What's On



Furnace is the red-hot core of West Yorkshire Playhouse’s ongoing Artist Development programme. It offers professional theatre makers an unpressured environment to develop work and opportunities to share brand new ideas with audiences for the very first time. It’s a place to take risk, get feedback and be adventurous in creating the next generation of vital theatre.

Click below to learn more about our rolling programme of Furnace events and find out how to share your new work.

  • Project development

    Throughout the year, we offer a range of bespoke opportunities for professional artists to develop ambitious new projects. This support is flexible and tailored to meet the needs of each individual artist we work with. It might manifest as a script development workshop for a writer with a vital new script, or a week of free rehearsal space for a young company looking to try out some new material.

    If you’ve got an idea for the next big theatre production, get in touch with us to discuss possible ways of developing it at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

  • Furnace: Scratch

    Scratch is a first thought. It’s that half-formed idea that won’t go away. It’s the what if…? in the back of your mind.

    Scratch is a bi-monthly showcase of brand new performance ideas. We invite artists to share new work that is incendiary, ambitious and audacious and we ask audiences to watch and give generous feedback, directly contributing to the development of the work being shared.

    Scratch is full of informal, raw and unfinished ideas. Each piece will last up to fifteen minutes and the bar will be open all night, allowing audiences and artists to continue the conversation over a pint.

    We are currently confirming the schedule for our next season of Scratch nights. Check back for more details.

    • Furnace: Summer Sublets

      For two weeks in August, Summer Sublets invites professional artists from all disciplines to occupy West Yorkshire Playhouse.

      We’ll give over as many rooms as we can to artists who need rehearsal space, desk space, writing space, singing space, dancing space, recording space or breathing space. These rooms will be rough and ready, varied in size and spread all over this enormous building. We want artists who are developing new ideas of all descriptions to fill the building with noise, activity and conversation.

      We can’t provide any financial or technical support for Summer Sublets, but the Playhouse’s Artistic Team will be on hand to offer producing and dramaturgical advice if needed. We’ll also organise informal get-togethers over the course of the two weeks, so all the artists in the building can meet up in the evening, start a conversation about what they’re up to and extend their creative community for the future.

      What we offer residents:

      A residency in a space suitable to your creative practice.
      A residency of between three and ten days in length.
      Producing, administrative and dramaturgical support when available.

      What we ask for in return:

      A very informal sharing of what you’ve been up to over the course of your residency on Friday 22 August, 6pm in West Yorkshire Playhouse. This will be to an audience of selected Playhouse staff members and other Summer Subletters.

      Priority will be given to artists based in the north of England, but artists from further afield are also encouraged to apply.

      Application for Summer 2015 are now closed, please check back for information about Summer 2016.

    • Furnace: Festival

      Click here for more information and to book tickets for this years Furnace: Festival

      The Furnace Festival is a chance for audiences to see some of the new work that we’ve been developing throughout the year at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. For one week in In October, we bring together the best new theatre from Leeds and beyond for a festival that’s jam-packed with warm welcomes, incendiary ideas and bright new talent.

      We showcase early incarnations of the projects we’ve been developing here at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, as well as inviting emerging theatre makers, playwrights, directors and live artists to share new work with an audience for the very first time. In return, we ask our audiences to give feedback and share ideas; turning today’s bright sparks into the trailblazers of tomorrow.

      This hotbed of artistic activity includes premier productions, rehearsed readings of brand new plays, work-in-progress showings, skill-sharing workshops, panel discussions and late-night knees ups.

      Join us in October for a festival of sizzling new theatre, live music, events and discussion in West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Furnace.

    Throughout the year, we’ll also offer a number of other one-off opportunities to develop and share brand new work, check the programme for more details. Click here for more information and to book tickets for this years Furnace: Festival

Autumn / Winter West Yorkshire Playhouse Brochure

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Meet the Team