Entertainment venues across Leeds set to reopen after lockdown
Museums, galleries, theatres and cinemas are among entertainment venues across Leeds set to reopen next week as the latest Covid restrictions are lifted.
Leeds City Council said museum and gallery sites will return to normal opening hours from Monday May 17.
The Vue Cinemas in the Light in Leeds city centre and on Kirkstall Road are among cinemas across the city also set to open on Monday.
Leeds Playhouse box office and cafe will be open from Monday May 17 and the first show – Decades: Stories from the City, will open on Wednesday May 19.
People will be able to enjoy trips to Leeds City Council run venues including Lotherton Hall, Temple Newsam, Abbey House Museum, Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds City Museum.
Coun Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for culture and economy, said: “It’s wonderful to know that from next week, our museums and galleries will be able to open their doors to the public and give everyone the opportunity to explore our incredible collection in person once again.
“There has been a tremendous amount of hard work going on behind the scenes to ensure all of our sites are ready to welcome people back, with Covid secure measures fully in place and an exciting programme of exhibitions and events to enjoy.
“There really is nothing quite like paying a visit to a museum and our staff can’t wait to see people rediscovering Leeds’s rich history and heritage.”
Leeds Playhouse will be staging six specially commissioned monologues to mark its 50th anniversary.
The monologues, which have been written by six northern writers including Simon Armitage, Maxine Peake and Alice Nutter, each reflect a particular decade from the 1970s to the 2020s.
Live performances will run in the Courtyard Theatre from May 19 to 29 with additional online performances available to stream via Playhouse: At Home.
A Leeds Playhouse spokesperson said: "We're also unveiling a major new front-of-house exhibition on Friday May 21 celebrating 50 Years of Leeds Playhouse, featuring photographs, illustrations and artwork from across the decades.
"Entry is free but, to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable, we're asking people to book a timed ticket in advance."
Leeds Heritage Theatres said City Varieties Music Hall will reopen from Monday May 17 welcoming back audiences with its first live performance since March 2020,.
And there will be an exciting new film programme presented in collaboration with sister venue Hyde Park Picture House.
Leeds Heritage Theatres said City Varieties Music Hall will reopen from Monday 17 May, welcoming back audiences with its first live performance since March 2020, and an exciting new film programme presented in collaboration with sister venue Hyde Park Picture House.
Judy & Liza, a dazzling production telling the turbulent tale of Hollywood’s biggest stars against the backdrop of their infamous 1964 London Palladium concert, will run for one socially distanced performance only on Thursday May 20.
Leeds Grand Theatre will reopen on June 17 with a socially distanced run of resident company Northern Ballet’s Swan Lake.
They will follow this in November with Merlin, originally set to run over Christmas 2020 as part of their 50th year anniversary celebrations.
Fellow residents, Opera North, will also return in the autumn with a season of work, including Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Rigoletto, plus Bernstein’s West Side Story Symphonic Dances in collaboration with Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre.
And whilst some of the blockbuster musicals from this year, including The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables, have had to be moved to 2022, West End hits Heathers The Musical and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will run alongside newly announced Priscilla Queen of the Desert and My Best Friend’s Wedding (starring Alexandre Burke) to name a few.
Tickets are available at www.leedsheritagetheatres.com
Jack Costello, General Manager of Vue Leeds Kirkstall, said: “In a year marked by restrictions on our daily lives, the importance of escapism has never been stronger.
“After the best part of a year at home, we know that families in Leeds and entertainment fans are craving safe out-of-home experiences like never before – cinema provides that unique experience of being able to truly immerse yourself in a great story.
“We have also been enhancing the customer experience over the past year.
"We’ve added 700 luxury recliner seats, so we look forward to welcoming back customers to a better big screen experience than ever before.”