The new season at the Playhouse is the concluding chapter of Artistic Director Ian Brown’s iconic era of work.

Celebrating classical drama, the famous Playhouse family Christmas show and supporting up-and-coming writing and companies, the new season is the last under Brown’s leadership before James Brining, formerly of Dundee Rep, takes the reins of Artistic Directorship from September 2012.

From 14 September – 14 October, the much loved sitcom Steptoe and Son celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new co-production by Kneehigh and the Playhouse. Focusing mainly on the turbulent and hilarious relationship between Father and Son duo Albert and Harold, Director Emma Rice brings their bickering and antics screeching into the 21st century. The production is adapted from four of the original television scripts. The sitcom boasted audiences of 28 million at its height, and is sure to muster up the same popular appeal on this anniversary tour.

Tennessee WilliamsCat on a Hot Tin Roof, the emotionally raw tale of family drama, will grace the Quarry stage from 6 – 27 October. Directed by Sarah Esdaile, whose 2010 production of Death of a Salesman received critical acclaim, this is the first of Williams’ plays to be shown at the Playhouse since the move to Quarry Hill in 1990.

Leeds’ very own Alan Bennett’s adaptation of the classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows returns from 24 November 2012 – 19 January 2013, following its success in 2003. The familiar tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad is this year’s Christmas family offering, following Ian Brown’s previous festive crackers The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and The Secret Garden

For younger audience members, Sleeping Beauty - from 7 December 2012 to 19 January 2013 - promises princesses, princes, frogs and a grumpy granny with a spinning wheel. Adapted by Mike Kenny and directed by Gail McIntyre, this old favourite is retold with a creative and innovative twist, in a similar in a similar vein to previous hits Cinderella and Aladdin.

As always, the Playhouse advocates and promotes the work-in-progress of upcoming and established artists and companies. On 26 and 27 October this year, Furnace sees the Playhouse invite artists and audiences to share in the creative process as new ideas are trialed, tested and developed. One of last October’s fledgling works, Unlimited Theatres The Giant and the Bear recently premiered as a full production at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

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