Historic market sets scene for play

Leeds Kirkgate Market
Leeds Kirkgate Market
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Market stalls at Kirkgate are set to be swapped for theatre stalls as the historic hall becomes the backdrop for a Victorian production in the new year.

The stunning building and its surroundings are currently being given a refresh and facelift by Leeds City Council in time for the four day run of an interpretation of the Dickens work Oliver Twist.

Victorian England is brought back to life in the heart of Leeds courtesy of the Front Room Productions project.

Artistic director, Olivia Race told City Buzz the company specialised in “creating innovative theatre in alternative locations, with previous productions in chapels and living rooms”.

She added that Kirkgate was a “glorious” setting and ideal for the novel which was originally published as a serialisation between 1837 and 1839.

The hour long shows will be performed after dark throughout what is now the largest covered market in Europe.

Plans for a market on the Kirkgate site were first unveiled in 1850 modelled on Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park. Development began on the current site in 1857.