For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur


Image: Quarantine’s ’12 Last Songs’ runs at Leeds Playhouse on 23 October. Photo: JMA Photography

Leeds’ international performance festival, Transform, and renowned theatre company Quarantine are on the hunt for a dozen different local professionals for a one-off new show they are making to open at Leeds Playhouse on 23 October. The diverse list of people they are looking for includes a clock or watchmakeran ICU Nurse; a Stockbroker; a Philosopher; an Armed Forces Officer; a Factory Worker; a Transplant Surgeon; a Track and Trace Worker; an Uber Driver; a Butcher; a religious leader such as a Granthi, Rabbi, Priest or Imam and an Acupuncturist.

Spanning 12 hours from midday to midnight on 23 October, 12 Last Songs will invite members of the public to demonstrate what they do for work, live on stage to create a fleeting portrait of Leeds. Part performance and part exhibition of people 12 Last Songs will explore the role work plays in our lives, how it shapes our identity and, in the context of the pandemic, how these ideas have been completely turned on their heads.

Each person taking part in the event will be invited to work a paid shift on stage, during which they will be asked to demonstrate their skills and answer questions about their work and lives.

12 Last Songs will launch Transform’s festival for 2021-22 which will re-imagine what an international festival can look like and represent now and in the future. In response to the last 18 months, Transform 21-22 is an invitation to artists and communities to join Transform in manifesting an extended festival for our times, one that is slower, more sustainable and care-led. From Autumn 21-Spring 22, this extended festival will invite audiences from across Leeds and beyond to rediscover and explore the city and connect with powerful artists from across the globe.

People who are interested in taking part in 12 Last Songs should email Jay Millard, Assistant Producer at Transform  by 6pm, Tuesday 12 October. It should be noted that Transform and Quarantine are NOT looking for professional actors and no previous performance experience is required.  

Audiences for 12 Last Songs are free to come and go across the 12-hour duration, and tickets are Pay What You Can, starting at just £2.

Transform 21-22

12 Last Songs  – 23 October 2021

Leeds Playhouse. Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, Yorkshire LS2 7UP

12 Last Songs is co-commissioned by Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Cambridge Junction with the support of the Stobbs New Ideas Fund, and HOME. It is co-produced by Transform and is supported by Arts Council England, The Rank Foundation and Manchester City Council.

Transform 21-22 is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, and supported by Leeds 2023 and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Produced in partnership with Leeds Playhouse.
Telephone: 0113 213 7700

Tickets range from £2-£25 with audiences invited to select from a range of ticket options, making a choice based on their individual financial circumstances. Further information can be found on the Transform website. Please note that a booking fee (£2.50) is charged for each transaction (not for each ticket).


Post-COVID Re-Opening of Our Theatres – Little Theatre Guild

Post-COVID Re-Opening of Our Theatres – Little Theatre Guild

By Eddie Redfern, Little Theatre Guild’s National Liaison Officer

Eddie Redfern

As we come out of lockdown and start to return to rehearsals and putting on plays, have you considered what effect the last 15 months has had on your members both Onstage, Backstage and Front of House? Have all volunteers and workers been fully briefed on the new COVID secure environment training and systems? Are you asking cast, crew, set builders, technicians and all volunteers to take regular lateral flow tests, during rehearsals and performances? These are free and available from Pharmacies or direct from the NHS.  Has everyone been briefed that ‘The Show Must Go On’ syndrome is no longer a realistic and valid reason for turning up if they have any COVID symptoms, irrespective of their role?

Onstage and Backstage:

We might recognise that some cast members will be apprehensive about returning and rehearsing. But have we considered the lack of muscle memory for speaking out loud and projecting their voices. If you don’t do it already in rehearsals, is it worth doing vocal warm-ups and some warm-up exercises to get our actors rehearsal ready? This will assist them to get back to full performance readiness.

What about our set builders, the majority of whom are retired and have not built any sets for 15 months? I know at my own theatre the team dismantling the previous, unused set, was knackered far sooner than they expected. Again lack of exercise and muscle memory; do they need longer to build the set than 15 months ago? Have they been reminded of the health and Safety requirements? Have they had any refresher training on use of equipment, for example electric saws.

Has the Stage Manager and crew been briefed on COVID secure working, are they fit enough to move props and scenery. Are props being sanitized before and after use? Do they need additional assistance to get back to normal? What about our lighting and sound technicians. Have they been reminded of health and safety practices, especially lighting technicians who may not have been up high ladders for 15 months or more.

Front of House:

In this I include FoH manager, Stewards, Bar staff, Box Office and Tea and Coffee teams. Are they comfortable to return? Are they comfortable with the COVID secure procedures, with the likelihood of additional cleaning requirements, such as door handles and touch points once audience are in the auditorium? Have the bar staff been briefed to minimize the handling of glasses and increased hand sanitation during bar service? Is the preparation and service of ‘interval drinks’ any different? Box Office, have you moved to electronic ticketing? How will you manage manual tickets to avoid excess handling? Have you placed a screen between Box Office and customers, if you did not already have one? (My own theatre has installed a bank-style two-way communications system, and electronic ticketing. This stops people putting their heads through the box office hatch!!). Have you amended your first-aid procedures to ensure safety of both first aiders and the person needing assistance?

Is your theatre really covid secure?

Have you ensured additional ventilation? Have you adjusted your cleaning routine, with a higher frequency, or level of cleaning? Have you taken steps to mitigate contamination of auditorium seating? Do you have one-way systems in place, for as long as they are needed within the regulations? How are you ensuring dressing rooms, green room and kitchen areas backstage are clean?

Finally, I look forward to hearing how you have all managed as you re-open and pray that your audiences return in droves, so that we can do what we do best and produce live, entertaining, educational drama and theatre!

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Questors’ COVID Code of Conduct

Questors’ COVID Code of Conduct

As theatres slowly begin to open up to audiences and visitors, Ealing’s Questors Theatre has has emphasised the importance of ensuring the safety of everyone coming through its doors. “We have set up some COVID-19 guidelines which follow the government’s latest guidelines, and will be in place until further notice.”

They are as follows:

  • Limited numbers will be allowed in the building at any one time;
  • We have a one-way system in place throughout the building to minimise crowding;
  • There will be hand-santitiser stations throughout the building;
  • Face masks must be worn at all times in the building unless you are exempt from wearing one;
  • We will be operating the venue with socially-distanced seating. Seats in our Playhouse Theatre will have coverings on them to show which are available to sit on and which are not;
  • Our Studio is currently closed for performances;
  • Until further notice, all tickets will be digital;
  • We ask you to not attend any event if you are unwell or have a temperature;
  • After the event, we ask you to vacate the premises as soon as possible;
  • We are sanitising and cleaning all areas and equipment at the end of each day;
  • If you are not visiting the theatre for an event, we kindly ask you to vacate the premises and wait elsewhere;
  • If you or anyone in your party subsequently falls ill after attending please notify us via

“We are excited to welcome you back to The Questors very soon, and hope to have more shows and events lined up in the near future!”

For information on upcoming productions: CLICK HERE

  • : Ensuring the safety of everyone
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