LEEDS 2023: How to watch The Promise of a Garden at Leeds Playhouse

Alex Monk, content and social media officer for LEEDS 2023, writes here for the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Saturday, 14th August 2021, 11:45 am
The company of The Promise of a Garden. Picture: Ethan Delgado.

What a joy it is to see exhibitions, events and performances taking place across Leeds this summer.

It’s been wonderful to see Leeds Waterfront Festival, Otley Live and Hop City all going on over the last few weeks.

I also popped in to see the current exhibition from Mel Brimfield at The Tetley last week which is well worth a visit – the new food menu is rather delicious too! There’s plenty happening over the next few weeks and just the small matter of fans returning to Elland Road in a week’s time.

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Something else we’re looking forward to is The Promise of a Garden, coming this week to the Leeds Playhouse stage.

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With a provocation inviting us to “come and watch the garden grow” we will hear stories from older performers told through music, dance and projected visuals.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Promise of a Garden come to life ever since I joined the team at LEEDS 2023. I first came across The Performance Ensemble’s work in 2016 when

I saw on their production of Anniversary – a glorious ensemble celebration of living in the present moment.

Five years on from that show, and with everything that has happened in between, the stage is again set for older performers to share their experiences, stories and creativity.

This time through the lens of growing.

We will in fact see a garden grow.

Local people and makers groups have come together and contributed 5,000 handmade flowers to create a one of a kind communal garden.

I was chatting this week with a neighbouring plot holder at my community allotment site.

Like many of us over the last year I have found comfort and solace in the outdoors and in particular growing; I have taken pride in nurturing my small patch of Leeds and enjoyed sharing produce with friends, family and other plot holders.

Like a rehearsal room, allotments are truly collaborative places with people coming together learning, failing and thriving through conversation.

My surrounding plot holders have been on the site far longer than me, some for over 40 years, and their lived wisdom and knowledge has proven more valuable than any book.

Throughout their work the Performance Ensemble place importance on these older voices and believe that the older you get the more contribution you can make to society.

I couldn’t agree more.

The Promise of a Garden it truly is a show made for now, reflecting on growing and how the outdoors has helped us through tough times and can continue to do so.

You can watch The Promise of a Garden at Leeds Playhouse from Wednesday, August 18 through to the Saturday, August 21.

There is also a special livestream broadcast on Friday 20th August.

To purchase tickets, or for more information about the performances on offer, click here to log on to the playhouse’s website.