Members of Leeds theatre company The Performance Ensemble will take to the streets with four large beds, each with an elderly person under the covers.
They will tell the stories of the isolated elderly, life experiences which so often remain untold.
‘Bed’ was devised by Entelechy Arts and has toured the UK and Japan. Its first appearance in leeds is brought about by Alan Lyddiard, an older artist based in Beeston who is also Artistic Director of The Performance Ensemble. The Ensemble involves Leeds’ over sixties.
Alan said: “Bed is an incredibly powerful piece of street theatre. It was devised by Entelechy Arts who create work for those who are marginalised in society – whether it be by disability, health or age. We create work with anybody over the age of 60, whatever their circumstances. We create art, with the experience of age, for audiences of all ages.”
Since its inception in 2014, the Ensemble has increased its membership to 70 people from a wide variety of backgrounds. They aim to give older people a voice and to help them tell their stories. In so doing, social issues such as loneliness and isolation are highlighted.
There’s a new project on the way, too – Bus Pass – for which more performers are sought, as the project involves 1,000 older people. It’s a fairly long-term project, leading up to performances in August 2023, which will take place at five different sites. Sixteen double-decker buses will provide the stage for some impressive performances, including canal-side, in an underpass, on a green and in a bus depot. Ticket-holders will be seated next to an older performer who will guide them across the City with intimate story-telling.
Alan explained: “These will be the stories of Leeds. They will be stories of lives lived now; from Seacroft to Hawksworth Wood, from Holbeck to Chapel Allerton, from Chapeltown to Beeston and everywhere in between. It will be performed by an ensemble of 1000 older people, who will ask the world to consider what it means to age in the 21st century.”
The Bus Pass Project will start in January 2020. Those aged over 60 with an interest in performance – behind the scenes or on stage – are encouraged to contact The Performance Ensemble and register their interest in joining the project – email@example.com / 07528 745 152
Bed is part of Leeds Playhouse’s Open Weekend celebrations.
11 October at Playhouse Garden, Central Bus Station and Kirkgate – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 – 4 p.m. Kirkgate Market Food Hall – 12 noon to 2 p.m. and 3 – 4.30 p.m.
Saturday 12th October at Playhouse Garden, Central Bus Station, Kirkgate Market Food Hall and Kirkgate – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday 13th October atPlayhouse Garden, Central Bus Station, Kirkgate and the Corn Exchange 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on The Performance Ensemble visit here.
Photographs by Entelechy Arts.