold weather.

Community Foundation Wakefield District are looking for teams of people to Spend a Night Shift down the Pit with BBC Look North’s Harry Gration.

Your team will go underground at 11.00pm on Wednesday 5th February before resurfacing at 1.00am.

Nightshift (rev)

Following a successful launch of this year’s Winter Fuel Challenge, where £16,600 was raised, you’re invited to join us and Yorkshire Families to go on this adventure in aid of a great cause!

Screenshot 2020-02-01 at 18.00.22

This unique event has already received support from Chadwick Lawrence, Direct Marketing, OE Electrical, Jolliffe Cork and the National Coal Mining Museum. You will be going underground with TV presenter, Harry Gration and others who are happy to start the New Year helping keep local families warm this Winter.

If you and your friends/family/colleagues are interested in taking part in the event please contact: jon.ingham@wakefieldcf.org.uk. Alternatively, it is easy to sign up or donate via: https://www.justgiving.com/team/NightShift

Spend a Night Shift down the Pit  Wednesday 5th February 2020  11.00pm – 1.00am at National Coal Mining Museum of England. 

 

What’s on for families at National Coal Mining Museum of England?

 

The National Coal Mining Museum for England provides a unique day out filled with grit and charm:

  • Go 140m Underground to experience England’s last deep coal mine. This is free although a voluntary donation of £5 is recommended per person.
  • Explore 14 galleries and buildings for free.
  • A free soft play area for younger children.
  • An outdoor adventure playground.
  • Meet the Pit Ponies!
  • Watch and chat to real life Blacksmiths doing metal work.
  • Go on the woodland trail.
  • There’s also a cafe, shop and picnic area too.

It’s all free to enter and a full day out for the whole family!

For more information, go to: https://www.ncm.org.uk

Where do you love going for a free family day out?

We’ve been eyeing up some activities and free things to do in York, from the Museum Gardens to the National Railway Museum.

 

FEBRUARY HALF TERM & EASTER HOLIDAYS: What to do in the school holidays in Leeds, West Yorkshire?

FEBRUARY HALF TERM & EASTER HOLIDAYS: What to do in the school holidays in Leeds, West Yorkshire?

Before you know it February half term and the Easter Holidays will be upon us, so what is there to do for the family in Yorkshire? Here Leeds Galleries and Museums share a range of events from free days out to paid for experiences across Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Abbey House Museum

February Half Term

18-21 February

 

During February half term celebrate the Leeds Year of Reading with selection days inspired by family favourites. On 18 February there’s Alice in Wonderland creative crafts and silly science inspired by the wonderful world of Roald Dahl on 19 February. Say ahoy to another classic on Wednesday with Treasure Island themed crafts and murky murder mysteries in the Victorian streets. Round off the week with tropical fun inspired by the Jungle Book on Friday 21 February too!

DJ Workshop

20 February, 12-3pm

Calling all aspiring young DJ’s aged from 11–15. Come along and meet Melodies Music and DJ Academy, take over the decks, cue your track and get spinning in an introductory session to DJing.

Entry is included in museum admission, all equipment is included and no experience needed. Advance booking required via youth.curator@leeds.gov.uk

 

 

Easter Holidays

7-17 April

 

Bounce into Easter with adorable animal crafts in the Victorian streets. On 10 April from 10am–4pm hop along to meet the Easter Bunny. Choose a treat from his basket, pick up a trail and find the golden eggs hidden around the streets. Don’t miss amazing real life animals from Lion Learners each Wednesday too, including creepy crawlies and fluffy Easter bunnies!

 

Leeds Art Gallery

School Holiday Arts and Crafts

Selected dates, 11am-4pm

Between 18 & 20 February come along and make space-shifting sculptures in Artspace. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the Easter school holidays, Leeds Art Gallery will be joined by their artist in residence for painting, drawing, crafting and collage! On 21 February and 17 April check out their family friendly pop-up event looking at art in 3D with the Henry Moore Institute.

Leeds Young Film Festival

7, 8, 9 & 11 April

 

Experience Leeds Young Film Festival at Leeds Art Gallery this Easter for the UK’s largest family film event! It features premieres and special film screenings for the whole family to enjoy and explores the world of film through workshops at pocket-money prices.

For more information visit www.leedsfilm.com  

Leeds City Museum

February Half Term: Clever Clothes & Fabulous Fashions

18-21 February, 10am-12pm & 1-3pm

Reuse and recycle craft materials to design funky fashions for your favourite toy and parade them down the table catwalk. Create a rainbow using plate weaving and take the textile trail around the museum to discover how clothes have been used, recycled and made here in Leeds!

Sensory Room for Families with Additional Needs

20 February & 9 April, 10.30-11.30am

For those who may find a trip to the museum a little overwhelming, Leeds City Museum will be hosting a pop-up sensory room with bubble tube, dark tents and tactile toys for a calmer moment on your museum trip.

Booking essential via Eventbrite

Recycle Runway

15 April, 10.30-11.30pm

Get crafty with activities inspired by the new exhibition, Fast x Slow Fashion. Create a brand new outfit from old clothes and recycled materials and learn all about reusing, recycling and reducing material waste.

Easter Holidays: Patterns & Prints

7-19 April

There’s a whole load of activities on offer during the Easter holidays with workshops and drop-in sessions suitable for visitors of all ages. Create patterns and prints from 14 – 17 April, try your hand at embroidery for children on 7 April and take the daily trail through the museum. Explore patterns through the museum collections from textiles to tiles and animals to Ancient Egyptian jewellery.

Leeds Industrial Museum

Mystery Matinees

Every day in school holidays, 2pm

Watch a classic film in one of the UK’s smallest cinemas. The Art Deco Palace Picture House will be screening family favourites and vintage classics every day during the holidays. Grab a family ticket for just £9 which includes entry into the museum and the Leeds to Innovation exhibition.

Build: Code: Create: Innovate with Programmable Lego

18-20 February, 12.30-3pm

 

Come get hands on with the collection! See cogs, wheels and engines up close before building your own innovative creation from Lego. Add a motor, get coding and the make your creation move, bleep, bloop and trigger images! No coding experience is necessary, just come down and learn something new.

Armley Print Fest

21 March, 11am-4pm

Armley Print Fest is back by popular demand! Celebrate a little bit of local Leeds heritage with family fun activities, beginner workshops, a local craft fair and live demonstrations to suit every age, interest and ability!

Necessity

7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 April, 12.30–3pm

 

“Necessity is the mother of invention” Follow in the footsteps of Leeds innovators and ask what you could design in order to solve a problem that’s been bugging your brain! Get hands on and design and build a model inspired by the Leeds to Innovation exhibition.

See the Mill Engine in Steam

10 & 13 April

 

Did you know that Armley Mills was powered by engines as well as by waterwheels? A marvel of Victorian engineering, the 1887 steam engine is still in working order. Experience the museum’s mill engine in full steam and discover fascinating facts from the expert engineer. Learn about its history and the mechanics behind this ground-breaking machine.

 

Thwaite Watermill

Crafts & Experiments

Tuesdays & Thursdays during the school holidays

During February half term and the Easter holidays, there’s a whole load of family fun with Crafty Tuesdays and Experimental Thursdays in Thwaite House. Show off your scientific side and get messy with paper, glue, stickers and sparkles! Don’t forget to grab an explorers pack from reception during your visit and hit the nature trail by the canal. What wildlife will you spot by the waterfront?

Thwaite Easter Fayre

12 April, 12-4pm

Hop along to the annual Easter event with tea dances, pop-up cake stalls, traditional fete related games and a whole load of springtime fun! This year there’s new farmyard friends so come along and pet some animal pals or take a trip on one of the bright and beautiful canal boats!

Lotherton

Love Birds

15-23 February

 

Love Birds returns to Wildlife World for February Half Term. See the Humboldt penguins being fed at 11am and 3pm daily. Take part in feathery crafts and follow the Love Birds trail to learn more about your feathery friends. Make a nest box for new baby birds on 16, 19 and 23 February too.

Really Wild Spring

4-19 April

 

A wild spring to make your heart sing! Enjoy Easter at Lotherton with zany zoo animals, hidden house creatures and fantastic flowery gardens. Follow the Wildlife trail, take part in crazy animal crafts, try out seed planting and keep an eye out for special family days too!

 

St George’s Weekend

25-26 April

Head to Lotherton for St George’s Weekend with a dragon trail to conquer, dressing up, medieval crafts, mythical beast activities and explosive experiments. Sit back in the formal gardens and enjoy the sounds of a brass band each afternoon.

Temple Newsam

February Half Term Fun

15-23 February

Design, decorate and take home your very own treasure or trinket box fit for a mansion. Follow the trail through the house and discover other weird and wonderful treasures from the past along the way. There’s springtime sunflower planting on 19 February too. Get stuck in and see your tiny creation grow into a bright and beautiful flower!

Potty Pots

21-22 March, 10.30am-4pm

Follow the Mad Hatter’s trail and take inspiration from the unique designs of teapots from the past to make a teatime card for someone special. Become a butler, maid, master or mistress of the house and prepare afternoon tea for important guests.

Easter Holidays & Majestic Eggs

4–19 April

 

Get involved with family fun crafts, take on the majestic Easter egg hunt and visit new born farmyard friends at Home Farm. Head to the Walled Garden on 8 April for some pumpkin sowing. Plant your seeds and come back to carve them in October, just in time for Halloween!

Anything Could Happen

8 April, 1.30-2.30pm

Join in with giggles in the gallery! The most unpredictable kids performance is returning to Temple Newsam after a series of hit shows. This improvised children’s performance is suitable for anyone over the age of 5 with a wild imagination and a wicked sense of humour!

Kirkstall Abbey

Make a bird feeder and bird crafts

20 February, 2-3pm

Make a natural bird feeder to help out our feathered friends who might be struggling at this time of year. Be prepared to get messy with creative fun for the whole family to enjoy!

Easter Holidays Bunny Fun

7-19 April

 

The Tuesday under 5s session will be getting a fluffy makeover with lots of creative Easter themed fun. Fancy bagging yourself a sweet treat during your visit? The bunnies have gone hopping mad and hidden all over the abbey! Hunt them down and earn yourself an Easter treat!

Kirkstall Abbey Markets

28–29 March, 25–26 April

Don’t miss out on the fantastic monthly markets and be sure to stock-up on treats from local suppliers. With over 40 stalls, it’s the perfect place to find quality Yorkshire produce, handmade crafts, collectables and grab freshly cooked food from around the globe.

Leeds Discovery Centre

Behind the Scenes Tour

Every Thursday, 11am & 2pm

A Leeds hidden gem, the artefact store is filled with over one million objects from across the world and millennia. Join knowledgeable guides for a free tour to see everything from fabulous costume to vacuum cleaners, African masks and taxidermy. Don’t forget to look up and see the giant squid hanging from the ceiling as you enter!

Minibeasts & Crawly Critters

19 February, 10am-12pm

Explore the huge collection of insects and creepy crawlies, with some critter themed crafts and a tour of the amazing store which is crammed full of beastly bugs and other weird and wonderful findings!

Booking required. Call 0113 378 2100 or email discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk

 

Easter Holidays

8 & 15 April, 10am-12pm

 

On 8 April bring along your tired old t-shirt for a tie dye refresh! This activity ‘ties’ in with the new exhibition Fast x Slow Fashion at LeedsCity Museum. On 18 April come along and take inspiration from the ceramic collections to create your own masterpiece in a messy play session for creative kids of all ages!

OLIVER TWIST AT LEEDS PLAYHOUSE: Casting announced for new adaptation

OLIVER TWIST AT LEEDS PLAYHOUSE: Casting announced for new adaptation

Leeds Playhouse and Ramps on the Moon have announced the full cast for their bold new version of Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.

Directed by Leeds Playhouse’s Associate Director Amy Leach (The Night Before Christmas, Hamlet, Road, Romeo & Juliet) and adapted by award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery, it will starBrooklyn Melvin in the role of Oliver, aided and abetted by a gang of wily pickpockets led the Artful Dodger, played by Nadeem Islam, who’s best known for presenting the BBC’s See Hear series, and Caroline Parker MBE as Fagin (Our Country’s Good, Ramps on the Moon and Nottingham Playhouse UK Tour).

Nancy will be played by Clare-Louise English, making a swift return to Leeds Playhouse after appearing in Graeae/Theatre Royal Plymouth’s One Under commissioned by Ramps on the Moon in the Courtyard in November 2019, with Stephen Collinsstepping into the brutal boots of Bill Sikes (the spelling taken from Charles Dickens’ original text).

The cast will be completed by Katie Erich as Rose, Rebekah Hill as Luna, Georgia Jackson as Fingers, Steph Lacey as Mrs Thingummy, Jack Lord as Mr Brownlow, Craig Painting as Mr Sowerberry, Mitesh Soni as Charley Bates and Benjamin Wilson as Mr Bumble.

Director Amy Leach said: Oliver Twist is a vivid, dark and visceral story and I am really excited to explore how adding artistic layers of creative sign language, audio description and captioning can enhance the storytelling for all audience members. I can’t wait to get started with the amazing OliverTwist company. I feel so lucky to get to create this production with such a wonderfully talented and versatile ensemble of D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled actors. I can’t wait to share Bryony’s very special adaptation with audiences around the country.”

Oliver Twist builds on the success of previous Ramps on the Moon productions including Our Country’s Good, The Who’s Tommy and The Government Inspector.

The creative team includes Designer Hayley Grindle, Lighting Designer Joe Fletcher, Sound Designer John Biddle, Composer Oliver Vibrans, Associate Director Hannah Quigley, Puppet Director Rachael Canning, Dramaturg Jenny Sealey, Projection Designer Akhila Krishnan, BSL Consultant Daryl Jackson, Audio Description Consultants Benjamin Wilson and Chloe Clarke, Lead BSL Interpreter Dave Wycherley, Creative Enabler Kirsty Pennycook, Creative Assistant Directors Nicole Joseph and Adam Bassett and Casting Director Kay Magson CDG.

This thrilling production will open at Leeds Playhouse in February ahead of visiting Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Theatre Royal Stratford East, who are all part of the Ramps on the Moon consortium alongside Graeae, the UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company.

Every performance of Oliver Twist will feature integrated creative sign language, audio description and captioning. The production plays in Leeds Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre from 28 February – 21 March 2020 ahead of a UK tour.

Oliver Twist, Quarry Theatre, Leeds Playhouse

Fri 28 Feb – Sat 21 March 2020.

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online: leedsplayhouse.org.uk

 

Full tour information

28 Feb – 21 March 2020
Leeds Playhouse
0113 213 7700
www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk

For Leeds Playhouse Oliver Twist is sponsored by Access Partner, Irwin Mitchell.

25 March – 4 April 2020
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
01473 295900
www.wolseytheatre.co.uk

16 – 25 April 2020
Nottingham Playhouse
011594 19419
www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk

29 April – 9 May 2020
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455
www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

13 – 23 May 2020
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
0114 249 6000
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

28 May – 6 June 2020
Theatre Royal Stratford East
020 8534 0310
www.stratfordeast.com

Writer Bryony Lavery was born in Wakefield and is one of the UK’s most well respected and prolific playwrights. She is best known for her award-winning play Frozen which recently played in the West End featuring Suranne Jones. Bryony’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol played at Leeds Playhouse in 2010. She has had a long and varied career, including writing plays for the National Theatre and Frantic Assembly.


Director Amy Leach
joined Leeds Playhouse as Associate Director in 2017. She directed Hamlet, A Christmas Carol and Road during the theatre’s acclaimed Pop-Up Season. She previously directedTalking Heads, Queen of Chapeltown, Romeo & Juliet, Kes, The Night Before Christmas and Little Sure Shot.

Amy is committed to placing accessibility and inclusion at the centre of her work. During the Pop-Up Season, her production of Road included integrated live audio description, her production ofHamlet was the first Leeds Playhouse production to trial the National Theatre’s groundbreaking caption glasses, and she was instrumental in forming the Playhouse’s partnership with Mind the Gap’s Staging Change initiative which encourages professional opportunities for learning disabled actors and creatives. In autumn 2019, Amy directedThere Are No Beginnings by Yorkshire writerCharley Miles, the first production in Leeds Playhouse’s new studio theatre the Bramall Rock Void. This production featured creative audio description at every performance. For Christmas 2019, Amy directed The Night Before Christmaswith every performance D/deaf friendly using integrated creative sign language.


Ramps On The Moon is a consortium of seven major theatre companies
committed to putting Deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work; to accelerate positive change, explore opportunities and stimulate awareness of disability issues within arts and culture. The project is supported by public funding through the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring programme – the largest award of its kind. The consortium venues are New Wolsey Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Graeae Theatre Company.


Leeds Playhouse is celebrating its 50thanniversary in 2020.
It is a cultural hub, a place where people gather to share stories and to engage in world class theatre.

The Playhouse makes work that is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire. From large scale spectacles to intimate performances, the Playhouse develops and makes work for the stage, found spaces, tours, schools and community venues.

A dedicated collaborator, Leeds Playhouse works with distinctive, original voices from across the UK. Its Artistic Development programme, Furnace, discovers, nurtures and supports new voices, while developing work with established practitioners. It provides a creative space for writers, directors, companies and individual theatre-makers to refine their practice at all stages of their career.

The Playhouse’s sector-leading Creative Engagement team works with more than 12,000 people aged 0–95 every year. It runs a range of weekly workshops and exciting creative projects using theatre to reach out to refugee communities, young people, students, older people and people with learning disabilities.

Leeds Playhouse now has a building to match its wide-ranging, far-reaching ambitions. As a result of a £15.8m transformation in 2019, it now offers improved access to and around the theatre, a city-facing entrance and a new studio space, the Bramall Rock Void.