Not just any stage production! Story of M&S to be told at Leeds’s West Yorkshire Playhouse

M&S designs from the 1960s.
M&S designs from the 1960s.

The story of Marks & Spencer is set to take centre stage in a special production at Leeds’s West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Dressed In Time will use vintage fashion and music to chart the remarkable history of the retail giant at the theatre next month.



Backed by the Leeds-based M&S company archive, the show is being written by students from the University of Leeds and will be performed by actors from local community theatre groups.

M&S company archivist Katharine Carter said: “We are delighted to be working with West Yorkshire Playhouse to bring the fascinating story behind M&S to life.

“This much-anticipated, one-off event is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the fashion gems from the archive collection and share the history of M&S.

“Characters from M&S’s past who helped make the company what it is today will tell their stories, allowing the audience to discover how Michael Marks first came to Leeds in 1884, how customers during the Second World War dealt with clothing rationing, right through to what shoppers in the 1960s thought of miniskirts.

The M&S store on Briggate in 1960.

The M&S store on Briggate in 1960.

“Whatever your favourite fashion decade, the show will transport you to the past while demonstrating how the designs of yesteryear have influenced today’s most modern trends.”

Dressed In Time is on at the Playhouse on Saturday, November 18, starting at 2pm.

Tickets cost £5 and include tea and cake. Booking is essential as places are limited, visit www.wyp.org.uk/events/dressed-in-time for more details.

M&S has a long-standing relationship with Leeds that began when Michael Marks opened a stall at the city’s Kirkgate Market in 1884 with a sign next to it famously saying “don’t ask the price, it’s a penny”.

The M&S archive relocated to the new Michael Marks Building on the University of Leeds’s western campus in 2012.

Previously based in London, the collection comprises thousands of items from the firm’s past, including newspaper cuttings from the 1920s and clothing from the 1950s. An exhibition is open to the public.