A chorus of praise as Leeds-based Red Ladder marks dramatic milestone

Pauline McLynn as Mother Courage.
Pauline McLynn as Mother Courage.

People across Leeds have been handed a chance to appear alongside professional actors in a play marking the 50th anniversary of the city’s Red Ladder Theatre Company.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Red Ladder’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage And Her Children will run at the Albion Electric warehouse on South Accommodation Road in Hunslet from September 27 to October 20.

The cast is headed by Father Ted and Shameless star Pauline McLynn – but the producers also want the play to feature a community chorus.

Informal auditions are now set to be held in Leeds for places in the chorus of a show that will include new songs written by Boff Whalley, founder member of Leeds band Chumbawamba.

Auditionees should be aged over 18, with some group singing experience and a willingness to “explore performance and develop new skills”.

Red Ladder artistic director Rod Dixon said: “We need a community chorus who can sing well in character and move the audience along with the action.

“We want it to be representative of people right across Leeds.”

The first audition will take place at the Mandela Community Centre on Chapeltown Road from 6pm to 8pm on Monday, July 30.

Auditions are also being held at Leeds Playhouse’s Costume Hire in St Peter’s Square from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, August 1, and at Swarthmore Education Centre in Woodhouse Square from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, August 2.

Red Ladder can trace its roots back to the emergence of a radical drama group called The Agitprop Street Players from a festival staged in London’s Trafalgar Square during the politically tumultuous year of 1968.

It later changed its name to Red Ladder and in the mid-1970s moved to Leeds, where today it has its home on York Street in the city centre.

For more details about the auditions, visit the www.redladder.co.uk website.