A care home in the Wakefield District, West Yorkshire is desperately searching for volunteers as they are “on their knees now” trying to care for the most vulnerable in unprecedented times…
“They pride themselves on providing as much support, care and love for elderly people in their final days as possible and that is what all our elderly deserve. But they can’t do that when they’re stretched to breaking and that’s breaking their hearts.”
Staff at Snydale Care Home in Pontefract have been doing a “heroic job” to keep all their elderly vulnerable residents safe during the corona virus crisis but they’re on their knees now.
Many have not had a day off work for weeks, they’re tired and short staff, 15 now in self isolating. Weeks ago the home had to stop relatives visiting which put all the strain of socialising with residents on them. Sadly some of the residents have died of Covid 19 without their relatives by the side in their last hours which is emotionally devastating for both relatives and staff.
Yes these carers deal with death as a care home for the elderly it’s part of what they do but they don’t deal with deaths like this. They pride themselves on providing as much support, care and love for elderly people in their final days as possible and that is what all our elderly deserve. But they can’t do that when they’re stretched to breaking and that’s breaking their hearts.
Cheryl Varley writes…
This is my mum, Marjorie Jones, she’s 87 years old, is much loved by her four children and eleven grandchildren, has dementia and really needs your help.
She’s a resident at Snydale Care Home.
My mum is one of twenty residents in the home that are now in isolation, she’s in a room on her own for the next fourteen days her families not allowed to visit and because she has dementia she won’t know what’s going on or why… and she’s probably a bit scared. The home have put out a desperate appeal for volunteers who could do back room jobs so their staff can continue to look after residents like my mum who are now in isolation. Can you help them could you volunteer?
Of course we should all applaud our NHS hero’s they are magnificent but could you also support the second front line who are care workers with no where near the training and resources of the NHS and are also fighting to save lives and comfort the dying?
If you can help my mum, the carers and all the other residents please call Snydale Care Home and ask for Caroline Walter’s she will talk you through what they need – they have PPE they will keep everyone who volunteers safe. Thank you.
TO VOLUNTEER, CALL SNYDALE CARE HOME (New Road, Pontefract) on: 01924 895517
We know this Easter will be different from normal due to Lockdown and the Coronavirus Pandemic… but we want to make sure that you still have fun whilst staying safe at home during Covid 19.
So here’s our alternative Easter ‘What’s On Guide’ of activities and things to do at home this Easter…
Easter Crafts: Now’s a perfect time to get crafting! There are so many things to do from cutting out egg shapes and decorating them to creating bunnies out of the middle of all that toilet roll with cotton wool. Or you can easily bunny face masks or hats made out of a paper band with bunny ears. Or you could have an Easter Nail Art salon!
Easter Egg Hunt: Whether is be with chocolate eggs or other treats or even just clues on their own or a treasure hunt. We love a good old Easter Egg Hunt (with or without the chocolate).
Easter Baking: Depending on what you have in there’s a few simple recipes you may be able to make (or create your own!). From chocolate corn flake buns and cakes to hot cross buns and we always enjoy a Sunday Dinner so it is Yorkshire Puddings for us! Use your imagination or even create a mud kitchen in the garden! (But obviously don’t eat mud!).
Hatchimals Easter Bouquet is a great alternative to chocolate and flowers for children. We were gifted it to try it out and the girls loved hiding each flower in their own hunt they created. It’s a great gift too if you have more than one child as they ‘could’ share the bouquet and open a different flower each. They’re available here: https://amzn.to/2QViqmQ
Have your own Easter Dance Party! Put on some Easter songs and play party games.
Easter Bunny Live streaming at Home:
A new experience has been developed by the creators the Easter Bunny Live event, an annual live experience that was due to be touring the country to deliver the full Easter experience. Helen Nurse, Director of Fun for Wonder Adventures, explains; “Despite having to cancel the event, we didn’t want anyone to miss out on the magic of Easter so we’ve been working hard to take all the fun online for children to still experience at home.”
The live-streamed event will deliver the same fun, imaginative entertainment as the live experience, all designed to get children involved and active together with their parents.
After registering for a chosen event date and time ‘visitors’ will be directed to join a private Facebook group where the event will be securely broadcast.
During the online event the Easter Bunny will deliver storytelling, interactive games and riddles all of which the children join in at home. He will also run an egg hunt which families can do around their space and they will learn the new ‘Easter Bunny Hop song and dance’ – a special single will be released especially for the event.
Helen Nurse adds; “During the event we’ll be encouraging parents to send messages for personal Easter Bunny shout-outs as well.”
The team behind the event, wonderadventures.co.uk, are a family run business include their own children as chief fun testers. They specialise in interactive experiences for under 10’s including live events and online interactive treasure hunts. Helen added; “With our experience covering live and online content – taking the Easter event online seemed the obvious thing to do.”
Helen, Director continues: “We are passionate about providing imaginative play experiences, inspiring kids and encouraging children and parents to play interactively together and so it is actually more important than ever to provide this at home at what will be a challenging time for a lot of families. We want to still provide opportunities for families to experience special, fun moments together and make memories. And being able to bring this into the home as a live experience means families can mark Easter and do something together that is memorable.”
Registration for the event is £5 per family. To register or for more information on the Easter Bunny Challenge LIVE online or the interactive treasure hunts go to http://www.wonderadventures.co.uk
Where is your favourite family day out in Yorkshire? Whilst a day out might not be on the agenda for a while… we wanted to recognise some of the best days out for families in Yorkshire so we have a list of things to do when we are allowed to explore the region again safely.
Here’s some ideas of the best activities in Yorkshire for families, when they are allowed to, and what type of things to expect:
York Dungeon with shows and history. It’s a 75 minute tour which takes you through the city’s gory past, using actors and special effects to make history loads more exciting. This is based in York.
Eureka Museum in Halifax with interactive exhibitions, designed to make learning fun, covering everything from the desert to human biology. This is based in Halifax in West Yorkshire. It’s the perfect day out in Yorkshire!
Flamingo Land, this is not just a theme park it’s a zoo too, you can even meet a Creature as the Chief Education Officer brings out a range of animals such as snakes or frogs for you to get up close and personal with. This is based in Malton North Yorkshire.
York Maze with different types of mazes – illusion, mineshaft and finger fortune Maze, there’s also play zones, including a jumping pillow which is a bouncy castle without walls, and there’s also a climbing Zone. This is based in York North Yorkshire, and is open from mid-July until September.
The Deep in Hull tells the story of the world’s oceans with interactive exhibitions, and loads of sea creatures: fish, turtles, sharks. The whole tour takes 2 to 3 hours and there’s also a café if you or your kids get p=peckish. This is based in Hull, East riding of Yorkshire.
Snozone in Xscape Castleford, where you can ski or go tobaggoning. They offer lessons as well as activities, such as: sledgling or ice slides. This is based in the Xscape, Colorado Way Castleford.
Jorvik Viking Centre. They’ve reconstructed Viking streets so you can see what it was like 1,000 years ago , and there’s interactive displays telling you about their 5 year- long dig on Coopergate, so it’s both fun and educational. This is based in York, North Yorkshire.
National Coal Mining Museum. You can venture 140 metres underground to explore one of Britain’s oldest working mines, and learn about the lives of who worked there. You can go outside and meet ponies, walk around nature reserve and even have a mini train ride. A great day out. This is based in Overton, Wakefield , Caphouse Colliery.
Scarborough is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Britain. You can go on loads of beaches, there are arcades, you can take a boat trip out to sea, or you can visit the Scarborough Sealife sanctuary. There’s so much to do in Scarborough. This is based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park. There are loads of exotic animals for the kids to see close and personal as you walk round the park. There’s lions, polar bears, meerkats, giraffes, tigers, zebras and more. There’s also a chance to learn about them with the various talks throughout the day. It’s definitely one of Yorkshire’s best days out. It’s based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
Where are you most looking forward to visiting in the future? Let’s share the love for our wonderful Yorkshire attractions who will need our support!
The Yorkshire accent is one of the top 5 attractive accents in the UK, according to a YouGov poll and we chuffin’ think so too (we are Yorkshire Families and proud after all!).
So we have teamed up with a born and bred in Yorkshire independent giftware company … Dialectable Ltd for a right good giveaway for the whole family (no matter what yours looks like!).
SO TO WIN….
A BORN AND BRED IN YORKSHIRE CHILDREN’S MUG/ESPRESSO CUP, AN EE LASS THA’S GORGEOUS COIN PURSE AND OUR FAVE NOTEBOOK “STILL TO CHUFFIN’ DO LIST”…
Just enter via rafflecopter below… (there’s also tons of other giveaways listed at the bottom of this blog post that you can enter from Dialectable who have shown real Yorkshire warmth, humour and generosity)…
TO ENTER, JUST GO TO: RAFFLECOPTER FOR ALL THE DETAILS AND WAYS TO ENTER
OTHER GIVEAWAYS TO ENTER!
Mother’s Day gifts on Yorkshire Families instagram:
A lot of families want to explore the best Yorkshire has to offer but without a car… so we thought at Yorkshire Families that we would start to share some of our favourite days out using public transport… beginning with Leeds, West Yorkshire.
I myself (Sophie Mei Lan) have a driver’s licence but no vehicle and I am determined to do what I can using public transport or by walking. Not only can it save money but it is better for the environment too and at times, I have found, it is less stressful than driving a car (YES I have been stuck on Leeds Ring Road a number of times!). So what is there to do in Leeds via public transport?
There are so many but here are some of the recent places we have visited and loved in Leeds City Centre!
As we live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, we often get the train into Leeds if I have the energy to face the busyness of Leeds Train Station (that said the kids love it and it looks super pretty after its recent makeover). The train station itself is equipped with a few shops and lots of eateries from coffee shops to McDonald’s (the children’s favourite along with Subway), Pret a Manger (great for an affordable filter coffee), Wetherspoons (cheeps and cheerful but not child-friendly), Leon (my absolute favourite) and a Sainsbury’s (perfect if you forget picnics and snacks like I always do).
From Leeds Train Station main entrance you can easily access the city centre shops and Trinity Leeds and it is just a 10 minute walk to Millennium Square where you will find the brilliant Leeds City Museum (such a great free day out for little ones) as well as Leeds Art Gallery. Nearby there is also The Core Shopping Centre where we like to grab a slightly quieter bite to eat, The Merrion Centre and for a treat we love The Light Leeds.
Or if you come out of Leeds Train Station’s South Entrance you can easily access the city’s waterfront (River Aire).
The entrance has two escalators up to the concourse which provides access to either side of the river for passengers to get to Granary Wharf and Little Neville Street, or Holbeck.
Granary Wharf has lots of places to eat but the children’s favourite are Leeds Water Taxis. The boats (called Twee and Drie) ferry passengers from Granary Wharf to Leeds Dock. At Leeds Dock you will find Royal Armouries Museum which is well worth a visit.
My favourite way to get to Leeds is via bus although it does take a lot longer this way (approximately one hour on the 110 Arriva bus from where we live in Wakefield to Leeds City Bus Station, which is only 20-30 minutes on the train).
Once arriving in Leeds City Bus station, there are lots of places to visit locally.
The bus station itself is nothing to shout about but at least it is quieter that Leeds Train Station and it has a Greggs and corner shop as well as vending machines.
Leeds City Bus station is literally next door to Leeds Kirkgate Market which has a huge array of fruit and vegetable stalls as well as an accessible food court with lots of independent food and drink vendors (you can get delicious fresh food cooked for you at an affordable price).
The bus station is also across the road from Victoria Leeds which is home to John Lewis and some higher end shops and eateries. It’s great with a pushchair or with older children.
Not only that, Leeds Playhouse theatre is also across the road with a new city facing entrance which makes it even more accessible (previously West Yorkshire Playhouse). We love going to the theatre to see family friendly shows such as The Bear which was on during half-term.
Yorkshire Families review of The Bear at Leeds Playhouse:
“Charming and captivating! My 5 & 8 year old daughters were so engrossed, they forgot to ask for the sweets I’d brought them. I’m not sure I could give higher praise!?
This production is everything children’s theatre should be: beautifully made, witty, charming and light-hearted.
The Bear is adapted from the picture book by Raymond Briggs, the same writer behind The Snowman. Here, a relatable and enchanting little girl, Tilly is delighted when a polar bear climbs through her bedroom window. Despite the bear making trouble, in every toon in the house, her parents remain blissfully unaware and assume the ‘bear’ Tilly constantly charters about is part of her imagination. Which my girls found hilarious, as the bear is huge!
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the experience, from the welcome at Leeds playhouse, the wonderful acting on show, the seamless scene changes to the perfect duration and atmosphere for my girls. I’d thoroughly recommend for a family trip!”
Also nearby you have Yorkshire Dance and Northern Ballet who both run classes for children and adults. We recently attended a free family festival at Yorkshire Dance where we did a Bollywood Dance Workshop.
So whether you’re visiting Leeds by bus, foot, train or even boat… there are so many things to do! Let us know your favourite day out on social media @yorkshirefamilies on instagram/facebook and @yorkshirefams on twitter.
Three page-to-stage productions are heading to Leeds Playhouse this spring, giving book-fans the chance to see their favourite characters in person.
As we celebrate World Book Day on Thursday (5 March), the Playhouse is asking readers to make a note in their diaries for THE LOST HAPPY ENDINGS (27 – 28 March), THE KITE RUNNER (31 March – 4 April) and HOLES (7 – 11 April).
This bestselling trio follow in the literary footsteps of OLIVER TWIST, playwrightBryony Lavery and director Amy Leach’sbold new reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic in co-production with Ramps on the Moon (28 February – 21 March).
THE LOST HAPPY ENDINGS is a new family show based on an original children’s story by former Poet Laureate and Whitbread, TS Eliot and Pinter Prize winnerDame Carol Ann Duffy.
The Lost Happy Endings_balletLORENT, Choreographer;Liv Lorent, Job, Goldolocks; Natalie Trewinnard. DANCERS; Gwen Berwivk, Gavin Coward, Toby Fitzgibbons, Yen_ching Lin, Ray Roa, Virginia Scudlletti, Benedicta Valentina, Jordaine Lincoln, Ellen Vollner,
The Lost Happy Endings_balletLORENT, Choreographer;Liv Lorent, Job, Goldolocks; Natalie Trewinnard. DANCERS; Gwen Berwivk, Gavin Coward, Toby Fitzgibbons, Yen_ching Lin, Ray Roa, Virginia Scudlletti, Benedicta Valentina, Jordaine Lincoln, Ellen Vollner,
Retold as dance theatre for family by balletLORENT, with narration by actor (and Absolutely Fabulous national treasure) Joanna Lumley, it’s the story of a magical girl called Jub who lives deep in the forest and has six fingers on each hand. Her job is to guard the happy endings to stories and fairytales. But one day a witch steals them, leading Goldilocks to change the locks on the cottage of the three bears; Cinderella’s foot to grow too big for the glass slipper; and Pinocchio’s nose to keep growing (so much so that he arrives everywhere a whole day before he sets off).
“Both as a poet and as a parent, I’ve always loved revisiting and retelling our traditional myths and fairytales,” said Carol Ann. “As we developed the story, we found we weren’t only dealing with The Lost Happy Endings, but also the alternative middles.”
THE KITE RUNNER – which is returning to the Playhouse for a third time – has been adapted by Matthew Spangler from Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini’sinternationally renowned novel, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two years, was translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than eight million copies worldwide.
Originally produced by Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, this haunting tale of friendship spans cultures and continents, tracing one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Described by The Stage as ‘the best page-to-stage show since War Horse’, it’s based in Afghanistan as it stands on the verge of war.
The third book-based production in Leeds Playhouse’s spring trilogy, HOLES is an inventive new stage show from the Children’s Theatre Partnership, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Nottingham Playhouse, based on the multi-award-winning novel and blockbuster film of the same name. Originally written by Louis Sachar, itwon the1998 US National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year’s most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
This thrilling off-beat comedy adventure tells the story of palindromically-named Stanley Yelnats, who is born into a family cursed with bad luck and finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Sent to a labour camp as punishment, he is tasked with digging a hole, five-foot wide by five-foot deep, every day. He is told it is to build ‘character’, but the tyrannical warden is definitely hiding something.
How will Stanley and his fellow inmates deal with her demands, her two cronies, a fearsome rattlesnake and a host of yellow-spotted lizards? And will Stanley and his new friends unearth what’s really going on?
You’ll have to put a bookmark in your current reading matter and pop down to the Playhouse to find out.
The Lost Happy Endings, Quarry Theatre, Leeds Playhouse
Award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery’s new adaptation of OLIVER TWIST is now open at Leeds Playhouse, with every performance featuring integrated creative sign language, audio description and captioning.
New images of this co-production between the Playhouse and Ramps on the Moon show how designer Hayley Grindle’s visionary design choices have introduced dynamic new layers of interest for audiences while increasing accessibility for deaf and visually-impaired theatregoers.
Her starkly brutalist yet stunning set, monochrome base palette and bold colour coding for key characters like Fagin, played by Caroline Parker MBE, and the Artful Dodger, played by Nadeem Islam, bring the harsh realities of Dickensian England to life with vivid clarity.
The captioning screen is not an add-on but is, instead, a key part of the design, standing proud in the middle of the Quarry stage with the period-style text timed to work with and enhance the dialogue. Similarly, audio description is seamlessly weaved into the script.
Directed by Amy Leach (There Are No Beginnings, Romeo & Juliet),this new production delves into the dark heart of the original novel to bring us Oliver, played by Brooklyn Melvin, brutal Bill Sikes (the spelling taken from Dickens’ original text) played byStephen Collins, his canine sidekick Bullseye, expertly crafted by Puppet Designer and DirectorRachael Canning,and feisty but doomed Nancy, played by Clare-Louise English (One Under,Graeae/Theatre Royal Plymouth, commissioned by Ramps on the Moon).
The cast is 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.
OLIVER TWIST runs at Leeds Playhouse from 28 February – 21 March ahead of a UK tour, taking in 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.
Oliver Twist, Quarry Theatre, Leeds Playhouse
Fri 28 Feb – Sat 21 March. Press Night: Wed 4 March, 7.30pm
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.
Andy’s Man Club group who supports men with their mental health, which started here in Yorkshire, has gone nationwide whilst still having lots of clubs across the region for men to access and to open up about their mental health.
Andy’s Man Club was formed in early 2016 by Halifax rugby league player Luke Ambler after his brother-in-law took his own life.
The groups’ aim to raise awareness of mental health issues among men and its branch in Leeds has recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary.
Lisa Bourne who is a mental health activist in Leeds wrote this for Yorkshire Families on the recent celebration in West Yorkshire which took place for all ages….
The 29thof January 2020 marked the 2ndanniversary of Andy’s Man Club Leeds, an inclusive talking group for men that aims to reduce suicide rates.
They celebrated this anniversary on the 2ndof February with a big party at the Brudenell Social Club Leeds, which saw businesses, bands and volunteers all come together to support Andy’s Man Club Leeds. From W2 barbers based in Roundhay giving free haircuts to Cards or Die providing free games, magicians and face-painting, mental health related activities and a tombola there was plenty of entertainment for all ages.
In-between sets of live music, visitors heard truly inspirational stories from group members who shared their positive experiences of how attending the group had helped them through periods of mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
The feeling in the room was one of immense pride, of a supportive family all there for each other as a listening ear.
The day after that party, 57 men attended Andy’s Man Club Leeds, their biggest number of attendees to date, with 5 new members! The group is run by 15 facilitators who all have lived experience of mental illness and now volunteer at Andy’s Man Club Leeds after the group helped them.
The club is doing an amazing job, going from strength to strength, and encouraging men to talk openly to promote self-care and positive attitudes towards mental health, tackle stigma and ultimately reduce the high suicide rate of men in Leeds.
They welcome new members – the group meets every Monday 7pm – 9pm at Leeds College of Building on North Street and the best way to see their latest news is via Facebook
Written By Lisa Bourne who is a Time To Change Champion, founder of Mental Wellbeing Meetups facebook.com/mentalhealthevents, director and trustee of Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis and volunteer for Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service.
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 LeedsPlayhouse 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 LeedsPlayhouseAssociate 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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
East Park in Hull: East 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.
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.
Aysgarth Fallsin 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.
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.
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.
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.
Create code through movement in this dance workshop which teaches you the 10 key words of coding.
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.
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.
Think like a train in this interactive game, where a roll of the dice throws up problems to solve.
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.