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West Yorkshire Playhouse to host innovative new work in 2018 Studio Season

Reinstating its temporary studio theatre for three weeks throughout February, the Playhouse will host a vibrant programme of unmissable performance, including critically acclaimed work from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The season will be the final of its kind in the Playhouse’s current Barber Studio, with The Bramall Rock Void, a dedicated, flexible and intimate new third space built during the Playhouse’s capital redevelopment, becoming a permanent home for small scale work from Autumn 2019.

Shortlisted nominee for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2017 What If I Told You joins the programme of work, created and performed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Artist Pauline Mayers.

West Yorkshire Playhouse New Work Producer Gilly Roche said:“Over the last three years, our programme of dynamic, small-scale work has gone from strength to strength. With the Bramall Rock Void just around the corner, we believe this final Barber Studio programme is the best yet – innovative, urgent and thoroughly entertaining.

We’re particularly thrilled to welcome back Pauline Mayers and the critically acclaimed What If I Told You, developed here at the Playhouse ahead of a successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017.”

Studio Season Programme

What If I Told You? (13 – 17 Feb) – Throughout Pauline’s life, people have made assumptions about her based on her gender, background and skin colour. She’s defied these expectations at every turn, tearing up the narrative that society tried to impose on her. Carefully balancing theatre and dance, What If I Told You? immerses the audience in Pauline’s world as she invites them to pause, breathe and reconsider the stories we tell about our past and the history on which we build our futures. A West Yorkshire Playhouse and Mayers Ensemble co-production.

Penguins (15 – 17 Feb) – Roy and Silo are just like the other penguin pairs at Central Park Zoo – they are very happy together. When the duo decide to try and hatch a rock in place of an egg, they find themselves on an adventure which could mean raising a chick for real. Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Prime Theatre and Cahoots NI present a delightful new theatre and dance production of friendship, fun and identity, celebrating being different and the ever-changing meaning of family.

Black Men Walking  (21 – 24 Feb) – Written by world record-holding beatboxer Testament and directed by Eclipse Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Dawn Walton, Black Men Walking follows three friends who hike together on the first Saturday of every month, finding themselves looking back through history before they can move forwards. An Eclipse Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, Black Men Walking is a Revolution Mix story. The Playhouse are proud to partner Eclipse Theatre Company on Revolution Mix, and host Black Men Walking as a result of the Revolution Mix project.

Maggie May (26 Feb) – A rehearsed reading of a brand new Playhouse commission that explores the experience of living with dementia by award-winning playwright Frances Poet, presented as part of Every Third Minute, a festival of theatre, dementia and hope.

The Purple List (26 Feb) – Written by Libby Pearson and performed by Ian Baxter, this one man play explores the lives of two gay men as they navigate their way through the care system and the changes in their relationship, presented as part of Every Third Minute, a festival of theatre, dementia and hope.

This Is Us (27 Feb) – a performance platform showcasing new work by artists living with dementia in a supportive environment, including a chance for the audience to give feedback, presented as part of Every Third Minute, a festival of theatre, dementia and hope.

Blank Tiles (28 Feb) – World scrabble champion Austin Michaels used to know over 200,000 words, then he was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Since his diagnosis, Austin has been in a race against time to document his memories, before they fade. A humorous and poignant play by writer and performer Dylan Cole, Blank Tiles is presented as part of Every Third Minute, a festival of theatre, dementia and hope.

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