I am absolutely giddy to announce that Leeds Studio will be working with Kat Rose Martin to produce her debut full length play Pick n Mix in Bradford this Autumn.
For anyone who doesn’t know Kat, she is a powerhouse of a playwright (in a deceptively small package). A Bradford writer through and through, she has written a funny, touching play of female friendship and teenage angst. We’ll be opening at Kala Sangam in Bradford on Tuesday 1st to 5th November with more dates to be released soon. Tickets will sell out fast so get yours now – link below. If you’re interested in being seen to be in the show, information on auditions at the bottom
Pick n Mix By Kat Rose Martin
Directed by Alex Chisholm Designed by Madi Omatseone
Produced in association with Leeds Studio Funded by Bradford Producing Hub
Three lasses. One lad. And a bucketload of teen angst.
When Olivia, Kim and Alisha all take a fancy to the same local lad, friendships and families are torn apart. Lies are told, secrets are spilled and their lives are about to change forever.
A coming of age story of sisterhood, Sex Ed and sanitary pads.
Kat Rose Martin is a Bradford lass born and bred. She was the first winner of Kay Mellor Fellowship, and has written for stage and TV, including BBC’s Holby City & Sky’s Wolfe. Pick n Mix is her first full length play.
Content Warning: Miscarriage, teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexual references, and swearing
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
We are looking for young performers 18+ years old from or in Bradford who can convincingly play characters 15 – 25 years old. We’re looking for a mix of backgrounds and genders, including 1 South Asian Male and 1 South Asian Female. Auditions will be in Bradford on Thursday 22nd and Sunday 25th September. Rehearsals will start on 10th October and the roles are paid at £495 per week.
Please read the following for information on the production:
To book an audition send a recent photo of yourself, a CV or short paragraph about yourself and any performance experience to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Friday 16th September. Please note you do NOT need professional performance experience to audition, we want to hear from any interested young performers in Bradford.
Monday 28th March 6.30pm Hyde Park Book Club (book via HPBC)
Location: Ukraine (or anywhere). Modern Days. Mercenaries capture two female resistance fighters with horrific consequences for the women, and for themselves. Olga Braga’s new play is an impassioned plea for empathy and understanding of our shared, flawed, humanity.
Presented as part of Worldwide Play Readings – Ukraine, by Bradford and Leeds Artists, in association with Leeds Studio
CONTENT WARNING Contains explicit references to rape, violence, abortion, torture and death.
Life in 2020 is an interesting rollercoaster of surprises. Occasionally those surprises are pleasant ones. It is with very great delight that we can announce that our production of Nine Lives by the phenomenal Zodwa Nyoni performed by the stellar Lladel Bryant will be performing at The Bridge theatre in London from 22nd to 31st October 2020.
Nine Lives tells the story of Ishmael, a gay man from Zimbabwe fleeing for his life, who becomes an asylum seeker in Leeds. The situation in the UK for refugees and asylum seekers is no easier than it was in 2014 when this play started and in many ways is harder. We will be working again with the charities UKLGIG and City of Sanctuary to raise awareness, challenge misconceptions, and raise money.
Thank you all for your support that has got us this far. Hope to see as many of you as can make it in London.
It has been a 4 years since we last presented Ishmael’s story – his life as an asylum seeker in Leeds – and now feels like the right moment to share it again. Do have a watch and if you like it please share, tell your friends, and donate to one of the charities below.
This performance of Nine Lives by Zodwa Nyoni, performed by Lladel Bryant, and directed by Alex Chisholm, was livestreamed from the Arcola Theatre London on 29 January 2016 by Upstart Theatre. Presented by Leeds Studio in Association with Leeds Playhouse
The sharing of Nine Lives has now finished but do watch this space or follow us on Twitter @LeedsStudio
Fleeing from his home where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life, Ishmael has sought sanctuary in the UK. Dispersed to Leeds, Ishmael waits to hear his fate, he waits for a new life to begin amongst strangers. But not everyone is bad… can he find a place to call home again?
If you’ve enjoy this performance please donate to:
UKLGIG – supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system Donate Here
Popping back on here to let you know that we will have a sharing of current work-in-progress ‘Chisholm 72’ on Friday 22 November 1pm at Leeds College of Music. It’s about Shirley Chisholm, first Black Congresswoman who ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972. Shirley is the clearsighted, fierce, passionate woman warrior for justice that we need today. The musical is being created by two of Leeds own brilliant warriors for justice Zodwa Nyoni and Testament . We’re working with students from Musical Theatre course of Leeds College of Music, the performing talents of Flo Wilson, Dermot Daly, and Justina Aina, and the musical talents of Michael Lovelock, Neil Innes, Nick Svarc, and Isaac Heywood. We’d love you to come see what we’re making – drop me a line on email@example.com if you want to come along.
I wish I could say the world had taken a turn for the better in the two or so years since I last posted on here. But it hasn’t has it…
As I write we’re teetering on the edge of who knows what in Brexit-land, news of a fresh atrocity perpetrated by white, far right terrorists comes from around the world, and more hate and division continues to be spoken from our politicians, our media, our screens.
What can we do?
One thing (but by no means the only thing) we’re doing is going back to the wise words and strong examples of the Black women leaders in history. One such woman was Shirley Chisholm, first Black congresswoman and the first woman to run for the Presidential nomination of the Democratic party. If you’ve not read her autobiography ‘Unbought and Unbossed‘ I strongly recommend it. Every word stands out as a clear-sighted judgement of the corrupted political system and embedded racism and sexism of politics, the consequences of which as so evident today. The world would be better if we had listened to Black Women.
We’ve commissioned Zodwa Nyoni, writer of Nine Lives, and Testament to start work on a new piece about Shirley Chisholm. It’s very early days but we’re excited about where this is going. Testament has been awarded an Opera North Resonance residency to do some work on it and we’ll be doing a small work in progress sharing in Leeds on 5th April. If you want to come along drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a long and eventful journey we have been on since we first did Nine Lives in May 2014. I don’t think any of us would have guessed the world looks the way it does in in November 2016.
All along the journey we have been moved and inspired by the incredible people who have supported us and shared their own stories. Stories of looking for safety, finding friends, looking for home.
We are now taking Nine Lives out on tour for what might be last time in UK (never say never). Do spread the word if you can. We’d love even more people to see it. And we’d love more than anything for you to get to know and support the fantastic work done by our friends at UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, City of Sanctuary , and Platforma.
We have been supported in this tour by the brilliant House network and to share the love a bit more we’re donating to UKLGIG the equivalent of fee for one show. We want to do what we can to support people like Ishmael in the play, who are seeking sanctuary from persecution.
So come celebrate with us at one of our shows, the good things that can happen when people connect, the difficulties that break us apart, and, yes, ‘the hope to piece it all together.’
So much is going on with Leeds Studio and Nine Lives at the moment – we barely have time to write about it! (like going BACK ON TOUR from 27th September)
More news coming soon but in meantime Zodwa Nyoni’s Nine Lives is nominated for a prestigious Alfred Fagon Audience Award. There are SO MANY brilliant plays on this list that we feel like winners already but please do vote for us! We appreciate it and will send you warm thoughts and virtual hugs.
You can vote here and voting is open until 16th October.