Leeds Grand Theatre to close for almost three months as part of 'essential maintenance work'

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The Grade II listed Leeds Grand Theatre is set to close for almost three months.

Built in 1878 as a major milestone in Victorian design, the New Briggate theatre will undergo essential maintenance work from June 10.

It will include the “future-proofing” of the auditorium with plans to improve sound and lighting quality.

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The Leeds Grand Theatre is set to close for maintenance for three months. Photo: Ant Robling/Leeds Heritage Theatres.The Leeds Grand Theatre is set to close for maintenance for three months. Photo: Ant Robling/Leeds Heritage Theatres.
The Leeds Grand Theatre is set to close for maintenance for three months. Photo: Ant Robling/Leeds Heritage Theatres.

The theatre will then reopen with two weeks of comedy and music, with a line-up that includes Mo Gilligan, Sarah Millican and Richard Carpenter. That will be followed by Opera North’s autumn season, which is yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, a series of one-night acts will continue to play at City Varieties Music Hall throughout the summer, as Leeds Grand Youth Theatre performs the Little Shop of Horrors.

The Leeds Grand Theatre will reopen on September 5.

The works include:

  • “Future-proofing” the front of house auditorium rigging for circle fronts, surround sound, and delay bars that will improve the quality of lighting and sound that visiting companies can deliver
  • Installing a new OP Dock loading floor and structural strengthening works to the load-bearing walls in this area to accommodate the larger and heavier sets that modern shows tour
  • Carrying out work on the Dress Circle Boxes and auditorium risers to comply with the ABTT’s Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment. Improvements will also be made to the lighting, décor, and handrails of the Circle Boxes

The theatre attracts architecture fans for its sumptuous interior, plasterwork and decorative features - and can welcome up to 1,466 people at full capacity. It provides a home for performances of all types, including its resident companies Opera North and Northern Ballet.

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Since its Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council supported “transformation” in 2006, the theatre has hosted the best of the West End and other touring productions, including large musicals, drama from the National Theatre, comedians and music.

Among the recent highlights were the world premieres of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s ‘The Girls’ in 2015, and Kay Mellor’s ‘Fat Friends The Musical’ in 2017.

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