Former homeless man to perform at West Yorkshire Playhouse

A formerly homeless man who now lives and works at the charity Emmaus Leeds is set to star in a forthcoming production at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 10:10 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Mike Eaton.

Mike Eaton, 26, is dusting off his guitar to perform in ‘Putting The Band Back Together’ on 30 and 31 March at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Mike endured homelessness and sofa surfing before securing a place at Emmaus Leeds – a charity that offers people a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.

He said: “I was happy to accept this opportunity to perform at the West Yorkshire Playhouse because I am driven to achieve a career in music. I’m currently exploring different avenues of the industry and wish to get as much experience as I can under my belt. I’m currently building a YouTube channel so that I can share my passion for guitar with a wider audience.”

‘Putting The Band Back Together’ features Ross Millard (The Futureheads) and is a production by Unfolding Theatre in association with LittleMighty. Inspired by theatre-maker and pancreatic cancer sufferer Mark Lloyd’s wish to “put his old band back together”, this uplifting show looks at forgotten dreams and lost passions and asks why we stop playing and what makes us start again.

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Annie Rigby, Unfolding Theatre’s Director, said: “We’re really excited to bring this welcoming, uplifting show to West Yorkshire Playhouse. It celebrates everybody’s creativity, and encourages us all to make space for the things we love in life. We hope the show, and our brilliant house band, inspires audiences to blow the dust off their own musical instruments / paintbrushes / dance shoes.”

Alexander Ferris, Director of Creative Engagement at West Yorkshire Playhouse, said: “There is a powerful synergy between the professional theatre we programme and our creative work with communities in Leeds. We are proudly committed to supporting and showcasing local talent and stories on our stages and benefit from the richness of our links with organisations like Emmaus in the city. We strive to ensure that people from all backgrounds and walks of life engage with our work and that it reflects the vibrant and diverse communities of Leeds. We are delighted that Mike is able to work with Unfolding Theatre and LittleMighty to show people his musical skills.”

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity has its main base and café on St Mary’s Street and runs two shops at Kirkgate Market where they sell donated furniture, clothes, books, bikes, household goods and upcycled products.

Joanne Stafford, Projects & Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, added: “Since Mike arrived at Emmaus Leeds and we discovered his extraordinary musical talent we have been encouraging him to accept any opportunity to play in front of an audience. He’s a natural performer and loves being on stage. We hope that with support from Emmaus he is able to fulfil his dreams and achieve a successful career in music.”

To support Emmaus Leeds visit

For more information call 0113 2484288 or visit Emmaus Leeds at St Mary’s Street, Leeds, LS9 7DP.