This October sees the West Yorkshire Playhouse play host to an exciting showcase of raw talent featuring Slung Low and Unlimited Theatre.

From Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th October, audiences will be treated to ambitious and innovative projects created to support the work of bold theatre makers, nurture inventive new work and challenge audiences’ and the Playhouse’s perception of what theatre is in 2011. Funded by the Action Research Development Award, Furnace will have a place in shaping the future programming of the Playhouse.

Amy Letman, the Playhouse’s Associate Producer, has collaborated with Artistic Director Ian Brown and General Director Sheena Wrigley to produce Furnace. She said that the project represents a fresh, exciting new future for the theatre community in Leeds:

Through Furnace we will be working with artists who explore and push the boundaries of theatre, and who are committed to examining and re-imagining our concepts of what theatre can be and how it can impact and change the way we see the world…Going hand in hand with Furnace is a commitment to the artistic community of Leeds and a desire to develop adventurous and ambitious work by important makers, whose voices are vital for the future of regional theatre.”

Unlimited Theatre – company in residence at the Playhouse – and Leeds-based Slung Low are the first contributors to the project.

Original Bearings: a development showing by Slung Low will explore the changing landscape of Leeds as mills turn into apartments, warehouses into clubs and various other transformations and regenerations. ‘For Sale’ signs in Holbeck have been acting as storyboards on which tales of our new and changing city are written. Original Bearings will explore Holbeck and Leeds as a whole through urban myths, history and anecdotes.

The Giant and The Bear is a play-test workshop being run by Unlimited Theatre. Featuring circus artist Layla Rose of performance collective Shunt and games designers Hide&Seek, this family-friendly adventure will include revamped versions of old fashioned games, guided mystery tours and roller skating bears amongst other festivities. The full adventure will be launched Summer 2012, but in October, Unlimited want the people of Leeds to help develop the project through open workshops and play-testing sessions.

Furnace symposium will offer theatregoers the chance to discuss and reflect upon their experience of theatre in West Yorkshire. Led by University of Leeds’ Professor Stephen Bottoms, in collaboration with Theatre in the Mill’s Iain Bloomfield and Compass Festival of Live Art’s Annie Lloyd, the Playhouse are hoping for outside-the-box conversations and ideas-planning for this first-of –a-kind event.

Tickets for Furnace can be booked by calling West Yorkshire Playhouse Box Office on 0113 213 7700 or by visiting