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Passion, protest and slam poetry: Ode to Leeds in rehearsal

The cast of Ode to Leeds explore the power and politics of finding your voice in rehearsal for Zodwa Nyoni’s (Boi Boi Is Dead, West Yorkshire Playhouse) urban new production.

Directed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining and using poetry, rap and beatboxing, Ode to Leeds is inspired by the real life renowned spoken word poetry group, Leeds Young Authors.

The play follows five young people from the city as they pursue their dream of reaching America’s “Brave New Voices” slam poetry competition in New York.

The production brings together Khadijah Ibrahiim, the Artistic Director of Leeds Young Authors as Creative Associate, and world-record breaking human beatboxer Testament as Music and Words Consultant.

The young cast include Archie Rush (Casualty, BBC), Aryana Ramkhalawon (Waterloo Road, BBC), Chance Perdomo (Hetty Feather, CBBC), Genesis Lynea (In The Heights, Kings Cross Theatre) and Leah Walker (Citizen Khan, BBC).

Design is by Lucy Sierra with Movement Direction by Natasha Harrison, Lighting Design by Katharine Williams and Composition and Sound Design by Harry Blake.

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