A NEW community play will chart the history of Leeds from the turmoil and tension of war to the multicultural city it is today - and starring a familiar face.
Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain rugby league player Jamie Jones-Buchanan will star alongside 40 city residents in the play written to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and Leeds’s role in it.
The show is being developed by Leeds radical theatre company Red Ladder, who are also producing an adaptation of the David Peace novel The Damned United, based Brian Clough’s ill-fated spell at Leeds United.
This week Mr Jones-Buchanan joined the play’s writers and director, Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon, at the Carriageworks Theatre to launch the search for the show’s stars. Selected through open auditions, the community cast will have the opportunity to perform and learn about professional theatre.
Mr Jones-Buchanan said he was “excited” to be involved. Amongst the Leeds Pals who fought and died at the Battle of Somme were members of the Leeds Rugby League club and Mr Jones-Buchanan, who is a trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said that the project is a fitting tribute to the former players and fellow Leeds Pals.
For more information on auditions for Leeds Lads, which take place next month, visit www.redladder.co.uk.