- Venue: Courtyard Theatre
- Duration: 2 hours 10 mins including an interval
- Age: 14+
- Other: Post Show Discussion Fri 16 June
More Information on Ode To Leeds
Five young poets from Leeds are selected to compete at the world’s most prestigious international poetry slam competition in New York City.
Fuelled by love, pride and passionate protest their words light fires to show the world who they are and what they can be. But the determination to be crowned International Slam Champions threatens to overwhelm everything. As the competition draws closer, the poets are forced to discover not just their voices, but what they must find the courage to say.
Writer Zodwa Nyoni returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse following her debut play, Boi Boi is Dead, with this funny and moving coming of age story; a celebration of Leeds, language and an ode to the art that changed her own life as part of the acclaimed spoken word group Leeds Young Authors.
Directed by Artistic Director, James Brining, Ode to Leeds will feature a blend of music, words, heart and soul to provide a poignant and uplifting portrait of our city.
Ode To Leeds: The Movement
There’s lots of special events going on as part of Ode to Leeds: The Movement, including our 24 hour Takeover Weekend, Sunday Practise on Tour and Voices of a New Generation, and we want you to be involved! Check out all information on the Movement tab under the image above.
BSL and Captioned Performance Information
Ode To Leeds production sponsor
Cast & Credits
Writer Zodwa Nyoni / Director James Brining /
A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production
“An urgent, spirited and compelling play.”
“From the moment the five launch into their first poem, there's an air of electricity and vibrancy to James Brining’s production that never dims over the course of two hours.”
“Zodwa Nyoni’s outstanding, true to life story of love, loss and aspiration shows the struggle of the young people of Leeds to show the whole world what they’re made of.”
“Ode to Leeds is a brilliant and occasionally heartbreaking portrait of our city; a fantastically fitting finale to the West Yorkshire Playhouse season. This is an absolute must see for a wide and diverse audience.”
“political, heartfelt and at times heart-breaking”
“Verbal poetry resonates through the physical patterning of the staging - movement, lights, images, sounds and music - under James Brining’s direction.”
“(Nyoni’s) political vehemence and her relish for language have a thrilling urgency”
“A love song to Leeds and a hopeful testament to the city’s youth”
“Ode to Leeds is a powerful, highly fitting homage to the real stories it draws upon, and makes for a vital, enjoyable, character-driven evening.”
“A very moving watch”
Ode To Leeds: The Movement
Ode To Leeds: The Movement in partnership with Leeds Young Authors.
The Playhouse wants to hear your voice about your city!
|Write On The Walls||Sat 10 June – Sat 1 July
Throughout the run of Ode To Leeds, we’re issuing an invitation to write your poetry on the walls of the Playhouse.
|Sunday Practise On Tour||Sun 18 June, 8.30pm
Leeds’ regular live music and poetry night decamps to the Courtyard Theatre for one night only! An evening of spoken word, performance poetry and live music featuring local and national artists.
Click here to book tickets
|Takeover Weekend||Fri 23 – Sat 24 June – FREE
We want to find 20 young Leeds artists to work with a group of exciting live artists, poets, writers and the creative team of Ode to Leeds, to create their own work inspired by their lives and their city. Find out more below and apply now! Deadline to apply: Friday 2nd June, 11am
Full details on the Takeover Weekend
Click here to download the application form
|Voices Of a New Generation||Mon 26 June, 7pm
Come and celebrate the power of spoken word and live performance, as schools and community groups compete in this poetry slam festival. The evening, run by Leeds Young Authors, promises to be an exciting window into young peoples’ views on the world
Click here to book
|Leeds Young Author’s Q&A||Tue 27 June, 10pm – FREE
Ode To Leeds is writer Zodwa Nyoni’s ode to the art that changed her own life as part of the acclaimed spoken work group. Leeds Young Authors. This Q&A will explore Leeds Young Authors’ impact on performance poetry in Leeds, the UK and internationally. The panel includes Khadijah Ibrahiim, Dr Emilee Moore, Paulette Morris and Lewis Barker
A Signed performance is the usual full production with the addition of a British Sign Language Interpreter who stands on the stage interpreting the show for Deaf attendees.Audio Described
Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.Relaxed Performance
A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.Dementia-Friendly Performance
A relaxed performance with adaptations to technical aspects of the show, flexible seating options and a relaxed attitude to audience responses and movement in the auditorium. In our front of house space we will have a quiet room, clearer visual markers and signage, and additional staff and volunteers trained to sensitively and respectfully welcome people living with dementia and their supporters to this show.
*A transaction fee of £1.95 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.
- - Captioned
- - Signed
- - Audio Description
- - Relaxed Performance
- - Dementia Friendly Performance