Celebrating 50 years of Leeds West Indian Carnival, the cast of West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Queen of Chapeltown performed an exclusive extract of the play in Chapeltown’s Reginald Centre to an invited audience of previous Carnival royalty.
Past Queens and winning costume designers, including 1984 winner Angela Carr, 1989 winner Sheila Howarth and designer of over 20 winning costumes Hughbon Condor, met with the cast before watching an exclusive short performance from the show ahead of Wednesday’s opening night.
Founding carnivalist Arthur France MBE also attended the event, meeting with his fictional counterpart actor Raphael Bushay, who plays the role of Arthur in the production. Inspiring the Queen of Chapeltown story along with other members of the Leeds West Indian community, Arthur’s inspirational first-hand account of the birth of Carnival stirred much of this vibrant new production, celebrating a significant moment in Leeds’s history.
Following the journey of four West Indians as they arrive in 1960’s Leeds, the professional Queen of Chapeltown cast, including Chapel Allerton’s Emily Butterfield, will be joined by a 15 strong Leeds community ensemble.
Written by Colin Grant and directed by Amy Leach, Queen of Chapeltown plays in the Quarry Theatre, Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 September.
Queen of Chapeltown is supported by Leeds 2023