The August bank holiday is here which means that summer is coming to an end.
But there’s nothing quite like a long weekend to see it off in style. So whether you’re planning on watching one of Europe’s longest-running carnivals, fancy listening to some world class music, or want to see some superheroes up close, then there’s no shortage of events and activities going on in Leeds.
One of the heroes of England’s 2005 Ashes-winning team and one of the best players of his generation, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff returns to Leeds this weekend. The cricket star, who used to get a bit of stick from the ‘western terrace’ when he played for Lancashire at Headingley in the past, will be expecting more good-natured banter when he takes to the stage at the Grand Theatre on Sunday. He’s here with his 2nd Innings show, in which he talks to his friend, the TV producer Clyde Holcroft, about his life and career. For tickets go to leedsgrandtheatre.com or call 0844 848 2700.
It’s not often you get to see Iron Man, Batman and Star Wars storm troopers in the same place, so if you’re a fan of any of these then you should make a beeline for the Royal Armouries this weekend. The museum is hosting a special ‘Superheroes Weekend’ giving visitors the chance to learn about superhero arms and armour. You can also find out what links super powers and martial arts skills. Other highlights include creative workshops led by a comic book artist and a raft of superhero appearances, film shows, talks and demonstrations.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards, this highly-acclaimed National Theatre production finishes its five night run at the Leeds Grand today. It tells the story of 15 year-old Christopher who is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog, he goes on a journey that turns his world upside down. Based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott, this is a brilliant and thrilling play. For tickets call 0844 848 2700.
KIRKSTALL ABBEY DELI MARKET
AS far as deli markets go, you will struggle to find a more stunning backdrop than this one. Kirkstall’s Deli Market is a great way to sample great food in the shadow of one of Britain’s best preserved abbeys. If you’re lucky you might get to try some great cheeses from those clever people at Cryer & Stott, or sample fresh bread from the Leeds Bread Co-op. With dozens of stalls there really is something to tickle everyone’s tastebuds. The deli is on Saturday and Sunday between noon and 3pm. There’s even a sandpit for the kids. What’s not to like?
LEEDS INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION
The prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition, or ‘the Leeds’ as its also known as, got underway this week. This famous competition, set up by Dame Fanny Waterman and Marion Thorpe, former Countess of Harewood more than 50 years ago, attracts some of the world’s best pianists to the city. For the next two weeks these virtuoso musicians from 19 different countries will fill the Great Hall at the University of Leeds with the sound of musical brilliance. If you’re a classical music fan then this is not to be missed. For details go to www.leedspiano.com.
LEEDS WEST INDIAN CARNIVAL
Come rain or shine there are few events in the city’s cultural calendar as colourful as the Leeds West Indian Carnival. This hugely popular carnival, which dates back to 1967, has become a Bank Holiday Monday tradition in the city. Up to 100,000 are expected to soak up the rainbow-hued parade which features 28 spectacular floats and 20 costumed troupes all accompanied by the sound of soca and steel pan music. This colourful jamboree leaves Potternewton Park at 2pm before winding its way through Chapeltown, Sheepscar and Harehills. Bring your shades and your dancing feet.