Ludus Festival Leeds announces week-long festival of performing arts


The programme for the Ludus Festival Leeds - a new and exciting international performing arts festival taking place in Leeds from 25 June to 1 July 2012 - has been announced.

The festival aims to further strengthen Leeds' reputation as an international centre for excellence in performing arts and theatre. With 13 events over 7 days audiences will be able to experience some of the most exciting artistic work available today right on their doorstep.

The programme includes delights such as Lo Monstre, an enchanting animatronic creature which will be visiting the city centre (Fri 29 June, Sat 30 June, Sun 1 July) whilst at West Yorkshire Playhouse you can become part of the performance in Ontroerend Goed's  Audience - which makes its Leeds premiere direct from a sell-out Edinburgh season and European tour.

The festival has also commissioned a City Walk, where a network of Yorkshire artists will guide audiences to take a fresh look at the streets. On the opening night of the festival, Promised Land - a stage adaptation of Antony Clavane's book - takes centre stage. Promised Land tells the story of Leeds, its football club and its communities through the eyes of Nathan and Caitlin, two young idealists growing up in mid-1970s Leeds, living in the same city but on opposite sides of a cultural and religious divide.

Ludus Festival Leeds is led by the University of Leeds and is a collaboration between some of the leading arts organisations in the city including: Yorkshire Dance, Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, stage@leeds, The Carriageworks, Red Ladder, Yorkshire International Performing Arts Network, as well as partners Leeds City Council, Leeds University Union. Mick Wallis, Professor of Performance and Culture at the University of Leeds, and Co- Director of Ludus Festival Leeds said: "The city of Leeds has a long history of producing and presenting high quality performing arts.

This inaugural Ludus Festival, a new venture in contemporary performing arts for the city, celebrates Leeds as an international centre of excellence in theatre and performance. And more importantly, it presents a fresh and dynamic programme for Leeds residents and visitors to enjoy. "Ultimately Ludus is about taking the opportunity to try something new - for venues, for audiences, for the city. The name 'Ludus' refers to play and we have programmed work that will engage audiences in a playful way. We invite everyone to come along and prepare to be surprised, amazed, pleased and provoked."

Promised Land is directed by Rod Dixon of Red Ladder Theatre Company. He said: "Red Ladder Theatre Company's mission is to create high quality theatre which provokes debate about the world in which we live; in collaborating with the Ludus festival we are able to highlight the international dimension of a piece of work written by a Leeds writer, set in Leeds, made in Leeds with a large cast of Leeds people.

Anthony Clavane, the writer of the show, strongly believes that Leeds is a city of immigrants - comers and goers, people of all different cultures and backgrounds have settled here and made it their own, and in celebrating Leeds we are also celebrating that diversity. It is a huge pleasure to be a part of a festival which also celebrates that international diversity and which encourages Leeds to be playful - let's play Leeds!"

Further information:

Contact: University of Leeds Press Office, +44 113 343 4031 or email

For more information about the festival visit:

Notes to Editors

  • Ludus Festival Leeds has been organised by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. Its Co-Directors are Mick Wallis and Joslin McKinney. 
  • The festival is funded by Arts Council England, Leeds Inspired and Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. The University of Leeds is the lead partner.
  • The festival coincides with PSi#18 a major international conference for over 500 performing arts specialists taking place in Leeds in the same week. Bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners in the world of performing arts, the conference is an initiative of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, UK, in partnership with sister schools in the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications, and Workshop Theatre in the Faculty of Arts. 
  • A full overview of festival events can be found on:
  • Information about events can also be found on Twitter: @LudusFestival and Facebook: Ludus Festival Leeds