WANTED – ON STAGE
Posted on 05 May 2016
Back in January we recruited 24 people and groups from across Leeds to be part of a major new production with Chris Goode & Company, for Transform 16. Starting with a totally blank canvas where anything could have happened, we asked those taking part what they would most like to see happen on stage, in just three minutes.
On the 22 & 23 April, these 24 three minute ideas came to life on the Courtyard Theatre stage of West Yorkshire Playhouse. The following gives a snapshot of what happened…
Find out more about WANTED
Maureen wanted to perform her own monologue on stage, reminiscing about the many times she attended West Yorkshire Playhouse with her mother when she was alive.
Khadijah wanted to celebrate what it means to be an independent woman today. Her three minutes included imagery of her home of Harehills, poetry and movement.
Leanna wanted to challenge preconceptions around disability. Her three minutes featured Leanna performing her own creative writing and song, and an upholstered wheelchair designed by her father John Benjamin, which was gradually deconstructed by the performers.
Cieran wanted to explore the idea of fear. His three minutes featured a solo performance by Cieran himself, an appearance from Professor Anthony Jones, and video projection of a tarantula crawling across Cieran’s face.
Alan & Carol Walker
Alan and Carol love Yorkshire dialect and wanted to share their passion with the next generation. Their three minutes involved members of the West Yorkshire Playhouse Youth Theatre performing a scene of dialect, and a video appearance from Alan and Carol themselves.
The Jamaica Society Leeds
The Jamaica Society wanted to share their history with the audience. Their three minutes involved Pancy, June and Irene from the society on stage, along with recorded voiceover and images charting the origination of this Chapeltown based organisation.
Manston Primary School
Manston Primary in Crossgates wanted to create something surprising and fun for the audience, whilst getting across an anti-war message. Their three minutes involved the young people jumping out of a giant mouth as superheroes.
Leeds Mencap wanted to create a piece about the visibility and treatment of people with learning disabilities. Their three minutes involved the group on stage, voiceover testimonies of their own experiences, original composition by Leeds Mencap Young Ambassador Mark Swinden, and snow fall.
Leeds Friends of Rojava
Jawan, from Leeds Friends of Rojava, wanted to make a piece about the Kurdish part of Syria and how people can go for minor operations but be sent back to their families deceased and with their organs removed. Jawan wanted to question how those in the West can talk about humanity and democracy, but at the same time be unaware that such atrocities are being carried out, and to spread the message about what is happening in his home country.
Angel of Youths
Marvina Babs-Apata from Angel of Youths, wanted to create a privilege walk on stage and to question power and privilege.
Ana wanted to showcase her opera-musical theatre piece inspired by Alice in Wonderland, along with pianist/composer Nika Shirocorad.
Sidrah wanted to show increasing delighted and play on stage, in a scene which involved a range of performers, her daughter Frieha and husband Rich.
Lee wanted to see a little rabbit on stage, surrounded by soft music and a picket fence.
People of Leeds
A number of people we spoke to on the streets of Leeds back in January, said that they wanted to see David Bowie come back to life on stage. So we invited Stuart Roach, Bowie impersonator, to perform a three minute version of ‘Heroes’ .
Rowena wanted to see a performer on stage, representing the time she travelled to Cameroon in Central Africa, and met a man called Issac who helped her better understand herself at this important time in her life.
Leeds City Academy
In 3 minutes, the students wanted to show a politician what is really important in life – on a global level. They wanted their three minutes to be emotional, inspiring, and a celebration of all the things that we as a society can get right if we try hard enough.
Inspired by the current moment in her life, Lauren wanted to show the audience what it can feel like to be constantly bombarded with questions and life choices.
Saju Iqbal Ahmed
Saju wanted a performer to represent his grandad’s journey from Bengal to Leeds and his personal history. Incorporating dance, spoken word and music, Saju’s three minutes intertwined South Asian and local cultures.
Ade wanted to work with friends and performers Kim Ho, Taiwo Ogunyinka and filmmaker Haseeb Iqbal, to create a three-minute piece inspired by the death of David Oluwale and the human need for empathy.
Simon on the Streets
Homeless charity Simon on the Streets wanted their three minutes to focus on the idea of ‘placing yourself in someone else’s shoes’. Our performance ensemble used shoes as puppets and movement to represent how someone might become homeless, to music by composer Caitlin Stubbs.
The Joanna Project wanted to conjure childhood memories on stage, specifically those of the women that the charity supports. Working with illustrator Lou Sumray, a three-minute animation was created to represent some of the memories, including illustration by some of the women.
Studio 12 writers and performers Bianca Gerald & Imani Browne wanted to create three minutes on stage about empowering women, which involved Irmani’s young daughter Nevaeh as a ‘warrior queen’
Leeds LGBT Network
The network wanted to put the voices and stories of a range of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans people from across the city on stage, and to celebrate them.
Michael ‘Giselle’ Allan
Michael Allen wanted to adopt his drag persona of ‘Giselle’ for this final three minute moment . Wearing a gown of balloons, with a sound underscore, Giselle performed an aerial hoop act which ended the show.