The Playhouse’s pioneering Dementia Friendly performances on BBC news

The story of a Rothwell couple who attend dementia friendly performances at West Yorkshire Playhouse has been told on BBC1’s Look North programme. Tuesday 17 January saw the dementia friendly performance of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical, welcoming people living with dementia and their friends and family to experience an adapted performance where audience […]

West Yorkshire Playhouse Launches Guide To Staging Dementia Friendly Performances

A guide instructing theatres on how to stage performances for people living with dementia is being published by West Yorkshire Playhouse in Dementia Awareness Week. West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Guide To Dementia Friendly Performances provides best practice advice based on its award-winning performance model, in which the theatre-going experience is specifically tailored to meet the needs […]

Dementia Friendly Performances

Dementia-friendly performances   In December 2014 we staged the UK’s first dementia-friendly performance of a mainstream theatre production, White Christmas. A second successful dementia friendly performance – a matinee of our Spring 2015 production Beryl – followed. A 2016 matinee of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang attracted over 500 people, cementing dementia friendly performances as a regular element of West Yorkshire […]

West Yorkshire Playhouse awarded £99,950 grant to develop Festival of Theatre and Dementia

West Yorkshire Playhouse, the UK’s foremost dementia friendly theatre having introduced the world’s first dementia friendly performance, has been awarded £99,950 from Arts Council England National Lottery funding to produce a Festival of Theatre and Dementia. Exploring the experience of living with dementia through creative activity, the Festival will create new opportunities for older people […]

West Yorkshire Playhouse shortlisted for top tourism award

West Yorkshire Playhouse has been shortlisted for a top tourism award in the much coveted Arts & Culture category as part of the prestigious Welcome To Yorkshire White Rose Awards. The awards, which are the biggest celebration of tourism in the UK, recognise the very best businesses in Yorkshire. The 17 categories cover everything from […]

Ramps On The Moon

West Yorkshire Playhouse is proud to be part of the Ramps on the Moon consortium. Making theatre accessible for our audiences has been at the core of our organisation for many, many years; we are proud of what we have achieved in pioneering Relaxed and Dementia Friendly Performances to enhance our offer of Audio Described, […]

A Theatre For A 21st Century City

With the arrival of John Lewis and Victoria Gate on our doorstep, this area of the city is changing beyond recognition. The Playhouse has always been about more than just the plays on stage – the relationship with our audiences and with local communities is just as important to us. We are the World’s first […]

Spring/Summer 2017 Season Announced

  Slam poetry to Shakespeare – incredible stories rooted in the present moment • Amy Leach (Kes, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Little Sure Shot, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Unicorn) directs Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece Romeo and Juliet – an extraordinary first love ignites amid a vicious turf war on a modern-day Northern estate […]


Performance, Music, Dance, Stories, Life It’s not a time for living in the past or in the future but living fully in the present. We mark out our significant moments with anniversaries. Anchors in time. Anniversary is a piece of contemporary theatre created by a group of older performers. Theatre that crosses boundaries effortlessly between performance art, contemporary dance, music and personal stories. Developed at West Yorkshire Playhouse through […]

Strictly Ballroom The Musical

The UK première of the hit musical Get ready to fall in love with Strictly Ballroom The Musical. From the award winning visionary Baz Luhrmann, creator of Moulin Rouge!, Romeo & Juliet and The Great Gatsby, comes Strictly Ballroom, a brand new musical for the stage inspired by his classic film. Premièring at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Strictly […]

Meet our new Graduate Actors

  Rose Wardlaw and James Barrett, the new Graduate Actors at West Yorkshire Playhouse, are recalling their first stage appearances. “I was probably four when I played a piece of Lego in the Nativity,” says Rose. Coincidentally young James also debuted in the Nativity – a different production and a bigger role as Joseph. The […]

Who Are We?

In the pages of this website you can find out everything about what we do here at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The range of our work is massive; whether you are a beginner, an aspirational artist or a professional we provide opportunities.  Whether you are 5 or 95 there are ways you can get involved with us and […]

Our Time

Work with people living with dementia West Yorkshire Playhouse is proud to be a dementia-friendly theatre. We offer regular opportunities for people living with dementia (older people and people with young-onset dementia) and their partners or carers to attend creative sessions and theatre performances. The majority of our staff are Dementia Friends and some have […]


At West Yorkshire Playhouse we have been committed to creative engagement with older people since we opened our doors in 1990. We believe that discovering and developing our creativity as we age has an enormous impact on well-being. We offer projects that are challenging and fun, where older people can forge friendships and social connections, […]